The Ones Who Got Away

FAYETTEVILLE - Crystal Boyd, a coveted 5-foot-10 shooting guard from Little Rock Parkview, announced her commitment this week to the University of Texas.

This on the heels of 6-1 Jonesboro forward Rachel Allison's summertime commitment to Baylor.

Boyd averaged 21 points and 11 rebounds for Parkview last season after attending Texas coach Jody Conradt's elite camp.

She told the Austin American-Statesman after her visit to Texas last weekend, "I didn't want to come on this trip. It was for my parents. I just loved everything about Texas -- the coaching staff, the players, the education."

Boyd, who canceled visits to Arkansas, Georgia Tech and Louisiana Tech, is Texas' fourth commitment of an available seven who can sign in the early period of Nov. 10-17. Two of the other commitments are from 6-4 post players.

Allison's suitors included Arkansas, Arkansas State, Louisiana Tech, Colorado and Texas A&M.

Her mother, Linda, is in the ASU Hall of Honor for basketball, and her dad, Tim, played football for the Indians.

"I live right across the street from Arkansas State," Allison told the Waco (Texas) Tribune-Herald. "Everybody thought that's where I was going. So I guess they'll be a little surprised."

Or chagrined, in the case of Arkansas. Allison visited the UA campus this year.

"This is not going to sit well in Fayetteville," said Steve Simmons, who coached Allison on the Arkansas Mavericks AAU team.

This summer, Allison averaged 21.2 points and 14.5 rebounds for a Mavericks team that won its seventh straight state title. A center at Jonesboro, she'll likely play forward at Baylor.

"She can make you look silly because she's such a hard matchup," Simmons said. "Her first step is just very special. She can blow by anybody, even a guard, and then she can elevate over a 6-3 kid and put it up."

As a junior, Allison averaged 15.6 points and 12.7 rebounds for Jonesboro High.

"She's the only kid I've ever seen that had a floor burn on the top of her shoulder," Simmons told the Tribune-Herald. "I didn't see anybody this summer that played as hard as she does. I imagine she'll be a crowd favorite at Baylor."

Allison said she loves Baylor coach Kim Mulkey-Robertson: "They say she's tough. But she's so passionate about basketball. And that's the way I am."

So is new Lady Razorbacks assistant Johnnie Harris, who may have arrived on staff too late this year to turn around Boyd or Allison, but who recently landed two junior college blue-chippers for North Carolina State, her previous outpost.

Harris, a Pine Bluff native, played for both UA-Pine Bluff and Arkansas Baptist College of Little Rock before serving as an assistant coach at Arkansas-Little Rock and UA-Fort Smith.

Gillian "GiGi" Goring, a 6-7 UAFS sophomore from Trinidad who made second-team NJCAA Division I All-America last season after averaging 15.2 points, 8.4 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game for coach Louis Whorton's team, is no longer flying under the recruiting radar.

The assumption for two years has been that Goring was headed to Connecticut, but now the word is UConn may be looking elsewhere.

Goring has been bothered by ankle problems the past couple of years, but is better now and can still dunk the ball.

Arkansas is believed to be interested in both Goring and an unnamed 6-5 center.

Christina Lawrence, a 6-1 UA freshman from Sullivan, Mo., who was recruited for both volleyball and basketball, will redshirt in volleyball this season and be available for the start of basketball practice in October.

Second-year UA coach Susie Gardner lost SEC Player of the Year Shameka Christon from last year's 16-12 team, but a schedule including 16 home dates -- up from 11 last year -- could help ease the sting of Christon's loss and the recent high-profile recruiting hits.

The Red-White game in Bud Walton Arena is Oct. 28 -- just four weeks from tonight.

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