Im going to attend tryouts at my school (Texas State.. its D-1 AA) next year. From what I've heard about tryouts, they are virtually impossible to walk on because the coaches arent expecting anybody good to show up so they dont really pay attention or give somebody a fair chance..
but Im going for it anyways and Im gonna turn some heads. I think Ill probably make the practice team atleast. Ive played against a few of the players and held my own, so I have an idea of what Im going against..
Anyone here ever tried to walk on? How was your experience?
I had a chance (a semi-promise from a coach) to walk on at a d1 school but I decided to play at a lower level school that really recruited and wanted me at the time.
I have friends that have walked on at d1 schools and the experiences differ. One of my friends who walked on at a great d1 basketball school had the best time of his life traveling to the NCAA's, Maui tournament,playing with future NBA players, and getting lots of girls. Another of my friends walked on at a different d1 school and didn't like the way that he was disrespected by the scholarship players.
School I go to it was very impossible, and not 100% from a talent perspective. The coach literally doesn't give guys a chance. It's so dumb on his part too because as an example, a lot of his redshirted freshmen and a few sophomores signed up for intramurals and a team of a few of us guys who are good ballers but obviously not on a college team trounced them both games. Coach found out about it, and instead of looking at it like, "wow, there's kids here who can give the business to the players I recruited? Maybe I should go give them a look," he just banned the team players from playing pickup and Intramural ball in the Fitness Center anymore with normal people.
The first time I talked to him, he told me he had enough guards and come back next March. Next March he told me to just be in the Fitness Center and shoot around with the players over the Summer and he'll see us out there and he likes me, he'll come holler. Well he was never in there. Next yr, after he was finally fired (technically they just chose not to renew his contract), he didn't even make any **** up. He was just like I'm not interested in looking at anymore players.
I go to Cameron, which is a D2 by the way. The new coach, I never even tried bothering him about it anymore but with Coach Mantle, if you weren't one of his recruits (and he recruits almost exclusively out of Dallas), he didn't want to **** with you. There was no real "tryouts" where you could show up and prove yourself.
I don't know how it'd be at other schools though. And Josh Young, who is giving you 16ppg at Drake right now (averaged 41ppg his senior yr), goes to school mere miles from Cameron and Coach Mantle never even knew who he was. He is literally the worst coach I have ever encountered, used to routinely post records like 1-17 in conference, 3-24 overall.
It's hilarious too because most of the players are some of the cockiest arrogantest bastards ever and when us "normal people" are hooping like to show up and talk a lot of **** and laugh.
One player who graduated from the program is playing in the ABA for the Texas Tycoons right now though. Another, who was kicked out of the program, is in the IBL last I heard and you can see him on the Coach Carter DVD. His name is Wayne, and he played for the real life Coach Carter.
a buddy of mine tried to walk on at ball state. still a D-1 program, but not a huge powerhouse. it would have been a big thrill for him though. from what he told me, he still doesn't understand why he didn't at least make the practice squad. his team has won their intramural championship every year so far, and he told me their team has played the actual men's team there in scrimmages and stuff, and they have beat them multiple times. not really sure....
I think there is a lot of truth to the EGO aspect of it. A coach rarely will ever want to admit that some random dude at the school he coaches that he never even pursued is better then a guy that he spent significant time trying to lure to the school/developing while at the school. It doesn't really make sense because you would think winning would be more important than stroking the E, but it definitely happens. I haven't heard many good college b-ball walk-on stories.
Now, football....that's a whole other story. At BYU anybody can show up to open tryouts and show their stuff....and the coaches will actually pay attention to them. I actually think our whole defensive secondary was comprimised of former walk-ons this year. Not too bad for a team that has finished in the top 15 two years in a row.
When I did my undergraduate work at Ohio University (MAC school), my family, who knows basically NOTHING about basketball, was telling me that I should try out for the team because I'm "tall." They don't understand that 6'5 isn't very tall for a basketball player. Not to mention, I have really small hands for someone my size. Can't palm a basketball, and have trouble catching certain types of passes.
Add in my average athleticism (at best), and age (a bit older than most typical undergrads), and I never would've stood a shot.
Take away those factors, I'm sure I could've made it
The assistant coach for my high school team walk-on at Duquesne. He ended up getting a scholarship and starting about 16 games in his senior season. He played with Mike James and they are still real good friends to this day.