In the end, performance matters most

Far be it from me to tell anyone what's really important when it comes to life, love and the pursuit of happiness. However, as a long-time college coach and recruiting coordinator I do want to offer an annual perspective on ratings and rankings.

Anyone who knows me or has read some of my columns will tell you that I value ratings and rankings right up there with shares of stock from GM or Chrysler. In fact, I find a tremendous similarity in the reality of their value. In either case their actual worth is a perceived one rather than anything real or tangible; stocks have no actual value until you cash them in. It's their performance day in and day out that will ultimately determine their return on your financial investment when the time comes.

The same thing is true on the basketball court. It's your performance day in and day out that creates your value in the recruiting market. Sure, the rankings and ratings that are so abundantly available create a perception of value. However, paper money and paper talent are often misrepresented, misleading and have no real worth. In the end your "product" (your game, in this case) is where you'll find a return on your basketball investment. It certainly doesn't come from the opinion of observers, evaluators or journalists. When you cash in (sign a scholarship) you can bet it's the result of your hard work, not a ranking or grade attached to your name.