CU women's basketball inks top-20 class

Head coach Linda Lappe's second recruiting class ranks No. 2 in Pac-12, No. 20 in country.

Following a successful first season under head coach Linda Lappe, the Colorado women's basketball team is eager to get rolling in year No. 2. The Buffs open the season Friday against Northern Arizona.

Already, however, the Buffs are off to a great start for the 2012-13 season.

On Wednesday, Lappe announced a recruiting class that ranks 20th in the country by ESPN.com (and second only to Stanford in the Pac-12 Conference). Lappe's second class has three players, including the No. 1 prospect from Arizona (Jamee Swan), the No. 1 prospect from Colorado (Lauren Huggins) and a true point guard from Kansas City, Mo. (Kyleesha Weston).

"I am happy that they really saw our vision and they saw where we're headed," Lappe said.

Colorado was once one of the top women's basketball teams in the country. The Buffs have fallen on hard times of late, however, posting losing records in five of the past seven seasons. They haven't been to the NCAA Tournament since 2003-04, but did reach the WNIT quarterfinals last year in going 18-16.

Lappe hopes this class -- combined with a solid class of 2011 -- can help restore the glory in Boulder.

"It's not like we've never been good, we just haven't been good in the past few years," she said. "To be able to restore that tradition ... they wanted to be a part of that and wanted to really help get that back."

Swan is a 6-foot-2 forward from Marana High School in Tucson. She ranks as the 38th-best senior in the country by ESPN.com's HoopGurlz. She averaged 19.6 points, 13.4 rebounds and 4.1 blocks as a junior.

"She plays with a lot of fire, passion and resiliency and she gives us a post presence in this class," Lappe said. "She is a dynamic rebounder who has the strength to finish down low but can also move to the outside to face up at times."

Huggins was the key. Ranked No. 63 in the country, she was the first player from this class to commit, and Lappe said Huggins helped land Swan and Weston. She's also the first in-state recruit for Lappe and her staff.

"In the future, we hope we can continue to keep the best Colorado players in the state," Lappe said.

Considered the 11th-best small forward in the country, the 6-1 Huggins scored 12 points and snagged about eight rebounds per game last season at Heritage.

"I remember as I was growing up a lot of good players leaving the state to play," Huggins said. "For me to stay here, maybe it will inspire some others to do the same, and help bring it back to the way it used to be ... that Colorado way."

In the 5-foot-7 Weston, the Buffs got a true point guard, which they failed to land in last year's class. At Park Hill High School, she averaged 15.4 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.5 steals and 2.5 assists as a junior.

"She sees the floor very well, has good quickness both offensively and defensively," Lappe said.

Lappe said she believes all three players fit well with the current roster -- forward Julie Seabrook is the only current senior -- and could contribute significant minutes next year.


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