The Minnesota Gopher women under head coach Pam Borton appear to have 4 scholarships available at the end of the 2012 season, yet only 1 high school 2012 has yet verballed the Gophers. What gives? Well, nobody knows. But, with the verbal commitment of Alexis Foley to Illinois State yesterday, the pool of available 2012 Minnesotans continues to shrink. The following girls remain uncommitted. Their rating is mine. The heights are from gPrep but the heights of most of these girls is listed variously depending on the source.
#1. Jackie Johnson, 6-2 (might be a bit taller), listed as a F on Eden Prairie roster but has played the post all her life. She can hit the 3 but otherwise her ability to play away from the hoop is unknown. I mean, Chris Carr may know. Pam, talk to Chris! But surely she is mobile, runs the floor, plays hard.
#7. Shayne Mullaney, just 5-8, a combo G from Eden Prairie. Not rated this highly by most but, hey, have you seen her play? A very creative guard with excellent ball-handling skills. Oh, and a terrific shooter. She shot 58 percent this past year. Granted, she gets to the rim with her creativity but, what, you're going to hold that against her?
#8. Tessa Cichy, 5-10 (many say 6-0), a combo G from Hill-Murray. Her stock plummeted during the recent state tournament. A year ago she scored 34 points against DeLaSalle in the semis. This year she scored 2 with 10 turnovers against the same opponent in the state AAA final. Her shooting mechanics have always been a little bit wierd. But she is a lock-down perimeter defender who muscles and dominates girls with her 6-foot size. Very tough kid, and tough on herself as anyone knows who saw the state tournament debacle. I have her lower than most due to the persistent shooting issues.
#9. Mariah Adanane, DeLaSalle, 5-10, shooting G. A great instinctive scorer from anywhere on the court.
#11. AnneMarie Healy, Providence, 6-1, F. Ranks this high mostly due to her height and the weakness of the 2012s beyond those who have already verballed. Healy is skilled but not the quickest.
#12. Khadidja Shumpert, Benilde, 5-11, F. An inside player whose 5-11 size screams D3.
#13. Katybeth Biewen, Edina, 5-10, PG. Has great basketball skills and IQ, I love her game to death, but somewhat lacking in size and strength.
#15. Riley Nordgaard, Canby, 5-10, G.
#16. Gracia Hutson, Hopkins, 6-2, C. Athletic, scrappy.
#16. Natalie Larson, Cambridge, 6-0, F. My darkhorse. A finesse player but that doesn't mean she doesn't use her size.
The only conclusion one came make thinking about this stuff is that Pam Borton has some out-of-state recruits she's lookin' at. Are they better than Jackie Johnson?
Then there's the highly-regarded 2013s. Verbals are less than a year away for this group that was spoken of in hushed, awed tones when in the 9th grade. They're growin' up. The ratings, again, are mine and up to the minute.
#1. Tyseanna Johnson, DeLaSalle, 5-11, F. Not a consensus #1, as you know. But a terrific scorer from anywhere and everywhere. Think Kiara Buford. Times 2.
#2. Nia Coffey, Hopkins, 6-0, G. A legit 6-foot perimeter. A world-class defender, who has trouble finishing with the ball. More upside than Tessa Cichy. Quicker and scores more different ways. And compared to other guards on this list, she's just as quicker or quicker and she's 6-0.
#3. Becca Dahlman, Braham, 5-9, G. A big-time scorer but, for the moment, mostly by busting into the lane. If you saw what Kate Adams did to her, well, I can't help but wonder if that's what her college career will look like. Needs to make better decisions with the ball and get her teammates involved.
#4. Savanna Trapp, Esko, 6-7 or 6-8, C.
#5. Emma Lange, Caledonia, 6-3, C. She's a C now but runs the floor. More mobile than Jackie Johnson.
#6. Jade Martin. Kennedy, 5-11, F.
#7. Mikaala Shackleford, Hopkins, 5-10, G/F. Great athlete, Hopkins' best stay-at-home defender.
#8. Onye Osemenam, Maranatha, 6-0, C. Outstanding defender, limited on offense.
#9. Jessica January, Richfield, 5-6, PG. Terrific, dynamic, and 5-6.
#10. Allina Starr, DeLaSalle, 5-9, PG. Strong and smart.
I have heard Pam Borton speak in praise of the 2013s. So I'm hoping for more verbals among Minnesotans this coming year than in the past year. I would go get T. Johnson, N.Coffey and S. Trapp if it were up to me.