Initial 2020 Recruiting Report, As of Dec.'18. Chart Linked.
by dillon77 (2018-04-17 20:06:36)
Edited on 2018-12-13 18:07:12

Greetings Benchers:

Welcome to the first posting of the ND Women's Basketball Recruiting Update, which will focos on the team's efforts to find, get to know and land prospects. The focus will be on the Class of 2020, but will also examine players who graduate in 2021 and, in some instance, 2022.

This update is done in long-form. For those who prefer this kind of information graphically, there's Baba Ghanouj’s chart, for which I've attached a link. You can print this out and use while reading along. Scroll down and see below in the HTTP Link area.

For those new to the Bench and/or the update, our intents:
- this update is just that; a document that is brought up to speed, altered, added to, etc.
- To do that, we rely on input from Benchers, publications, blogs and outside information -- even posters from other sites. We try to verify claims, so it does not become a rumor board (pictures help). However, we're game for gleaning information from all sorts of media down to "I saw this coach/player at this game...."
- We try to include up-to-date ratings of Prospects Nation and Hoopgurlz. If I'm off, just drop a note that I've missed an HG or PN redo.


WHAT RECRUITING PERIOD IS THE NCAA IN? WHAT CAN COACHES DO?

Save for Dec. 24-26, NCAA WBB is in an EVALUATION period until March 1, 2019, during which a college coach may watch student-athletes compete, visit their high schools and write or telephone student athletes and their parents.

However, a college coach may not have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents off the college's campus during an evaluation period. (During that "dead" period from Dec. 24-26, a coach can only write or telephone student athletes and their parents.). College coaches can talk to athletes and/or their parents when athletes come to/ watch games at Notre Dame, but not at away or neutral-site games.


OVERALL LOOK AT PERSONNEL

After the 2019-2020 season, Jackie Young will graduate and probably take her talents to the WNBA and/or overseas.
- Including current players, the two 2019 signees and the one 2020 commit (but no non-scholarship players), the projected number of scholarship players on the WBB squad for the start of the 2019 season now stands at nine (9) players. Check with Baba's chart to see who they are and how long/when they'll be here. (MM has discussed a possible graduate transfer, but that was referring to the 2019-2020 season.)
- Muffet has prefers to carry some 11-12 players on the roster, so that higher number is used as a baseline.
- That means ND could easily take up to three (3) more 2020 commitments to join early commit Alli Campbell.
- Many of the 2020 prospects we'll mention were present with Anaya Peoples, Sam Brunelle and Alli at the 2017 fall mass recruiting event (Nielefest/Recruitapalooza). It will be interesting to follow through on where those attendees end up.

Dillon's Druthers:
- Based on the "12" target number, MM could recruit up to three...if she gets the right people (can't emphasize that enough). Commit Alli Campbell is regarded as a guard, maybe a wing, so:
- point guard is a natural target;
- post/big forward is another; and,
- here's the interesting one: Since Haley Jones went elsewhere, does Irish brain-trust pursue a wing? Or, if Campbell keeps growing, is there some flexibility here to possibly take another "best available guard?"

With that in mind, let's take a look at the team, by position.


POINT GUARDS/GUARDS

Context
In Fall 2020, Jordan Nixon will be a junior, with perhaps one full year of being the starting point guard for the Irish. It remains to be seen who will back her up in 2019-2020, but it's pretty clear that the Irish brain-trust will be looking for a point guard.

Class of 2020 Point Guards of Interest:
- Paige Bueckers (#1 in HG, #1 PN), 5’11” guard from Minnesota. Athletic, fast and very creative offensively. Scores or passes off the drive. Can play PG, combo- or off- guard. Played on gold-medal-winning U.S. Nat'l. U17 team in July and 3x3 team in late summer. Was at ND-UConn game and MM went to see PB practice following it.
- Caitlin Clarke (#4 in HG, 5 in PN) 6’0” PG from Iowa who played on USA U16 team. Very confident in her ability to run a team and look for her own shot. Did not make Nat'l. U17 team in May, perhaps due to injury, but came back strong in Nike EYBL in Chicago. Unofficially visited Oregon and Oregon State this summer. Iowa schools, of course, have strong interest. MM visted Dowling HS in Iowa the day after the UConn-ND game.
- Deja Kelly (#22 in HG, #50 in PN) New name. 5'8" guard from Texas who initially committed to Texas in 7th grade(!). She recently reopened her search (UT still considered) and attended the UConn game on an unofficial visit, taking pictures with Irish coaches. HG's Dan Olson writes that Kelly "...manufactures, delivers off the dribble with smooth delivery in mid-range game; knocks down the jumper at the arc; savvy floor leader."

Other 2020 Point Guards:
- Keegan Sullivan (NR in HG, 21 PN), 6’0” from South Bend, Indiana, who is racking up offers/interest already (S. Carolina, DePaul, etc.). Made several cuts at U.S. National Team U17 trials. Played at USJN Nt'l. Championships and got a shout-out from Mark Lewis of Blue Star Media.

Bueckers and Clark attended the 10/27-28/17 Unofficial Group Recruiting Visit. While these prospects are listed as point guards, ND continues to have interest in a few of them, which indicates ND's staff could be considering them as off- or combo guards. This approach offers flexibility in both recruiting and game match-ups.

Dillon's druthers:
- This is the glamour position of this year's recruiting class, from Bueckers and Clark to Hailey Van Lith and Sarah Andrews. The Irish will undoubtedly make it a priority. Many schools will be after these and other top point guards (i.e., Deja Kelly), so it's smart to have options.
- Prefer Bueckers or Clark? Whose tape did I see last? That's how good they are. Of course, the action is between B&C and ND's coaches, and the choice is ultimately the players'. (Which is why I say "have options.")
- Bonus question: What if, say, both are offered and both accept? A Nobel Prize winner once wrote, "Don't think twice; it's alright."


Class of 2021 Point Guards To Watch:
- Ari Wiggins, (HG #23, #6 PN) 5’8” sophomore at Heritage Christian, Indianapolis, who already has an offer from Indiana. Very quick. Attended USJN Championships in Washington, D.C. and was cited by Jason Key, Premier Basketball Report & The Jukes Report. Attended UConn-ND game.
- Taylor Bigby, (NR in HG, #15 in PN) 5'11" soph at Centennial H.S. in Las Vegas, Nevada. While playing AAU Ball for Cal Sparks, ND coaches apparently checked her out at a Nike event. Louisville and others have offered.


GUARD/WING

Context:
Abby Prohaska, combo guard Katlyn Gilbert and incoming 2019 guard Anaya Peoples will be on board when practice starts. While many see Sam Brunelle as a Kat Westbeld-type high post, it's worth seeing how the Irish employ her in 2019-20.


2020 Player Committed to the Irish:

- Allison (Alli) Campbell (#24 HG, 23 PN). 5’11 1/2” guard whose Bellwood-Antis HS won a 2018 state title in Pa. Made final 18 of National u17 trial. Played for Philly Belles in AAU ball and was cited as a key 2020 performer at Annual USJN Ntl. Championships by Jason Key of Premier Basketball Report & The Jukes Report. As of Sept. 13, 2018: COMMITTED TO NOTRE DAME. Visited campus during Pitt football game and UConn basketball game. Thought is she will play off guard and possibly wing, if she continues to grow. MM & Beth Morgan Cunningham went to see Ali play the week of Dec. 10th.

Class of 2020 Players of Interest:
- Sydney Parrish, (#11 in HG, 18 PN) 6’2” wing/forward from Hamilton Southeastern, Indiana. Was a semi-finalist for the USA Basketball’s U16 and U17 teams. Has offers from virtually all B1G teams. Played at Annual USJN Nat'l. Championships and got a shout-out from Mark Lewis of Blue Star Media. Has not recently been mentioned in regards to ND. Stay tuned.
- Priscilla Williams (#16 HG, #8 PN). 6'2" wing from Katy, Texas, now in Branson, Missouri (dad's job switch). New name. Very athletic, dynamic tall guard who has offers from all over that region. ND is getting involved late in the game. Stay tuned to see if anything percolates.
- Madeleine (Maddy) Westbeld (45 in HG, 25 in PN), 6’2” wing from Ohio who favors outside game more than her high-post sister, one Katherine. Made cut to 45 at recent U.S. Nat'l. U17 trials. Played at Annual USJN Ntl. Championships, getting a shout-out from Mark Lewis of Blue Star Media. Attended UConn-ND game and sat in recruits section. Game on?
- Maddie Burke (NR in HG, 39 in PN), 6’0” shooting guard from Pennsylvania who is another member of the Philly Belles. Good outside stroke.

(2020's Campbell, Parrish and Burke and 2021's Fudd and Wilke all attended the 10/27-28/17 unofficial group visit.)

Dillon's druthers:
This is the interesting position. While Young will have graduated, there are a number of guards and multi-positioners (Brunelle-Patterson) at ND already, Campbell is coming (and growing) and look who's available in 2021 (Fudd). Or do you still go after a true wing, such as Maddy Westbeld?


Class of 2021 Players of Note:
- Azzi Fudd (#1 HG, #1 on PN), a 5’11” guard who is starting her sophomore year at. St. John’s College in Washington, D.C., the same school that Lindsay Allen attended.
-- Youngest player on the U.S. teams in Argentina and Europe.
-- Has scored 30+ points in several times, prompting coaching pilgrimages to D.C.
-- She and Cameron Brink became first women to attend Stephen Curry's Summer Camp. Won the three-point shoot-around.
-- Could be that she's just a good friend, but attended Brunelle's announcement in April and wore an ND T-Shirt. Plays with Brunelle on Fairfax AAU team and U.S. Nat'l. U16 and U17 teams.
-- Attended UConn-ND game in Dec. 2018, as did Brunelle and Paige Bueckers. MM and Niele Ivey attended her SJC vs. Christ the King HS game in D.C. on Dec. 8th.

- Matyson Wilke (Not ranked in HG, PN Top 25 Lists, but is listed as #9 HG guard), a 5’9” guard from Beaver Dam, Wisc. Attended ND games last season. HG's Olson: "elevates on jumper, manufactures, delivers to the arc; a consistent jump shooter."
- Sonia Citron, (Unranked in HG, PN) 6'1" Guard/Wing from Ursuline Academy, NY and Hudson Valley Elite 16 Gold. Mix of post and perimeter skills…Will hit the three off the jab…Comfortable handling the ball to score off the bounce. According to tweets, ND, UConn, Maryland know about her. Syracuse allegedly has offered a scholarship.
- Sydney Affolter, 5'10" guard who plays for Marist H.S. in Chicago. Strong, sturdy build for sophomore. Drives to hoop, plays defense and has a quick 3-pt. release. Has offer from Illinois.


FORWARDS/POSTS

Context
- In 2020 - 2021, the Irish will have the following posts and forwards: Mikayla Vaughn, Danielle Cosgrove, Dani Patterson and Sam Brunelle.

2020 Players to Keep An Eye On:
- Natalija Marshall (#12 HG, 15 PN), 6’5” forward from Christ the King H.S. in Queens, NYC. Attended Oct. '17 Unofficial Group Visit. Made several cuts at recent U.S. National U17 trials. Recently announced finalists: ND, Duke, Stanford, UConn, Texas, Tennessee, UCLA, Syracuse, South Carolina and Michigan. Can't see Stanford now that Brink has committed or South Carolina, with Boston/Amihere.
-- MM and Niele Ivey attended her Christ-the-King HS vs St. John's College (Azzi Fudd) in D.C., following Toledo game.
- Kylee Watson (#30 in HG & 16 PN), Agile 6’4” Post from Mainland HS in NJ who played on USA Basketball’s U16 Team in Argentina. Prospects Nation’s Chris Olson compares her to ND alum Natalie Achonwa. Was part of Oct. '17 Unofficial Group Visit. Did not make finalist cut at recent U17 Trials. "Mutual Interest" talk with ND had seemingly slowed down but ND has seen Watson at Philly Belles games and open workout. Watson is a "bi-coastal" unofficial visiter, having been to Duke and Oregon, among other places.
-- MM attended a scrimmage of Watson's Mainland HS team in December '18.

2020 Posts/Forwards Of Note Who Will Head Elsewhere
- Cameron Brink (#2 HG, 3 PN), a 6’4” stretch forward from Beaverton, Oregon, who led team to state championship. Just played on the U.S. National U17 Team. Rail thin, but mixes it up. As of Oct. 28, 2018: COMMITTED TO STANFORD.
- Angel Reese (#5 HG, 6 PN), 6’2” forward who plays for St. Frances Academy in Maryland. Was a finalist at U17 Trials this spring. Reese announced 10 finalists: Baylor, UCLA, Louisville, Maryland, Rutgers, South Carolina, Syracuse, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.
- Hannah Gusters (#7 HG, 7 PN), a 6'5" center from DeSoto, Texas. Was a finalist at U.S. Nat'l. U17 Trials. In August 2018 listed a Final 12 list that didn't include ND. Gusters took an "unofficial" to UConn and apparently left with an offer.

Dillon's druthers:
Brink's committed, Reese and Gusters are going elsewhere and Marshall and Watson both came to Recruitapalooza. Have to think they're the natural post/forwards of interest. Marshall is one tall drink of water, with range. Would need to bulk up for the paint. Watson is solid and has that Philly Belle background, which MM likes.

2021 Players To Keep Track Of:
- Amari DeBerry (#2 in HG, #2 in PN), a 6’5” forward starting at Williamsville South H.S. in New York. Another Blue Belle player. Made several cuts at U.S. National U17 Team trials. ND recently visited HS open gym. UConn has reportedly already offered.
- Destiny Adams (NR in HG, #13 in PN) 6-3' forward from Jersey Warriors Basketball Club. Had to get a Jersey girl in here! "USJN-April 2018: Athletic faceup-4 with off-the-charts potential; rebounds, handles and finishes plays coast-to-coast; superior length, wingspan, defends all 5 positions on the floor; knocks down the jumper to the arc; rebounds, outlets, executes in transition game; stretch-4 game with guard skills." (Dan Olson)

2022 Player To Keep Track Of:
- Mila Reynolds, 6'2" forward from Washington H.S. in South Bend, alma mater of one Skylar Diggins. This freshman, who already has an offer from DePaul, is a regular at ND home games and is often seen on campus.


MEANWHILE ON THE SOCIAL MEDIA FRONT

A few of you are very good at tracking recruits and/or have interest in recruits via social media, which is great since so many of them communicate via one of the tools.

Here is a list of uncommitted players followed by MM's twitter account (thanks to Orangutan for supplying these and for his constant finds via social media):
Alli Campbell (Yes! Verbal Commit)
Natalija Marshall
Azzi Fudd
Kylee Watson
Caitlin Clark
Paige Bueckers

On McGraw's Bench:
Also, please take in posts/insights/links/research by Orangutan, Fighting Artichoke, Baba Ghanouj, Dave Winkler, Domerduck, MPG, RI Steve, Cbiebel and others who scour the internet for more information/tape. Any and all information is appreciated.



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