Following dads' footsteps
Frank Kornet and Xavier McDaniel made it all the way up the basketball ladder to the NBA. Like their fathers, Nicole Kornet from Lantana, Texas and Xylina McDaniel out of Columbia, S.C., are working their way up the ladder in the women's game.
Like her father, Nicole Kornet is known as a forward with the skill to be effective on the perimeter. Xylina McDaniel's game resembles that of her father as well, with her toughness and warrior-like mentality in the paint.
Both are ranked in the ESPNU HoopGurlz 100 for 2012, with Kornet at No. 19 and McDaniel at No. 25. After choosing their college destinations this week, both are one step closer to the final destination of the WNBA. Each will continue her career just north of the state line where they played high school ball, with Kornet going to Oklahoma while McDaniel is headed to North Carolina.
-- Brandon Clay
MTV "Made" star verbals to Missouri State
As far as basketball goes, Mikala McGhee of Maryland Heights, Mo., is a lot like any other class of 2012 prospect listed in the ESPN HoopGurlz database. She caught our eye this summer with her play at a USJN event in St. Louis and continued to have positive showings as we got a chance to see her play again in Chicago at the Nike Summer Showcase. She has since has committed to Missouri State.
What makes McGhee a little different than your average 2012 prospect is that she was on the popular MTV reality show "Made," on which she was transformed into a ballroom dancer. The filming process took two months, and at the end McGhee performed in front of her entire school.
As a result of her success on the show, McGhee was picked to do commercials for Neutrogena's "Wave for Change" Campaign and was asked to spend the summer of 2010 participating in filming for the campaign and community service projects. She had a once-in-a-lifetime experience with MTV and Neutrogena as she had the opportunity to travel across the country, but the opportunity also meant that she had to sit out of summer basketball prior to her junior year.
McGhee seems to be handling it all in stride.
"The summer going into your junior year is not a very smart one to miss playing a lot of basketball," she said. "It may have held me back in my recruiting process, but it all worked out so I can't complain."
After this experience it is easy to say that Missouri State is getting not only a solid basketball player but a well-rounded student-athlete as well.
-- Keil Moore
Top 100s still undecided
With the early signing period around the corner, the next couple weeks will be an exciting time in the recruiting world as we should expect a number of decisions to be made in the coming days. Twenty-three members of the ESPNU HoopGurlz top 100 still are undecided, including eight in the top 25. What that means is that over the next two weeks there will be major shakeups in the 2012 recruiting class rankings.
With a ton of elite talent still on the market, recruiting classes can be made and broken in the upcoming days. Furthermore, this year's countdown to signing day is even more unique as the schools that stand toward the top of the current recruiting class rankings seem to be done with their recruiting classes.
Of the top five schools -- Connecticut, Texas A&M, Notre Dame, Tennessee and Duke -- Tennessee appears to be the only school still working the 2012 market for recruits. As a result the upcoming days with the remaining uncommitted prospects will have an even greater impact in the overall recruiting landscape. It's going to be a fun couple of weeks for sure.
-- Keil Moore
Baird to San Jose State: Paris Baird, a long, slender-framed post option from Los Angeles, Calif., will give the Spartans a rim runner at both ends. The three-star prospect was a factor for her Windward High team at the Tournament of Champions last year, manning the middle in place of Imani Stafford, who was unable to play. A 6-foot post, she will mix it up on the interior and does all the little things to get the job done.
Blair to Ohio State: Lisa Blair, a 6-6 center from Brooklyn, N.Y., gives Jim Foster's staff a potential big body to help the Buckeyes stay at the top of the Big Ten, where they have been at the end of the past six regular seasons. Blair's progress over the past two years has been drastic. She has touch around the basket, and her length gives opposing teams problems trying to score around the rim. A three-star prospect, Blair moves well for her size, and at the Elite 32 Summer Jam in late July she proved she has improved her in-game conditioning.
Alexus Johnson to Grambling: Alexus Johnson of Broomfield, Colo., made an impact on our staff last winter at the Tournament of Champions. The 6-foot forward showcased her versatility and athleticism in the open floor while playing for Monarch High. The No. 71 prospect in the class of 2012 is taking her talents to the SWAC as she'll suit up for the Tigers. A four-star power forward, Johnson will bring a unique package of open-floor skills to a league filled with quality athletes.
Ross to Radford: Rachael Ross from Naperville, Ill., committed to Radford this week, giving the Big South program a true back-to-basket post player. Her size and build is similar to Georgia Tech center Sasha Goodlett. The 6-2 post had a nice showing at the Great Plains Qualifier in late April, scoring by using her right hand to finish around the basket. Improving her conditioning is only going to help her be ready to take the floor early in her career.
Whyte to Wisconsin: After an offseason coaching change, Wisconsin is entering the Bobbie Kelsey era. One of the most crucial pieces to a successful run for any coaching staff is steady play at the point guard position. In Dakota Whyte out of Ajax, Ontario, Kelsey and her staff are getting a floor general who can give them quality minutes. The three-star prospect played well for Team Ontario at the Midwest Showdown over Memorial Day Weekend.
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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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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