Roundup: The early signing period edition
Wednesday marks the end of the early signing period for college basketball teams across the country. While some teams certainly are looking to land some more recruits in the late signing period in the spring, let's take a look at who's going where around the Pac-12.
Sean Miller rounded up two recruits in Rondae Jefferson and Elliott Pitts. Jefferson in particular figures to be a special player; could he be the next Solomon Hill? Miller sees similar traits between the college senior and high school senior.
Niya Butts pulled in a nice haul for the Wildcats' women's team by signing four players: Dejza James, LaBrittney Jones, Ashley Merill and Breanna Workman. What do the four to-be Wildcats have in common? They are all 6-1.
Nobody yet officially for Herb Sendek, but Charli Turner Thorne signed Sophie Brunner and Kelsey Moos for the women's program. Keep your eye on Brunner, as she averaged 16.3 points and 11.6 rebounds per game in high school... as a freshman. Both she and Moos are accomplished volleyball players.
Top-20 recruiting classes abound in Berkeley; let's start with Lindsay Gottlieb's group of four, which is comprised of Hind Ben Abdelkader, Mercedes Jefflo, Courtney Range and Kendall "KC" Waters. This is the fourth top-20 class in the last five years for Cal; the other year? Cal didn't sign anyone. Watch out for Gottlieb, as she proves herself to be a top-notch recruiter at the BCS level.
The men's team brought in three guys, including five-star recruit Jabari Bird, whose father Cal was the co-MVP of the 1975-76 Golden Bears. In addition to Bird, Mike Montgomery also hauled in Jordan Matthews and Sam Singer.
As the Buffaloes' athletic department likes to put it, it was a "3 for 3 September" for Tad Boyle and the men's team, which is also fresh off a Charleston Classic championship. Two months before winning that non-conference tournament, however, Colorado entertained three recruits on official visits, all of which verbally committed after their visits and then signed officially in the early signing period. Their names are as follows: Jaron Hopkins, Tre'shaun Fletcher and Dustin Thomas. #rolltad
Linda Lappe signed four for the Buffs' women's team - Zoe Beard-Fails (an early candidate for best name in the conference), Desiree Harris, Haley Smith and Briana Watts.
The women's side bagged two Ducks in waiting in Chrishae Rowe and Drea Toler. Rowe is the No. 67 prospect in the nation, according to ESPN HoopGurlz.
First, the men's team got Jordan Bell, who had three triple-doubles in his junior season at Long Beach Poly. Then, A.J. Lapray of Salem, Ore. and Cristiano Felicio of Brazil came with their signing papers to play for Dana Altman in Eugene.
Scott Rueck has done one of the best jobs in all of women's college basketball with how he has been able to turn around the Beavers, and for the third time in the last two years, he was able to sign a top-100 recruit, this one being Sydney Wiese. But let's not also forget Gabriella Hanson and Kolbie Orum, who also will be playing their collegiate ball in Corvallis.
One sign that a coach is doing his thing well is when he is able to bring in a couple of guys who went to the same high school a few years removed from each other on the opposite coast of the United States. That's what Craig Robinson was able to do by signing Hallice Cooke, who attended the same high school as Devon Collier. Cheikh N'Diaye, the No. 36 center in the nation, will also be wearing a home jersey in Gill Coliseum. [Editor's note: No relation to Washington's Aziz N'Diaye.]
Two thus far for Johnny Dawkins and Co.: Marcus Allen and Schuyler Rimmer. Allen, the No. 74 overall recruit in the country according to Scout, has a strong family tie with the university: his mother is a former Cardinal gymnast.
Tara VanDerveer does nothing but win games and bring in great classes. The Class of 2013 is shaping up to be another good one with these four players committing to Stanford in the early signing period: Kailee Johnson, Erica McCall, Karlie Samuelson and Khaliyah "Lili" Thompson. If that last name "Samuelson" sounds familiar, you're probably guessing that Karlie is the younger sister to Bonnie Samuelson, and you'd be right. Like her older sister, Karlie is known for her long-range proficiency.
No early signees for the men yet, according to the Bruins' official website, but Cori Close did bring in two for the women's side: Savanna Trapp and Dominique Williams. At 6-9, Trapp is slated to become the tallest player in school history. She uses that size well, too: Trapp blocked 204 shots during her sophomore year in high school, setting a state record. Williams, on the other hand, is a potential quadruple-double waiting to happen in the prep ranks, averaging 11 points, nine assists, seven rebounds and six steals per game as a junior.
Kevin O'Neill takes home the conference cake for most early signees with five: Roschon Prince, Kendal Harris, Kahlil Dukes, Julian Jacobs and Nikola Jovanovic. At 5-11, Dukes could be the next in a long line of diminutive guards in the Pac-12 and USC to make a big impact. The kid gets buckets - he scored 51 points in a game once.
The women's team signed two players - Drew Edelman and Courtney Jaco - the latter playing her high school ball under the guidance of Vanessa Nygaard (a former Stanford hooper and WNBA alum).
Four recruits apiece for the men's and women's squads in Salt Lake City. The women will give a collegiate home to Wendy Anae, Malia Nawahine, Devri Owens and Emily Potter, who is a Canadian prospect. The Utes have deep ties with Canada, as current Ute players Taryn Wicijowski and Michelle Plouffe are from up north, along with freshman Paige Crozon.
The men's team gobbled up a couple of high school recruits in Brandon Miller and Parker Van Dyke, and a couple of JuCo guys in Marko Kovacevic and Delon Wright. Wright is the younger brother of Dorrell Wright of NBA fame.
Nothing but top-100 players for the women's side, too, as Kevin McGuff brought in Kelsey Plum (the No. 6 point guard in her class nationally), Brianna Ruiz and Chantel Oshahor. Not bad for either side, huh? Five out of five thus far are top-100 players.
Three guys signed their national letters of intent to learn under Ken Bone - Josh Hawkinson, Ikenne Ioregbu and Tanner Lancona. Two of 'em are from California and one (Hawkinson) is from Washington.
There is one signee thus far for June Daugherty, that being Ivana Kmetovska, who is a 6-2 player out of Macedonia. She averaged nearly 12 points and seven rebounds per game for Macedonia at the U18 European Championships this past summer.