Tennessee back on track
One of the major recruiting storylines this spring has been how slow the top prospects in the 2013 class have been in choosing their college destinations. Compared to the top prospects in 2011 and 2012, this class was moving at a snail's pace.
Many observers pointed to two traditional powerhouses as the culprits. At Connecticut, there was the historic 2012 class that featured the Nos. 1, 2, and 6 prospects and may limit playing time for 2013 recruits. And at Tennessee, there was the uncertainty that emerged with Pat Summitt's illness and her subsequent retirement.
Fast-forward to this week, and many of the top prospects in the 2013 class have made their decisions.
Many of the questions from the spring seemed to be answered when Holly Warlick was promoted at Tennessee, giving stability to one of the premier programs in women's basketball. With that newfound stability comes recruits, and Tennessee has landed its first commitments in more than a calendar year. The first was from Nia Moore, a 2012 post from Bolingbrook, Ill. The second was from Jannah Tucker, the No. 8 player in the class of 2013.
The addition of Tucker, who is from Randallstown, Md., gives Tennessee a true perimeter scoring threat to help ease the burden of the graduation of high-scoring wings Taber Spani and Kamiko Williams after next season.
Tucker has the makeup to mesh well with the Tennessee team from the day she steps onto campus. Her ability to make open jump shots and stretch the floor will help create space around the basket for incoming freshman Bashaara Graves, while her ability to create her own offense and get to the rim will certainly be welcomed by backcourt players Andraya Carter, Ariel Massengale and Meighan Simmons.
Taking it a step further, the arrival of Tucker, a 6-foot offensive minded wing, affords Warlick and her staff the ability to let their star forward, Cierra Burdick, play her more natural role of setup player. Burdick is a willing passer who is always looking to get others involved. With Tucker and Simmons on the perimeter and Graves around the basket, Tennessee will have three players who can score in double figures on a nightly basis.
Overall, Tucker's decision to make Tennessee her school of choice gives us another answer to the many questions we all had this spring. Tucker has the ability to be the next "it" kid at Tennessee. A school that has had no shortage of "it" kids in its history, things might be a little different at Tennessee. Tucker is jumping into a program that has experienced a great deal of change in recent months. If she can help the Lady Vols stay on top, she can etch her name into the Rocky Top lineage.
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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 or you can follow him on Twitter @keilmoore.