Movin' On Up

The buzz in the Pacific Northwest is centered on an uber-talented class in Oregon from the 2013 and 2014 classes. But in the rising senior class one player from Washington state joins the ranks of players making considerable moves up the national rankings.

Katie Collier, the 6-foot-3 interior player from Covington, Wash., checks in at No. 22 in the recently released ESPNU HoopGurlz 100 for the class of 2012.

Some will point to her physical growth, but the main reason Collier went from unranked to top 25 is her ability to lead. She has long been considered one of the most skilled frontcourt players in the class, but on a loaded Tree of Hope club team with several other major conference prospects, her ability to dominate wasn't always evident. Even while at Seattle Christian School (SeaTac, Wash.), a small private school south of Seattle, she was ancillary to one of her talented guard teammates.

This spring it is obvious she is capable and willing to be an alpha player and she is also shoring up some of the knocks on her game, too. While often applauded for her ability to step out to the high or mid-post and create offense with a face-up game, her assertiveness in the paint is what is putting her in the conversation with the elite. She is commanding double teams on a regular basis from the blocks and she is as comfortable going with a countermove as she is going to hard-drop step.

While we are obviously considering her versatility, Collier isn't a player in love with perimeter offense. With schools big and small looking for players who really know how to get it done in the paint, she is going to be one of the most coveted prospects on the West Coast.

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Chris Hansen is the national director of prospects for ESPN HoopGurlz and covers girls' basketball and women's college basketball prospects nationally for ESPN.com. A graduate of the University of Washington with a communications degree, he has been involved in the women's basketball community since 1998 as a high school and club coach, trainer, evaluator and reporter. He is a member of the McDonald's All-American team selection committee. Hansen can be reached at chris.hansen@espn.com.