WIR: Cooper, Blackburn, Page and more

WIR: Cooper, Blackburn, Page and more
WIR: Cooper, Blackburn, Page and moreTe'a Cooper

The last week of recruiting headlines has been filled with a plethora of impact caliber decisions. Here is our look at the last week in the recruiting world.

No. 3 Cooper To Tennessee

Tennessee picked up its point guard of the future this week as Te’a Cooper of Powder Springs, Ga., picked the SEC school over Georgia, Pittsburgh, North Carolina and South Carolina. For Tennessee, Cooper’s decision to pick the Lady Vols gives them a dynamic ball-dominant lead guard that will bring a different style to their roster than the current guards at Tennessee and different still from those on the way this fall. Cooper will immediately bring playmaking and one-on-one ability to Tennessee’s roster and add an element of individuality should keep Tennessee fans entertained. Her ability to handle the basketball and alleviate pressure should also be an asset as current point guard Ariel Massengale will be ultimately be replaced by Cooper.

With Cooper going to Tennessee, this could just be seeing the first part of a series of dominos falling into place. For the last couple of years the link between Cooper and class of 2013 prospect Diamond DeShields has been a major storyline in the recruiting world. With Cooper now headed to Knoxville only time will tell if there will be another chapter in the Cooper-DeShields package deal or if that is merely speculation due to their friendship. Furthermore are Cooper and DeShields the only parts of that package as club teammate Caliya Robinson of Powder Springs, Ga., a class of 2015 post has also been linked together. Robinson could help bolster Tennessee’s frontline and give them a quality replacement for the departing Cierra Burdick.

Overall this is a quality pickup for Tennessee as it was a position of need and one of Tennessee’s best options to fill the need. With Cooper coming in as a true point guard, it now allows combo guards such as Alexa Middleton, Jordan Reynolds and Andraya Carter the freedom to not play solely be on the ball for a majority of their minutes.

In addition, with Cooper joining Meme Jackson as the second member of the class of 2015, Tennessee is quickly building the deepest backcourt in the country. As it stands now, Tennessee has a real shot at a top 10 caliber recruiting class and two impactful 2015 recruits. If Cooper somehow leads to players such as DeShields and Robinson coming as well it will give Holly Warlick and her staff one of the deepest rosters in the country.

Nebraska Scores A Pair

Jessica Shepard of Lincoln, Neb., might be the best kept secret in the country. The current No. 4 prospect in the class of 2015 ELITE 100 can do a bit of everything on the floor and on any given day even standout as possibly the best player in the class of 2015. Shepard, who is headed to Nebraska, just picked up a couple of teammates that will ensure she has enough help to assure the Cornhuskers will be major players on the national scene for years to come. No. 70 Rachel Blackburn of Easton, Kan., and No. 71 Lanie Page of Alma, Kan., both committed earlier this week.

Blackburn, the No. 16 ranked forward in the class of 2015, and Page, the No. 17 ranked forward in the class, will give Nebraska quality frontcourt depth and the ability to put three impactful offensive contributors on the floor at once, making them tough to match up with for opposing teams. In scoring both Blackburn and Page, Nebraska is making a play to put together one of the best recruiting classes in the country as they have a major chess piece in Sheppard and now two high level players in Page and Blackburn.

James To Nova

Raven James of Upper Marlboro, Md., the No. 60 ranked player in the class of 2016 is headed to Villanova. James, a talented scoring guard, will join her former club basketball teammate Adrianna Hahn of Wilmington, Del., a class of 2015 prospect who also is headed to Villanova. With the additions of James in 2016, Hahn in 2015, and their incoming freshman Alex Louin, Villanova is starting to build what could be a marquee backcourt for the future. All three players can score and handle the basketball and their ability to shoot the ball from the perimeter makes them a quality fit for how Villanova likes to play.

Around the Rim

4-Star Kopatich to Kansas:Kylee Kopatich of Olathe, Kan., who was once committed to Kansas State is now headed to Kansas. Kopatich is a scoring-minded with good size. She has the ability to make an early impact at the Big 12 school as she will bring perimeter shooting to the roster early on and should develop into a player who can score in other ways as well.

3-Star Johnson to Penn: This week Penn scored a verbal commitment from 6-foot-3 post Jameira Johnson of Tamytown, Md. Johnson will give the Ivy League school quality size and rebounding as she joins what is shaping up to be a very talented University of Pennsylvania roster. In the class of 2014 Penn added Michelle Nwokedi, the No. 47 overall ranked player in the class and arguably the best player headed to the conference for 2014. With Nwokedi, Johnson, and current freshman Sydney Stipanovich, who was Ivy League freshman of the year, all playing for Penn in the frontcourt there will be quality depth.

4-Star Belk to Georgetown:Yasmine Belk of New York, N.Y., who was once committed to Virginia Commonwealth, has accepted a scholarship to play at Georgetown. Belk, a 6-3 post, will give the Big East school an immediate replacement for transfer Natalie Bulter, the Big East freshman of the year who transferred to Connecticut.

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