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November 12, 2008 at 4:09 PM

Mailbag: What’s up with Husky recruiting?

Anderson12.jpgA reader from Bellingham is wondering about Washington’s 2009 recruiting class and although coach Tia Jackson said she’s been woken in the middle of the night to scribble down some notes for player visits, the outlook is a little grim.
Jackson landed star names in Oklahoma City product Liz Lay and local Kristi Kingma. But starring at Jackson High, Kingma readily admits she “always wanted to be a Husky,” so there wasn’t much effort there.
In her second season, Jackson continues to look national, missing a top Washington product in Carly Noyes (6-foot-5 post) from Moses Lake High, who verbally committed to Washington State. And Lindsey Moore (5-9 point guard), who committed to Nebraska, although the Huskies don’t need another point guard. Still, word is Spokane’s Lewis and Clark senior Jeneva Anderson (pictured right background), a 6-foot forward, gave a verbal commitment to Washington.
The Huskies know they can’t re-build their program on juco transfers, but it seems last year’s freshman exodus is still having a lingering affect. Players aren’t mentioning Washington like they did the past three years and the local talent pool is shallow.
Winning to re-establish tradition would help. Only in the Pac-10 with powerhouse Stanford, solidifying California and emerging UCLA, the task is daunting. And things aren’t balancing as the Cardinal is set to lock-up the best recruiting class in the nation. Also in the top-10 according to ESPN? Oh, just the Golden Bears and USC.
A sun break could be the Bruins landing Markel Walker, a 6-foot-1 wing from Schenley High in Pennsylvania. While Stanford can draw from anywhere, I’m told having another East Coast player go west to someplace not Palo Alto, Calif. is major. Normally it’s the other way around.
So, with Jackson’s eastern roots and more revealing playful personality to compliment her vast basketball knowledge, maybe she can draw better talent in the future. Today is only the beginning of the signing period and more than half of the top prospects have yet to commit, so we’ll see.

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