Lykendra Johnson on the board
The Purdue staff is reportedly recruiting one of the top rebounders in the Chicago area. Lykendra Johnson, a 6'1 junior forward from Trinity in River Forest (IL), has a reputation as a board cleaner. Which makes sense if you consider her uncle, Russell Cross, led Purdue in rebounding in two of his three seasons as a player. Russell is an assistant coach on the Trinity bench.
Johnson led Trinity in scoring and rebounding with 13.6 points and 9.2 rebounds per game. She shot 148-of-266 (.566) from the field and 97-of-158 (.613) from the freethrow line, and made no perimeter attempts as a junior. Trinity was defeated in the IHSA quarterfinals by the state runner-up Belleville.
Nationally, Johnson has been considered one of the nation's top players, and early spring showings in AAU tournaments have had nothing but rave evaluations. All Star Girls Report had her listed last summer as the nation's 57th-best prospect in the class of 2007, and 10th nationally at the power forward position. Blue Star also had her at No. 57 in their rankings. Her play toward the end of last summer led former Trinity head coach Don Sansone to say, "She pretty much dominated everywhere she played."
As a result of the Deep South Classic tournament last week, a large tournament with a national team draw, Johnson was named the best wing forward of the tournament and called a "big-time player with great skills".
More on Rayburn commitment
Here are a few articles written about Purdue's most recent oral commitment, Attica's Brittany Rayburn.
READ MORE: Indianapolis Star
READ MORE: Journal Gazette
READ MORE: Journal and Courier
FahKara leads South All-Stars in loss
If you can't stop her, just foul her. That seemed to be the method the North All-Stars applied to help contain Malone during the North South Indiana All-Star Classic this past Sunday. Malone led the South with 23 points, half of which came from the freethrow line. No other South player hit double-figures. The North won the game 84-66 behind Butler-bound Susan Lester's 19 points. Hamilton Southeastern’s Kylie York was next for the North with 18 points followed by Kokomo’s Audrey McDonald with 10.
More USA Basketball invitees
Word is that New Trier's (IL) Amy Jaeschke, Bolingbrook's (IL) Brittney Thomas and Olney East Richland's (IL) Brittany Johnson have also been invited to join Fenwick's (IL) Alison Jackson at the USA Basketball under-18 U.S. National Team trials June 16-19 in Colorado Springs.
Deep South Classic honors
Mentioned above, the Deep South Classic generated quite a few evaluations of potential Purdue targets.
* Johnson was named the tournament's top wing player by analyst Doug Herakovich. Johnson plays for Chicago Hoops Express I 16s.
* Also a mentioned target of the previous Purdue staff and likely on the radar with the new staff, West Chester Ohio's Amber Gray was named the No. 4 wing forward and called a "top five prospect in '08". Gray plays for Cincinnati Finest 15s. Gray finished her sophomore season at Lakota West averaging 21.5 points per game, 11.3 rebounds and 2.2 steals, shooting .560 from the field and .719 from the freethrow line. She set single-season school records for points (516) and rebounds (271). Amber is the daughter of former NFL Colts cornerback Carlton Gray, who is an assistant coach on the staff of the Lakota West football and girl's basketball teams.
* Fenwick's Alison Jackson was also a wing forward to watch. Jackson plays for Chicago Hoops Express I 16s. Jackson has not received inquiries from the new staff, and is essentially down to a few schools. There is a good chance she will stay in the Big Ten.
* Amy Jaeschke, called a "proto-type post", was the tournament's No. 5 center prospect. Jaeschke plays for Full Package Black 17s.
* Junior Christina Nzekwe, who has Purdue on her list, was named to the power forward watch list. She plays for Baden Elite 17s.
* Auburn Hills (MI) junior Keshia Hines was named to the power forward watch list. She plays for Lake Orion Pistons 16s. Hines was said to be having interest from the previous staff. Hines is a 6'2 post player for Auburn Hills Avondale, who averaged 15 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks as a junior.
Big Ten Recruiting
Lisa Stone of Wisconsin has added a junior college forward in the late signing period to complete her six-member incoming class. Ivana Mijalcevic, a 6-3 forward from Ripanj, Serbia, signed a national letter of intent and will have two years of eligibility beginning in the upcoming 2006-07 season. Mijalcevic (pronounced me AL cha vich) comes to Wisconsin from Colby Community College (KS) averaging 9.6 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.1 steals per game. She shot 47-percent from the field and 37-percent from the perimeter on 14-of-38 attempts. Colby Community College was the Western Division champion with a 15-1 record this past season and was ranked No. 7 in the NJCAA national rankings. The Trojans lost in the semifinals of the NJCAA national tournament.
READ MORE: Big Ten Recruiting: Commitments