It was clear when two former Duke commits – 6’2″ Marisa Davis-Jones and Australian 6’3″ guard Olivia Pollerd — changed their commitments to Washington to become the fourth and fifth members of the 2021 recruiting class, respectively, this Huskies group would be among the best UW classes ever.
Subsequently, when ESPN released its updated rankings for the 2021 recruiting class, it was confirmation of our belief that something special was happening on Montlake.
With four ESPN 100 commits, the UW 2021 recruiting class is currently ranked #16 nationally per ESPN.
The individual players are currently ranked as follows: 6’1 wing A.J. Marotte (63rd overall/4-star); 6’2″ wing Davis-Jones (76th overall/4-star); 5’10 shooting guard Avery Van Sickle (85th overall/4-star); and 6’0″ point guard Jess Finney (94th overall/4-star). Read the entire ESPN rankings here.
And that ranking is not taking into consideration the proverbial cherry on top, Australian Olivia Pollerd, who was ranked 22nd out of all 2021 international players by WorldWideHoops/Premier Basketball — easily another top 100 talent.
For comparison’s sake, Washington’s 2013 recruiting class was comprised of 3 ESPN Top 100 commits: 4-stars Kelsey Plum (#26), Brianna Ruiz (#65), and Chantel Osahor (#71).
Player for player, the 2021 recruiting class is the biggest and highest rated talent haul in the history of UW women’s basketball.
However, it is our belief that all 2021 signees are still underrated by the recruiting services — most egregiously Jess Finney who is definitely a Top 60 player in our estimation.
AJ Marotte is an explosive scorer from all three levels, hitting consistently from beyond the three-point line when not driving to the basket.
Marotte’s combination of size and athleticism creates an instant mismatch for most defenders.
Perhaps most impressive is her ability to aggressively attack on offense while staying under control; and knowing when to use her size or agility for an advantage.
Jess Finney is a tall point guard with excellent change-of-pace and shiftiness off-the-dribble.
Finney is a gifted passer, as well as a pure three-point shooter that is a legitimate threat from deep.
Finney displays excellent leadership traits and brings out the best in her teammates, while making good decisions in the pick-and-roll and on her dribble-drive penetration.
“I’m very excited to finally make it official. This has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. Can’t wait to get to work! Go Dawgs! 💜” – Jess Finney told UDUBWBB.com
Marisa Davis-Jones is the definition of an “x-factor” type of player that can, and will, do it all on the court.
She uses her exceptional athleticism on both the offensive and defensive ends.
Davis-Jones has a soft touch around the basket, but can also step out and hit the three consistently.
Expect that Marisa will eventually set the competitive tone for the Huskies team.
“I am super excited to be a part of a team with so many amazing people and athletes! I can’t wait to play!” – Marisa Davis-Jones told UDUBWBB.com
Avery Van Sickle was the first to commit to Washington in this 2021 class — a solid indication of her leadership qualities.
Van Sickle also has solid ball-handling skills and an exceptional basketball IQ to make the right basketball decision for herself and her teammates.
“I’m beyond excited to finally be officially signed, it’s a dream come true. I cannot wait to get the UW and get to work with my new family.” – Van Sickle told UDUBWBB.com.
Olivia Pollerd is a big shooting guard with range well beyond the three-point line.
Pollerd has extensive international experience, recently representing Australia in the FIBA U17 Women’s Oceania Championship tournament — which the Aussies won.
When we talked to Pollerd earlier this year, she informed us she’s working on her dribble-drive game, which would be a huge development to make her an even more effective scorer with an inside-outside game.
Jody Wynn and her entire coaching staff just completed an historic accomplishment by signing the highest rated recruiting class — the largest per player talent haul– in Husky women’s basketball history.
To secure a super recruiting class of this type takes tremendous skill and hard work.
There is no doubt that the UW Women’s Basketball program has taken huge strides in the past year and that the future of Husky basketball is bright.