Coach Brian Carrol, Head Coach of Basket Esch in Luxembourg takes time out from his schedule to respond to questions asked by our readers.
1) From Anthony Mayo, 6′ 8″ Senior High School Forward, Roman Catholic HS, Philadelphia, PA
What type of player do coaches look for in Europe when the recruit in the USA?
It all depends on the level of competition and the team needs. If you are playing in one of the better leagues in Europe a coach would look for a player who could get his own shot, create shot opportunities for his teammates, and defend some of the better players that they faced. In some of the lesser countries the scoring burden often falls primarily on the American import player - and the American is often judged on how many points that he scored in comparison to the American he faced. But at the end of the day Americans must continue to help (or be the primary reason why) their team win games or they will find themselves out of work — no matter how productive they are.
2) From Brad Wannamaer, 6′ 4″ Guard, University of Pittsburgh
As a combo guard I would like to know what would be my role on a team in Europe? Would the team want a player such as myself to be a scorer or playmaker?
Again it all depends on the team needs. If you are playing in one of the top leagues you wouldn’t be asked as a primary ball handler to lead your team in scoring. You would have wing players and post players that were talented enough to create their own scoring opportunities. If you were in one of the lesser leagues you would be asked to be more of a scorer because your teammates wouldn’t necessarily be talented enough to create scoring opportunities for themselves on their own. You would just have to gauge the level of talent on your team to see how much of the scoring burden should fall on your shoulders.
3) From Will Logan, Graduate Assistant at Missouri Baptist and former International Recruiter at Runhouse.com
How do you feel about guys leaving high school to play overseas to prepare for the NBA?
I’m not necessarily a big fan of rising high school seniors leaving high school early to play in Europe. The reason that I feel this way is because it is not only important to receive your high school diploma before pursuing a professional career but it is also extremely difficult for any high school player to go into the top leagues in Europe and consistently out play men with years of international experience. I do feel, however, if a high school graduate is afforded the opportunity to make a considerable amount of money playing professional basketball in Europe — as opposed to going to a university where they would play against inferior competition and would be subject to all of the rules of the NCAA and the university — that I would support whatever decision that individual felt would best prepare them to play at basketball’s highest level.
If European players are able to earn a living playing basketball as teenagers I do not believe that people should look down upon Americans who choose to do the same thing. The purpose of going to a four year university for student athletes should be to get a degree - not to play a particular sport well enough to ensure that the head coach gets a contract extension or a better job opportunity. Leaving college early — regardless of when the student leaves — significantly reduces the odds of that individual ever earning a degree. If a student athlete has no desire to earn a degree from a university he/she should be able to earn a living without feeling compelled to do the bare minimum to remain eligible for competition.
4) From Jack Whitehead, Runhouse.com
Miles Davis or Dizzy Gillespie
Miles — but you really need to get a Gregg Karukas album. He may be the best in the business right now.
Thanks for the really insightful answers. Look forward to catching up with you when you get back to the states. I am going to legally download some Karukas tunes now. I am a more into Dizzy than Miles but we can’t agree on everything.