© Old Gold Free Press Columnists
Novosel to visit
Following up on the report we posted last evening, we can confirm Lexington Catholic's Natalie Novosel has yet to be offered a Purdue scholarship. Novosel will visit the Purdue campus in August, and since Versyp extends offers face-to-face, Novosel could receive one at that time.
Which suggests Versyp values personal contact over commmunicating things like scholarship offers through third-parties. She has said on several different occassions she recruits players that have a desire to play for Purdue University. It is hard to judge that desire unless you look a person straight in the eye.
Indiana's Finest Black 14-under takes ninth at AAU Nationals
The Indiana's Finest Black 14-under team featuring Courtney Moses, a player we mentioned last week on this site, finished in ninth place at the AAU 14-under National Championships. The Finest Black 14s finished pool play with an unblemished 5-0 record. On Wednesday in the first round of the tournament, they defeated VA Xplosion 67-43. Thursday morning brought a tighter game, but the Finest Black defeated VA Express-Wilson 69-66. Later that day on Thursday in the Sweet Sixteen, the Finest Black fell to the Jacksonville Rams, 90-72, landing them in a tie for ninth place.
New Heights-Blue defeated Dayton Lady Hoopstars-Black 77-68 for the title.
Mackey facelift to help recruiting
A local story in Sunday's South Bend Tribune talks about the good effects of Purdue's $82 million renovation of Mackey Arena. Head coach Sharon Versyp is "thrilled" with the plan, and said the renovations will help attract more top-tier prospects, improve the experience for the fans, and help maintain Mackey's reputation of being the toughest place to play in the Big Ten.
READ MORE: South Bend Tribune (Article has a short shelf life)
Younger Smits developing
We checked in with Evan Beauchamp of the Team Indiana summer program regarding a question about the daughter of former Indiana Pacer center Rik Smits. Rik's daughter Jasmine plays for the Team Indiana program, and will be in the eighth grade this coming fall. She already has hit 6'5, and is thought to end up in the range of 6'6 to 6'8 before she stops growing. Although still raw at this age, she does have a knack for blocking shots without fouling and has great hands. Beauchamp says Smits took most of the spring and summer off, but should be back playing basketball this fall. As far as stats go, she's a player who normally averages between 8-12 blocks, 8-10 points, and 6-10 rebounds per game.
Big Ten Recruiting
The Iowa staff has gained commitments now for one-half of the available six scholarships for the class of 2008. Joining forward Kelly Krei and wing Hanna Draxton is new commit Shante Jones, a 5'9 guard from Carroll High School in Dayton (OH). Old Gold Free Press reported in March that Purdue had scouted a game involving Jones, but was not pursuing Jones or her highly regarded teammate Brogan Berry. But teams like Penn State, Xavier, Indiana, North Carolina and Old Dominion were taking a look at her, and West Virginia had offered along with Iowa. Jones was a first year player for Carroll last season after averaging 28 points per game for Stivers School for the Arts as a sophomore. She can play both forward and guard. Jones was a third team All-Southwest selection as she made the transition this season from forward to guard. She averaged 17.8 points.
Taking a look at the reported oral commitments in the Big Ten at this point, 19 class of 2008 players have chosen Big Ten programs. Minnesota has the largest class so far with four, followed by Iowa, Purdue and Wisconsin with three each. All programs have at least one commitment at this point, with the exception of Michigan and Ohio State. This is also assuming the commitment of Brandie Baker to Michigan State before the coaching change is still a solid commitment.
For a listing of the known Big Ten commitments to date, click the link below. Coaches, fans and parents are encouraged to send reports of additional Big Ten commitments to OGFP via the contact page which can be found at the top of the page.
READ MORE: Big Ten Recruiting: Commitments