Basketball never stops, but from the time the AAU season ends in late July until the high school season officially begins in mid-November many elite prospects have the opening they need on their calendars to make campus visits. As a result there are a lot college commitments happening right now, including a significant number from Minnesota’s top incoming juniors. Things are rolling along nicely in the Class of 2024 now with nine prominent players having verballed to Division 1 programs and another three saying ‘yes’ to D2 basketball.
The most recent of these occurred on Monday when Eastview’s(top photo left) announced her commitment to the University of St. Thomas. The North Tartan EYBL junior is a lengthy wing who plays the game with grace and athleticism. She is the 12th-rated prospect in the Prep Girls Hoops Class of 2024 rankings. Also committing within the past week is (top photo right) of Lakeville North. The crafty guard, who will play next summer for the Minnesota Fury, verballed to Loyola University in Baltimore, Maryland where former University of Minnesota assistant Danielle O’Banion is the head coach. Gabby is ranked #14 in the 2024 class.
A week before that it was another Fury athlete who announced her commitment as sharpshooterof Lakeville South signed on with Kansas State of the Big 12. The #7-rated prospect is a great fit for the Wildcats offense. With two more years of high school basketball ahead of them, here are the nine juniors who have announced their commitments so far listed in order of their Prep Girls Hoops prospect ranking:
#1.– guard, Benilde-St. Margaret’s (Michigan) (Fury 2024 UAA)
#5.– forward, Maple Grove (North Dakota State) (Suns 2024 Blue Star)
#6.– guard, St. Croix Lutheran (St. Thomas) (North Tartan EYBL)
#7.– guard, Lakeville South (Kansas State) (Fury 2024 UAA)
#8.– guard, Centennial (North Dakota State) (Fury 2024 UAA)
#12.– wing, Eastview (St. Thomas) (North Tartan EYBL)
#13.– forward, Shakopee (Colorado State) (Suns 2024 Blue Star)
#14.– guard, Lakeville North (Loyola-Maryland) (Fury 2024 UAA)
#18.– forward, Holy Family (Butler) (Fury 2024 UAA)
IT’S EARLY FOR DIVISION 2
Just three juniors have made commitments to D2 programs so far. That’s not unusual, given that most players will wait and see what higher-level opportunities might emerge before choosing to go the D2 route. For some, however, staying close to home is a priority which is the case for two of the early commits including 15th-rankedof St. Peter who is heading for MSU-Mankato. Holmgren played with North Tartan’s top 2024 team the past two seasons but will return home next year to play for the Minnesota Rise. Another Rise veteran – Sleepy Eye guard – was the first 2024 commit to announce several months ago. She’s going to play for coach Tom Webb at Southwest Minnesota State in Marshall.
The third Division 2 commitment happened in the past week. That would be Top 50 prospectof Pine City. The North Tartan Elite forward, whose progress over the past 18 months has been solid, is joining the University of Nebraska at Kearney which has an admirable track record of D2 success. She’ll join 2023 commit of Wheaton-Herman-Norcross as Lopes coach Carrie Eighmey continues to make inroads into Minnesota.
TOP AVAILABLE PROSPECTS
With nine players already committing, it’s likely we’ll see at least another dozen go the D1 route from the Class of 2024 before it’s all said and done. The four prospects currently garnering the most recruiting attention are:
#2.– guard, Hopkins (Metro Stars)
#3.– guard, Minnetonka (North Tartan EYBL)
#4.– guard, Mountain Iron-Buhl (Fury 2024 UAA)
#9.– forward, Lakeville North (North Tartan EYBL)
UPDATING THE 2023s
The latest player in the Class of 2023 to commit (or in her case recommit) isof Wayzata. She was an early commit to East Tennessee but reopened her recruiting after there was a coaching change at the school. She entertained a number of quality opportunities but last week, after a weekend visit in Fargo, said ‘yes’ to coach Jory Collins at North Dakota State. Krzewinski, the #11-rated prospect in the class, joins #13 of Grand Rapids and #16 of Montevideo at NDSU. Those three, combined with Frost and Stern from the 2024s, give the Bison a nice core for the future.
The biggest news in the Class of 2023 came last week when #1of St. Michael-Albertville (photo above) committed to coach Dawn Staley at the University of South Carolina, choosing the national champion Gamecocks over Baylor and the University of Minnesota. Johnson is one of six high major recruits in the class as she joins #2 of Hopkins (Stanford), #3 of Hopkins (Michigan), #4 of Chaska (Colorado) and #5 of Maple Grove (Minnesota) at the Power 5 level. of Wayzata is also heading for Minnesota as a preferred walk-on.
These announcements bring the total number of committed seniors to more than 60 that we are aware of. Those are great numbers in light of the significant impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the diminished scholarship opportunities for players coming out of high school versus the transfer portal. In all some 25 seniors have announced Division 1 commitments, 18 have said ‘yes’ to D2 and another 21 have announced commitments at the D3, NAIA or junior college level.