What John Calipari has done on the recruiting trail has been nothing short of spectacular. But for my money, what Matthew Mitchell has done with the women’s team has been MUCH more of a challenge and it FAR more impressive than on the men’s side. In his 2010 recruiting class, he brought in 4 players in the Top 100 and a McDonald’s All-American. And if the Mitchell has anything to say about it, he might be doing better for the Class of 2011.
Jody Demling spotlighted one of the players Mitchell is hard after in Tennessee prep player Isabelle Harrison. She does list Tennessee as one of her final 4 schools, BUT her AAU coach is the brother of UK assistant Matt Insell, so UK has the edge there. Harrison already made her official visit to Lexington, and appears the style of play might be a factor in her choosing the Wildcats.
Now, if the major recruiting stopped there, well you could say that Mitchell did average work for the 2011 class. But the ESPN rankings show Mitchell already has a commitment from the 71st ranked player in the country Bria Goss out of Indiana, ranked the 19th best guard in America. And he is on the final list of candidates for another FOUR Top 100 players:
Bria Smith: #1 ranked guard (3rd overall) out of New York
Ariel Massengale: #1 ranked point guard (6th overall) out of Illinois
Harrison: #4 ranked post player (22nd overall) out of Tennessee
Tiffany Jones: #21 ranked post player (72nd overall) in the country out of New York
Point being, don’t expect last years surprise run to the Elite Eight to be the last time you hear about Matthew Mitchell and his Wildcats. I fully expect them to become Team 1B in the SEC with Tennessee in the very near future.