?If a school always seems to have stars from poor backgrounds who stay four years even if they don't graduate, chances are they are not jumping to the NBA for big money because a) they are already getting it, or b) their getting it is contingent on serving a four-year hitch.
?If a prominent local automobile dealer, haberdasher or purveyor of any good or service that might be of interest to a 19-year-old male sits behind the bench or hobnobs in the locker room, it's probably not because he moonlights as team chaplain.
?When a roster is peppered with poor, inner-city players from far beyond a school's area, there is no way the players' families are paying for those hometown-to-campus round-trips. Even in the People Express era.
?If a recruit has narrowed his choice to a handful of schools, all of which have been, or are about to go, on probation, chances are there's a bidding war on.
?Check the orthodontia. "It's amazing," says one recruiting-wars mercenary, "how many kids who had teeth missing when they were high school seniors have a full set as college freshmen."
At least since the late '50s, when a national magazine reported that a schoolboy named Jerry Lucas was 6'11�", recruiters have been skeptical about heights. Just as Ohio State soon discovered that Lucas was no taller than 6'8", scores of coaches have been similarly bamboozled by heights of fancy passed on by secondhand sources or by coaches or players themselves fibbing on questionnaires sent out by colleges. Says LSU's Dale Brown, "I chop two inches off any height I see." Most coaches do the same. A few general rules about heights:
?The only heights likely to be underestimated are those of foreigners. They tend to lose something in the metric conversion.
?A height supplied by a high school player will be an inch on the high side; by his coach, two inches.
?Ninety percent of all high school players purported to be 6'9" are really only 6'7".