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November 14, 2012 at 5:01 PM

Washington and Gonzaga announce their national letters of intent

KelseyPlum.jpgWashington coach Kevin McGuff is still attracting guards in announcing his trio of players who signed a national letter of intent on Wednesday. Yet, with All-American post Katie Collier (6-feet-3) expected to return from injury and G Kristi Kingma graduating, there’s height coming and room for backcourt depth.

Plus, who knows what will happen injury-wise the way this team is going this year.

California PG Brianna Ruiz tweeted her excitement Wednesday afternoon. She’s a 5-10 senior at Del Oro HS in Roseville, Calif.
Californian Kelsey Plum is regarded as McGuff’s best recruit. She’s a left-handed, 5-9 PG from La Jolla Country Day School. It’s the same program that helped hone Minnesota Lynx G Candice Wiggins (Stanford). Plum also played on Wiggins’ sponsored AAU team.

During the WNBA playoffs, Wiggins said she was trying to get Plum to sign with her alma mater. The players know each other, Wiggins not knowing the decision was made when we spoke in October.

“I’ve got to call her and tell her ‘Bad luck!'” said Wiggins when I shared the news of the then-verbal commitment. “I’m kidding, that’s awesome. Coach (Terri Bamford) has seen some of the greatest players play — she’s coached against Diana (Taurasi) — and she holds Kelsey in high regard. She said she’s like me and that’s huge. I’ve never heard (my coach) say that before. Kelsey is going to change the game. I wish she went to Stanford.”

ESPN rated Plum 26th among the top-100 recruits in the nation. She’s sixth among point guards.

“She’s tough, she plays great defense and she’s got a great shot,” Wiggins said in evaluating Plum. “She tied my record at state for threes made and had 30-some points, so she’s a scorer. But what I like about her is that she’s got an attitude about her. Kinda a nicer version of Samantha Prahalis (Phoenix Mercury). The San Diego version.”
Joining Ruiz and Plum in Washington’s 2013-14 class is 6-2 F Chantel Osahor of St. Mary’s HS in Phoenix. She’s ranked 71st in the country. She’s a versatile player but with questionable conditioning, according to ESPN.

The class of 2013 is regarded as a major coup for Washington as it continues to rebuild under McGuff, who’s currently in his second season. The Huskies will lose Kingma and F Jeneva Anderson to graduation.

ZAGS NAB TWO: Gonzaga officially announced two players signing a national letter of intent on Wednesday.
Bayli McClard, a 6-1 F from Hanford HS in Hanford, Calif., was named 2012 Fresno Bee Player of the Year as she helped lead her school to a fifth consecutive California Central Section Championship and its 72nd straight West Yosemite League victory. She averaged 18.5 points, 9.6 rebounds, 3.4 steals and 3.0 assists as a junior.

Emma Wolfram, a 6-5 C from South Kamloops HS in Kamloops, British Columbia, led the Canadian U17 national team to a bronze medal in the World Championships in Amsterdam. She also played on the Pan American team in 2011 against former Zags Kayla Standish and Katelan Redmon.

Gonzaga coach Kelly Graves will have the players on campus for the 2013-14 season.

THE OTHER AGLER: Storm coach Brian Agler’s daughter Taylor quipped via Twitter that she’ll be happy for the day people ask about her game instead of her father’s team. That should happen soon. Taylor signed her national letter of intent to play at Indiana next year. She’s a PG who grew up around, oh, two-time WNBA champion guards Sue Bird and Katie Smith, so get ready for a spotlight shift.

*PHOTO CREDIT: PG Kelsey Plum drives to the hoop during an AAU game by Glenn Nelson/ESPN.com

Comments | More in Gonzaga, Recruiting, Washington

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