Signing Class Numbers Game

Joe Montes uses statistics to offer another view on top signing classes.

Updated: November 13, 2008, 5:00 PM ET
By Joe Montes | Special to ESPN HoopGurlz

It's the start of the early signing period for 2009 prospects and, as in the previous two years, we attempt to provide a preliminary ranking of the top recruiting classes for 2009, based on statistical analysis of individual evaluations of the ESPN HoopGurlz Hundred.

However, unlike in previous years when we grappled to assign a prospect's recruiting score based primarily on her overall ranking and star-based evaluation, we now have the luxury of directly deriving a prospect's recruiting score from an official rating assigned by ESPN HoopGurlz.

For this year, the total recruiting score for each school is based on a slight variation of the formula I used for Hoopgurlz.com in evaluating the 2008 recruiting classes last year. This statistical formula (see Legend below the list) aims to provide more weight on the projected impact of the more highly rated recruits, thus the higher ranked the recruit, the higher her weighting factor. Of course, there still are some arbitrarily determined variables, such as the cut-off points between the various groupings.

As of Nov 12, 2008, the following are the Top 2009 Recruiting Classes, solely based on statistically derived total school recruiting scores (note: only Top 100 recruits are included):



No. 20 ROGERS, Tierra (Level 3)
No. 22 PIERRE, Eliza (Level 2)
No. 24 STALLWORTH, Denesha (Level 2)
No. 30 BRANDON, Gennifer (Level 2)
No. 43 CALDWELL, Talia (Level 2)
No. 49 HEATER, Brenna (Level 2)
No. 67 CLARENDON, Layshia (Level 1)



No. 1 GRINER, Britney (Level 4)
No. 17 CHANDLER, Mariah (Level 3)
No. 58 MADDEN, Jordan (Level 1)
No. 64 WASHINGTON, Shanay (Level 1)



No. 8 WILLIAMS, Destiny (Level 3)
No. 18 PENN, Karisma (Level 3)
No. 36 GODBOLD, Adrienne (Level 2)



No. 6 OLIVER, Monique (Level 4)
No. 35 MARINACCI, Christina (Level 2)
No. 55 HACKNEY, Kendall (Level 1)



No. 14 CROSBY, China (Level 3)
No. 21 THOMPSON, Erinn (Level 2)
No. 37 GERSON, Lexie (Level 2)
No. 71 EGWU, Simone (Level 1)



No. 10 TINKLE, Joslyn (Level 3)
No. 16 RUEF, Mikaela (Level 3)



No. 11 HASSELL, Jasmine (Level 3)
No. 41 ARMSTRONG, Anne Marie (Level 2)
No. 51 JAMES, Jasmine (Level 1)
No. 80 WILLIS, Tamika (Level 1)



No. 23 GROSS, Krista (Level 2)
No. 28 ROLLE, Waltia (Level 2)
No. 31 WARREN, Cierra (Level 2)
No. 88 WILLIAMS, Nyree (Level 1)



No. 4 WALKER, Markel (Level 4)



No. 5 REED, Cokie (Level 4)



No. 13 SPANI, Taber (Level 3)
No. 69 DUPREE, Faith (Level 1)
No. 75 WILLIAMS, Kamiko (Level 1)



No. 29 BELLOCK, Kristi (Level 2)
No. 48 ASHMORE, Diamond (Level 2)
No. 60 PRATCHER, Adrienne (Level 1)
No. 98 WINDHAM, Cierra (Level 1)



No. 15 OSTARELLO, Sam (Level 3)
No. 91 WILSON, Ashley (Level 1)



No. 18 GREEN, Nikki (Level 3)
No. 76 BENTLEY, Alexandria (Level 1)



No. 27 TOLES, Morgan (Level 2)
No. 45 ALVERSON, Blanche (Level 2)



No. 25 LUTLEY, Bianca (Level 2)
No. 56 WEBB, Adrienne (Level 1)



No. 39 WHEELER, Erica (Level 2)
No. 73 HUBER, Christine (Level 1)



LEGEND / NOTES

Uncommitted Level 4 Recruits:
No. 2 BONE, Kelsey (40 pts = 4 x 10 pts)
No. 3 DIGGINS, Skylar (36 pts = 4 x 9 pts)
No. 7 SMITH, Shenekka (36 pts = 4 x 9 pts)

Uncommitted Level 3 Recruits: No. 9 RUFFIN-PRATT, Tierra (24 pts = 3 x 8 pts)
No. 12 HILL, Taylor (24 pts = 3 x 8 pts)

PROSPECT VALUES
(Recruit's score is based on her rating by ESPN HoopGurlz)

Level 4 Recruits: Grade of 98 = 13 pts (applies to prospect ranked No. 1)
Grade of 97 = 12 pts (applies to prospect ranked No. 2)
Grade of 96 = 11 pts (applies to prospects ranked No. 3 to No. 7)

Level 3 Recruits: Grade of 95 = 10 pts (applies to prospects ranked No. 8 to No. 16)
Grade of 94 = 09 pts (applies to prospects ranked No. 17 to No. 20)

Level 2 Recruits: Grade of 93 = 08 pts (applies to prospects ranked No. 21 to No. 25)
Grade of 92 = 07 pts (applies to prospects ranked No. 26 to No. 36)
Grade of 91 = 06 pts (applies to prospects ranked No. 37 to No. 50)

Group 1 recruits: Grade of 90 = 05 pts (applies to prospects ranked No. 51 to No. 53)
Grade of 89 = 04 pts (applies to prospects ranked No. 54 to No. 63)
Grade of 88 = 03 pts (applies to prospects ranked No. 64 to No. 81)
Grade of 87 = 02 pts (applies to prospects ranked No. 82 to No. 95)
Grade of 86 = 01 pts (applies to prospects ranked No. 96 to No. 100)

CLASS RECRUITING FORMULA
= (4 x sum of school's Group 4 recruits' score) + (3 x sum of school's Group 3 recruits' score) + (2 x sum of school's Group 2 recruits' score) + (1 x sum of school's Group 1 recruits' score)

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Joe Montes is a software consultant who divides his time between the Pacific Northwest and Southern California. He has been a woman's college basketball fan since his college days, during the championship years of Stanford in the early 1990s. Montes' interest in numbers and their application is influenced by two sisters who both are PhDs in Statistics.

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