The nation’s top player will skip the fall recruiting and signing period today and instead commit to the college of her choice in the spring. The final four schools, Illinois, South Carolina, Texas, and Texas A&M have all been in the mix. Why this post? Because there’s been a torent of emails, text messages, statements and counter-statements from some of these school’s coaching staff, their seconds, their proxies and friends of the program. Not all are complicit but the last 48 hours in the life of Kim Williams and Kelsey Bone have been more than interesting. It’s rare in women’s basketball today for any top player to have not signed early or in fact commit even before the start of their senior year. The coaching community and even some of the rabid fans are not accepting of any process that does not get them their choice on their time schedule. This is another reason why the top ten players in the sophomore class are being pressured even more today to give in under the weight of that choice. Today’s basketball staffs are unrelenting in trying to squeeze that verbal out of the player right up until their board the plane or drive away.
A lot of today’s big-time coaches do not want to recruit the senior players any more and expect to move onto their underclass list and re-tune the same message for the next young ears. This year was unusual since there were six players open until the final days of this fall period. Most will end up signing but this was an atypical year. Maybe today’s top high school recruits and parents are more savy and learned from those early-verbal horror stories of pressure, What everyone forgets is that a player can give a verbal a week from now and the same school sweating today will be ecstatic the next moment regardless of when it done. On the boys side some of the top high school players are not signing but giving their choice a verbal when they are ready just to avoid the pitfalls of the National Letter of Intent (NLI) locking them into a school in case of staff changes after they do so.
Yesterday Shennieka Smith (#4 BSBB) got home from her visit to Syracuse. Her final choices after she got of the plane where Kentucky, St. John’s and Ohio State. It was thought she would tell her coaches and family about her decision later that evening. That never occured. The 6-1 swing player was still mulling over her choice even beyond the stroke of midnight and into the early morning hours. Around 11:49 a.m. I finally got the text message that St. John’s was the winner in this battle. This signing moved St. John’s (#11) up in front of Tennessee in the fall recruiting rankings.
Look for Skylar Diggins (#2, BSBB) to be the next player to get it done. Word has it that around 10 p.m. this evening she’ll make her decision public – the final three are Notre Dame, Penn State, Stanford. ** Skylar made her decision as we received text at 10:18pm that she is headed to Notre Dame.**
And if the headline confused or mislead you, then know this is what the top recruits are dealing with when they are being recruiting by savy adults from multiple schools across multiple platforms. You just need the time to read through it all and get what’s said – just like recruiting.