Gathering Basketball Prospect Intel

Uncover the secrets of basketball scouting. Learn about intel sources, the CPED process, and how to evaluate information for successful draft prep.



In the world of basketball scouting, gathering intelligence on potential draft prospects is a critical part of the draft preparation process. The sources of this information are as important as the information itself, and understanding the difference between these sources is crucial. This blog post will delve into the primary sources of intelligence, the CPED (Collection, Processing, Exploitation, Dissemination) Process, and the criteria for evaluating intelligence, all of which are key to gathering information on prospective amateur or professional players.

Open-Source Intelligence: The First Resource

Open-source intelligence is often the first port of call for scouts. This information is publicly accessible, whether through observation, request, or purchase. Examples include a prospect’s social media profiles, television and radio broadcasts, books, magazines, and a wide range of public documents. However, it’s important to remember that open-source intelligence is secondhand information, often published with inherent bias. Therefore, it must be thoroughly vetted, especially when it comes from “gray intel” sources, which are materials with limited distribution that typically require a subscription or membership.

Human Intelligence: The Inner Puzzle Pieces

Human intelligence often provides the most valuable insights into a prospect. These insights come from individuals who have regular direct interaction with the prospect, such as coaches, trainers, academic advisors, and even cafeteria staff. However, just like open-source intelligence, human intelligence must be properly vetted to account for inherent bias.

The CPED Process: From Collection to Dissemination

The CPED process is a systematic approach to gathering and analyzing intelligence. It involves:

  1. Collection: Determining what information to acquire and then obtaining it.
  2. Processing: Formatting the collected information into a useful format.
  3. Exploitation: Validating and analyzing the information and organizing it for draft preparation.
  4. Dissemination: Sending the information to the requester or sharing it with them.

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Intelligence Evaluation Criteria: Assessing Information and Source Reliability

The value of any piece of intelligence is determined not by how hard it is to acquire, but by how well it answers a request for information. To evaluate the validity of the information and the reliability of the source, scouts use the Intelligence Evaluation Criteria, which assesses information on a scale from “confirmed” to “cannot be judged,” and source credibility from “reliable” to “cannot be judged.”

Next Step?

Gathering intelligence on basketball prospects is a complex process that requires a keen understanding of different intel sources, a systematic approach to collection and analysis, and a rigorous evaluation of the information and its sources. By mastering these aspects, scouts can make informed decisions that contribute to successful draft preparations.

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