While much of the recruiting buzz this fall on the University of Illinois campus has been generated by Illinois men's basketball head coach John Groce and his staff in landing four commits thus far, first-year Illinois women's basketball head coach Matt Bollant has quietly gone about putting together a solid first recruiting class.
He even has more commits than Groce as he tries to produce Illinois' first winning season since 2009-10.
Bollant — whose Illini opened practices last week and start the regular season on Sunday, Nov. 11, at home against Evansville — has landed six commits for the Class of 2013. Here's a quick refresher on the six in case they've gotten lost amid the men's basketball recruiting hoopla.
Four are in-state players, with one set to come in from Michigan and one from Minnesota.
The most recognizable name to the casual basketball fan is that of Sarah Livingston, a 6-foot-1-inch guard/forward from Morton (Ill.) High School and younger sister of former Peoria Central prep standout and NBA veteran Shaun Livingston.
Livingston — who committed in early August — averaged 14.8 points, eight rebounds and 2.5 blocked shots per game last season for Morton.
The Potters advanced all the way to a Class 3A super-sectional game and finished 31-3.
Leah Bolton, a 5-10 senior forward from Chicago Marist High School — who committed to Illinois in mid-July — averaged 14.3 points and 5.9 rebounds for a 32-3 Marist squad that advanced to a Class 4A super-sectional last winter.
Another in-state product who comes from up near Chicago is Bolingbrook (Ill.) High School senior guard Kennedy Cattenhead, who committed in late May.
Cattenhead, who at 5-11 is projected as a shooting guard at Illinois, averaged 5 points and 5 assists her junior season for the Raiders, who finished 26-2 and lost a classic 74-65 four-overtime thriller to Chicago Whitney Young in a Class 4A super-sectional in 2012.
Cattenhead was the only junior starter on a senior-dominated Bolingbrook squad last year led by Connecticut freshman Morgan Tuck, younger sister of current Illinois sophomore forward Taylor Tuck.
Maine South (Ill.) High School 6-3 senior center Jacqueline Grant is the final in-state product in Bollant's Class of 2013. Grant committed in mid-May after she averaged 13 points, six rebounds and two blocked shots last season for a 25-7 Maine South squad that won a Class 4A regional championship.
Bollant has also received commitments from Taylor Gleason, a 5-9 point guard from Goodrich (MIch.) High School, and Mikaala Shackelford, a 5-10 guard/forward from Hopkins (Minn.) High School.
Gleason — who averaged 10 points per game last year at Goodrich, a team that went 28-0 and won the state's Class B state championship — gave a commit to Bollant in July after she initially had verbally committed to Michigan in August 2011.
Michigan head coach Kevin Borseth's resignation to take the job at Wisconsin-Green Bay that Bollant vacated to come to Illinois played a part in Gleason re-opening her commitment.
Shackelford — who committed initially to Green-Bay but then switched it in early May to Illinois to play for Bollant — averaged 10 points and 3.6 rebounds her junior season at Hopkins before she tore her ACL midway through the season.
Hopkins has won each of the last two Class AAAA state championships in Minnesota. Shackelford's sophomore season saw her produce 7.6 points and 3.3 rebounds per game.