Every time a post an article on Montana State and Montana recruiting lists I feel guilty about not publishing recruiting list for either Montana State Women’s or the Lady Griz basketball teams. The truth is it is much more difficult to follow these schools recruiting let along come up with list of their possible recruits. If I did produce a list it would end up being a list of the top Montana athletes and then maybe one or two out of state athletes. That got me thinking about just publishing a list of the top girls basketball players and rumors I have heard about their recruitment.
About a year ago I talked to about a handful of Montana girls basketball experts (at least by my standards) about the girls basketball recruiting. To a person every single one of them, while liking the 2009 and 2012 classes, really thought the 2011 prospect class was one of the weakest in recent history. I even had one predicted that none of this years class would sign with a D-1 program. Twelve or so months later things have changed.
While there is clearly a not big time recruit like a Jos Tinkle or a Kristen Tilleman in the class so far five athletes have committed to D-1 programs, with a couple of other who may or could have signed. Here are the girls’ basketball players who have committed to D-1 programs.
Kayla Dewit 6-1 Columbia Falls – power forward / center
She never played any AAU ball so was not well known out side the northwest, still she received recruiting attention from D-1 programs like Idaho, Montana and Gonzaga. Montana State was on her early and she committed to them early
Kalli Durham 5-8 Miles City – small forward / shooting guard
Thought to be too short to play D-1 basketball, before the AAU season started, she tore it up against some big national talent this summer and proved she could get it done against bigger talent. So much so that Montana State head coach Tricia Binford called and offered her at 21:01 of the first day she was able. Durham accepted.
Jackie Elliot 6-0 Billings Central – guard /small forward
Elliot might be the most recruited player this year in Montana. She also might be the best over all athlete in the 2011 class. Still most people feel she has only scratched the surface of her basketball potential. She played 3 sports in high school, but will play only one in college. She is committed to Montana State.
Danielle Muri 5-9 Billings West – shooting guard
No one came out of no where like Muri did. She was a solid high school player but this summer she started to make waves at the summer camps and finally capped it off with an out standing AAU season. Quite a few D-1 schools took notice at the AAU tourneys but North Dakota State had been on her since the winter and was able to get a commit.
Haley Vining 5-6 CMR – point guard
With due respect to Torry Hill and Lexi Nelson who I view as more combo guards, Vining is the first true point guard to come out of Montana in years. The lady Griz have been on her for quite a while. Her mom is former Lady Griz player, and she fits their needs perfectly so it was not a surprise when she committed to them this summer.
In part two, I will look at some of the other top Montana prep athletes.