Some players like to claim that they play better when they have better talent around them. Some, like Kendall Cooper of Carson, Calif., just prove that's the case. The 6-foot-3 post showed as much of a jump in performance, from her high school season with Saint Anthony (Long Beach, Calif.) to the end of her summer season with Cal Storm Taurasi, as any player in the country, earning the No. 7 spot among 2013 prospects, as ordered by ESPN HoopGurlz.
A showing like that is, of course, a magnet for college programs, and Cooper is handling the attention in an organized fashion. She just made an unofficial visit to UCLA on Thursday and plans one to USC next week, taking care of some local interest. Cooper said she plans to make as many unofficial visits as possible before forming a top-10 list of schools.
"I love the recruiting process," Cooper said in a message.
Let's see if she has the same enthusiasm by the end of the spring. A post, especially one with her intelligence, mobility and ability to be a game-changer at the defensive end, is certain to receive a national full-court press from college recruiters. And that usually wears on kids.
-- Glenn Nelson
Gray on hand for Georgia showdown
Any time a top-10 player makes an unofficial visit to a college campus it is newsworthy. When she has the opportunity to watch two in-state rivals battle as a resident of the state involved, it always carries a little more meaning.
This past weekend, Allisha Gray of Sandersville, Ga., made the trip to Athens, Ga., to take in the annual showdown between Georgia and Georgia Tech, two schools that are actively recruiting the class of 2013 standout. The No. 8 prospect in her class, Gray made waves this summer with her play throughout the month of July against some of the best competition the country has to offer. In addition to Georgia, Gray has taken trips to Tennessee, Georgia Tech, Florida and Florida State this fall.
-- Keil Moore
Dempsey on the road
Griffin Dempsey of Huntington, W.Va., saw her stock rise with stellar play for the West Virginia Thunder throughout the spring/summer season. She closed it out with a fantastic performance vs. A.O.T. with a championship on the line during the fall evaluation weekend. The 5-foot-7 point guard in the 2014 class was on campus at Elon this past weekend. After picking up an offer from coach Charlotte Smith during the summer, Dempsey decided to take a trip to visit the school and catch a game. Her travel is just getting started as Dempsey will visit both Middle Tennessee State and South Carolina before the year's end, and she has a visit to Purdue planned after the new year.
-- Brandon Clay
Young keeping busy
Isis Young of Berlin, N.J., is a big reason why Trenton Catholic is the No. 32 team in the POWERADE FAB 50 national rankings even after losing star guard Briyona Canty to graduation. Young is an explosive combo guard who can score the ball in a variety of ways, and she has already made unofficial visits to Georgetown and St. John's. Young also is a standout on the soccer field, which limits her time to make visits. She has received heavy interest from a number of ACC and Big East schools, and she is planning to make more visits throughout the season and into the spring as time permits.
-- Keil Moore
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Glenn Nelson is a senior writer at ESPN.com and the founder of HoopGurlz.com. A graduate of Seattle University and Columbia University, he formerly coached girls' club basketball, was a co-founder and editor-in-chief of an online sports network, authored a basketball book for kids, has had his photography displayed at the Smithsonian Institute, and was a longtime, national-award-winning newspaper columnist and writer. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Brandon Clay is a contributor and national recruiting analyst for ESPN HoopGurlz. He is also the publisher of the JumpOffPlus.com National Scouting Report and the owner of Peach State Basketball, Inc. Clay has been involved in the community since 2001 as a recruiting analyst, event operator and trainer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can follow him on Twitter @peachstatehoops.
Keil Moore is a contributor and national recruiting analyst for ESPN HoopGurlz. He is also the Director of Scouting for the JumpOffPlus.com National Scouting Report - a division of Peach State Basketball, Inc. Moore has been involved in the community since 2007 as a recruiting analyst and trainer. He can be reached at email@example.com or you can follow him on Twitter @keilmoore.