2015 Rankings Roundtable Part III

2015 Rankings Roundtable Part III
2015 Rankings Roundtable Part IIIStephanie Watts

The Rankings Roundtable will cover several topics throughout this week on the recently revised PropsectsNation.com ELITE 60 prospect rankings for the Class of 2015.

Of the players inside of the ELITE 60, what was one of your favorite break-out individual performances?

When reading this question, a lot of quality individual performances come to mind. Asia Durr’s outburst at Boo Williams that eventually led to them winning the event, Arike Ogunbowale standing out as the best player at AAU Nationals that allowed her Playground Elite team to win the event. Another good one would be Katie Lou Samuelson knocking down three after three at the TOC last December. With all of those special players having key moments on a national stage, the moment from the 2015 class that has impacted me the most was watching Jessica Shepard dominate multiple games in Minnesota at North Tartan’s Summer Jam. Shepard was phenomenal in multiple viewings that weekend and even recorded a game where she scored 22 points and pulled down 21 rebounds. Her ability to score the ball at all three levels and even make plays with her back to the basket is noteworthy but what really left an impact was her willingness to compete on every possession.

-- Keil Moore

'15 ELITE 60 guard Teniya Page put on a show at the
LB Insider event in early April. *Photo by Haley Weit.

My signature moment of the 2013 club season happened at the first event I attended, the LB Insider Jam Fest outside of Detroit. The Mac Irvin Fire was down early to the Michigan Crossover, a deficit that reached more than 15 points and then it happened. No. 16 Teniya Page, the 5-7 guard from Chicago, Ill., went off on a run for the ages and almost single-handedly brought the Fire back with a scoring outburst that showed what she is capable of. With her powerful and athletic game, getting to her kill spot, the 15-foot range, is sometimes indefensible and with Crossover defenders hanging on her she just elevated and make shots. The Fire would go on to lose to All Ohio in overtime of the championship game but that couldn’t divert the attention from one of the best performances of the season.

-- Chris Hansen

Te’a Cooper of Powder Springs, Ga., went toe-to-toe with two of the top players in the class of 2014 to close out the summer. The 5-8 point guard is ranked as the top point guard in the junior class and her play versus No. 1 senior Kelsey Mitchell of Cincinnati, Ohio, and No. 6 Recee’ Caldwell of San Antonio, Texas, was noteworthy. Cooper’s play against Mitchell showed how far her skill set has come over the past two years. She made plays off of the high screen-and-roll to attack the rim, find the open teammate and even hit the open jump shot when the defender went under the screen. Her A.O.T. team lost the game by two but not before the five-star guard made her presence felt. Two days later, Cooper battled with Caldwell, a UCLA commit. It was more of the same but this time Cooper was able to will her team to the victory to close out the July evaluation period.

-- Brandon Clay

The moment that we began to seriously talk about Stephanie Watts as one of the top perimeter scorers in the class of 2015 was at the Pre-Season Shootout in Marietta, Ga., in April of this year. The 5-10 guard played heads up with Te’a Cooper and her A.O.T. team. Mid-way through the first half Watts had 13 of her team’s 15 points and put on a dribble move clinic through trapping defenders. In the end, Watt’s team simply did not have the firepower to keep pace with the entire roster of A.O.T. However, what did become evident was that Watt’s had what it took to play on that stage and be more than just good enough. In fact she proved that she was one of the two best players on the court opposite of Cooper. That performance began the ascent of Watts into the ELITE 60.

-- Jonathan Hemingway

Clay is the owner of the JumpOffPlus.com International Scouting Report, PeachStateBasketball.com and ProspectsNation.com. He can be reached at brandon@prospectsnation.com.

Hansen is managing editor of ProspectsNation.com and a McDonald’s All-American selection committee member. He was the national director of scouting for ESPN HoopGurlz from 2005 until 2012. He can be reached at chris@prospectsnation.com.

Hemingway is the Assistant Director of Scouting for the JumpOffPlus.com National Scouting Report. He can be reached at jonathanhemingway@peachstatebasketball.com.

Moore is the Director of Scouting for the JumpOffPlus.com National Scouting Report and international scouting report. He has been a member if the women's basketball community for more than six years as a trainer and evaluator. He can be reached at keil@prospectsnation.com.

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