November 01, 2006

Five Freshmen to Watch

By: Megan Youngblood,

Jayne Appel, 6-foot-4 F/C, Stanford
An assortment of top 25 schools had designs on Jayne Appel. Tennessee, Arizona State, UCLA, USC, Notre Dame, Duke, Cal, and UConn were all in the running for one of the premier post prospects in the country. The Pleasant Hill, Calif. native had an especially hard time narrowing down her choice after trying to synchronize decisions with fellow AAU teammate Jacki Gemelos. They had talked about going to the same school and when Gemelos verbally committed to UConn, she tried to rope in Appel as well. Gemelos, a 6-foot guard, made the biggest splash in the summer recruiting season by de-committing from UConn and signing with USC instead. But the USA Today First Team selection Gemelos will have to sit out the season with a torn ACL.

Appel, however, will be the one to watch. A true center, she can score with either hand with her back to the basket, and can also hit the midrange jumper. Appel will be a perfect fit for this team, drawing comparisons to one of her new teammates in current Stanford star Brooke Smith. This past summer, Appel also helped the USA Basketball U18 Women's National Team to a gold medal at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship. In the gold medal game against Canada, Appel posted nine points, 12 rebounds and two blocks in just 22 minutes.

With her ability to bury an open three and comfort handling the ball on the break, Appel's great hands will allow her to catch anything Stanford dishes her way.

about the other four...)

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