Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress released an article about the best and worst venues for NBA scouts and why it matters. Unfortunately, Oklahoma State checks in under the "worst venues," which I guess shouldn't be a huge surprise, though it is disappointing. If you don't know, OSU scouts sit above the student section on the visitor's bench side, which has to be less than ideal for trying to scout a game. Here are some excerpts from the article regarding OSU.
Tied for the most votes in the "least accommodating college program" were UCLA and Oklahoma State. UCLA placed a large amount of NBA executives, including General Managers, in the upper deck for their home game against Arizona last weekend, which generated the large amount of negative responses which prompted this article.
Oklahoma State also got quite a few mentions as being not particularly accommodating, with certain scouts going out of their way to mention negative experiences.
"That's a bad seat," a Director of Scouting informed. "They put you upstairs on the baseline, which in their case is way up. They don't have a lot of media seating. The lower level is very small. You have to use relationships with the coaching staff. That's a rough one in my experience."
"That's a ‘do not visit venue for me," a Director of Player Personnel told us. "I just don't go back to places where I have one or two bad experiences. Especially if it's as out of the way as they are. If I have to go somewhere like that I'll just use Stubhub and pay an arm and a leg. That's not ideal, especially when you are on the eighth game of a nine day trip, and you can barely remember what city you're in, but sometimes you have no choice. If I have a relationship with the visiting team's coaching staff then I might try and use that if I need to. I hate asking for favors, but sometimes that's just what you have to do."
Not exactly what you want to hear, right?
Like Givony, I believe it's important to have the best possible relationship with NBA teams. It's a major recruiting tool because the top players want to go to a situation that puts them in a good position to highlight their skills and become lottery picks. Based on what these few sources noted, it's much easier to do that at other schools compared to OSU.
Obviously, it's not impossible for Ford to overcome. We've landed Le'Bryan Nash and Marcus Smart in recent years, but it does seem to me that OSU's program is needlessly hamstringing itself. I would think (and hope) this is something easy to correct, and I do hope that OSU does indeed take some measures to improve its relationship with NBA scouts and front offices. Hopefully, that just requires OSU to find new seating arrangements for scouts and nothing more.
Anyway check out the rest of the article, and check out DraftExpress. They're my favorite NBA draft/scouting site, and the scouting videos they do are top notch.
Here's the link for the full article.