As the crème de la crème of the Big East women’s basketball teams, Connecticut and Rutgers are typically guaranteed their choice of top recruits, but this year Georgetown and its fourth-year head coach are making great strides toward catching up.

The Hoyas are making waves on the recruiting trail as Head Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy brings in what is arguably Georgetown’s most highly rated class ever.

According to the women’s basketball recruiting Web site HoopGurlz.com, Williams-Flournoy has attracted two four-star and two three-star recruits to the Hilltop from the high school Class of 2008. Leading the pack are two versatile forwards, Alexa Roche of St. Michael, N.Y., and Latia Magee of Jenks, Okla.

The two are ranked among the top 100 high school seniors according to several women’s basketball recruiting Web sites such as HoopGurlz.com, and both were also courted by more nationally prominent programs like Baylor, LSU, West Virginia and Oklahoma.

While Connecticut and Rutgers have equally, if not more, impressive freshmen on tap at the top of the league, Georgetown – picked to finish last in the conference this season – has managed to pry geographically dispersed players from the grips of bigger, more successful programs.

Widely regarded as one of the top five players in Oklahoma, it may seem unusual that Magee would head so far east for college. According to her high school coach, Rhonda Fields, Magee was impressed with Georgetown assistant coach Keith Brown, who visited Oklahoma. Fields said that after visiting the Hilltop, Magee said that Georgetown “felt right.”

Another factor that drew Magee to Georgetown was its lack of national success or an all-star lineup.

“[Magee] really wanted to go some place where she could make a name for herself,” Fields said.

Magee is the 19th-ranked forward in her class according to HoopGurlz.com and the 86th player overall. While she has the size to play inside and is Georgetown’s biggest recruit, her above-average ball handling skills, long frame and developing three-point shot make her a threat to play both wing positions as well.

Fields says that Magee’s biggest contribution to her high school team is the flexibility she offers in creating match up problems.

“She can play the two, the three, the four or the five,” she said. “For a girl that’s 6-foot-2, she handles the ball pretty well.”

Without a true post-up power forward in its offense, Georgetown can especially utilize a player like Magee, who would play a position similar to sophomore forward Jaleesa Butler or freshman forward Monica McNutt.

Fields does not believe the center position would suit Magee the best in college, highlighting Magee’s advanced skill set for her size.

“She’s more able to fulfill her potential facing the basket,” Fields said. “She creates a mismatch at small forward and she’s really like a four with the green light [to shoot]. She shoots a high percentage on three-pointers.”

Defensively, Magee matches up against other teams’ fours and fives, according to Fields. Her speed for her size offers her an advantage over larger but slower traditional power forwards and centers.

Roche lives in Bellmore, N.Y., but plays her high school hoops at St. Michael’s in New York. HoopGurlz.com has Roche as the eighth-best forward and 46th player overall.

Rounding out the quartet are six-foot guard, Adria Crawford of Thomas Edison, Va., and 6-foot-1 forward Tia McBride from Mt. Notre Dame, Ohio.

Crawford averaged 13.8 points per game during her high school career and spent time with the Fairfax Stars Amateur Athletic Union team. She was a Washington Post all-Met honorable mention last year in her junior season, making her the third all-Met honored player to come to the Hilltop in four years: McNutt was an all-Met first team player last season and Katrina Wheeler – all-Met first team as a senior – played for Georgetown through her sophomore season before transferring to Towson.

McBride played on her team’s state championship team last year and averaged 13.3 points and 7.5 rebounds in that campaign. She was a first team all-Enquirer selection – Cincinnati’s equivalent of all-Met selections – and her Cougars squad is ranked eighth in ESPN’s preseason high school top 25.

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