Choosing just six players out of a nation's worth of talent is no easy task, but we feel confident that the inaugural Scout.com / Full Court Press Super Six highlights the best high school players in the country, regardless of class.
The four seniors on the Super Six are Tina Charles of Middle Village, N.Y. (Christ the King High School), Jacki Gemelos of Stockton, Calif. (St. Mary's), Amber Harris of Indianapolis, Ind. (North Central) and Brittainey Raven of Fort Worth, Texas (North Crowley), and all will have an immediate NCAA impact in 2006-07. Only Gemelos, who just withdrew her commitment from the University of Connecticut this week, has yet to decide where to go to college, but Charles (UConn), Harris (Purdue) and Raven (Texas) all have settled on their post-high school destinations.
Junior Maya Moore of Lawrenceville, Ga. (Collins Hill), and sophomore Elena DelleDonne of Centreville, Del., (Ursuline Academy) round out the Super Six, and neither has made an early commitment.
How did we arrive at these six? The primary criterion is ultimate college potential: How good we feel the player will be by the time
she graduates. Talent obviously plays into it, but athleticism and skills aren't the only ingredients in the recipe for success. The
players who steadily improve over their four years in college are those with good attitudes, those who work hard and those who listen to their coaches. There are, sadly, some players with exceptional talent who dropped in our estimation due to attitude or work ethic issues.
But enough of the negatives. Here's the first Scout Super Six (in alphabetical order) - if this is the first time you've heard their
names, rest assured it won't be the last.
Tina Charles, 6-4 forward, Christ the King (UConn): A long and athletic power forward, Charles elevated her game when she added a mid-range jump shot prior to her sophomore year of high school. She still does most of her damage inside, however, and is a rebounder and shot-blocker as well as a scorer. Like most elite players, she is ultra-competitive and is able to raise the level of her game to the highest levels.
Elena DelleDonne, 6-4 guard, Ursuline Academy (undecided): Just a sophomore, DelleDonne is already one of the top players in the nation. She's a great perimeter shooter, can pull up and hit the mid-range jumper, and can score inside. Her combination of skills, size and youth make DelleDonne a unique player. She recently was featured on ESPN, and that is just the beginning of an avalanche of hype that will follow her throughout her career.
Jacki Gemelos, 6-0 guard, St. Mary's (undecided): Gemelos can shoot, drive and pass, and has proved herself both at the high-school level (two state titles) and on the summer circuit. Gemelos was going to be the linchpin of the UConn backcourt - touted as the next Diana Taurasi - but now she's looking to California for her college education. Whichever school lands her will automatically get a lot better.
Amber Harris, 6-6 post, North Central (Purdue): At 6-6, and with all the skills, Harris can't be overlooked - despite her tendency to play hard only some of the time. When she does play hard, she's pretty much unstoppable, and again, 6-6 is 6-6. There are a lot of guards out there who can do what Harris does, but the added dimension of size makes her something special.
Maya Moore, 6-1 wing, Collins Hill (undecided): Just a junior, Moore is a tremendous athlete with a 26-inch vertical and 7-foot wingspan who, at this point in her career, does pretty much what she wants in the paint and in the open court. Her athleticism and competitive edge allows her to take over games, even against elite competition, and if she adds a consistent jumper, the sky's the limit.
Brittainey Raven, 6-0 wing, North Crowley (Texas): There have been many pretenders to the throne of Sheryl Swoopes, but Raven may be the one who finally assumes the crown. Raven is smooth, marvelously athletic, quick and an outstanding shooter. There are no weaknesses in her game, only the promise of more and better to come as she adds strength to an already impressive package.