OU class jumps to sixth-ranked in nation

Oklahoma's recruiting class improved dramatically on the second day of the early signing period as 6-foot-3 center Abi Olajuwon committed to the Sooners.

Olajuwon, who is ranked as high as No. 22 nationally, signed a national letter of intent on Thursday morning. The addition of Olajuwon improved the Sooners' class from a No. 9 national ranking to No. 6, according to the Blue Star Report.

Olajuwon, who is the daughter of NBA legend and Houston graduate Hakeem Olajuwon, averaged 15.9 points and 14.4 rebounds as a junior at Marlborough School. She has led Marlborough to three consecutive state titles, while garnering All-California Interscholastic Federation honors the last two seasons.

OU coach Sherri Coale has signed a potential starting five in point guard Jenna Plumley, shooting guard Rose Hammond, small forward Nyeshia Stevenson, power forward Amanda Thompson and Olajuwon. Additionally the Sooners could have a dominating trio of post players when Olajuwon hits the floor with Ashley (6-3) and Courtney Paris (6-4).

"Abi is going to be one of those kids who literally gets better right before your very eyes," Coale said. "She obviously has great size, excellent hands and is a very physical, punishing type of player.

"What many people don't know about her is that she loves the intricacies of the game. She is a sponge for education. Couple her willingness to learn with her tremendous skill set and she should have a very special collegiate career."

Texas gets third-ranked recruit
Texas coach Jody Conradt announced the signing of four high school players to national letters of intent for the upcoming 2006-07 academic year.

All four of the signees are in-state recruits, led by scholastic All-American 6-foot combo guard Brittainey Raven (Fort Worth, Texas), the nation's No. 3 ranked recruit and consensus No. 1 player in the state of Texas, who stars at North Crowley High School.

The other three signees are: 6-1 forward Vantranique (Niqky) Hughes (Waxahachie, Texas/Waxahachie HS), a top 25 recruit and scholastic All-American who is ranked as the No. 4 player in the state of Texas and the No. 7 player nationally (by Basketball Times); Gabrielle (Gabe) Mattox (Kountze, Texas/Kountze HS), a 5-11 power forward standout and the state's 10th-ranked player who led Kountze to the Texas; and 6-3 forward Kristen Nash (Plano, Texas), a scholastic All-American ranked as the state's fifth-best player who stars at State 5A Plano West High School.

The signing of this standout quartet of players follows Conradt's current freshmen class of seven -- the largest freshmen class in program history -- which was ranked as the nation's No. 1 recruiting class last year by the All-Star Girls Report recruiting service.