Girls’s basketball recruits who was WNBA stars – and a few who missed the mark

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Over the previous 20-plus years, I’ve seen a few of the greatest women’ highschool basketball prospects develop from extremely touted recruits into school and WNBA stars. And for each girls’s basketball recruit I’ve precisely scouted, there have been a couple of I’ve missed on as properly.

From a small city in rural Georgia to throughout the Atlantic Ocean in Germany, many recruits have exceeded expectations. And it is truthful to say Geno Auriemma is aware of tips on how to recruit.

Listed here are the three greatest prospects I’ve ever seen, three I undervalued and three who’ve but to succeed in their potential.

One of the best recruits I’ve seen

Breanna Stewart
UConn Huskies
espnW HoopGurlz rating: No. 1, Class of 2012

The primary time I noticed Stewart was at Syracuse’s elite camp when she was a rising sophomore. She had a constant midrange jumper, stable type and wonderful approach. What she had in her ability set then, she additionally has now.

Stewart was a really gifted participant to start with. Her capacity alone was sufficient to hold Cicero-North Syracuse Excessive Faculty to a stable season. However her junior 12 months, she grew to become rather more assured on the court docket, and that poise helped Stewart take her recreation to a different stage and to dominate.

The remainder is historical past. 4 nationwide championships with UConn. 4 Ultimate 4 Most Excellent Participant awards. Olympic gold medal. WNBA MVP. WNBA champion. WNBA Finals MVP.

Maya Moore
UConn Huskies
espnW HoopGurlz rating: No. 1, Class of 2007

Moore was a mannequin of consistency at Collins Hill Excessive Faculty in Suwanee, Georgia. She was the last word participant, somebody who was nice at executing within the half court docket, distributing the ball and making photographs. And when she would face the hardest opponents, she would not again down.

Previous to her senior season, it was clear she was one of the crucial pushed gamers within the nation. She added measurement and energy and was one of the crucial mature gamers on the court docket as properly. That solely helped her when she arrived in Storrs.

What has she achieved since? Simply win two NCAA titles with the Huskies, 4 WNBA championships with the Minnesota Lynx and one MVP award to cement herself among the many greatest gamers in league historical past.

Diamond DeShields
Tennessee Woman Vols
espnW HoopGurlz rating: No. 3, Class of 2013

We learn about DeShields’ athletic background. Her father performed with 5 groups in a 13-year MLB profession. Her brother is getting into his sixth season within the majors. And he or she has a youthful sister, Denim DeShields, who’s ranked No. 91 within the espnW HoopGurlz Class of 2021. No offense to Denim, however Diamond may be essentially the most expert basketball participant within the household.

Diamond had a Jordan-esque explosiveness when she would rise over defenders on leap photographs. When she was with the Georgia Ice on the AAU circuit, a staff that additionally featured Lexie Brown and Kaela Davis, DeShields was one of many smoothest gamers on the court docket and likewise one of the crucial dominant. Any time her staff wanted to make a clutch play, DeShields would not draw back from the second.

She spent one 12 months at North Carolina and two with Tennessee earlier than she was picked third within the 2018 WNBA draft. DeShields has confirmed to be one of many league’s most promising younger gamers already. She led the Chicago Sky with 16.2 factors per recreation final season and received the WNBA All-Star abilities problem as properly.

Three recruits I undervalued

Satou Sabally
Oregon Geese
espnW HoopGurlz rating: No. 36, Class of 2017

I used to be not capable of consider Sabally in particular person when she was residing in Germany, however the video I noticed confirmed she was spectacular. Nonetheless, whereas I knew Oregon’s workers was excessive on her, I attempted to be cautious with my rating.

Sabally may be the last word hybrid 4. At 6-foot-4, she has nice measurement, however she will be able to additionally assault inside, stretch out the protection and shoot from past the arc. Her ability set is paying homage to a Candace Parker or an Emma Meesseman.

Sabally averaged 16.2 factors and 6.9 rebounds for Oregon final season earlier than she entered the draft as a junior. The one purpose she fell to No. 2 total was as a result of her teammate, Sabrina Ionescu, went No. 1.

Future Pitts
Texas A&M Aggies
espnW HoopGurlz rating: No. 62, Class of 2017

Pitts was a terrific participant and a great scorer at the highschool stage. She might drive to the rim, end on the line, deal with the ball up the ground and hit the 3-pointer. She might have struggled with quickness on the school stage, however as an alternative she reformed her recreation and have become one of the crucial sought-after transfers.

Pitts signed with Minnesota and was the Huge Ten Freshman of the 12 months in 2018. As a sophomore, she averaged 16.Three factors and 4.2 rebounds. She left this system this previous season and introduced her switch to Texas A&M.

She will not be the explosive participant and acrobatic finisher that Chennedy Carter was for the Aggies, however Pitts is a confirmed scorer who could make an instantaneous influence within the SEC.

Courtney Williams
South Florida Bulls
espnW HoopGurlz rating: Unranked, Class of 2012

Williams was the 72nd-ranked guard within the Class of 2012. She was quick and will rating, however did not get a ton of publicity being from a small city in South Georgia. She did not at all times play in opposition to a excessive stage of competitors.

Boy, did she show me flawed.

As a freshman at USF, she had 13 double-figure video games off the bench and confirmed she had a capability to take over. By the point she was a junior, she was averaging over 20 factors per recreation. Now, she’s a WNBA All-Star who’s averaging double figures in opposition to the very best gamers on this planet.

Three recruits I overrated

Rellah Boothe
Center Tennessee Woman Raiders
espnW HoopGurlz rating: No. 3, Class of 2017

Boothe was one of the crucial superb highschool gamers I’ve seen. She as soon as put up 37 factors and 22 rebounds in opposition to Crystal Dangerfield’s highschool staff. She was additionally named co-MVP of the McDonald’s All-American Sport.

She was ranked proper behind Megan Walker and Evina Westbrook within the Class of 2017; nevertheless, Boothe’s profession hasn’t panned out like I believed it might have.

Boothe dedicated to Texas however struggled to seek out enjoying time and was suspended twice throughout her freshman season. She transferred to Northwest Florida State Faculty however returned to the Division I stage final season with Center Tennessee State. She missed a lot of the season whereas recovering from knee surgical procedure and averaged 6.Three factors and three.6 rebounds in seven video games.

Loretta Kakala
Pacific Tigers
espnW HoopGurlz rating: No. 25, Class of 2017

Kakala was an influence put up participant from Northern California who signed with Louisville. Ranked 25th total within the Class of 2017, she was the second-ranked put up participant behind USC’s Ayanna Clark. Whereas she had nimble footwork and a great capacity to knock down an elbow jumper, most of her work was achieved within the put up.

Sadly, her profession has been comparatively disappointing. She performed in 4 video games with the Cardinals earlier than redshirting and in the end transferring to Pacific. Kakala sat out the 2018-19 season attributable to NCAA switch guidelines and averaged 4.6 factors in 16 video games off the bench this previous season.

Jenna Brown
Stanford Cardinal
espnW HoopGurlz rating: No. 18, Class of 2018

A Stanford commit, Brown was the second-ranked level guard within the Class of 2018 and the 18th-ranked prospect total. With The Lovett Faculty, she confirmed she might management the sport, knock down 3-pointers and thread the needle with exact passes. She was a McDonald’s All-American and a Jordan Model Traditional All American.

Brown averaged 1.6 factors per recreation as a freshman and a pair factors as a sophomore, however this is not a knock on her as a lot as it’s a testomony to the Cardinal’s depth within the backcourt.

Kiana Williams, the No. eight prospect within the Class of 2017, led the staff with factors per recreation final season. Lexie Hull ranked second in factors (13.6) and minutes (1,014) and ranked first in rebounding. Haley Jones was the No. 1 prospect within the Class of 2019, and although she missed a part of the 2019-20 season to damage, she nonetheless averaged 11.Four factors and 4.2 rebounds per recreation.


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