Signed, sealed and delivered

Recruiting analyst says Oklahoma's men's and women's basketball programs struck gold on signing day (Photo courtesy of the Columbus Dispatch)

The Oklahoma men's and women's basketball teams hauled in outstanding recruiting classes today, the first day of the early national signing period.

The OU women did lose out on Alison Bales (6'6) of Beaver Creek, Ohio. Bales picked Duke over OU and Notre Dame.

However, the Sooner women still managed to sign and outstanding class and they will still look to sign one more player during the second signing period.

Inking with the Sooners today were All-American power forward Leah Rush (6'1) of Amarillo, Texas; point guard Kendra Moore (5'7) of Ardmore, Okla. and shooting guard Krista Sanchez (6'0) of Springdale, Ark.

"Leah Rush is one of the top three players in Texas and the 17th rated player in the country," says Greg Swaim of "She is rated 16th and 27th in two other polls, but she should be invited to play in the McDonald's All-American game."

"A knee injury kept Moore from being rated, but if she was healthy she would be a top 50 player in the country and one of the top five point guards in the nation. Sanchez is the second best player in Arkansas and a top 35 player nationally. She can do a lot of things with a basketball and will be a poor man's Stacey Dales type of player."

The Sooner men signed point guard Andrew Lavender, (5'7) and forward Brandon Foust (6'7) of Columbus (Brookhaven HS), Ohio; shooting guard Lawrence McKenzie (6'3) of Minneapolis (Patrick Henry HS), Minn. and center Longar Longar (6'10) of Rochester, Minn.

"The Sooners have signed a very good class and met several needs within their program," said Swaim. "Lavender is one of the top ten players in the country and many argue that he is the top point guard in the country. Lavender will remind OU fans of Hollis Price, but with more of a point guard mentality. Foust has made tremendous strides on his grades and is an outstanding athlete. He is rated in the top 40 in the country. He can play either inside or outside, can rebound with the best of them and has long arms, which makes him an outstanding defensive player.

"McKenzie will continue the Sooner tradition of guards who can really fill it up from the outside. McKenzie is a top 60 player. He is an excellent ball-handler and will be able to get to the basket. Longar is a great athlete who has a tremendous upside. He will probably have to attend a prep school and then enroll at OU for the 2003-04 season. Longar is regarded as a top 100 player in the nation."

Shooting guard Ronnie Brewer (6'6) of Fayetteville West, Ark. was the Sooners' one major letdown of the early period. Brewer made his decision today, picking Arkansas over Oklahoma at a press conference in his high school.

Sooners Illustrated Top Stories