Commentary

Big weekend for SEC, Big East schools

Updated: October 13, 2011, 10:44 AM ET
By Brandon Clay and Keil Moore | HoopGurlz

Mercedes RussellGlenn Nelson/ESPN.comMercedes Russell, the No. 1 player in the class of 2013, plans to make her second trip to Tennessee.

Pat Summitt and her staff at Tennessee are set for their second straight busy weekend as they plan to welcome two of the top players in the 2013 class.

Mercedes Russell, the No. 1-ranked player in the class by ESPN HoopGurlz, and Stephanie Mavunga, the 15th-ranked player, plan to hit Knoxville. Russell, a 6-foot-5 post, and Mavunga, a 6-2 forward, were both members of the USA U16 team that won the gold medal this summer in Merida, Mexico.

Russell already made one trip to the SEC campus earlier in the year.

Last weekend, Tennessee had an official visit from Rachel Hollivay, No. 8 in the class of 2012, and an unofficial from Diamond DeShields, No. 3 in the class of 2013.

McDaniel, Reimer head to Storrs

Longtime rival Connecticut will have some potential firepower of its own as Xylina McDaniel, No. 25 in the class of 2012, is taking her official visit to Storrs' annual "Super Show." Taya Reimer, No. 4 in the class of 2013, will also be on hand for the festivities. Both are post players and will be with current UConn pledge Morgan Tuck this weekend. Tuck is a top five post player and ranked No. 15 overall in 2012. With commitments already in hand from the top two prospects in 2012, No. 1 Breanna Stewart and No. 2 Moriah Jefferson, the Huskies are poised for another consensus No. 1-ranked recruiting class.

Three prospects visit Rutgers

Visitation Nation illustration
ESPN.com illustration

In comparison to last year when Rutgers scored four big names heading into signing day, this fall the recruiting news out of New Brunswick, N.J., has been relatively quiet. Things begin to change this weekend. The Big East school is welcoming a trio of top 100 kids. Hollivay, No. 17 Kahleah Copper and No. 69 Precious Person are all on official visits. Rutgers has yet to receive a verbal commitment from a member of the 2012 class, but a strong weekend here could easily put them on the map with the ESPN HoopGurlz class rankings for the class of 2012. Furthermore, the trio of Hollivay, Copper, and Person would give them a strong group of quality impact players that all complement each other in terms of strengths and weaknesses on the court.

Stafford headed to Texas

This weekend in Austin, two 2012 post players plan to make their way to Texas' campus. No. 10 Imani Stafford and 6-foot-3 post Derreyal Youngblood prepare to make official visits to the Big 12 school. Currently, Texas has a verbal commitment from instate guard Empress Davenport in the class of 2012. The potential additions of Stafford and Youngblood would solidify them in the post for years to come as the pair would be joined by their 2013 verbal commitment Jada Terry during their sophomore year.

Big weekend at North Carolina

Chapel Hill will also be a hot scene for underclassmen as North Carolina has four top prospects coming to take in their annual "Late Night with Roy" event. The class of 2013 will be represented by DeShields and No. 10 Tyler Scaife. They will be joined by No. 3 Jatarie White in the class of 2014 and UNC's 2015 commitment Te'a Cooper. As always when you have a group of talent that is as elite as the group that North Carolina will host this weekend, it makes for high-stakes time on campus with potentially four top-10 recruits visiting the ACC school.

Butler, Thompson off to Kentucky

Midnight Madness is a huge deal on many campuses, but none is as big as Big Blue Madness at Kentucky. Last year, men's coach John Calipari gave the women's program a shout on the broadcast in front of a capacity crowd at Rupp Arena. Women's coach Matt Mitchell and his staff have used the event as a recruiting tool since arriving on campus. This year will be no different as they welcome Brianna Butler, No. 13 in the 2012 class, and Janee Thompson, No. 35. Landing two top-35 recruits would give Kentucky a huge boost to get their 2012 recruiting class rolling. The Wildcats will also welcome Rebecca Greenwell, the No. 5 player in the 2013 class.

Adams visiting Maryland

Jordan Adams, at No. 6, is the highest-rated player in the ESPN HoopGurlz Top 100 still undecided on where she will play her college basketball. This weekend, the combo guard from Santa Ana, Calif., will make a trip across the country to College Park to visit Maryland. Maryland's 2012 recruiting class made a big leap two weeks ago when center Malina Howard of Twinsburg, Ohio, picked the ACC school over Notre Dame. A potential verbal commitment from Adams would only help Maryland continue to move up the rankings toward a potential top five recruiting class for the 2012. Brenda Frese and her staff didn't just stop with Adams. They are also hosting guard Mychal Johnson, No. 23 in the class of 2014, on an unofficial visit this weekend.

Keen heads to South Florida

South Florida has an official visit from in-state post player Macy Keen. Keen is a four-star prospect and would give the Bulls a legitimate center in a class where they could take as many as three post prospects. They already have a verbal from three-star forward Alisia Jenkins and two three-star guards, Shavontae Naylor and Courtney Williams.

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Brandon Clay is a contributor and national recruiting analyst for ESPN HoopGurlz. He is also the publisher of the JumpOffPlus.com National Scouting Report and the owner of Peach State Basketball, Inc. Clay has been involved in the community since 2001 as a recruiting analyst, event operator and trainer. He can be reached at bclay@peachstatehoops.com or you can follow him on Twitter @peachstatehoops.

Keil Moore is a contributor and national recruiting analyst for ESPN HoopGurlz. He is also the Director of Scouting for the JumpOffPlus.com National Scouting Report - a division of Peach State Basketball, Inc. Moore has been involved in the community since 2007 as a recruiting analyst and trainer. He can be reached at kmoore@peachstatehoops.com or you can follow him on Twitter @keilmoore.

Keil Moore | email

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