Signing Analysis: The Pac-12

Signing Analysis: The Pac-12
Anna Wilson

Jaelyn Borwn
Jaelyn Brown gives Cal the big, powerful wing player that has excelled in Berkeley since Lindsey Gottlieb has been at the helm.

The Pac-12 Conference had as good of a haul as a whole as it has in recent memory. Instead of a few schools landing most of the talent out west, several teams got in on a deep year in 2016.


Grading The Conference Curve


Whether it’s having more historically ranked teams or having more campuses near fertile recruiting grounds it’s easy to just add up which conference has the most ranked recruiting classes.  But more telling is the progress each conference is having against its own established average.  Call it the Conference curve.

We have averaged out the last five recruiting classes and graded each year against that curve.


Top 20  5 4 4 5 1 1
Top Class #3 Notre Dame #1 Maryland #2 Texas #6 Stanford #9 Vanderbilt #10 Connecticut
% of AVG 76% 154% 154% 167% 31% 50%
Grading Curve C A+ A+ A+ F F
Top 20  5 5 3 3 3 1
Top Class #1 Louisville #8 Nebraska #5 Baylor #13 Cal #9 Kentucky #2 Connecticut
% of AVG 76% 192% 115% 100% 94% 50%
Grading Curve C A+ A+ A A F
Top 20  8 2 1 2 5 2
Top Class #5 Louisville #2 Ohio State #3 Texas #1 UCLA #10 Vanderbilt #18 St. Johns
% of AVG 121% 77% 38% 67% 156% 100%
Grading Curve A+ C+ F D+ A+ A
Top 20  8 2 1 3 4 2
Top Class #1 UNC #18 Penn State #11 Baylor #6 Stanford #3 Tennessee #19 Rutgers
% of AVG 121% 77% 38% 100% 125% 100%
Grading Curve A+ C+ F A A+ A
Top 20  7 0 4 2 3 4
Top Class #4 Notre Dame N/A #2 Texas A&M #12 UCLA #5 Tennessee #1 Connecticut
% of AVG 106% 0% 154% 67% 94% 200%
Grading Curve A+ F A+ D+ A A+
Top 20  6.6 2.6 2.6 3 3.2 2

Stanford taking the top class in the conference may seem like par for the course but that’s not been the case since 2013.  The last time the Cardinal landed the top class in the conference only two other programs also signed top 20 classes.  This year five schools inked top 20 classes and two more were on the cusp with No. 21 USC and No. 26 Cal. 

With seven top 50 classes and Washington State landing a four-player class that was right there in the mix, the Pac-12 scores an A+ grade in 2016.

Best Class

While the final standings for the PAC-12 is still very much yet to be decided, Stanford has the top class on the west coast to date.  Ultimately, what Sabrina Ionescu decides to do in the late signing period will have a major impact on the recruiting rankings of the PAC-12.

Dijonai Carrington at Check Me Out
SoCal 2015.
For Stanford, the heart of this class is wing Dijonai Carrington, who has the ability to fill up a stat sheet with her diverse skill set.  Carrington will play on the wing but has the ability to rebound at a high level and should be able to use her passing skills to find teammates in scoring positions.  Joining Carrington will be point guard Anna Wilson, post Nadia Fingall and wing Mikaela Brewer. This four-player class will add athleticism to Stanford’s roster.


Biggest Impact As A Frosh

Because of fit and playing style, Arizona State forward Jamie Ruden has the potential to be a key piece for the Sun Devils next year. Ruden is a polished interior scorer with the ability to play with her back to the basket or face the rim and knockdown mid-range jumpers. Her feel for playing the game as a forward will allow her to be a tough one-on-one match up as Ruden gets the best of her physical tools but also uses her basketball IQ as a weapon.


Breakout Class

Oregon has a six-player class that will bring a balance of talent, athleticism and playmaking ability to the Ducks’ roster roster. The class is headlined by the post duo of Mallory McGwire and Ruthy Hebard. McGwire has the ability to make an instant impact for coach Kelly Graves and his staff. She brings size and game-readiness to Oregon’s frontline while Hebard has the potential to make an impact down the line. She has athletic tools that will need refinement but the future could be bright. On the perimeter Jayde Woods and Australian guard Morgan Yaeger complement each other with Woods being a refined two-way wing and Yaeger having the ability to score the ball in bunches. Lydia Giomi and Sierra Campisano add size and depth to Oregon’s frontcourt.

Ionescu’s Decision

Sabrina Ionescu at the 2015 Check Me Out Showcase in
Seattle, Wash. *Photo by Glenn Nelson.
The No. 3 overall ranked player for 2016 is strongly considering three PAC-12 programs. California, Oregon and Oregon State will be actively recruiting Ionescu throughout the year.  Ionescu has the potential to add another dynamic to any of these three classes and her potential decision will be a storyline throughout the season.  She has visited all three officially this fall.


Ionescu would be the seventh player in the Ducks’ class if she chooses Eugene.  Oregon State signed four during the early period, all of whom are ranked in the ELITE 150 – Mikayla Pivec, Janessa Thropay, Kat Tudor and Madison Washington.  Cal, which is the closest to her Walnut Creek, Calif., home, signed a pair of top 50 recruits in Jaelyn Brown and Celeste West.


The Strength of the League

The PAC-12 is home to seven of the top 50 recruiting classes for 2016.  While Stanford currently holds the top spot, the PAC-12 is bringing in multiple high-caliber classes that should allow the conference to experience good parity in years to come.  Programs such as Washington, California, Oregon, and Oregon State have brought in strong groups of prospects that will make competing for spots at the top of the conference balanced and competitive in upcoming seasons.


Keil Moore is the Director of Scouting for the National Scouting Report and international scouting report. He serves on the Naismith Trophy Board of Selectors and has been a member of the women's basketball community for more than eight years as a trainer and evaluator. He can be reached at


Chris Hansen is managing editor of and serves on the McDonald’s All-American and Naismith Trophy selection committees.  He was the national director of scouting for ESPN HoopGurlz from 2005 until 2012 and is the director of the Check Me Out Showcase.  He can be reached at

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