KNOXVILLE – The merits of the women’s basketball recruiting class that Tennessee coach Kellie Harper and her staff are gathering this spring and summer won’t be known fully for several years.
The players won’t sign a national letter of intent until November. They won’t play in a Lady Vols game until the following November. Only then will the real evaluation begin.
At this early juncture, however, it’s safe to say that Brooklynn Miles is the most essential player of the class.
The 5-foot-6 point guard from Frankfort, Ky., who’s rated a five-star prospect by ESPN, announced her commitment to UT on Wednesday night.
Miles post a video on her Twitter account that concluded with her wearing an orange long-sleeve Tennessee shirt and standing by the Pat Summitt statue across from Thompson-Boling Arena.
She joined guard Kaiya Wynn and forwards Sara Puckett and Karoline Striplin in choosing Tennessee.
Wynn tweeted “LESSS GOOOOOO” to her future teammate minutes after Miles’ announcement.
The Lady Vols absolutely had to add a point guard in the signing class. They actually need one right now after Jazmine Massengill opted to transfer to Kentucky following the season. The former Hamilton Heights Christian Academy standout had 128 assists last season while committing just 49 turnovers.
Tennessee wasn’t able to fill the void with a graduate transfer this spring. As it stands, there’s no established backup for Jordan Horston, who was more productive as a freshman last season, averaging 10.1 points per game and recording 143 assists. She also was less efficient, as evidenced by 134 turnovers.
UT will convene a committee to help at the position. But a key member, freshman guard Marta Suarez from Spain, wasn’t yet on campus as of last week because of travel restrictions resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.
In the meantime, Miles was one of three point guards Tennessee targeted in this recruiting class. She took a big step last season, averaging 21.7 points per game for Franklin County High and earning first team all-state honors from maxpreps.com. Along with UT, she had been considering Kentucky, North Carolina State, Miami (Fla.) and Purdue.
Miles is ranked No. 46 in the class by ESPN. Dan Olson, who evaluates talent for the website, described her as “one of the fastest prospects in the Class of 2021.”
Dan Fleser is a 1980 graduate of the University of Missouri, who covered University of Tennessee athletics from 1988-2019. He can be reached at email@example.com.