July 26, 2012
MADISON, Wis. - During the summer months, many people might assume that the women's basketball players and staff would be enjoying some time off. But that's definitely not the case for head coach Bobbie Kelsey and her three assistant coaches.
July is one of the busiest months for recruiting, and the four have been all over the country trying to watch the best of the best at summer tournaments. So far this month, the coaches have been to Ohio, Tennessee, Georgia and Chicago.
"This is where you make or break your program, because the players play, we don't play," said Kelsey. "We're trying to reach a certain level or standard in our recruiting to get some of those top championship, highly-ranked, McDonald's All-American, Gatorade Player of the Year-type players to come to Wisconsin."
The NCAA has limitations on recruiting during the summer, as only three of the four coaches are allowed to be on the road at the same time. Right now, the main focus is on the next signing class of 2013, but the coaches are always checking out players for the classes of 2014 and beyond.
"We need two more in the 2013 class, so right now that's our priority," said recruiting coordinator and assistant coach Jayme Callahan.
Kelsey and her staff identify possible recruits early so they can continue to watch the players grow in their basketball game. For Kelsey, recruiting is like a big game of chess.
"It's a strategy game, you're just trying to make the right move to not get beat."
The coaches concentrate on areas closer to Wisconsin, since local prospects are prone to know more about the university. But it all depends on coaches' connections and where the best talent is that suits the program.
"If I was in the Midwest, I would want to come here," said Kelsey.