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Retail Stores and Recruiting: It's about Location, Location, Location

By: Rob Harrington
February 19, 2002

Of all the criteria that factor into top players' college decisions each year, perhaps the one that is overlooked most consistently can be seen on the wall of many high school classrooms -- a map.

That's right: Simple geography plays a major -- and sometimes primary -- role in the decisions made by aspiring college hoopsters. A quick glance at this year's seniors reveals a strong correlation between location and college choice.

A quick rundown: The nation's best point guard, UNC-bound Raymond Felton, lives just minutes outside the N.C. border in South Carolina. And the best power forward, Michigan native Paul Davis, will take his services to East Lansing with Michigan State next fall.

Other top-30 national players to sign with schools within their home-state borders are BF Shavlik Randolph (Duke), WF Evan Burns (UCLA), WG Rashad McCants (UNC), PG Dee Brown (Illinois), BF Brad Buckman (Texas) and BF Alex Johnson (Georgia).

With the overwhelming number of seniors already committed, then, it's time to break out a new map for the Class of 2003 and see just who has a built-in advantage with the top juniors.

For starters, Cincinnati, Ohio State and Xavier have an apparent advantage with incredible junior wing LeBron James of Akron (Ohio) St. Vincent-St. Mary.

But let's not kid ourselves: The coaching staffs at those respective schools don't expect James to play college ball, and neither should you.

... to read more about Generation Next visit PrepStars.com, the #1 recruiting source.

Our thanks to Human Kinetics for sending us some excellent coaching books. You can't beat the discounted price, less than $20 including shipping.

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