Thursday, December 10, 2009

Star tracking

Georgetown's Sugar Rodgers is making it look easy. But the transition from high school to college is typically anything but, even for Virginia's top prep stars. Here are status updates on the 2008-09 Associated Press first-team All-State performers and a few others of note.

P.S. - If you'd like to pass on information about these or any other players from the Class of 2009 - or would like us to find out about someone - please visit the improved, more user-friendly comments section.

Group AAA

Sugar Rodgers, 5-10, Georgetown (King’s Fork )

Then: Group AAA state player of the year and a McDonald’s All-American who averaged 28 points a game as a senior and led South Hampton Roads in scoring two straight years.

Now: No. 2 in the Big East in scoring (18.6 ppg, trails only UConn’s Maya Moore’s 18.9), 3rd in 3-pointers per game (2.8). Shooting 80 percent from FT line. Has already been named Big East Rookie of the Week and ECAC Division I Player of the Week. Has surprising Hoyas off to an 8-2 start.

Tierra Ruffin-Pratt, 6-0, North Carolina (T.C. Williams)

Then: Co-MVP of the McDonald’s All-American game…Averaged 18.5 points, 14.5 rebounds, 4.5 blocks and 3 assists as a senior.

Now: Has started 6 of 8 games for the 7-1 Tar Heels, averaging 9.3 ppg and 6.9 rpg.

Danni Jackson, 5-3, George Washington (Forest Park)

Then: – Averaged 23.5 ppg, second-most in the DC Metro area. Ranked 77th overall in ESPN Hoopgurlz Top 100.

Now: Started first four games, 8.8 ppg (2nd on team), team-leading 5.0 assists, then suffered a broken leg in Game 5 vs. Michigan State on Nov. 27 at the Junkanoo Jam in the Bahamas. The Colonials were winning 20-19 when Jackson went down; they lost 78-47. GW has not won a game since (4 straight losses after Michigan State, 6 straight losses overall after 2-0 start).

Samisha Powell, 5-8, senior (Princess Anne)

Then: Averaged 14.7 points in helping Princess Anne to the Group AAA state title. Scored 34 in the title game. Ranked 88th overall by

Now: Has signed a letter-of-intent to join Rodgers at Georgetown

Elizabeth Williams, 6-3, junior , Princess Anne

Then: Eastern Region Player of the Year averaged 13.1 ppg, 11.1 rpg and 6.7 blocks for the Group AAA state champion Cavaliers. Recorded 14 double-doubles and 5 triple-doubles.

Now: Generally considered the top recruit in the class of 2011. In August, she was named the MVP at the FIBA Americas U-16 Girls Basketball Championships in Mexico City.

Group AA

Kelsey Buchanan, 6-3, senior, Freedom

Then: Averaged 15.8 ppg in leading the Eagles to the Division 3 state championship. Totaled 11 points, 21 rebounds and a Group AA state record 11 blocks in the title game.

Now: Has signed with Delaware

Meixandra Porter, Colorado St. (Freedom)

Then: Group AA state player of the year averaged 17 points, 4 assists, 5 rebounds and 4 steals for the state champion Eagles.

Now: Scored 14 points in her first exhibition game on Oct. 29 but also suffered a strained left wrist and was expected to be sidelined for 6 weeks. Could return Dec. 21 at Northern Colorado.

Kendra Holmes, 5-9, senior, Loudoun County

Then: Led Loudoun County to the Division 3 state title

Now: Will play at Randolph College (ODAC, D-III) in 2010

Shawntae Payne, 5-7, Coppin State (Charlottesville)

Then: Averaged 20.9 ppg and led Charlottesville to the state semifinals. Signed late (in May) with Coppin State after her AAU coach posted a video of Payne’s highlights on Youtube. “I was afraid I wouldn’t go anywhere,” Payne told the Charlottesville Daily Progress. “I’m looking forward to the college life and getting out of Charlottesville and proving everyone wrong. I want to make it all the way through and not drop out.”

Now: Has appeared the Coppin State’s first 7 games, averaging 2.3 points and 1.7 rebounds.

Gabby Tyler, 6-2, senior, Greensville Co.

Then: Averaged 17.2 points and 16.3 rebounds as a junior.

Now: Has signed with Charlotte.

Group A

Sara Lamneck, 6-0, Eastern Mennonite (Buffalo Gap)

Then: Group A state player of the year, averaged 17 ppg, 12 rpg and 3.4 spg

Now: Has started all 6 games for undefeated Eastern Mennonite (6-0), averaging 8.8 ppg and 8.0 rpg.

Ashley Buckhannon, 5-9, Radford (George Wythe)

Then: Averaged 25.5 ppg as a senior and finished H.S. career with 2,130 points. Scored 30 points 7 times with a season high of 38.

Now: Appeared in 6 of Radford’s first 7 games, averaging 2.3 ppg and 1.3 rpg.

Brittany Avancini, 5-8, ex-Liberty (Floyd County)

Then: Division I Player of the Year who led the Buffaloes to four straight state finals.

Now: Unexpectedly withdrew from Liberty in early October, citing personal reasons. Said Liberty coach Carey Green: "We did everything we could do to keep her here at Liberty. She is a great shooter, who has a lot of potential. We could have used her this year."

Andrea White, 6-1, senior, Lancaster

Then: Averaged 23.2 points, 7.0 rebounds and 4.0 steals as a junior. Has also won Group A state titles in the long, triple and high jumps and is the state recordholder in the high jump.

Now: Will join Sugar Rodgers and Samisha Powell after signing with Georgetown

Roslyn Presley, 5-10, senior (ARGS)

Then: Averaged 25.5 points, 14 rebounds and 3 blocks as a junior

Now: Has signed with Campbell. “Roslyn is an explosive, gutsy and athletic player who plays much larger than her size,” Campbell coach Wanda Watkins said.


5-11 forward Ca’Star Harper (Randolph-Henry) averages 9.9 ppg for D-II Virginia Intermount and scored a season-high 27 points on Nov. 27 against Randolph...5-8 Shanel Williams (Indian River) has appeared in 7 of 8 games for Miami (2.3 ppg, 0.9 rpg)...Guard Jasmine Williams-Haynes (Grafton) has made two brief appearances for Hampton...Jelena Antic (Liberty Christian), a Macedonia native and the Virginia Independent Schools Division I Player of the Year in 2008-09 as a 6-2 point guard, averages 4.3 ppg and 5.8 rpg in four games for Liberty.

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