Louisville head coach Jeff Walz announced that five highly ranked players have signed national letters-of-intent to play for the University of Louisville next season. Sydney Brackemyre, Arica Carter, Ariana Freeman, Myisha Hines-Allen, and Mariya Moore have all signed to play for the Cardinals next season.
(Click more for breakdown of each player)
“We are thrilled to announce the signings of five amazing young women,” said Walz. “This group is very diverse in personality and skill dimension. They are a collection of talent that signifies excellence both in the classroom and on the court. Adding a Top 10 recruiting class that addresses the needs of our program was a top priority, and our staff worked diligently to accomplish those feats.”
“Signing four Top 100 players in the Class of 2014 puts ranks Louisville No. 3 nationally,” said Chris Mennig, Director Blue Star National Evaluator. “This will continue to keep the Cardinals program in the discussion of the countries elite for the next few years. All five bring length and versatility to help build on Coach Walz’s defensive philosophies and winning tradition. This is a great base as they will help lead the program into the ACC in 2014.”
Sydney Brackemyre, 6-0, Wing, Harveysburg, Ohio (Clinton-Massie School)
|“Sydney was our first commitment of the 2014 class and we couldn’t have made a stronger statement by getting one of the premier players out of the state of Ohio,” Walz stated. ‘Her junior year was cut short with a knee injury, but her determination and resiliency has brought her back stronger than ever. Syd has a work ethic and focus second to none. She knows only one way to play and that’s all out! She will fill multiple positions and can play on the perimeter or be physical in the post. What we love most about her game is her willingness to be coached and hunger to be the best.”Brackemyre is ranked No. 36 by Hoopgurlz and is considered one of the top prospects in the state of Ohio. As a sophomore, she was a Division II honorable mention All-State selection when she averaged 17.7 points and 9.1 rebounds. She was also a Cincinnati Enquirer Divisions II-IV all-area selection.
“I’ve never coached someone with as much love and passion for the game of basketball,” said Dante Harlan, Cincinnati Angels Club Coach. “Sydney is as much of a tremendous young lady off the court as she is on it.”
“I’m excited to see the positive impact Syd will have on the U of L community,” said Chris Arington, Director Cincinnati Angels. “Her leadership on and off the court has taken the Angels program to new heights and we wish her all the best at Louisville.”
Arica Carter, 5-8, Guard, Long Beach, Calif. (Long Beach Polytechnic HS)
‘Landing Arica Carter was a huge statement for our program, said Walz. “Although slight in frame, she can really knock down big shots when it matters most. Arica has a tremendous ability to score, but her best attribute may be her ability to defend on the ball and get offenses out of their rhythm. Her leadership and passion for winning will be a great fit for our future. She has proven herself by winning at the highest level on her high school and club teams.”
Carter is ranked as the No. 78 prospect by Hoopgurlz. As a junior, Carter led Poly in scoring at 11 points, 3.9 assists and 3.5 rebounds, while also helping the Jackrabbits to its fifth CIF State Division 1 championship in the last eight years.
“From day one Arica came to our program with a commitment and dedication second to none,” said Carl Buggs, Long Beach Poly High School Coach. “She has blossomed into not only an outstanding basketball player, but an outstanding person. She has had solid stats throughout her career at Poly, but that doesn’t do her justice. Her leadership, hard work and passion for the game along with compassion for her teammates makes her the kind of person that I have no doubt will be successful at Louisville.”
Ariana Freeman, 5-11, Wing, Manassas, Va. (Paul VI HS)
“Ariana is a strong, aggressive guard, who can knock down shots and wear her opponents down with her physicality,” said Walz. “She has an engaging personality that exudes confidence. She loves to get up and down the floor to push tempo and will thrive in our pressing attack. She has a great competitive spirit and will provide a lot of depth and energy to our back court.”
Freeman is ranked as the No. 29 prospect by JumpoffPlus. Last season Freeman was the leading scorer and rebounder for No. 5 Paul VI and the only non-senior on the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference first team. She finished her junior year averaging 19.7 points and 10.8 rebounds a game for a team that finished 29-4.
“I’m extremely proud and pleased with Ariana’s decision to attend Louisville,” said Scott Allen, Paul VI High school coach. “She has worked tremendously hard in the classroom and on the court. It’s great to see her hard work pay off. Over the last four years, it’s been my pleasure watching her grow as a basketball player and more importantly as a person. Coach Walz has built an outstanding basketball program and it’s going to see Ariana compete at the highest level as a student-athlete there.”
Myisha Hines-Allen, 6-1, Wing, Montclair, N.J. (Montclair HS)
“Myisha is a game changer,” Walz stated. “She brings a unique element of power and finesse to our team. She can take over a game and will punish her opponents. Although her strength and tenacity around the rim is uncanny, she can also can knock down jumpers on the perimeter and drive by her opponents with ease. She loves to score in transition and pursues the basketball on rebounds with great passion. Myisha brings a dominating presence that will fill excite many fans.”
Hines-Allen is ranked as the No. 13 prospect in the nation by JumpoffPlus and is ranked as the No. 4 wing player in the nation by Hoopgurlz. She finished her junior year averaging 22.6 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. She scored a season-high 34 points last year in the NJSIAA Tournament semifinals against Paterson Kennedy. She finished last season with five 30+ point games. She has scored 1,234 career points.
“Myisha is a special talent with a tremendous upside and unlimited potential,” said Jon James, NJ Sparks Assistant Coach. “Since arriving at Louisville, Coach Walz has built a reputation of developing talent and thriving in the post season. Myisha wants to be pushed and have a coach she can trust. She also wants to play in an environment whose fan base is one of the strongest in the country. Going to Louisville was an easy choice for her and one I’m confident she’ll thrive in.”
Mariya Moore, 6-0, Wing, Hercules, Calif. (Salesian HS)
“Mariya is what we often refer to as a ‘old school, throwback’ player,” said Walz. “She doesn’t wow you with speed, shooting or defending, but what she does bring is potent productivity. She has an innate ability to get people shots, she is crafty on defense and anticipates steals. She is perhaps one of the strongest wings we have ever recruited, and creates nightmare matchups all over the court. She can play multiple positions from point guard to power forward and excels in the transition game. We are thrilled to bring one of the most coveted players on the west coast to our program.”
Moore is ranked as the 5th best wing and the No. 22 overall prospect in the nation by All Star Girls Report. She led Salesian High School in points, rebounds, steals and assists since her freshman year. Moore helped Salesian reach the Division IV state title game the last two years. She also helped her club team, Cal Stars, reach the finals at Nike Nationals, one of the premier club tournaments of the summer. Moore is a two-time All-East Bay first-team selection. Last season, she averaged 18.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 4.0 steals while being named Co-MVP of the Tri County Athletic League.
“I could talk for hours about her physical attributes and her basketball playing ability,” said Kelly Sopak, Cal Stars Club Coach. However, Mariya’s biggest strength is her championship attitude, willingness to put in the work, and appreciation of her teammates and coaches. Those are things you can’t measure with statistics and rankings. I have never been more certain about a player and her college decision than I am about Mariya and Louisville.”
“Mariya has intangibles that you don’t see very often,” said Steve Pezzola, Salesian High School Coach. “Her court vision and desire to win are off the charts! She has the heart of a lion, and over the past three years she made everyone on her team a better player. She has guided her team to two consecutive appearances in the State Final Game and is hoping to go out in her senior year with a ring.”
More Comments on the Cardinals recruiting class:
Keil Moore, Director of Scouting, Prospects Nation – “Louisville coach Jeff Walz and his staff did an excellent job capitalizing on the momentum they picked up from a season that saw them make it all the way to the national championship game and using it on the recruiting trail. The additions that the Louisville women’s basketball program has secured during the summer should have the primed and ready to make similar runs in the future as they secured a Top 10 caliber recruiting class nationally. So often your success in the winter is a correlation from your ability to be successful in the summer and with this recruiting class Walz and his staff should have the fire power to be successful in many winters to come.
Dan Olson, Director of Scouting, Collegiate Girls Basketball Report – “The strength of the class of five prospects, all ranked in the national Top-100, is on the perimeter. Louisville keeps building consistent classes of talent, thus giving them a legitimate chance to return to the Final Four. Their blend of power, finesse and versatility on the perimeter should yield dividends early for this class. The Louisville Cardinals earn the No. 8 class in the 2014 recruiting rankings published by the Collegiate Girls Basketball Report. They are also the #-8 class by ESPNW Hoopgurlz.”
Bret McCormick, Director of Scouting, All Star Girls Report – “Louisville’s class checks in at No. 6 with a blend of power and finesse. This versatile group will lead to many more wins for Walz and his team. Hines-Allen is the headliner. Expect her and Moore to be future WNBA players. Brackemyre is the real sleeper in the group and Carter was a steal for the Cardinals. Freeman brings passion and strength to a formidable backcourt. Look for big things in the future from this group.”