2009 recruiting class rankings

Originally Published: November 20, 2008
ESPN HoopGurlz

1. Baylor Lady Bears

Baylor commits: Brittney Griner (No.1), Mariah Chandler (17), Jordan Madden (58), Shanay Washington (64), Kimetria Hayden (NR)
The Brittany Griner era begins next year, but she won't be alone as her fellow signees from the class should also push for playing time early.
Heads Of The Class
The early signing period is over and ESPN HoopGurlz breaks down which schools had the best week.

• Griner's commitment to Baylor started the Lady Bears on their way to hauling in the nation's best class. Story

• No Tennessee or UConn in the top 10? While there are still plenty of traditional powers at the top of the rankings, it's been a wild year. Top 60 classes
ESPN HoopGurlz 100

2. North Carolina Tar Heels

North Carolina commits: Tierra Ruffin-Pratt (No. 9), Krista Gross (23), Waltia Rolle (28), Cierra Warren (31), Nyree Williams (88)
The Tar Heels could some day start these five prospects. With length and defensive ability in all five, the class is simply deep.

3. Illinois Fighting Illini

Illinois commits: Destiny Williams (No. 8), Karisma Penn (18), Adrienne GodBold (No. 36), Briana Jones (NR), Kersten Magrum (NR), Amber Moore (NR)
The Illini class is packed with versatility both on the perimeter and in the paint. Destiny Williams and Karisma Penn are a scary good forward combination.

4. California Golden Bears

Cal commits: Tierra Rogers (No. 20), Eliza Pierre (22), DeNesha Stallworth (24), Gennifer Brandon (30), Talia Caldwell (43), Brenna Heater (49), Layshia Clarendon (67)
The Bears land the deepest class in the country with seven players in the ESPN HoopGurlz 100. Look for No. 30 Gennifer Brandon to be a relative sleeper in the class.

5. Virginia Cavaliers

Virginia commits: China Crosby (No. 14), Erinn Thompson (21), Lexie Gerson (37), Simone Egwu (71)
The Cavaliers sign a dynamite group which includes one of the nation's elite point guards (China Crosby) and several top talents who can play multiple positions.

6. Georgia Lady Bulldogs

Georgia commits: Jasmine Hassell (No. 11), AnneMarie Armstrong (41), Jasmine James (51), Tamika Willis (80)
Jasmine Hassell is one of the best posts in a post-loaded class and the athleticism of this class is comparable to any.

7. Texas A&M Aggies

Texas A&M commits: Kristi Bellock (No. 29), Diamond Ashmore (48), Adrienne Pratcher (60), Cierra Windham (98)
As a group, this class is extremely strong and fits in with coach Gary Blair's style of play. All four of these prospects should play early.

8. USC Trojans

USC commits: Monique Oliver (No. 6), Christina Marinacci (35), Kendall Hackney (55)
With a top post, two versatile forwards with range and much needed depth at point guard the Trojans add lots of talent while filling immediate needs.

9. Stanford Cardinal

Stanford commits: Joslyn Tinkle (No. 10), Mikaela Ruef (16)
Stanford gets two players that fit the Cardinal mold and are among the best in the nation at their respective positions.

10. St. John's Red Storm

St. John's commits: Shenneika Smith (No. 7), Amanda Burakoski (66), Jennifer Blanding, Nadirah McKenith, Eugenia McPherson
This class is headlined by Shenneika Smith, who should make an immediate impact, but it's five players deep.

11. Tennessee Lady Volunteers

Tennessee commits: Taber Spani (No. 13), Faith Dupree (69), Kamiko Williams (75)
Taber Spani, Faith Dupree and Kamiko Williams all play multiple positions, shoot the 3 and know how to play the game.

12. Texas Longhorns

Texas commits: Cokie Reed (No.5), Lauren Flores
Cokie Reed is one of the nation's best post players with shotblocking ability and versatility and Lauren Flores is point guard with upside.

13. Penn State Nittany Lions

Penn State commits: Nikki Green (No. 19), Alexandria Bentley (76), Gizelle Studevent, Marisa Wolfe
Nikki Green is one of the most athletic bigs in the country, Alex Bentley is a scoring machine and Gizelle Studevent can shoot the ball from deep.

14. UCLA Bruins

UCLA commits: Markel Walker (No. 4), Mariah Williams
The Bruins add another top player from the east coast this year with the explosive Markel Walker. Joining her is hyper-quick point guard Mariah Williams.

15. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Notre Dame commits: Skylar Diggins (No. 3), Kaila Turner
Skylar Diggins is the highest-ranked point guard in the history of the ESPN HoopGurlz rankings and her impact for the Irish will be immediate.

16. LSU Tigers

LSU commits: Bianca Lutley (No. 25), Adrienne Webb (56)
The Tigers follow up their seven player class in 2008 with a physically strong and versatile point guard in Bianca Lutley and standout perimeter defender in Adrienne Webb.

17. Auburn Tigers

Auburn commits: Morgan Toles (No. 27), Blanche Alverson (45), Megan Perkins, Nicolle Thomas, Pascale West
The Tigers sign a very deep class headlined with an elite point guard in Morgan Toles. The class covers all five positions.

18. Purdue Boilermakers

Purdue commits: Sam Ostarello (No. 15), Ashley Wilson (91), K.K. Houser
Purdue adds one of the premier wings in the class with Sam Ostarello, a powerful forward in Ashley Wilson and depth at point guard with K.K. Houser.

19. Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Rutgers commits: Erica Wheeler (No. 39), Christine Huber (73)
Rutgers adds another in a long line of dominant guards with Erica Wheeler and also adds a solid forward/post in Christine Huber.

20. Louisville Cardinals

Louisville commits: Nikki Burton (No. 62), Rachel Story (96), Ashley Rainey, Asia Taylor
The Cardinal class includes two point guards in the top 100, both of whom have scoring skills that will allow them to play either guard spot.

21. Maryland Terrapins

Maryland commits: Dara Taylor (No. 52), Tianna Hawkins, Essence Townsend
With Kristi Tolliver set to graduate the Terps sign perhaps the most fitting replacement with Dara Taylor.

22. Iowa State Cyclones

Iowa State commits: Adrianna Prins (No. 44), Chelsea Poppens, Jessica Schroll, Amanda Zimmerman
Adrianna Prins and Amanda Zimmerman are a solid frontcourt combination.

23. Georgetown Hoyas

Georgetown commits: Ta'Shauna Rodgers (No. 26), Vanessa Moore, Sydney Wilson
Ta'Shauna Rodgers emerged as a leader this year and joining her are two players with great size.

24. Texas Tech Red Raiders

Texas Tech commits: Monique Smalls (No. 99), Marissa Ashton, Mary Bokenkamp, Chynna Brown, Christine Hyde, Shauntel Nobles
The Red Raiders sign a deep class and talent is anything but short with these six signees.

25. West Virginia Mountaineers

West Virginia commits: Asya Bussie (No. 47), Kyra Crosby, Akeema Richards, Antishia Wright
Asya Bussie and Kyra Crosby give the Mountaineers a talented tandem in the paint.

26. Vanderbilt Commodores

Vanderbilt commits: Stephanie Holzer (No. 90), Elan Brown, Tiffany Clarke, Gabby Smith
With a strong post and a speedy wing in Vandy's foursome, this class is a success.

27. MTSU Blue Raiders

MTSU commits: Jamilla Ajanaku, Icelyn Elie, Kortni Jones, Lauren March, Dymon Raynor
The Sun Belt Conference should take notice of this class. As a whole this is a deep class that will make an impact.

28. Northwestern Wildcats

Northwestern commits: Inga Orekhova (No. 40), Dannielle Diamant
The first signing class for Joe McKeown brings size and range to the wing position and a forward who can stretch the floor.

29. Colorado Buffaloes

Colorado commits: Janeesa Jeffery, Melissa MacFarlane, Brenna Malcolm-Peck, Megan Malcolm-Peck
The twins are very skilled forwards and Melissa MacFarlane brings unteachable size to Colorado.

30. Miami Hurricanes

Miami commits: Morgan Stroman (No. 33), Hannah Shaw, Anisha Wilson
The Hurricanes get one of the best players in the Southeast with Morgan Stroman.

31. Duke Blue Devils
32. South Carolina Gamecocks
33. Iowa Hawkeyes
34. Arkansas Razorbacks
35. Michigan Wolverines
36. Washington State Cougars
37. South Florida Bulls
38. Oklahoma Sooners
39. Ohio State Buckeyes
40. George Washington
41. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
42. Kentucky Wildcats
43. Wake Forest Demon Deacons
44. N.C. State Wolfpack
45. Nebraska Cornhuskers
46. Minnesota Golden Gophers
47. Oklahoma State Cowboys
48. Utah Utes
49. Connecticut Huskies
50. James Madison Dukes
51. Xavier Musketeers
52. Boston College Eagles
53. Michigan State Spartans
54. Arizona State Sun Devils
55. Virginia Tech Hokies
56. UNLV Runnin' Rebels
57. Wisconsin Badgers
58. Seton Hall Pirates
59. Clemson Tigers
60. Florida Gators

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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 can be reached at chris.hansen@espn3.com.

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