Yanni Hufnagel was an assistant basketball coach at Harvard University when the team won their first March Madness victory. He is now taking his scouting and recruiting skills to Vanderbilt University. It is a great opportunity for Yanni. Vanderbilt is an elite academic school with a beautiful campus, success sending players to the NBA, academic support, the SEC, scholarships, great weather, and televised games. The school is in Nashville, TN. Yanni spent four years at Harvard, where he enjoyed the success the basketball organization had experienced. It was hard for him to tell his players and recruits he was leaving. He understands that if it were not hard to do, he would question his love for the school and its students.
He worked with Blake Griffin and Jeremy Lin while they were in college. He is known as one of the country’s top recruiters. He asks each player if he is a winner, coachable, and is he someone that Yanni would enjoy being around. He says these three questions are important and related. He has been in the company of good coaches his whole coaching career. He values having more than one coach around to scout potential talent from a different perspective. He feels confident about a potential player when they can carry a smooth conversation.
He responds to people praising him as a great recruiter with humility. He brings a positive personality and contagious energy to his job. He has recognized the benefits of quantitative analysis in basketball. It is currently being used in the NBA. People like Ken Pomeroy have implemented it in college basketball. Basketball is not the same as baseball because each position is not incredibly unique from another. He is a decent shooter, but he would prefer the players he has coached take a game’s final shot.
SWball August 24, 2018