The Kentucky women’s basketball team picked up two highly regarded recruits Wednesday as the early signing period for high school recruits began.
Blair Green, a four-star, 6-foot guard from Harlan County, and Rhyne Howard, a five-star, 6-2 guard out Bradley Central in Cleveland, Tenn., both rank in the ESPN HoopGurlz top 100. Green and Howard signed their national letters of intent Wednesday afternoon. Green had a signing ceremony Wednesday at her school. Howard’s signing ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday.
“This is an exciting day for me and my staff as we welcome two fantastic people and basketball players to the Big Blue Nation,” UK Coach Matthew Mitchell said in a news release Wednesday. “Both Blair and Rhyne are everything you look for in a player when you hit the recruiting trail. They both are outstanding athletes and playmakers that will add versatility to our team. Blair and Rhyne have terrific personalities, are fun to be around and are all-around tremendous additions to our program. We are just thrilled that both of them are Wildcats.”
Green, the No. 71 overall prospect and No. 9 wing guard, according to ESPN, was Mitchell’s first verbal commitment for the 2018 class at a time when the program was coming off significant turnover on its roster.
“This is where I belong,” Green said of Kentucky in a Herald-Leader story last year following a Mitchell in-home visit. “I need to represent my state and I want to help them win a national championship. I just want to represent Kentucky well.”
Green averaged 23.1 points and 7.2 rebounds last year and shot 53.8 percent from the floor, including 43.8 percent (39-for-89) from three-point range and 77.2 percent from the free throw line, helping lead Harlan County to a 28-3 record and the 13th Region finals.
ESPN’s profile of Green describes her as an “agile perimeter threat with (a) finesse game off the dribble; exploits mismatches; rebounds, handles and passes in transition; offers range to the arc.” She chose Kentucky over offers from Louisville, Dayton, Tennessee and UCLA.
She is coached at Harlan County by her mother, Debbie Green, who was a letter winner one season at Kentucky. Her father, Elgie Green, is a Harlan County assistant coach.
Howard, the No. 31 overall recruit and No. 10 ranked guard, picked UK over offers from defending national champion South Carolina and Purdue.
ESPN calls her an “athletic, versatile combo-guard that brings size to the backcourt; explosive in up-tempo game, attacks rim off dribble; elevates in mid-range game; quick-leaper, active on glass, mismatch producer; an elite prospect in the class of 2018.”
ProspectsNation.com ranks Howard as the 18th-best player in the 2018 class. She averaged 19.6 points, 7.2 rebounds, 4.6 steals, 3.8 assists and 1.2 blocks as a junior at Bradley Central, shooting 55 percent from the field and 40 percent from three-point range. Her 153 steals as a junior ranked third overall in the state.
Her mother, RJ Avery, played college basketball at Florida.
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