Washington State's June Daugherty: 'I'll put our class up against any class in the country'
SAN FRANCISCO – UCLA, Stanford, Cal and USC have top-20 recruiting classes according to ESPN, and Washington State coach June Daugherty is willing to say which is the best. It's none of the above.
"I'll put our class up against any class in the country," Daugherty said Wednesday at the 2014-15 Pac-12 Women's Basketball Media Day.
Did the rankings miss the Cougs' class altogether? Did they underestimate it? More simply, they probably haven't watched many of the Washington State freshmen. The Cougars' recruiting class includes players from Romania, Greece and two from Australia, not to mention more relatively local players from Oregon, Washington and California.
Daugherty thinks that the Cougars will have talent three players deep, and for that she believes WSU will have a lot of firepower with the returning backcourt of Tia Presley and Lia Galdeira, both of whom scored upwards of 18 points per game last season.
The international recruiting success has come in a unique way. A number of former Washington State players playing in Europe and Australia have been acting as scouts of sorts, according to Daugherty. Once alerted of young talent overseas, the coaching staff has spent the hours traveling to see the recruits play. But it's technology that has helped the Cougs sell the recruits on heading to Pullman, Wash.
"They're so excited about the idea that they can be on the Pac-12 Networks all over the world," Daugherty said. "That's a big sell for us."
But back to those rankings: Why would Daugherty put out motivational fodder for her Pac-12 opponents?
"I believe it," she said. "I think I've been around the game a long time."