For the first time in a while, the mythical national recruiting championship could be decided in overtime. Tennessee heads into the Nov. 10-17 early signing period at the top of the team rankings. However, Betnijah Laney of Wilmington, Del., the No. 11 prospect in the ESPNU 100, has the potential to alter the landscape.
If Laney, a 6-foot wing with two FIBA gold medals, chooses Duke, then the Blue Devils likely take the top spot for the second straight year.
The Blue Devils, who received a huge commitment from No. 2 Elizabeth Williams of Virginia Beach, Va., on Tuesday, have momentum. On the other hand, Laney is considering Kentucky, Oklahoma, Penn State and Virginia in addition to Duke.
Five other players ranked by ESPN HoopGurlz -- No. 6 Briyona Canty of Willingboro, N.J.; No. 9 Morgan Jones of Tampa, Fla.; No. 22 Reshanda Gray of Los Angeles; No. 44 Khadijah Ellison of Roxbury Crossing, Mass.; and Taylor Ford of New York -- remain uncommitted heading into Wednesday. Jones may put off a decision until the spring signing period, and Ford will prep at the Hun School in Princeton, N.J.
Gray, a 6-foot-3 forward who helped the USA to a FIBA Americas gold, will announce her choice between Cal and USC during a Wednesday afternoon press conference at her high school, Washington Prep. Her decision will pave the way for a top-five ranking for either the Golden Bears or Trojans. The Pac-10 also is likely to have UCLA and Stanford in the national top-10 recruiting rankings.
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Glenn Nelson is a senior writer at ESPN.com and the founder of HoopGurlz.com. A member of the Parade All-American selection committee, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.