Class reunion: 2009
On Nov. 12, 2008, then-Illini women’s basketball coach Jolette Law announced the signing of a six-player recruiting class — including Adrienne GodBold — that was ranked No. 3 in the nation by ESPN HoopGurlz. “It is a great day to be an Illini,” Law said. “This is one of the finest hours in the history of Illinois recruiting.” Four years later, Law is an assistant coach at Tennessee and some in this touted recruiting class have moved on, too. An update:
Recruiting ranking: ESPN HoopGurlz No. 36 senior; Blue Star No. 101 senior
Comment: The 2009 News-Gazette All-State Player of the Year from Chicago Marshall has been a fixture in the UI rotation since arriving on campus. GodBold enjoyed a breakthrough season as a junior, earning Big Ten Sixth Player of the Year and team MVP honors. After sitting out the first semester this season for academic reasons, GodBold has raised her game to new heights, averaging career bests by far in scoring (18.7) and rebounding (7.0).
Toledo (Ohio) Central Catholic
Recruiting ranking: Blue Star No. 43 senior; ESPN HoopGurlz No. 26 forward
Comment: The 6-foot-2 center transferred to hometown University of Toledo after being dismissed from the program by Law following her freshman season for violating team rules. The redshirt junior is a regular in the rotation for the 14-2 Rockets, averaging career highs of 4.4 points and 3.5 rebounds in 14.1 minutes off the bench.
Recruiting ranking: Blue Star No. 149 senior
Comment: Since her freshman season, when Magrum appeared in 31 games and started 15, injuries have repeatedly interrupted and impeded her career. This season is no exception, the redshirt junior missing three-plus games in November with a separated shoulder. Now, Magrum is dealing with concussion symptoms that have sidelined her for the last three games and continue to prevent her from practicing. When healthy, Magrum can be an impact player, as evidenced by averages of 11.4 points and 5.7 rebounds in 21 games last season.
Detroit Country Day
Recruiting ranking: Blue Star No. 109 senior
Comment: Moore’s Illini career got off to a rough start, the 5-11 guard suffering a season-ending injury as a freshman in the Illini’s opener. Since then, she’s earned Big Ten All-Freshman Team honors, set a school record for three-point field goals by a freshman and climbed to No. 4 in career three-pointers (166). But Moore is more than a long-range shooter, ranking second on the team this season in assists and hitting 92.3 percent of her free throws (36 of 39).
Shaker Heights (Ohio)
Recruiting ranking: ESPN HoopGurlz No. 18 senior and No. 3 forward; Blue Star No. 70 senior
Comment: The 6-2 center’s place among the Illini’s all-time best is already secure. The school record-holder in career blocked shots, Penn also ranks among the top five in six other UI career categories. Penn has saved her best for last, the senior averaging career highs of 18.8 points and 10.6 rebounds this season, the latter leading the Big Ten.
Benton Harbor (Mich.)
Recruiting ranking: ESPN HoopGurlz No. 8 senior; Blue Star No. 16 senior
Comment: The McDonald’s All-American arrived as the mostly highly regarded recruit in program history, but she ended up playing in one game — for seven minutes. Williams’ ill-fated Illini tenure included an unexplained “indefinite leave of absence” — in Law’s words — shortly after the then-freshman appeared in the season opener. Williams later requested and received a release from her scholarship, transferring in January 2010 to powerhouse Baylor. An honorable mention All-American for the 2012 national champion Bears, the 6-1 senior currently is the No. 2 rebounder and No. 4 scorer for top-ranked Baylor.