Sooners Welcome #NextGen Class
NORMAN – Oklahoma women’s basketball head coach Sherri Coale announced her program’s 2018 recruiting class Thursday, featuring six of the nation’s top prospects.
Guards Jessi Murcer (Moore, Okla.), Taylor Robertson (McPherson, Kan.), Tatum Veitenheimer (Windthorst, Texas) and Madison Williams (Fort Worth, Texas) join posts Nydia Lampkin (Palm Bay, Fla.) and Aspen Williston (Broken Bow, Okla.) to comprise OU’s signing class.
Tabbed as the #NextGen class, the group is ranked as the No. 9 signing class nationally by Prospect Nation and No. 17 overall by ESPN Hoop Gurlz.
A 6-2 forward, Lampkin provides the Sooners with a versatile and athletic post player in the 2018 class. She averaged 14.7 points, 9.9 rebounds and 3.8 blocks per game during her junior season at Heritage Hall High School. Lampkin is ranked the No. 21 post player by ESPN Hoop Gurlz.
“Dee loves to run. She’s what the world might call an ‘undersized post’, but height is only one strand of the DNA of a post player,” Coale said. “Dee doesn’t play at 6-2. She runs like a deer and uses her length and athleticism to counter attack bigger players who she might be going up against.
“My favorite thing about Dee is her insatiable curiosity. She plays in her school’s marching band, she passionately studies waste water management and is currently pursuing a class C operator’s license that would enable her to work in a waste water facility … she just loves to learn. No single trait more adequately underpins a player’s foundation for success at this level than that.”
Murcer, a 5-7 guard from Westmoore High School in Moore, Okla., averaged 22.7 points a contest during her junior season to earn second-team all-state honors. Murcer scored 19.3 points per game as a sophomore, helping Westmoore to a state tournament berth and earning a spot on the 2017 Oklahoman’s Big All-City team.
“Jessi has a dangerous offensive skill set, and yet the thing that sets her apart is her competitive drive,” Coale said. “She detests losing and I’m not talking just about games. Jessi hates losing quarters, she hates losing possessions, and she hates losing shooting games. She just scratches and claws after every conceivable advantage in whatever she is doing. Jessi is a Sooner-born kid who loves the University of Oklahoma and will compete for that name on the front of her jersey in a special, special way.”
Rated No. 90 overall by Prospect Nation, Robertson was Kansas’ Gatorade Player of the Year as a junior at McPherson High School. Robertson averaged 24.3 points per game as a junior, setting the school record for total points (582), field goal percentage (.619) and free throw percentage (.915) in a single season. The sharpshooter posted a .570 clip from 3-point range, while averaging 5.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per contest.
“I have been incredibly blessed to coach some great shooters in my time at Oklahoma: Erin Higgins, Whitney Hand, Aaryn Ellenberg to name a few,” Coale said. “Taylor Robertson is made in that mold. She is a true, old school gym rat — a kid who loves to play and has honed her game by spending hours and hours in the driveway imagining defenders and making game-winning shots. Her passion for basketball is unparalleled.”
Veitenheimer, the No. 8 point guard and No. 24 overall recruit by Prospect Nation, has scored over 2,000 career points during her time at Windthorst High School. As a junior, Veitenheimer averaged 26.9 points, 7.1 steals and 5.3 assists a game, while scoring over 2,000 points during her prep career.
An all-around athlete, Veitenheimer has competed in volleyball, softball, tennis, cross country and track during her prep career.
“I fell in love with Tatum Veitenheimer the first time I watched her warm up,” Coale stated. “I’m not sure she even made a shot, but she owned the gym — and it was a big gym. She’s a natural leader, an intense competitor, a skilled offensive basketball player and a bulldog when the other team has the ball. When people ask me what she does best, I have to say she wins. She just finds a way to win. Tatum makes the people around her better, and I’m not sure she’s ever seen anything she didn’t think she could do.”
Williams is rated the No. 1 wing and No. 8 overall player in the country by Prospect Nation for the 2018 class. As a sophomore, Williams averaged 20.0 points per game at Trinity Valley School. The Fort Worth, Texas, native has also participated in two USA Basketball Camps over the last two summers, competing for a roster spot on the 2016 USA U16 World Championship Team and the 2017 USA U17 World Championship Team.
“The first thing I do when anyone asks me about Madi Williams is smile,” Coale said. “She’s that kid, the kind that’s interesting and fun to talk to, the kind that doesn’t take herself too seriously. Madi is the kind of kid that grins while she fights. She’s explosive and smooth with the ball in her hand and aggressive and hungry when the other team has it. And she is incredibly comfortable in her own skin — a trait than enables her to connect with people in a sincere way and elevate every environment she is a part of.”
A 6-5 post from Broken Bow, Okla., Williston provides the Sooners with depth in the paint heading into the 2018-19 season. Williston averaged 14.8 points per game as a junior, picking up an all-state honorable mention selection. She is ranked the No. 18 post in the 2018 class by ESPN Hoop Gurlz.
“What’s a head coach from southern Oklahoma love more than signing a 6-4 post player from southern Oklahoma? Not much! Aspen’s imprint at Broken Bow will be left all over the record books and the halls of the high school,” Coale said. “She’s a shot blocker and an impactful scorer, despite typically being surrounded at the high school level by three or four defenders almost every night. She will both enjoy and benefit from the space she will be afforded on the court at this level.”