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Mikaylah Williams, Arizona headline 2023 hoops recruiting rankings

LSU commit Mikaylah Williams remains the top player in the Class of 2023 high school basketball rankings. (Garrett W. Ellwood/USA Basketball)

Yet another summer of AAU basketball has come to a close.

As the players in the Class of 2023 prepare to enter their final seasons of high school basketball, Just Women’s Sports is here to provide updated recruiting rankings that indicate where the top 25 players stack up against one another. (You can check out the previous rankings here.)

1 | Mikaylah Williams, Parkway (La.)
6-foot-1 guard
Committed to LSU

Williams remains at the top of the mountain, and for good reason. Since committing to LSU at the end of June, she’s picked up two more gold medals — one with Team USA’s U17 squad and another at the FIBA 3×3 U18 World Cup. But what sets her apart? Her stifling defense.

2 | Juju Watkins, Sierra Canyon (Calif.)
6-2 guard

To label Juju Watkins “elite” would be an understatement. She’s the total package — she’s confident and competitive, and she can generate success beneath the rim and beyond the arc, regardless of who has possession of the ball. Over the summer, Watkins was named the Most Valuable Player at the U17 World Cup.

3 | Jadyn Donovan, Sidwell Friends School (District of Columbia)
6-foot guard
Committed to Duke

The Kara Lawson era of Duke women’s basketball got a whole lot more exciting when Donovan verbally committed at the end of August. The elite guard is the highest-ranked Blue Devils recruit since Lawson took over the program.

4 | Aalyah Del Rosario, Trenton Catholic (N.J.)
6-6 post

Del Rosario combines towering height and impressive body control, possessing a skill set not often seen at the college level, let alone high school. She’s declared a final four of potential college destinations — LSU, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

5 | Hannah Hidalgo, Paul VI (N.J.)
5-7 point guard

Hidalgo is perhaps the most exceptional guard in a deeply competitive New Jersey basketball scene. Her guard skills and elite speed position her as one of the most exciting prospects in this class.

6 | Breya Cunningham, La Jolla Country Day (Calif.)
6-4 forward
Committed to Arizona

One of the most sought-after players in her class, Cunningham committed to Adia Barnes’ program at the end of June. She’ll fit in nicely with an Arizona squad that seems poised to make another run at a national title in the coming years.

7 | Ciera Toomey, Dunmore (Pa.)
6-4 post
Committed to North Carolina

There’s a reason so many of the country’s top programs offered this dynamic post player — she can transform an offense. Toomey surpassed 1,000 career points by the end of her junior season by being a dynamic shot creator.

8 | KK Arnold, Germantown (Wis.)
5-10 point guard
Committed to UConn

Another midwestern, five-star point guard for UConn, Arnold picked up her second gold medal at the end of August as a member of USA’s 3×3 U18 World Cup squad. In 2021, she claimed gold on the U16 national team.

9 | Ashlynn Shade, La Lumiere (Ind.)
5-10 guard
Committed to UConn

After a dominant year with Class 4A state champion Noblesville, Shade will complete her high school career at La Lumiere Prep. There’s little doubt that her eye-popping stat lines will carry through her senior season.

10 | Courtney Ogden, Westminster School (Ga.)
5-11 wing
Committed to Stanford

This is exactly the type of player Tara VanDerveer can count on to thrive at Stanford. Wherever she takes the court, Ogden continues to demonstrate that she’s one of the fiercest competitors in her class. Ogden possesses a true winner’s mentality and an elite on-court IQ to back it up.

11 | Chloe Kitts, Faith Christian Academy (Fla.)
6-2 forward

In July, Kitts narrowed down her list to five schools — Arizona, Duke, NC State, Oklahoma and South Carolina. She’s a tough defender with strong footwork and would be a major addition to whichever program she picks due to her versatility.

12 | Cassandre Prosper, Cairine Wilson Secondary School (Ontario, Canada)
6-2 forward

Prosper did not participate in this summer’s U17 World Cup, but she will be suiting up for Canada’s senior national team during training camp alongside WNBA players Natalie Achonwa (Minnesota Lynx), Bridget Carleton (Lynx) and Kia Nurse (Phoenix Mercury). Prosper is part of the future of Canadian basketball.

13 | Jada Williams, La Jolla Country Day (Calif.)
5-8 point guard
Committed to Arizona

Originally committed to UCLA, Williams flipped to Arizona at the beginning of August. Williams is a perfect fit for Adia Barnes’ roster and, as of right now, the only verbal PG commit in the Wildcats’ Class of 2023. Earlier this month, she was featured in Whistle Sports’ “No Days Off” series.

14 | Madison Booker, Germantown (Miss.)
6-1 wing

Booker started all seven games during the U17 national team’s journey to gold at this summer’s U17 World Cup. She’s reliable all over the floor, including from the free-throw line, where she led the decorated roster with a 91.7 percent free-throw percentage.

15 | Milaysia Fulwiley, W.J. Keenan (S.C.)
5-7 point guard

It’s no surprise that Fulwiley, the highest-ranked prospect in the state of South Carolina, included the reigning national champion Gamecocks in her final five. What may come as a surprise is that she’s held an offer from the program since she was in seventh grade. The human highlight-reel has amassed more than 2,000 career points at Keenan and is also considering Florida, Louisville, Miami and Ole Miss.

16 | Reniya Kelly, Hoover (Ala.)
5-5 point guard
Committed to North Carolina

Kelly managed to shine on a supremely talented FBC United roster this summer at the Girls Under Armour Association Championships. She isn’t a player opponents want to leave open because she’ll take advantage of the situation every time.

17 | Montaya Dew, Centennial (N.V.)
6-2 forward
Committed to Arizona

Looking for an underrated prospect in this bunch? Look no further than Dew, the first domino in what is shaping up to be an impressive recruiting class for Arizona. Dew thrives in high-pressure situations and is an assist machine.

18 | Kymora Johnson, Saint Annes-Belfield (Va.)
5-7 guard

The textbook definition of a “floor general,” Johnson made a tremendous difference in the West Virginia Thunder’s GUAA U17 championship run in July. Her leadership is noticeable no matter where she is on the floor, as is her toughness.

19 | Taliah Scott, Saint John’s Country Day (Fla.)
5-9 guard
Committed to Arkansas

Committed to Arkansas since last September, Scott is sure to make an instant impact when she takes the floor as a freshman. Recently, she claimed the 3-point shooting crowns at this summer’s Curry Camp, UA Elite 24 and SLAM Summer Classic, Vol. 4.

20 | Essence Cody, Valdosta (Ga.)
6-3 post
Committed to Alabama

Cody, named the MVP of the UA Elite 24 game, has a high ceiling. Her ability to dominate inside the paint and control the pace of play can change the momentum of any matchup.

21 | Delaney Thomas, St. John’s (D.C.)
6-2 forward

Because St. John’s remains a powerhouse in the D.C.-Maryland-Virginia region, Thomas is familiar with going up against high-level competition. Her experience and creativity will serve her well at the next level.

22 | S’mya Nichols, Shawnee Mission West (Kan.)
6-foot wing

While unfortunately unable to take the floor for Team USA at this year’s U18 World Cup due to COVID-19, Nichols has intangibles that allow her to shine regardless of who she plays alongside. She possesses the rare combination of efficiency and effectiveness.

23 | Amiyah Reynolds, South Bend Washington (Ind.)
6-foot guard
Committed to Maryland

Reynolds is a team player with a real shot at winning Indiana Miss Basketball as a high school senior. Brenda Frese knew exactly what she was doing when she recruited Reynolds to a Maryland program in need of a fresh start.

24 | Chloe Clardy, Conway (Ark.)
5-9 guard
Committed to Stanford

There’s really nothing like a dynamic combo guard, especially one like Clardy, a three-level scorer who’s been named all-state each year of her high school career.

25 | Riley Nelson, Clarksburg (Md.)
6-1 guard
Committed to Maryland

Nelson is extremely difficult to guard and will often score against even the most elite defenders. She was perhaps at her best during her final season of AAU ball with the Fairfax Stars this summer, helping lead the team to a third-place finish at Nike Nationals.

Caroline Makauskas is a contributing writer for Just Women’s Sports. She also writes about college basketball for Blue Ribbon Sports and covers a variety of sports on her TikTok @cmakauskas. Follow her on Twitter @cmakauskas.

Costa Rica Holds USWNT to 0-0 Draw in Frustrating Olympic Send-Off

USWNT midfielder Lindsey Horan dribbles the ball by Costa Rica forward Melissa Herrera and midfielder Gloriana Villalobos
The USWNT had 12 shots on goal on Tuesday despite failing to find the back of the net. (Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports)

The USWNT didn't quite get the going away party they were hoping for, settling for a 0-0 draw with Costa Rica on Tuesday in their final tune-up match before the 2024 Olympics kick off next week.

The US produced 26 shots — 12 on target — alongside 67 touches in the box, the most in any match where they failed to convert a single goal since at least 2015, per Opta. Yet they also faced a heroic performance from Costa Rica goalkeeper Noelia Bermúdez, who tallied 12 saves on the night.

USWNT starters remained mostly intact

After Saturday's win over Mexico, USWNT manager Emma Hayes opted for a very similar starting XI, only swapping Crystal Dunn in for Jenna Nighswonger due to load management.

Named starter Rose Lavelle was a late scratch from the lineup after team warmups, with US Soccer attributing her last-minute absence to "leg tightness." Lavelle was replaced by midfielder Korbin Albert, giving the US a slightly less aggressive attacking edge throughout the match.

Casey Krueger, Lynn Williams, Jaedyn Shaw, Emily Sonnett, and rookie Croix Bethune all got minutes in the second half, coming off the bench to contend with Washington, DC's brutally hot conditions.

USWNT forward Sophia Smith and Costa Rica midfielder Gloriana Villalobos battle for the ball
Costa Rica managed to fend off the USWNT with a strong defensive low-block. (Geoff Burke/USA TODAY)

Costa Rica's low-block spelled trouble

"Listen, if you play a game of percentages or law of averages, we're creating more and more high-quality chances, and we're getting numbers into key areas — we're getting touches in the key areas," Hayes told reporters after the match, calling attention to Costa Rica's strong defensive low-block.

"The last part's the hardest part. And I'm really patient, because I've coached teams that have to break blocks down, and it's the hardest thing to do in coaching," she continued.

Hayes also noted the team's lack of training time under her management: The decorated coach officially joined the US in early June after finishing the WSL season with her previous club, league champs Chelsea FC.

USWNT pose for a picture after their send-off friendly against costa rica at Audi Field
The USWNT's Olympic group stage run kicks off on July 25th. (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)

Where to watch the USWNT's Olympic games

Tuesday's draw is just the second time the USWNT has entered a major tournament off a non-win. Back in 2015, the US embarked on their legendary World Cup campaign after a 0-0 send-off draw with South Korea.

The next time the USWNT takes the pitch will be at the Paris Olympics, where they'll play Zambia on Thursday, July 25th at 3 PM ET. The match will be broadcast live on USA, with streaming options available on Peacock.

The Late Sub Podcast: This Is Sophia Smith’s USWNT Attack Now

Sophia Smith dribbles during the USWNT's 1-0 win over Mexico on Saturday.
Sophia Smith scored the lone goal in the USWNT's 1-0 win over Mexico last Saturday. (Brad Smith/ISI Photos/USSF/Getty Images for USSF)

This week, JWS podcast host Claire Watkins breaks down the days leading up to the first USWNT Olympic send-off friendly, discussing player performances, things that worked well on the pitch, and what still needs developing as coach Emma Hayes's team moves towards a crucial Olympic competition set to will dictate the future of the team.

She then sets her sights on the WNBA, previewing WNBA All-Star Weekend and chatting with Gatorade Women’s Basketball Player of the Year Joyce Edwards alongside Dallas Wings forward Satou Sabally.

Subscribe to The Late Sub to never miss an episode.

USWNT Looks to Extend Winning Streak in Final Olympic Send-Off

USWNT striker Sophia Smith dribbles through Costa Rican defenders during a 2022 Concacaf W Championship game.
The USWNT last took on Costa Rica at the 2022 Concacaf Championship semifinal. (Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

The USWNT’s last tune-up match before the Olympics has arrived, with the FIFA world No. 5 US looking for an 18th-straight all-time win over No. 44 Costa Rica tonight at Washington, DC's Audi Field.

Just three days after a redemptive 1-0 victory over No. 29 Mexico, head coach Emma Hayes’s Paris-bound roster appears to be finding its stride. Calling Saturday’s win "a step in the right direction," Hayes went on to say, "I think we’re only scratching the surface. I think there’s a lot of layers to go from everyone."

HARRISON, NJ - JULY 13: USWNT coach Emma Hayes stands on the field before a game between Mexico and USWNT
The new-look USWNT is looking to hit its stride after several matches under Hayes. (Brad Smith/ISI Photos/USSF/Getty Images for USSF)

Hayes's USWNT is still finding its footing

With their first Olympic group stage game against No. 64 Zambia slated for July 25th, the new-look USWNT — which features the youngest roster in 16 years — is working to define its style of play.

While the USWNT’s signature ability to score in transition remains a strong point, the team also acknowledged their shaky first half on Saturday, with midfielder Rose Lavelle commenting that they're "working on being a little more tactically flexible... We’re trying to, as a group, learn how to adjust on the fly and be a little smarter with our adjustments during the games."

The patience required to choose their moments, along with the team’s ability to read and anticipate each other's movements, is clutch to increasing effectiveness in the areas where the USWNT appeared most disjointed against Mexico.

At stake is an Olympic podium finish, where the US hopes to improve on their bronze medal performance in Tokyo — but the team also aims to make a splash amidst their increasingly sophisticated opponents.

Costa Rica captain Raquel "Rocky" Rodriguez chases the ball during a match against Panama in 2020.
Raquel "Rocky" Rodriguez, Costa Rica's captain, is the only NWSL on their Olympic roster. (Omar Vega/Getty Images)

Rodriguez leads a rising Costa Rica team

If improving offensive unity and production is tonight’s goal, Las Ticas could provide the ideal matchup: In their 17 previous meetings, the USWNT has outscored Costa Rica 90-2 overall.

That said, Costa Rica has switched things up since the sides last met in July 2022, with the US defeating the Central American squad 3-0 in the Concacaf Championship semifinal. Las Ticas competed in the 2023 World Cup and reached the Gold Cup quarterfinals earlier this year, where they narrowly fell to No. 8 Canada in extra time.

Costa Rica is captained by 30-year-old Angel City midfielder Rocky Rodriguez, the lone NWSL player on their roster and, in 2015, the first Costa Rica national to ever score in a Women's World Cup.

In addition to maintaining a perfect record against Costa Rica, the USWNT will look to extend their current unbeaten streak to nine, which includes three shutouts in Hayes’s first three matches at the helm.

Lindsay Horan drinks water before the USWNT's match against Ireland in April 2023.
An excessive heat warning is in effect for Washington, DC today. (Brad Smith/USSF/Getty Images)

Where to watch the USWNT vs. Costa Rica friendly

Expect some hydration breaks due to DC's scorching temperatures during tonight’s 7:30 PM ET match, airing live on TNT and streaming on Peacock.

TruTV and Max will simultaneously air the first-ever USWNT altcast, hosted by retired USWNT star Sam Mewis, former USWNT captain Becky Sauerbrunn, and Men in Blazers founder Roger Bennett.

Sizing Up USWNT’s 2024 Olympic Competition

Germany's Giulia Gwinn steps to the ball while Iceland's Sandra Jessen slides in during Friday's UEFA Women's EURO 2025 qualifying match.
Germany lost their Euros qualifier against Iceland 3-0 on Friday, less than two weeks before Olympic football begins. (Hulda Margret/Getty Images)

With Olympic soccer kicking off in just over a week, the USWNT isn't the only national squad prepping for the podium with a series of pre-Paris matchups. Both international friendlies and important qualifiers are on the docket, with several European teams competing for a spot in the UEFA Women's EURO 2025.

Regardless of the stakes, these performances might provide some insight into what the USWNT can expect once the Summer Games begin.

Czechia national soccer team celebrates as Spain women's national soccer team defender Laia Aleixandri leaves the pitch
FIFA World No. 1 Spain fell to Czechia on Friday in a 2025 Euros qualifier. (STR/AFP via Getty Images)

Pre-Olympic matches expose problems for top teams

Of the 12 Olympic teams, recent outings from FIFA world No. 1 Spain and No. 4 Germany featured the most shocking outcomes.

Despite dominating possession behind an opening goal from 2023 Ballon d’Or winner Aitana Bonmatí, the 2023 World Cup winners fell 2-1 to No. 30 Czechia in Friday's Euros qualifier — their first loss of 2024. They managed to bounce back on Tuesday, however, beating Belgium 2-0 to finish out the league stage on top with 15 points.

Spain heads into the Summer Games aiming to become the first women’s team to win a World Cup and Olympic gold back-to-back, though they’ll need to reclaim their composure to achieve that feat in the face of an Olympic group that includes Japan, Nigeria, and Brazil.

France defender Sakina Karchaoui celebrates her opening goal during Friday's 2-1 win over Sweden.
Defender Sakina Karchaoui scored the opening goal in France's 2-1 win over Sweden on Friday. (ARNAUD FINISTRE/AFP via Getty Images)

No. 2 France took down No. 6 Sweden 2-1 in Friday's Euro qualifier, but flipped the script on Tuesday with a 3-1 loss to last-place No. 25 Republic of Ireland, who notched their first win. However, thanks to England's 0-0 draw with Sweden — also on Tuesday — France still topped their qualifying group with 12 points. Les Bleus will look for more consistent results going into the Olympics, where they're set to face Colombia, New Zealand, and Guinea in the group stage.

But it was Germany who stumbled the hardest, losing out 3-0 to No. 14 Iceland in their own Friday qualifier. After the match, Germany's head coach Horst Hrubesch didn’t mince words.

"We have to assert ourselves from the start in the individual battles. The way we played just wasn’t good," Hrubesch told reporters. "We deserved to lose. We handed them all three goals on a plate."

Tuesday also saw improvement for Germany, as they routed Austria 4-0 to claim first place in the group standings with 15 points.

But the earlier loss was still foreboding for this German squad. The two-time world champions fell to 3-2 to Zambia just weeks before the 2023 World Cup, before failing to advance past the World Cup group stage for the first time in the tournament’s history. Germany also faces some tough Olympic group stage competition, battling Australia and the USWNT before crossing paths with Zambia once again.  

Team Canada celebrate their victory in the 2020 Olympic Gold Medal Match with Sweden
Team Canada has their work cut out for them if they want to repeat their Tokyo gold medal run. (Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

Friendlies rally Olympic teams outside Europe

Defending Olympic champs FIFA World No. 8 Canada defeated No. 12 Australia 2-1 on Saturday, with KC Current forward Nichelle Prince and ex-Gotham striker Evelyne Viens both scoring in the friendly. Canada will play world No. 36 Nigeria in a closed-door friendly on Wednesday before kicking off their Olympic campaign against New Zealand on July 25th. 

For their part, No. 28 New Zealand drew 1-1 in a friendly with No. 64 Zambia on Saturday, while non-Olympic-bound Ecuador handed No. 22 Colombia a 2-1 send-off loss.

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