Draft Day Sports College Basketball 22 Review

Draft Day Sports: College Basketball 22 Review - Embrace the Madness

Wolverine Studios is one of the leaders in the sports sim genre at this point. The library of games is impressive, and the studio is looking to add to it with Draft Day Sports: College Basketball 22. The excitement for college basketball is at a maximum level this time of year, and so with the Sweet 16 kicking off today, it feels like the right time for a Draft Day Sports: College Basketball 22 review.

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Draft Day Sports: College Basketball 22 Review

What’s New?

  • The all-new transfer portal feature brings a free agency-like experience to college basketball.
  • Game engine changes provide an even more realistic experience
  • Link your college basketball league to Draft Day Sports: Pro Basketball 2022 with greater ease now
  • Automatic updates to your practice and strategy settings when you change jobs, providing a player comparison screen, multiple changes on the 2-D screen
  • Get more value from your assistant coaches now as they can offer you advice on recruits you may be overlooking

What I Like


I often feel weird about listing gameplay and coaching as something I like about a simulation-based sports title, but I do it here with complete confidence. DDS: CBB ’22 sets the stage on-screen with a system that allows you to see the gameplay out in a 2D visual model, and along with the game being visually played out on-screen, the title also offers a bevy of coaching options that happen in -real-time and can have a drastic impact on the outcome of the game at hand.

Not a fan of the defensive effort your team is displaying on the court? Make real-time adjustments on the fly. Are you struggling with the performance of your star player during a big game? Introduce him to the bench and bring in that eager backup ready to prove himself. Is the offensive game plan not working as the game plan intended? Change it up and see what approach might change the game’s flow.

Sometimes I struggled with all of this as I watched my team stink it up from the sidelines, and knowing when to make a change or trust the process is complicated.

When you make that change, and it works, it is incredibly fulfilling. On the flip side, when everything you try fails miserably, you take it personally and feel as though you let your little digital sprites down. Many often assume that a sports simulation doesn’t offer the same emotional “hit” as one where you control the players. Still, Wolverine Studios nails this aspect.

Game Mods

Every year I make sure everyone understands that the DDS: CBB series is unlicensed. While it provides the whole college experience with preseason tournaments, recruiting, season, and national tournaments in the postseason, you will find no real teams, sponsors, uniforms, logo, or coaches. Thankfully, a fantastic mod on Wolverine’s website (provided by NCAAHoops) takes the game where most of us want it to be. The game mod provides everything I mentioned above to help recreate an authentic NCAA experience — minus accurate rosters, which the user can alter in-game anyway.

Draft Day Sports: College Basketball 22

The mod offers multiple choices as to what content you want to include in-game, and it’s easy to install. There is nothing wrong with playing the default DDS: CBB 22, but for me, the experience is heightened once you see your favorite team’s logo pop up on that screen.


Creating a robust presentation package for a sports simulation is no easy task for any development team. While there is room for improvement in some areas, Wolverine Studios does a solid job creating sequences throughout the game that help create an immersive experience.

Draft Day Sports: College Basketball 22

Whether it be an “easy to navigate” type flow when proceeding through a season, end-of-game recaps, a full slate of preseason magazine options to reference, or an engaging tournament selection show, DDS: CBB 22 offers a fun environment and a couple surprises along the way that push the level of immersion even further.

One tip I will pass along is to make sure you hit “tournament recap” once the National Championship is decided. It’s a “moment” that makes the season’s grind and tournament worth it.


The recruiting aspect of DDS: CBB 22 is what sets it up for a deep and enjoyable time for myself and most users. The level of depth, excitement, disappointment, and sense of fulfillment or failure is fantastic.

Understanding your school’s strengths is critical when hitting the recruiting trail or making that all-important phone call to that recruit that could help your school win it all. On top of that, doing your research and scouting is just as important, and knowing what is essential to the recruit all plays into a successful run at a top 25 class.

If you do your homework, create that relationship, and it still doesn’t work, it might be time to close the door and utilize the “offer cash” option. While it’s a last resort that can work, it also carries the danger of knowing, if caught, the ramifications could be highly detrimental in the long run. Recruiting in DDS: CBB 22 is a blast and offers a high level of fun, excitement, and a hefty dose of pressure, regardless of what school you are coaching at.

What I Don’t Like

Draft Day Sports: College Basketball 22 review

Navigation/Ease Of Use

Every year Wolverine Studios takes measures to streamline this series, and those moves have made a difference. Still, if one is a casual fan or a newcomer to the series, understanding the full depth of this series and how much is offered and customizable can be daunting. It’s not surprising to hear so many stories of gamers having to restart because they were unsure how something worked or had no idea they had access to an option.

Although this is listed as something I don’t like, the real story here is to be prepared to feel lost when firing up this franchise as it offers some great options and ways to play. I love the realism and depth of this title, but even as a seasoned veteran, I still had to do a bit of research to embrace the idea of absolute control and understanding in Draft Day Sports: College Basketball 22.

On-Court Game Presentation

Again, I am complaining about watching the team-based jerseys representing each player flowing around the court. I do it every year and will continue to do so in hopes that we can see actual miniature players running around the court one day. I love what OOTP has done with its 3-D game display option or what Pro Strategy Football has accomplished with its series.

The DDS: CBB series is simply a fantastic replication of the sport itself, and one day I hope to see improvements in this area. As a small development house, changes like what I am recommending can take some time and are relatively low on the priority list. I keep mentioning it because the rest of the title is so well done that an issue like this hopefully can be addressed sooner rather than later.

Bottom Line

If you just look at DDS: CBB 22, it does not seem like much has changed year over year. However, the improvements under the hood in recruiting, homecourt advantage, and deeper coaching involvement help this version make some noise. All the components inside Draft Day Sports: College Basketball 22 flow very well together, and the game as a whole delivers an outstanding experience that happens to coincide with March Madness. Even better, DDS: CBB 22 is a title that has an addictive quality that keeps giving year after year.

If you’re a newcomer to the franchise, the depth of the title can feel a bit intimidating and somewhat confusing at the beginning. Navigating through the world of college basketball isn’t easy, and the realistic approach that Wolverine Studios delivered here reflects that element of things. That said, the community and developers are very helpful over on their forums, so you should be able to get over that hump. For veterans, the title’s new inclusions also make Draft Day Sports: College Basketball 22 a worthy upgrade.