CHICAGO | You see them in the top rows of the bleachers, taking notes, in the hospitality room or just standing and watching.
The upcoming holiday tournaments will bring a flood of college coaches ranging from big-time assistants and head coaches to junior college and NAIA coaches. For the smaller schools with even smaller recruiting budgets, it's a chance to look at a lot of talent in a few days. They will be at the McDipper and Proviso West, the two premier Chicago-area boys holiday tournaments.
For the girls, they will be all over from Hillcrest to Montini.
DePaul women's coach Doug Bruno stood off to the side of the court at Whitney Young High Schooi as he watched Marian Catholic play Fremd.
Bruno was watching Marian's Ashton Millender, a DePaul recruit, but he was there all day.
"We are limited to the number of days we can recruit, so when you have a great tourney like this, in our backyard, you come out and spend the day," said Bruno, who entered the season with 531 career wins. "This is a great opportunity to see kids at once and against top competition."
Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly said shootouts like Whitney Young also give a coach a chance to uncover that precious diamond in the rough.
"You may be looking at a certain player and notice her teammate or someone on the other team," Fennelly said. "We had finals this week (week of Dec. 8-14), so we didn't have any games and it was great time for me to go out and scout."
He also stressed making the most of the time you have.
"This counts as one day for recruiting, but you see eight, 10 games and a lot of players," Fennelly said, who has won 570 games between Iowa State and Toledo. "You see great players playing against each other and sometimes in a regular game, you might not see two good teams. Here, you see a lot of great teams go at it."