UK women's basketball gets commitment from nation's 20th-ranked propsect, Alyssa Rice

jsmith3@herald-leader.comSeptember 30, 2013 

Alyssa Rice

A class that took a while to take shape for Matthew Mitchell is shaping up to be something special.

In less than two weeks, Mitchell's Kentucky team went from having one commitment from a three-star prospect in Jaycee Coe out of Tennessee to having two of the nation's top post players.

First it was Alexis Jennings, a 6-foot-2 forward out of Alabama considered the ninth-best post player in the nation. Then late Monday night, Alyssa Rice, the third-best post player in the nation and 20th best player overall according to ESPN's Hoopgurlz, announced via Twitter that she also had committed to Kentucky.

"Was going to wait until tomorrow but word is out!" the Reynoldsburg, Ohio, five-star recruit tweeted, before adding in all caps that she had committed to UK.

The 6-foot-3 center was down to Kentucky and Virginia, but she reportedly had offers from Maryland, Ohio State and West Virginia, among others.

It's a recruiting coup for Mitchell, who graduates five seniors this season, including former McDonald's All-American post players DeNesha Stallworth (12.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg) and Samarie Walker (8.7 ppg, 8.1 rpg).

The All-Star Girls Report has Rice listed as the No. 44 player overall and the fifth-best post player in the country. As a junior at Reynoldsburg High School, Rice averaged 15.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and four blocked shots a game while shooting 65 percent from the field. On ESPN's Hoopgurlz website, analyst Dan Olson said Rice is "among the nation's elite versatile interior performers for this class."

Jennifer Smith: (859) 231-3241. Twitter: @jenheraldleader. Blog: ukwomen.bloginky.com.

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