PG Pratcher picks Texas A&M
Texas A&M gets its fourth ranked verbal commitment to date in Adrienne Pratcher.
Things keep getting better for Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair. The Aggies received a phone call last week from Kristi Bellock of New Orleans, La., receiving a verbal commitment from the No. 29 ranked player in the country. Monday evening they got another call, this time from Adrienne Pratcher of Memphis, Tenn., and she told Blair she was committing to his program, her mother Stephanie Pratcher told ESPN HoopGurlz.
Pracher, a 5-foot-7 point guard from Memphis East High School, is the No. 8 ranked player at the point guard position. Not only does she have the game of a nationally ranked player, she's also got the nickname to go with it -- A Game.
Pratcher narrowed her list down to just two prior to making any official visits. In the end it was just Kentucky and Texas A&M.
"She had offers from several other schools," Pratcher said. "It's pretty stressful and when she narrowed it down I didn't understand at first."
After talking with her daughter and seeing how much research she had done on the programs that interested her it started to make sense.
"I know as a 36 year old female it was stressful," Pratcher said, "so I know it must be worse for a 16 or 17 year old kid."
The family had good feelings about both programs but with Pratcher's desire to get into broadcast journalism Texas A&M had an academic advantage with its Communications Department.
"With the Twelfth Man program she can go right into her field," Pratcher said.
Coaching was also a major consideration but more for the relationships between the staff and players then for the X's and O's.
"If my child is going to be miles and miles away," Pratcher said, "I want to know she's in the best hands where they respect her as a student and on the basketball court. That's what I get with (Blair and his staff)."
Pratcher got know the A&M campus pretty well this summer as she spent time at the adidas Womanhood tournaments and camps in College Station with her Memphis Bobcats club team. Knowing that she would get to spend time on the campus, Pratcher did a great deal of homework on the academics prior to the event and was able to investigate and see some of the things she was interested in on her own during the tournament. According to her mother she was ready for more than just the gym while she was there.
Pratcher brings plenty of shake and ballhandling to the lead guard position. She has one of the best hesitation moves around and changes speeds as well as any guard in the class. She is strong with the ball and is at her best creating off of dribble penetration.
As is the case with many recruits these days, the Pratcher's follow recruiting from across the country and are well aware of the talent coming to College Station next year. With Pratcher the Aggies have commitments from four players, all ranked in the top 100 by ESPN HoopGurlz.
Preceding Pratcher's verbal were Bellock, a 6-1 forward, Diamond Ashmore, a 6-3 post from Midwest City, Okla., ranked No. 48 in the class and Cierra Windham, a 6-foot wing from Norco, Calif., ranked No. 98 in the ESPN HoopGurlz Hundred. With Pratcher added to the class the Aggies not only have talent but also balance in the class with a point guard, wing, forward and post.
Coach Blair and the Aggies are still waiting to hear from Kelsey Bone, the No. 2 player in the country. Bone is not only the highest ranked player yet to commit but a Texan as well. She is deciding between Illinois, South Carolina, Texas and Texas A&M but told ESPN HoopGurlz she may not sign during the early signing period in mid-November.
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Chris Hansen covers girls' high school basketball nationally for ESPN.com and leads the panel that ranks and evaluates players for the network. He is a graduate of the University of Washington with a communications degree. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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