September 11, 2012 9:13:48 AM
Adam Minichino - [email protected]
Breanna Richardson still has the list.
Replete with Southeastern Conference members University of Georgia, University of Arkansas, Auburn University, and the University of Alabama, Richardson's final collection of schools had a Southern flavor to it.
But those four and several others didn't get the news Sunday they wanted to hear because Richardson gave a verbal commitment to play for coach Vic Schaefer and the Mississippi State University women's basketball program.
"I liked it. I liked the coaching staff, I liked the team, I liked the campus. As a whole, I liked it," said Richardson, who gave her verbal commitment to the MSU coaches Sunday morning. "(The decision) was based on the coaching staff and how they are going to change the program, and how they saw me fit into that and how they saw me as a person and as a player."
Richardson is the fourth recruit in the Class of 2013 to give a verbal commitment to MSU. She joins Ketara Chapel, a 6-foot-1 forward from Temple, Texas, Dominique Dillingham, a 5-9 guard from Spring, Texas, and Kiandria Patterson, a 5-9 guard from Columbus High. Richardson took an unofficial visit to MSU in June. She said she had a feeling at the time MSU was the place for her, but she wanted her mother, Lisa Brown, to be with her and to see the school before she made her final decision. This past weekend, she took an official visit to MSU with Chapel, and is confident they can help Schaefer transform a program that has missed the NCAA tournament the past two seasons. MSU advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament in 2010.
"I believe we're going to win a SEC championship, hopefully," Richardson said. "In the words of coach Schaefer, we're going to be able to do it and we're going to make it all happen."
Dan Olson's Collegiate Girls Basketball Report rates Richardson, a 6-1 wing forward from Rockdale County (Ga.) High School, the No. 79 player in the Class of 2013. Olson, a longtime college basketball coach and recruiting analyst, said Richardson is another player that fits in well with the system Schaefer has installed at MSU.
"She is an ultra-athletic perimeter threat with a pro-body who brings a face-up game as a four player (wing forward)," Olson said. "She is quick on her first step, and on the face-up can attack and explodes off the bounce. She is active on glass and is a quick leaper. She also is a threat to the arc."
Richardson said she and Chapel hit it off and she can't wait to meet the other incoming freshmen. She said she is willing to do anything -- score, rebound, pass -- to help the team be successful.
L. Maurice Richardson, Breanna's father, was in Starkville last weekend for his daughter's official visit. He feels his daughter's versatility fits in well with what coach Schaefer and the Lady Bulldogs have planned. He said the family liked the way Schaefer and the assistant coaches handled recruiting Breanna.
"They showed her a lot of love," L. Maurice Richardson said. "It wasn't just all about her as an athlete. They were looking at her as an individual person and graduating from the university and getting a degree, not just playing ball. We had a nice conversation with them, and she felt at ease. It was a family-oriented group, and they clicked and she clicked with them."
Richardson also considered Villanova, the University of Missouri, North Carolina State, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, the University of Memphis, Providence College, and the University of South Florida.
That list of schools, though, will be something Richardson can keep as a memento because she is looking forward to being a Lady Bulldog.
"I am going to be the ultimate team player," Richardson said.
Adam Minichino is the Sports Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.