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Summer roundup: Recruiting news

The highest-ranked uncommitted prospect in the 2012 class, No. 5 Jordan Adams has set four official visits. Glenn Nelson/ESPN.com

Adams Picks Four, Holds One

Regardless of whom you ask, Jordan Adams (Irvine, Calif./Mater Dei) is one of the most talented players in the country in the class of 2012. Some have called her a point guard, others think she is best when playing off the ball and out on the wing. No one argues that she isn't one of the most talented players in the class of 2012. With multiple gold medals from international competition with USA Basketball as well as a couple of high school national championships, it wouldn't be a stretch to say that Adams is one of the most accomplished members of the class of 2012.

These facts, along with her play on the court, are what make her recruitment such an intriguing story. Adams virtually has her pick in terms of an ultimate college destination, and this week she released her list of four to ESPN HoopGurlz while leaving room for a possible fifth -- Duke (Sept. 23), Tennessee (Oct. 22), UCLA (Sept. 17), and USC (Sept. 9) will all receive official visits. Regardless of which school Adams decides to attend, her presence in their recruiting class would ultimately elevate them to a top 10-caliber ranking, with a real case to be made for No. 1 for Duke and Tennessee with what both already have.

-- Keil Moore

Cowling Is the Newest Golden Bear

Recently, one of the up and coming young forwards on the West Coast, Mikayla Cowling (Benicia, Calif./St. Mary's), closed down her recruiting process and picked Cal-Berkeley as her future home. The Class of 2014 member is a 6-foot-1 athlete who plays the game with a lot of energy. She is the type of talent that would have easily been recruited on a national scale had she allowed the process to play out more.

Cowling's decision to pick Cal, makes her the first major underclassman to make a pledge to new head coach Lindsay Gottlieb. No stranger to the Pac-12, Gottlieb worked at Cal for previous head coach Joanne Boyle (now at Virginia) before taking a head coaching job at UC-Santa Barbara. She has done a solid job on the recruiting trail as she has managed to pull Justine Hartman (Brea, Calif./Brea Olinda) and now Cowling.

-- Keil Moore

McDaniel Is Down To Four

The No. 25 prospect in the 2012 class, Xylina McDaniel (Blythewood, S.C./Spring Valley), will visit Connecticut, North Carolina, Providence and South Carolina officially this fall. The 6-1 power forward has a game that appears to translate to most programs, as she is one of the best rebounders in the country. North Carolina and South Carolina would make sense if she decides to stay close to home and play in either the ACC or SEC. Both have plenty of talent already on board and have a need for a player with McDaniel's skill set.

Meanwhile, Connecticut has the track record of being amongst the nation's elite and having won two of the last three NCAA national championship trophies. Providence is unique in that it's the one situation of the four remaining where they would have an immediate need for McDaniel to become a primary post scorer. For a prospect whose father, Xavier, had a successful career in the NBA after playing at a smaller school (Wichita State), only time will tell which direction she chooses.

-- Brandon Clay

Commitment Craze

Kailee Howe to Morehead State
We had a chance to see Howe (Zanesville, Ohio/Zanesville) play in Toledo over Memorial Day Weekend. She'll fit in really well with a program that has quickly turned the corner under head coach Tom Hodges' guidance. A versatile 5-9 guard, she gives them another weapon to score the ball or play the point. Keil Moore, is high on Mackenzie Martinez (Louisville, Ky./Butler) as well. She's a true point guard who has already verbally committed to the Eagles. The two should pair up well with Howe in the backcourt for the four seasons starting in the fall of 2012.

Tyshell King to Wake Forest
In the ACC, talented guards are a necessity for success. Wake Forest and head coach Mike Peterson picked up a talented guard of their own in King this week. The 5-9 guard fits Wake's up-tempo style of guard play to a T. She can handle in the open floor while taking the ball coast-to-coast, finish around the basket and makes plays on both ends of the court with her length and athleticism. Her pledge appears to be a great way for the Demon Deacons to get started on their 2013 recruiting class.

Chanel Stokes to Wofford
Standing at a cool 5-4 with shoes on, Stokes (Cincinnati, Ohio/Winton Woods) might be little but she plays big and without fear at the point guard position. She'll bring that toughness as well as her blazing speed to Spartanburg, S.C., and the Southern Conference starting next fall after committing to play for Wofford head coach Edgar Farmer. She'll join talented scoring wing Aliyah Johnson (Richmond Hill, Ga./Richmond Hill) in the backcourt for the Terriers.

Zoe Vernon to Winthrop
After a coaching change in the spring, new Winthrop head coach Marlene Stollings has wasted no time bringing in a new crop of players to help lead a resurgence in the Big South Conference. The staff has received four verbals in the past 10 days, most recently Vernon (Durham, N.C./Carolina Friends), the 6-0 power forward. She is a player that we've seen multiple times in the past two years. The key to Vernon's success has been her consistency in all aspects of her game. We compare her skill set to that of the San Antonio Spurs' sharpshooter Matt Bonner. All she does is play solid position defense and make open shots, skills that always seem to translate as kids move up the ladder. Adding her skill to the guard play of Aliyah Kilpatrick (Charlotte, N.C./Oak Hill Academy) coupled with the size of post players Juliette Love (Columbia, S.C./Spring Valley) and Ashley Porter (Winston Salem, N.C./Carver) and Winthrop appears to have a solid foundation for their first signing class in the Stollings-era.

Jasmine Ware to UCSB
Earlier this week UC-Santa Barbara and its new head coach, Carlene Mitchell, picked up their second commitment of the 2012 class in three-star guard Jasmine Ware (Sacramento, Calif./Sacramento). The ultra athletic wing joins Kendra Morrison (Sammamish, Wash./Eastlake) in the Gauchos 2012 class. The depth chart at the wing position seems to be in great shape as they also have four-star scoring threat Melissa Zornig (Coto de Caza, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic) as an incoming fresh.

Simone Westbrook to Arizona
After originally choosing Arizona State before head coach Charli Turner-Thorne's leave of absence, 5-8 guard Simone Westbrook (Chandler, Ariz./Chandler) has reversed course, going with the Sun Devils' in-state nemesis, Arizona. Westbrook's style of play should fit in nicely with the Wildcats' system where head coach Nya Butts likes to get her team up and down the floor in a hurry. Our staff has seen Westbrook play in six different states over the past 18 months and agreed that she is at her best offensively when she's able to make plays in the open floor.


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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 bclay@peachstatehoops.com.

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 kmoore@peachstatehoops.com.