Times have changed. The Mid-Major is nothing like it used to be. There was once a day where there were one or two broadcasts a year from mid-major schools, and that’s provided they had a player like Lamar Odom (Rhode Island) worth showing everyone. But now the college basketball landscape has changed, and there are many reasons why choosing to play at a mid-major school may be the more preferable choice for a high school basketball player as opposed to a highly regarded “major” program.
For one, you have to account for the media/coverage factor. When you come in highly recruited or to a major program, its easy for a teenager to get caught up in the hoopla and the atmosphere. Often times, major schools have larger fanbases, making you more easily recognizable around town and around campus, thus amplifying the pressure that comes with performing under the big lights. Then you find kid’s like New York Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin; or Miami Heat 1st round draft pick Norris Cole, who played for Harvard and Cleveland State, respectively.
The most advantageous factor of the mid-major atmosphere is that it allows the student-athlete to focus more on improving as a player, and less about basking in the spotlight. Mid-major kids are hard working, mature, and build for themselves lasting careers after college. As March is quickly approaching, you can bet to see some mid-majors bust the brackets. Murray State and Gonzaga appear poised to make strong runs, just to name a couple. But when will high school and junior college recruits take notice and avail themselves of the benefits of mid-major programs? Did playing for Harvard prepare Jeremy Lin for his infamous assent into NBA glory? Absolutely!