Tonight is the final evening before the start of the NCAA fall recruiting period and when the dust clears tomorrow a majority of the Class of 2009 will have signed and we will be able to put together our yearly rankings. Chris Mennig, the trusted guru of the Blue Star web page, has constructed a simple formula that keeps puts our rankings into a system that takes as much of the emotion of recruiting out of the final list that comes out on Wednesday morning.
In the past this list was dominated by the at the top by Tennessee or UConn or vise versa. Not this year. The top team so far, pending a fast deluge of last minute changes, is California. Coach Joanne Boyle has turned her relentless work ethic and recruiting energy into this year’s top recruiting class and the first time a Pac-10 team other than Stanford has made it to the top. Boyle, who walked away from a possible return to her former employer Duke two years ago, decided to stay at Berkeley campus until she was able to turn the program around. With the amount of talent signed with the Golden Bears look for Cal to continue to be a force in the Pac-10 and continue to make the annual Stanford-Cal game one of the big-game events on the women’s calendar. Right behind Cal at this time are Baylor, with super talented Brittney Griner leading the way and Virginia which is back in the top ranks for the first time in more than 10 years.
For the past five years this evening has seen little left to do except double check on some last minute signing from players down in the 40s or 50s or learring of an academic late signer. Not this year. Unlike the past few years where the top 20 players were locked up by October 1, this year has six of the top thirteen players still unsigned. Destiny Williams (#16 BSBB – Illinois) and Janee Johnson (#63 BSBB – Duke) just notified their choices earlier this evening.
Once you get past the unsigned six you can go down to the 80th player on our Blue Star Class of 2009 rankings before you find an unsigned player. With Kelsey Bone (#1, BSBB) waiting until the last signing period, the media and rabid fans and those interested in recruiting are going bonkers over the next five since all have the ability to impact a pogram. Sklyar Diggins (#2), Shennieka Smith (#4), Joslyn Tinkle (#7), Tierra Ruffin-Pratt (#10) and Taylor Hill (#13) are being chased hard and have the ability to change our rankings when they commit. Smith will wait until next week to decide and that takes her off tomorrow’s Day 1impact.
If we hear or get last minute confirmations of signing we’ll post them on our Blue Star message board under the Recruiting Notes posting. Feel free to comment on our Recruiting Class of 2009 rankings on the Blue Star message board once they are released.