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This Week in Women’s Basketball: Catching up on the college decisions of Joyce Edwards, Me’arah O’Neal and other top recruits

Joyce Edwards, Kennedy Smith and Me’arah O’Neal recently announced their college decisions, sparking excitement in Columbia, LA and Gainesville. We look at other recruiting news before sending congrats to Lindsey Harding for her first win as a G-League head coach.

FIBA U19 Women’s Basketball World Cup 2023
Joyce Edwards, the No. 2 recruit in the class of 2024 according to HoopGurlz, is staying in her home state and taking her talents to South Carolina.
Photo by Borja B. Hojas/Getty Images

This edition of “This Week in Women’s Basketball” serves as an opportunity to catch up on early signing period decisions by some of the top prospects in the class of 2024.

Class of 2024 makes college commitments

Over the past few weeks, a number of highly-ranked prospects have announced their college choices during the early signing period. And it looks like Dawn Staley is doing it again!

No. 1 South Carolina projects to remain scary for seasons to come, with 6-foot-2 forward Joyce Edwards, the No. 2 prospect in the class of 2024 according to ESPN’s HoopGurlz, electing to remain in her home state and play for the Gamecocks. Edwards selected South Carolina over Clemson and LSU. She joins two other top 30 recruits who already committed to South Carolina in point guard Madisen McDaniel (No. 12) and big Adhel Tac (No. 26).

Out on the West Coast, USC and head coach Lindsay Gottlieb continue to attract top talent, with 6-foot-1 wing Kennedy Smith, the No. 1 recruit in California and No. 6 nationally, committing to the Women of Troy. She chose USC over South Carolina, UCLA, Duke and Louisville. USC also added New York guard Kayleigh Heckel, the No. 28 recruit in the class of 2024.

One of the highest profile commitments came from Me’arah O’Neal, daughter of Shaquille O’Neal. The 6-foot-3 big who is the No. 33 prospect in the 2024 class is headed to the Swamp, suiting up for head coach Kelly Rae Finley’s Florida Gators. O’Neal opted for Florida over LSU, Tennessee, Arizona State, Baylor, Kentucky, Cal and Georgia Tech.

Other 2024 HoopGurlz top 10 prospects who already had announced their college choices are: No. 4 Allie Ziebell (UConn; guard), No. 5 Kateryna Koval (Notre Dame; big), No. 7 Justice Carlton (Texas; forward), No. 8 Jordan Lee (Texas; guard) and No. 9 Toby Fournier (Duke; forward).

The No. 1 recruit in the class of 2024—6-foot-2 forward Sarah Strong, who is the daughter of former WNBA and Harvard player Allison Feaster—has yet to disclose her decision. In October, Strong visited UConn; last weekend, she visited UNC. No. 3 prospect Jaloni Cambridge, a 5-foot-6 point guard, and No. 10 prospect Mikayla Blakes, a 6-foot-0 guard, also have yet to announce their intentions.

Looking ahead to 2025, 6-foot-4 forward Sienna Betts, the No. 3 recruit in the class, revealed she will join her sister Lauren, the No. 1 recruit in the class of 2022, at UCLA. Lauren originally committed to Stanford before transferring to UCLA last offseason.

Lindsey Harding gets G-League win

Once a top women’s hoops prospect herself as the No. 1 pick in the 2007 WNBA Draft out of Duke, Lindsey Harding is now the head coach of the Stockton Kings, the G-League affiliate of the Sacramento Kings. On Wednesday, Harding secured her first win, leading the Kings to a victory over the Salt Lake City Stars.