TORRINGTON – Eastern Wyoming College women’s basketball coach Tom Anderson understands that he is not going to get every recruit he goes after, but that doesn’t hinder his search.
“Anywhere through the process, if you so to speak lose that kid, you just take them off your board or your paper and you have to move on,” Anderson said. “Realistically, you’re not going to get every kid you want. That’s just the way it is. If you did, it would be a pretty simple process.”
Anderson continually keeps his depth chart on his mind while recruiting. He said it is best to have a balanced roster across the board. He looks to have a high-level player at every position and then role players to fill out his roster.
“You need to look at positions because some are very different than others,” Anderson said. “I think the biggest thing is the needs that you want in those positions and then you have to get some depth.”
He said he also would love to have a balanced roster among classes, but that isn’t always the case.
“Ideally you’d have six freshman and six sophomores every year, but it doesn’t happen that way,” Anderson said. “You have to vary it as you go from one year to the next. Again, it goes back to what holes you need to fill.”
When looking at perspective players who fill a need, Anderson said the first thing he looks at is their skill in the court. He said if they meet what he is looking for athletically, he looks deeper into them as a person and student. He wants a well-rounded person who excels on the court and in the classroom. He also looks for the intangibles in his possible recruits.
“When you’re recruiting, you can view their video and see their skills and measure their athletic ability. You can see their grades and all those things,” Anderson said. “The thing you can never measure is how much heart they have. When it really gets down to it, it’s that heart and desire that distinguishes the average player from the better player.”
If a player meets what Anderson is looking for, he makes or continues contact with the student-athlete. He is upfront about his program, EWC and the community. He is recruiting against bigger schools from larger cities, and he wants players to know what EWC and Torrington has to offer.
“You lose some kids that way, but you probably gain some kids that way too,” Anderson said. “You don’t want to recruit a kid really hard and end up getting them here and in the back of their mind they really didn’t want to come to this experience anyway… you want kids that want to be in your program and in your school.”
This past season, the Lancers had six international players who decided EWC would be their next home. Recruiting players from abroad is nothing new for Anderson. He said that there are not many differences between recruiting United States players and foreign players, except for the amount of paperwork required to get the player to sign.
The Lady Lancers are permitted 15 full scholarships, per the NJCAA. The school gives 12 full scholarships, but doesn’t include full coverage of books.
The Lady Lancers graduated seven players from last year’s roster, so Anderson had seven holes to fill this offseason. The new recruits, in addition to the returning players, will have a tall task to repeat or surpass last season’s finish. EWC finished the year with a 22-12 record. The Lady Lancers reached the finals of the Region IX Tournament, falling to Western Nebraska Community College in the championship.
Update: The Lady Lancers have nine players signed for next season. The 2017-18 recruits include: Macie Mackey – Gillette, Morning Grambler – Wyoming Indian, Cate Knutson – Red Cloud S.D., Emily Buchanan – Yoder, Kaylynn Jefferson, Lingle; Kelliann Raft – Broomfield, Colo., Okoye Ifunanya – Nigeria, Nicole Cutler – New Zealand.