Penn State women’s basketball coach Coquese Washington was headed for Italy and France last month when she learned her largest recruiting class was about to get larger.
“It was right before they left for their European Tour,” Lindsey Spann said of her decision to join the 2013 class. “I called Coach Washington while she was at the airport.”
Spann, of Good Counsel High School in Olney, Md., becomes the sixth member of the 2013 class to give oral commitments to Washington. Spann, a 5-6 point guard, joins 6-1 forward Jenny DeGraaf (Springboro, Ohio), 6-3 forward Peyton Whitted (North
Gwinnett, Ga.), 6-2 forward Kaliyah Mitchell (Stone Mountain, Ga.), 5-6 guard KeKe Sevillian (Goodrich, Mich.) and 6-6 center Infiniti Alston (Baltimore) in Washington’s largest recruiting class since taking over the program in 2007. The players can sign letters-of- intent in November.
While several of her future teammates decided earlier in the summer, Spann decided to wait a little longer to make her college pick.
“Some people look at it as a weight off their shoulders, but I wasn’t really pressured to do it before the season,” Spann said. “I just felt like it was the right time. I knew where I wanted to go.”
Wanting to stay in the East, she considered Syracuse, James Madison and Wake Forest among others before narrowing her choice to Penn State and George Washington. The Lady Lions, who went 26-7, won a Big Ten regular-season title and advanced to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament last season, won out over the Colonials.
“I felt it was a great fit for me academically and basketball-wise,” Spann said. “Academically they have some of the options I’m interested in. Athletically, I feel like I’m joining a great program. I had a really good connection with Coach Washington and the rest of the staff. I feel like I can contribute a lot and be really successful at Penn State.”
Spann plays for one of the most successful girls’ programs in the country. Our Lady of Good Counsel finished 30-5 last season and was ranked among the Top 25 programs by several publications. Spann averaged 15 points per game, helped her team go undefeated in league play and was named a first team Washington Catholic Athletic Conference selection. Good Counsel scored 70 or more points in 23 of its games.
Good Counsel not only played tough competition at home, but also took on the nation’s best. “Luckily, we’re blessed to be able to travel across country to different placed to play top-notch teams,” Spann said. “Last year, we went to Arizona for the (Nike) Tournament of Champions. We played a lot of Top 10 and ranked teams throughout the nation. I think we get a lot exposure and get to test ourselves against other top-notch competition.”
Spann says her strengths as a player should translate well into Washington’s system, which emphasizes playing at a torrid pace.
“I’m an uptempo guard,” Spann said. “I like to push the ball. I like to run, penetrate the lanes, kick out or dish off. I’d say I’m an emotional player, intense with a lot of clapping and encouragement. You can tell I love the game when I play.”
Spann’s play has been getting notice this summer. She’s risen to the No. 84 ranked player in the country by ESPNHoopGurlz.
“I continually worked on my game,” she said on the possible reason for her rise. “It’s mainly my shooting to get my shot more consistent. I felt like over the summer it was on. I was knocking down a lot of open shots and perimeter shots that maybe weren’t as consistent as they are now. My decision- making has improved and my passing. I’ve been told I have good court vision.”
She also has a vision for her future at Penn State. Spann says she’s interested majoring in kinesiology or criminology, with an emphasis in forensic science.
She’s met several of her future teammates at Penn State’s Elite Camp this summer, spending more time with Sevillian, Whitted and Alston. Spann, along with several of those teammates, will take her official visit on the weekend of Sept. 15 and 16.
“I really enjoyed my time with them,” Spann said, “I look forward to playing the next four years with them now that I’ve kind of established a relationship with them already from Elite Camp. …I feel like as a whole our class has a lot of potential to do big things at Penn State. I’m excited.”
Walt Moody can be reached at 231-4630. Follow him on Twitter @wmoodycdt