Purdue has head start on top class in 2007
The recent release of player rankings by All Game Sports (AGS) has Purdue holding commitments from the top players in both the 2006 and 2007 classes. Amber Harris (2006) and Ta'Shia Phillips (2007) are both ranked as the No. 1 player in their class. While the staff is trying to land one more center for the class of 2005 and beginning to prioritize the players in the class of 2006, 2007 looks to be a potentially exciting.
With Phillips at No. 1, Purdue is also seeing interest from 6'2 Jantel Lavender of Cleveland Central Catholic (OH). Lavender is rated at No. 8 in 2007, and has been also showing interest in Connecticut, Ohio State and Duke among others. Lavender averaged 18 points, 15 rebounds, three steals and four blocks as a freshman, earning a second team all-state honor and an invitation to the Nike All-American Camp this past summer.
Another option in the class of 2007 is a player All Star Girls Report has as the nation's No. 2 power forward in her class. Kayla Pederson of Red Mountain high school in Fountain Hills (AZ) is a 6'4 forward with an 8'2 reach and an equally lofty 4.5 gpa (on a 4.0 scale). Pederson averaged 16.7 points, 10.3 rebounds, 4.5 assists, three steals and three blocked shots per game as a freshman, and was invited to the adidas top 10 camp last summer. She has already drawn scholarship offers from Arizona State, Stanford, Vanderbilt and USC, plus has Georgia and Arizona close to offering.
Purdue is the only Big Ten team on her interest list so far, but Illinois and Michigan State have been showing some interest lately.
Bjork changes commitment to Illinois
Sources say Johnston (IA) High senior guard Lori Bjork has backed out of her oral commitment to Nebraska, and has now committed to join the Illini. The 5'11 combo guard averaged 12.5 points per game, while hitting 41.7 percent of her perimeter shots. Bjork also carries a perfect 4.0 gpa.
Bjork played for the Iowa Elite AAU team with Kristina Voss and Nicky Weiben. Both Voss and Weiben attend Ankeny high school. Nebraska head coach Connie Yori is a former Ankeny star (1982), and upon Bjork's Nebraska verbal she said she looked forward to playing against Weiben in the Big12, who committed to Iowa State.
Now, Illinois will be her future home. Illinois now has commitments from two guards, two forwards and a center from the class of 2005.