“The Top Ten”
6. North Carolina
8. Georgia Tech
10. Notre Dame
All-Star Girls Report already has released its rankings for women’s college basketball programs based on the early-commitment period for the Class of 2023. Now, it’s time to dig down and go deeper into that list.
For that, we’ve brought in ASGR Director of Scouting Bret McCormick. But, before McCormick gets into breaking down schools and their recruiting classes and shares his scouting reports on individual players, he wants to issue a few words of warning.
“Remember, there is going to be a lot of change between now and when the Class of 2023 is finalized,’’ McCormick said. “There is a lot of basketball to be played between now and then. Some girls are going to move up the ladder based on their high school season and what they do during the spring and summer and others are going to fall. There also are a lot of girls out there that haven’t made a commitment yet. When they do, that’s going to change how schools are ranked.’’
For validation of McCormick’s last point, all you need to do is look at UConn. As we’ve come to expect given the program’s history, it’s no surprise that UConn is ranked No. 1 on ASGR’s list. The Huskies received only one early commitment, but it’s a big one. That’s 5-foot-9 point guard Kamorea (“KK’’) Arnold.
Arnold is ranked No. 7 on ASGR’s list of the top individuals for 2023. None of the six players rated above her made an early commitment. Some other schools are ranked highly because of the quantity of players that made early commitments. But UConn’s ranking is all about quality.
“KK is the top point guard in the country,’’ McCormick said. “She is the full package, athletic and strong. She can do it all.’’
But Arnold won’t be asked to do it all right away. Thanks to the skill and depth already on UConn’s roster, Arnold can be brought along slowly.
“A lot of times, UConn’s freshmen don’t play right away,’’ McCormick said. “KK has the ability to contribute right away, but she probably won’t start.’’
Maryland is ranked No. 2 based largely on sheer numbers. The Terrapins received early commitments from players ranked in ASGR’s top 100. Ironically, all of them are guards.
The list is highlighted by 6-foot point guard Amiyah Reynolds (No. 28). Her older sister, Mila, already has committed to Maryland’s Class of 2022 and McCormick said the sisters will complement each other’s games.
“Mila is an inside player all the way,’’ McCormick said. “Her game is totally different than Amiyah’s. Amiyah can play all three guard spots and she really can shoot a deep three pointer.’’
Next on the list is Riley Nelson (No. 49), a 6-footer, who can play on the wing.
“Riley is a big guard who can score on all-three levels,’’ McCormick said. “She also is a good defender. She helps on both sides of the ball.’’
Emily Fisher (No. 68) is 6-footer and she projects as a shooting guard.
“She’s big, strong and versatile guard,’’ She also can rebound. She has a really good offensive game. She draws contact going to the basket and she also can shoot the three.’’
Summer Bostock, another 6-0 shooting guard, is ranked No. 92. Bostock played her early years of high school in her native Canada. But she now is playing at the Webb School in Bell Buckle, TN.
“Summer is a combo guard with a really good feel for the game and she can also hit the three,’’ Maryland really has done a nice job of reloading at the guard position.’’
Third-ranked Arkansas also hit it big by getting three players in ASGR’s top 100. Arkansas’ class features a headliner in 5-9 point guard Taliah Scott out of Orange Park, FL. She’s No. 11 on ASGR’s list, which makes second to only UConn’s Arnold to make a commitment.
“A lot of people would say she’s only a scorer,’’ McCormick said. “But she has really worked on her game in the last year. She can still score, of course. But, now, she’s a much smoother player and she really improved hear passing’’
Arkansas also got No. 90 Jenna Lawrence and No. 100 Maryn Archer. Lawrence is a 6-3 power forward and Archer is a a 5-7 guard.
“The thing about Jennas is her inside/outside game,’’ McCormick said. “She has good size, but she faces the basket really well and can be more of a perimeter player. “I think she’ll be a really nice fit in (coach) Mike Neighbors’ system.’’
Archer could be the wild card in Arkansas’ class.
“She was getting a lot of attention at a very young age because she was tough and skilled and she was just dominating everyone,’’ McCormick said. “But, then, she got hurt and that slowed her down a little bit and dropped her ranking. But I think she’s going to be just fine. She’s still a tough kid that can do whatever you need her to do.’’
Oregon, ranked No. 4, landed commitments from two players in the top 35. Sofia Bell, who is ranked No. 21, didn’t commit until a few days ago and her commitment boosted Oregon’s ranking. Bell is a 6-1 shooting guard.
“She’s a big guard with the ability to attack the basket,’’ McCormick said. “But also has a very sweet shooting stroke. I think she is one of those girls that will really rise in the rankings over time.’’
Oregon also got 5-10 point guard Amari Whiting (No. 34).
“She is very smooth with good fundamentals,’’ McCormick said. “She’s a high intensity player on both sides of the ball.’’
No. 5 Stanford got two players in the top 45 in Courtney Ogden (No. 41) and Nuna Agara (No. 45). Agara is a 6-0 wing and Agara is 6-1 and can player inside or out.
“Ogden can score, but she also does all the intangible little things,’’ McCormick said. “Agara is more of a 3-4 type. She’s an athletic lefty and she’s a tough matchup because of her ability to play multiple positions. I really look for her to move up in the rankings before all is said and done.’’
North Carolina (No. 6) got just one commitment, but it’s an important one. The Tar Heels will welcome Reinya Kelly, who is ranked No. 13. She’s a 5-7 point guard.
“She’s fearless with a really high basketball I.Q,’’ McCormick said. “She’s excellent at reading the pick and roll and she can really make a team go.’’
No. 7 UCLA landed a player from the San Diego area, by way of Blue Springs, Missouri. Jada Williams, a 5-7 point guard is ranked No. 17. Williams began her high school years in Missouri, but moved to California and is now playing at La Jolla Country Day School in San Diego.
“Jada is probably the best point guard in her class at doing what her team needs,’’ McCormick said. “She’s an exceptional kid on and off the court. She’s a true gym rat who loves the game and she can score and pass”
Williams also happens to be a high school teammate of one of the best players in the Class of 2023. That’s 6-3 power forward Breya Cunningham, who is No. 3 in the Class of 2023.
Eighth-ranked Georgia Tech will bring in 5-8 point guard Nicole Melious (No. 27). McCormick views Melious as another one of those players that could rise in the rankings.
“She’s a great kid who plays seven days a week,’’ McCormick said. “She can shoot it from the volleyball line effortlessly. She’s also very tough and has her teammates’ backs. She can’t be rattled. She’s like Larry Bird. You tick her off and she’s going to turn around and drop 40 or 50 (points) on you.’’
No. 9 Missouri convinced Grace Slaughter (No. 35) to stay at home. A 6-2 shooting guard, is from Grain Valley.
“She can play the 2, 3 or 4,’’ McCormick said. “She has really come on after not really being on the radar and she could continue to climb up in the rankings.
Notre Dame closes out the top 10 with a one-player Set for South Bend. Emma Risch (No. 42) is a 6-2 shooting guard out of West Melbourne, FL.
“I’ve watched her since she was in eighth grade,’’ McCormick said. “She hasn’t grown very much since then, but she has gotten a lot stronger. She has really expanded her game in all areas, but her forte always has been and always will be her shooting.’’
For analysis and scouting reports on schools that are ranked Nos. 11-20 in 2023 early commitments, check back on this site over the coming days.