“The Top Twenty”
6. North Carolina
8. Georgia Tech
10. Notre Dame
11. Iowa State
12. Michigan State
13. Virginia Tech
16. Arizona State
20. Kansas State
All-Star Girls Report previously gave you its early top-10 rankings of how programs fared in getting early commitments for the Class of 2023. We also have given you some in-depth analysis of the top 10 programs.
Now, it’s time to dig deeper into the rest of the top 20. For that, we bring in ASGR Director of Scouting Bret McCormick to share his scouting reports.
Iowa State came in at No. 11 after getting commitments from two players in the top 150. Arianna Jackson, a 5-foot-8 guard is ranked No. 95 in her class in ASGR’s list of individuals for the Class of 2023. Kelsey Joens, a 5-11 shooting guard, is ranked No. 106.
“Jackson is a true two-way player,’’ McCormick said. “She’s very good on offense and can shoot the three. But she’s just as good on defense.’’
Joens will carry on a family tradition. She’ll become the third sister from the Joens family to play at Iowa State. Ashley is a senior guard/forward on this year’s team and she’s joined by Aubrey, a sophomore guard.
“Kelsey is very much like her sisters,’’ McCormick said. “She’s skilled in the fundamentals, has a high basketball I.Q. and can really shoot the three.’’
Michigan State is ranked No. 12, despite landing only one player in the early-commitment period. The Spartans got a pledge from 6-5 wing forward Jordan Wood, who is ranked No. 56 in her class by ASGR.
“A few years back, any 6-5 player would have automatically been forced to play up front,’’ McCormick said. “But it’s not like that anymore. I see (Wood) as a big guard, who can play multiple positions.
No. 13 Virginia Tech got 5-7 point guard Samyha Suffren, who is ranked No. 73 by ASGR, out of Charlotte, N.C.
“She already has the type of body you’re looking for in the college game,’’ McCormick said. “She has a very explosive game. She attacks the rim on offense and is a real disrupter on defense.’’
Kathryn Eidle, a 5-9 point guard ranked No. 83 by ASGR, chose No. 14 Michigan. McCormick said Eidle reminds him very much of Amy Dilk, currently a senior guard at Michigan.
“They’re basically the same type of player,’’ McCormick said. “But I think Eidle is actually a little bit better than Dilk as a shooter.’’
No. 15 Texas landed the biggest player (in terms of pure size) in the Class of 2023. That’s 6-9 Abbie Boutilier.
“She’s still a project,’’ McCormick said. “She’s not there yet. But the good news is she has good footwork and soft hands and can be a true low-block player. If she picks up the rest of it, she’ll be a real force. But she’s not going to help much in her first year there.’’
Arizona State came in at No. 16 after getting commitments from two players in the ASGR’s top 160. Ava Jones, a 6-2 power forward ranked No. 124 by ASGR, and 5-10 wing Grace Grocholki (No. 160) will be coming to Tempe.
“Ava really has inside/outside ability,’’ McCormick said. “Arizona State sometimes doesn’t get the most athletic girls. But Ava is very athletic and she should help them right away. Grace is a strong wing. She has a sweet stroke from outside, but she also has the ability to take guards inside and post up. She’ll be a tough matchup.’’
No. 17 Colorado pulled one of the state’s top players out of Minnesota. That’s 5-8 point guard Kennedy Sanders (ASGR’s No. 132).
“She’s the classic point guard,’’ McCormick said. “She’s tough and heady. She has great court vision and she’s a great passer. She also has the ability to score.’’
Purdue (No. 18) got a top-150 player in 6-1 wing forward McKenna Layden (No. 147). Layden’s older sister, Madison, is currently a sophomore on Purdue’s team. The mother of the Layden sisters, Kathie, is the coach at Kokomo, IN, Northwestern High, where Madison played and McKenna currently is playing.
“McKenna is very much like Madison,’’ McCormick said. “They both have good fundamentals and all-around games, which is typically what you expect from someone that had one of their parents as their coach.’’
No. 19 Oklahoma will keep one of the top players in state. That’s 6-3 center Landry Allen (No. 157) out of Tuttle.
“Landry is at her best when she’s on the block,’’ McCormick said. “She has good footwork. She finishes with either hand and she has a soft touch.’’
Kansas State closes out the top 20 with 5-6 point guard Taryn Sides (No. 215).
“She has a terrific basketball I.Q. I mean, just off the charts,’’ McCormick said. “She can really read a defense and she has a really outstanding stroke from the outside.’’