Just how tough is earning a D2 scholarship?
It’s that time of year again as winter is gradually starting to wind down and spring is approaching that a still significant percentage of the senior class remains uncommitted.
Many prospects come into that final year, especially if they’re post-grads, with a certain goal in mind. That goal is often tied to level, or at least perceived level of play.
“I’m D1 player”
“I’m a scholarship player”
Recruiting though is about supply and demand and it’s the market that tells you what you are, or more accurately, what your options are.
Players who remain uncommitted at this time of year need to start being realistic with themselves. This doesn’t mean they are any less self-confident or motivated. It just means that if they tie themselves to those initial levels, they increase the chances of letting a good opportunity go by and being left without a chair when the music stops playing…which is a worst-case scenario.
This is especially true for prospects fighting for scholarship offers at the division II level.
There isn’t any other level of college basketball where the supply-and-demand model is more slanted.
What exactly does that mean?
It means that there are lots of players who are legitimately scholarship caliber talents, but not enough scholarships or even spots on division II rosters to accommodate all of those players.
That’s one of the hardest things for prospects to understand and accept. Sometimes they will have accomplished what they set out to prove, by developing their game and body into that of a player who is capable of playing at the D2 level, and yet that doesn’t guarantee they will get the opportunity.
In New England, there are less than 15 D2 schools in the region, and despite numerous misconceptions, they don’t all have 10 full scholarships to their name. In fact, there’s less than 100 full scholarships collectively across all of those programs, not per year, but total.
That means that all of the returning and incoming division II prospects in all of New England have to be accounted for by less than 100 full scholarships. Divide that by the four years of college, and maybe there are 25 available to incoming freshmen.
And there are A LOT more than 25 division II caliber players in New England.
The chances of landing one of those coveted spots are even more challenging this year. With the increased number of transfers over the years, we’ve seen a clear trend of schools at this level waiting to accept commitments from the high school ranks in order to see what options present themselves on the transfer market.
This year is no different, so far there have only been 4 players in New England’s class of 2020 to accept D2 scholarships, and it’s not as if there are a lot of unaccepted options left on the board.
The moral of the story for unsigned prospects aspiring for this level is that they need to know the facts. Understand how limited those spots are and how many options college coaches have to fill them. If those realities deter your confidence or work-ethic, then chances are you’ve already lost, but considering other options, making sure you have a good contingency plan, and understanding the timing of when those options will expire doesn’t make you any less talented as a basketball player, it only makes you that much mature and prepared to make good decisions.