In the second installment of our Recruiting Roundtable, we look in-depth at a pair of recruiting classes that earned top 20 billing and why those classes are more than just numbers. See the full early signing class rankings here.
By: @BrandonClayPSB and @KeilMoore
No. 11 Baylor Set for Post-Griner Era
For the past three seasons Baylor has had the most dominant women’s basketball player in the country and experienced a great deal of success with Brittney Griner in uniform. Currently there isn’t a physically dominant player of Griner’s stature in all of high school basketball, so Baylor’s strategy post-Griner had to be a focus on picking up a high volume of talent. Two top 15 recruiting classes later, Baylor seems to be in good shape as they have scored a No. 8 ranked recruiting class with the 2012 the No. 11 recruiting class in 2013.
The Bears’ 2013 additions — Imani Wright of Texarkana, Ark., Nina Davis of Memphis, Tenn., Breanna Hayden of Dallas, Texas, and Khadijah Cave of Augusta, Ga. — come in and give Baylor a lot of depth and talent at the perimeter positions, while help on writing a personal statement the lone post player Cave, should have time to learn and develop with the depth Baylor already has on campus.
With its 2012 class Baylor was able to create a good deal of recruiting momentum with the additions of two McDonald’s All American’s, Alexis Prince and Niya Johnson, as well as an athletic top-50 caliber forward in Chardonae Fuqua, and a true back to the basket scoring threat in Kristina Higgins. That core of talent afforded Baylor the ability to not have an immediate need to address with the 2013 class and instead pick up a collection of talented prospects that will be able to blend in with the stellar 2012 class.
Anyone who thinks that there won’t be a bit of a drop off after losing a player like Griner to graduation doesn’t understand how truly special a talent that she is. Baylor wasn’t going to be able to replace her production or her impact with one player. They needed a nucleus of talent that could blend together and keep them at the top of women’s basketball, and the staff did just that.
– Keil Moore
No. 16 Georgetown In Good Hands
The Hoyas made it sleep research paper to the Sweet Sixteen last season but lost their head coach, Terri Williams-Flournoy, to Auburn in the process. To make matters worse, All Big East performer Sugar Rodgers graduates at the end of the 2012-13 season. Former assistant and current head coach Keith Brown’s success with his first recruiting should reassure the fan base that the program is in good hands.
With three top 100 players in No. 35 Shayla Cooper of Norcross, Ga., No. 44 Tyshell King of Baltimore, Md., and No. 89 Faith Woodard of Brandon, Fla., bring athleticism and defensive presence to the roster while four-star prospects Kelsey Briggs of Memphis, Tenn., and Jade Martin of Minneapolis, Minn., will bring depth to the forward position.
The Hoyas like to bring defensive pressure and length to the floor. With King being the lone recruit not standing at least 5 feet 10 inches, the 2013 class will give Brown and his staff plenty of length to work with. This group will combine with a talented 2012 class that included Logan Battle, Ki-Ke Raflu and Dominique Vitalis. All three of them have seen minutes early in their opening season. In addition, the highest ranked of the freshmen, social class essay Katie McCormick, tore her ACL in the pre-season and now is basically a member of the 2013 class as well.
For the Hoyas to score this type of talent in the midst of a coaching change speaks volumes to the foundation that has been laid in the nation’s capital.
– Brandon Clay
Brandon Clay is the publisher of the JumpOffPlus.com and the owner of Peach State Basketball, Inc. The service is picked up by more than 200 colleges and universities nationwide. He serves as the Executive Camp Director for the EBA All-American, Fab Five and Super 64 Camps. In addition, he serves as a national recruiting analyst for ESPNHoopgurlz and a contributor to SLAM Magazine. Clay has been involved in the community since 2001 as an evaluator, event operator and trainer. You can reach him atBrandonClay@PeachStateBasketball.com.
Keil Moore is the Director of Scouting for the JumpOffPlus.com National Scouting Report – a division of Peach State Basketball, Inc. He also is a contributor and national recruiting analyst for ESPN HoopGurlz. Moore has been involved in the community since 2007 as a recruiting analyst and trainer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.