ND Recruiting Update, As of Oct 6th. Chart Also Linked
by dillon77 (2018-04-17 20:06:36)
Edited on 2018-10-08 14:41:09

IRISH RECRUITING UPDATE: AS OF OCTOBER 6th

Early October greetings Benchers and vistors to the Bench!

Beginning Sept. 30th and running until Feb. 28, 2019, NCAA WBB is in an EVALUATION period, 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. (There are two "dead" periods from Nov. 12-15 and Dec. 24-26, during which a coach can only write or telephone student athletes and their parents.)

The update looks at the overall Irish team, as well as a breakdown of positions. For those who like 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.

This includes the most up-to-date ratings of Prospects Nation and Hoopgurlz,which just updated their rankings

WHAT'S GONE ON/IS HAPPENING?

- The most important recent news is that Notre Dame got another commitment when Alli Campbell became the first prospect to give a verbal commitment to the Irish for the Class of 2020. (Remember, this is non-binding and nothing is completely certain until she signs a letter of agreement in November 2019, during the early signing period.)

Campbell has had a great 2018:
- leading her HS team to a Class Championship in Pennsylvania;
- being named Gatorade Player of the Year in that state;
- making it to the final 18 of the U.S. National u17 team;
- having a solid AAU Season with the Philly Belles (also the team of Mik Vaughn and Danielle Cosgrove).

She is also the first of the Class of 2020 attendees at Recruitapalooza/Nielefest to commit to ND, joining 2019's Anaya Peoples (who was already verbally committed) and Sam Brunelle (who was not).

- Campbell is listed as point guard but is similar to current frosh Katlyn Gilbert, verbal commit Anaya Peoples and prospect Paige Bueckers, in that she can -- and probably will -- play other positions (off guard, wing). MM will never be caught short on guards who don't have handles.

Still expect a push for another point guard (Bueckers, Clark?) but the wing position is dependent on what happens with Ms. Haley Jones. Plus, you can bet Azzi Fudd's recruitment in 2021 factors into this.

- Official Visits:

On Sept. 1-3, Posts Aliyah Boston and Malu Tshitenge-Mutombo visited Notre Dame, joined by Verbal Commits Sam Brunelle and Anaya Peoples. Shortly thereafter, Tshitenge-Mutombo announced via twitter that she narrowed her college choices down to ND and North Carolina. And then she did make up her mind ... for North Carolina.

On Sept. 28-30, Wing Haley Jones and Forward Laeticia Amihere took their OVs to Notre Dame. Jones sent out a short, cordial tweet with two pictures (no ND uniform shots).

Amihere was allegdly here for her visit, but she seems to limit her social media to Canadian-related hoops news, so there's no information about this trip any other her college visits (Kentucky and Louisville being the others). she is apparently visiting S. Carolina Oct. 12th.

OVERALL LOOK AT PERSONNEL

After the 2018-2019 season, Brianna Turner, Jessica Shepard, Arike Ogunbowale and Marina Mabrey will graduate and/or exhaust their collegiate eligibility.

- Including current players, the Class of 2018 (4) and the two (2) 2019 Commits (but no non-scholarship players), the projected Irish WBB squad for the start of the 2019 season now stands at nine (9) players.
- Muffet has preferred 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 commitments this year, assuming MM gets affirmatives from all three of the remaining prospects that have/will take OVs.

Many of us thought/think the Irish coaching staff would/could go with at most two (2) more (for a total of four (4) 2019 commits because there’s no guarantee that she’ll get everyone she’s after and there’s no reason to "settle," because the Class of 2020 is also loaded with top players.

- Many of the 2020 prospects were present with Anaya, Sam and Alli at the 2017 fall mass recruiting event (Nielefest/Recruitapalooza).

So let's take a look at the team, by position.

GUARD/WING

Context:
Jackie Young will be the sole returning starter in Fall 2019. She plays the "big guard/wing" role right now and could keep doing so. Or could move over to the other guard position.

Abby Prohaska, combo guard Katlyn Gilbert and incoming guard Anaya Peoples will also be on board.

Possible 2019 Target:

- Haley Jones (#1 HG, #1 PN), 6'1" wing from Archbishop Mitty in California. Irish coaches have attended a showcases there the last two years and MM went to see her play and visited her home in March. Wing with size who "plays taller than advertised" and "finishes plays in traffic." Versatile and plays with verve and intelligence.
-- Starred for U.S. National u17 team in 2018 after getting cut in '17.
-- Jumped from #14 to #1 in Prospect's Nation rankings. Also #1 in HG.
-- Took official visit to ND during Stanford weekend of Sept. 29th
-- Her other finalists are Stanford, Oregon, South Carolina and UConn. Visted The Farm Oct. 5 and UConn scheduled for Nov. 2, with Boston.


2019 Players Who Committed Elsewhere or Will Commit Elsewhere

- Kierstan Bell (#5 HG, 18 PN), 6’1” guard who was named Ms. Ohio Basketball twice and allegedly had an ND offer. Made unofficial visits to ND, Ohio State and Michigan State. On August 25, COMMITTED TO OHIO STATE.
- Rickea Jackson (#9 HG, 3 PN), 6’2” wing from Detroit. Slasher who has interest from Louisville, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Tennessee, among others. No known interaction with ND. Did well at U.S. u17 trials and named player of USNJ Tournament in D.C. by Blue Star's Mark Lewis.
- Breanna Beal (#13 HG, 16 PN), a 6'1" wing/forward from Rock Island, Ill. ND coaches attended a 2017 exhibition but no known interaction since. Finalists are Illinois, Duke, Louisville, S. Carolina and Michigan.
- Celeste Taylor (#20 by HG, 26 PN), 5’11” guard from Lutheran H.S. in Long Island, who made USA Basketball’s U16 and U17 teams. Athletic slasher, able defender. Took unofficial visit to ND, but committed to TEXAS in Fall 2017.
- Diamond Miller (#18 by HG, 27 PN), 6’1” wing from Franklin H.S., NJ who played on USA U16 Team in 2017. Took unofficial visit to ND but committed to MARYLAND, citing proximity to NJ as one reason.
- Sammie Puisis (#37 HG, 41 PN) 6’1” wing/guard from Ohio, who had interest in UConn and ND at one point. Committed to FLORIDA STATE, as of Labor Day 2017.

Class of 2020 Players of Interest:

- Sydney Parrish, (#11 in HG, 18 PN) 6’2” wing/forward from Hamilton Southeastern, Indiana., who was a semi-finalist for the USA Basketball’s U16 and U17 teams. Already 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.
- Madeleine (Mady) 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.
- Maddie Burke (NR in HG, 39 in PN), 6’0” shooting guard from Pennsylvania who is another member of the Philly Belles. Good stroke.

(Parrish and Burke both attended the 10/27-28/17 unofficial group visit to ND. One would guess Ms. Westbeld knows a bit about ND.)

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 HS games, prompting coaching pilgrimages to D.C.
-- 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.
-- She and Cameron Brink became first women to attend Stephen Curry's Summer Camp. Won the three-point shoot-around.

- Matyson Wilke (Unranked in HG, PN Top 25 Lists), a 5’9” guard from Beaver Dam. Attended ND games last season.

- 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…Comes to a jump stop and utilizes pivot foot to score. 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 rising sophomore. Drives to hoop, plays defense and has a quick 3-pt. release.


FORWARDS/POSTS

Context
- In 2019-20, the Irish will have the following posts and forwards: Mikayla Vaughn, Danielle Cosgrove and Sam Brunelle. Dani Patterson could be used at the high post, as well.

Committed Player:

- Sam Brunelle (#4 HG, 5 PN), 6’2” F, Virginia, who committed to ND in April. Seems tailor-made for the high-post, where she can utilize her jump shooting, interior moves and drives, and passing. Just played on U.S. Nat'l. U17 Team. Very close to 2019 prospect Aliyah Boston, 2020 prospect Paige Bueckers and 2021 prospect Azzi Fudd, all of whom were on U.S. squad. In fact, Sam B. took her official visit to ND on Sept. 1, the same weekend as Boston.

Playing in 3 x 3 Championships with Boston Bueckers and Hailey Van Lith in Argentina this October.

Possible 2019 Targets:

- Aliyah Boston (#3 HG, 11 PN, 6’4” Post from Worcester Academy, MA. Played on U.S. Team in Argentina in 2017 and was named MVP. Just played on U.S. National U17 team and was named to All-Tourney team. Took an OV to ND in September. Other announced finaists: UConn, Ohio State, South Carolina. Will visit UConn on Nov. 2nd with Jones.

- Laeticia Amihere, (#10 HG, Not in PN), 6’3” forward from Ontario, Canada. ND staff observed in Summer 2017. A dunker who is still recovering from an ACL/MCL injury. Allegedly took OV to ND on September 28th 2018, which could help cut down on 14 or so school list. Has taken OV's to Kentucky and Louisville.

2019 Players Who Committed/Will Commit Elsewhere:

- Francesca Belibi (23 HG, 13 PN) 6’1” athlete from Denver/Cameroon, who is now more than the “other dunker.” Made the USA Basketball U16 and U17 Teams. Took official visit to ND in April, but COMMITTED TO STANFORD in May 2018. Played well in Belarus behind Boston.
- Faith Masonius (#49 HG, 84 PN). 6’-footer with nice array of hooks, jump-hooks and spin moves, who can also go outside. Committed to MARYLAND in Jan. 2018.
- Malu Tshitenge-Mutombo (#56 HG, #51 PN), 6’3” post/forward from St. John’s Academy in Washington D.C., same school as Irish alum Lindsay Allen and 2021 prospect Azzi Fudd. She is a niece of former NBA All Star Dikembe Mutombo. Known for strong defensive presence, rebounding. Took an OV to ND during Michigan weekend (Sept. 1) and announced Irish, North Carolina as finalists. Chose NC shortly thereafter.
- Sydnee Roby (#64 HG, 59 PN), 6’3” Post from Rufus King HS, Milwaukee, WI. Powerful inside presence who scores & rebounds in double figures. Named five finalists in mid-September: Cal, Marquette, Miami (Fla.), Michigan State and Texas A&M. Made cuts to top 45 at recent U.S. Nat'l. Team U17 trials.
- Ramani Parker (#99 at HG, 28 PN) 6'4" forward who had ND as a finalist. Offensively, can put ball on floor and drive, as well as shoot 3's. Lock-down defender. Committed to LOUISVILLE this winter.


2020 Players to Keep An Eye On:

- 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.
- 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 10/27-28/17 Unofficial Group Visit. Did not make finalist cut at recent U17 Trials. "Mutual Interest" talk with ND has seemingly slowed down.
- Natalija Marshall (#12 HG, 15 PN), 6’5” forward from Christ the King H.S. in Queens, NYC. Attended 10/28/17 Unofficial Group Visit. Has connection to Mabreys via AAU team. 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.


2020 Posts/Forwards Of Note Who Will Head Elsewhere

- 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 recently 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 includes 5 schools in Texas, UConn, Florida State, Louisville & others...but not ND.


2021 Player 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.

- Destiny Adams (NR in HG, #13 in PN) 6-3" wing 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)


POINT GUARDS/GUARDS

Context
- In Fall 2019, Jordan Nixon will have one year of experience at point guard under her belt. She will either take over, continue to have and/or compete for the reins to the starting PG position.


2019 Point Guard Committed to Notre Dame:

- Anaya Peoples (#21 HG, #8 PN), 5’10” PG from Illinois, who plays club ball with 2018 commit, Katlyn Gilbert.
-- Cannot see any other point guards being recruited for 2019, given that ND has Nixon and Peoples (and combo guard Katlyn Gilbert).
-- In August, played on the U.S. National U18 Team in Mexico City.
-- Anaya has said she’ll play whatever position needed for Irish. She does this for her HS team, already. Keep this in mind when it comes to…

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. Can score or pass off the drive. Can play PG, combo- or off- guard. ND staff saw her in Minnesota in March '18. She started for the gold-medal-winning U.S. Nat'l. U17 team in July.
- 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. One inside report said she had "banged" up fingers, but came back strong in Nike EYBL in Chicago.
- Allison (Alli) Campbell (#24 HG, 23 PN). 6’0” guard from Pa. whose Bellwood-Antis HS won a 2018 state title. Made final 18 of National u17 trial. Played for Philly Belles in AAU ball this summer and was cited as a key 2020 performer at Annual USJN Ntl. Championships by Jason Key, Premier Basketball Report & The Jukes Report. AS of Sept. 13, 2018: COMMITTED TO NOTRE DAME.

Other 2020 Point Guard:

- 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 Ntl. Championships and got a shout-out from Mark Lewis of Blue Star Media.

All but Sullivan attended the 10/27-28/17 Unofficial Group Recruiting Visit. Even though all four of these prospects are listed as point guards, ND continues to have interest in a few of them, which indicates the staff could also be considering them as off- or combo guards. Or other HS PGs on ND’s roster could be used off-ball, such as Gilbert is this year. This approach offers flexibility in both recruiting and game match-ups.

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. Interested in ND and visited campus with 2018 commit Katlyn Gilbert. Very quick. Attended USJN Championships in Washington, D.C. and was cited by Jason Key, Premier Basketball Report & The Jukes Report.
- 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.


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 this…):

Alli Campbell
Haley Jones
Natalija Marshall
Azzi Fudd
Aliyah Boston
Kylee Watson
Caitlin Clark
Paige Bueckers
Sam Brunelle (Yes!)


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


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