Commentary

East outlook: Make-or-break time

Updated: November 4, 2011, 1:47 PM ET
By Keil Moore | HoopGurlz

As the uncommitted players in the ESPN HoopGurlz class of 2012 continue to make their college decisions, the dynamic on the East Coast revolves around three programs -- Maryland, Rutgers and Syracuse, all of which are waiting on decisions from elite prospects.

In the upcoming weeks, nothing will be predictable. If Rutgers lands all three of its pending scholarship offers, the Scarlet Knights would certainly crack the top 10. As for the top five? That would depend greatly on what Maryland is able to do with its two pending offers. In many cases, including those at Rutgers and Syracuse, the ability of one school to land a prospect may directly impact the other schools' fortunes.

MARYLAND

Committed: P Malina Howard (No. 7), F Tierney Pfirman (No. 22), G Chloe Pavlech (4-star)

Considering: G Jordan Adams (No. 6), W Alexis Prince (No. 16)

Outlook: Maryland is currently No. 6 in the ESPN HoopGurlz class rankings. The addition of Malina Howard to the Terrapins' recruiting class gave them an elite post scorer who can hold down the middle for years to come. As finalists in the sweepstakes for both Adams and Prince, Maryland will look to add to its 2012 fortunes and potentially break into the top five classes in the country. The additions of both Prince and Adams would even put Maryland in the discussion to move up as high as No. 2 overall in the 2012 class rankings.

Both Prince and Adams have taken official visits to College Park, Md., and both have said they plan to sign in the early signing period. As Maryland coach Brenda Frese prepares her current team for the upcoming season, it is certain that she can't help but get excited about the prospects of having both Adams and Prince in uniform next season.

RUTGERS

Committed: F Precious Person (No. 69)

Considering: P Rachel Hollivay (No. 8) F Kahleah Copper (No. 17), P Je Zhe Newton (No.66), P Ariel Butts (No. 75)

Outlook: In the middle of October, Rutgers picked up its first verbal commitment from the 2012 class when Person gave her pledge on her official visit during the first weekend of official practice. Person is an athletic forward with a lot of upside and will be a welcome addition to C. Vivian Stringer's Rutgers club. While Stringer will certainly welcome Person with open arms, she and her staff are hoping to continue to stockpile talent. They are actively recruiting Hollivay, Copper, Newton and Butts.

With four top 100 prospects still in play, the Scarlet Knights stand to be a major wild card in the coming weeks. Rutgers could make a major push in the class rankings with the additions of just one or two of the prospects considering the Big East school. If they are able to land all four prospects, they would be a lock to crack the top 10 because their class would potentially consist of two top 20 prospects in Hollivay and Copper, as well as three more solid members of the top 100 in Person, Newton and Butts. Considering that Rutgers' 2011 recruiting class was very backcourt heavy, this would be a nice boost to the frontcourt -- they would add three players 6-feet-2 or taller in the 2012 class.

SYRACUSE

Committed: PG Cornelia Fondren (No. 73), F Taylor Ford (4- star), F Pachiyanna Roberts (3-star)

Considering: G Brianna Butler (No. 13), F Kahleah Copper (No. 17)

Outlook: Syracuse is looking for the class of 2012 to be a big one, and so far the Orange is off to a great start. Syracuse has three verbal commitments in the class of 2012 -- Fondren, Ford, and Roberts -- and is actively pursuing two more -- Butler and Copper. From a recruiting class standpoint, the addition of either Butler or Copper would catapult Syracuse toward the top of the 2012 class rankings since both are rated as top 20 prospects. If Syracuse is able to score both players, it would make an even bigger jump toward the top 10.

On the court, the addition of Butler or Copper -- not to mention the possibility of both players wearing orange -- would give Syracuse a legitimate scoring threat in what is already a solid 2012 recruiting class. Fondren is a playmaker at the point and would thrive with perimeter scoring threats such as Butler and Copper alongside her. Ford and Roberts are high-level athletes with good length. Both players should bring versatility to the Syracuse frontcourt and mix in well with their potential teammates.

Follow us on Twitter, where you can ask questions and get instant updates.

Become a fan of the site on Facebook and get updates in your news stream.

Discuss this on our Message Board.

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

ESPNHS HoopGurlz

ALSO SEE