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Thread: Calli Stokes a new 2021 verbal commit

  1. #1
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    Default Calli Stokes a new 2021 verbal commit

    Thanks to ZAB as he mentioned this at the end of the NCAA thread but it deserves its own thread.

    The commit was presented on CLFs twitter page yesterday: https://twitter.com/FortZagWBB

    I saw this a couple of days ago, but the commitment does not really make much sense to me, so I was trying to find out a little more information before posting to the board.

    Callie looks like a very talented young woman. She is listed as a 6' (with long arms) wing that looks very much like a shorter, not quite as talented, version of Esther and Bree. Callie can handle the ball, has range out past the 3-point line, can dribble the court from end to end, play deny defense and contribute to the assist total. Like Esther and Bree, Callie is relatively slight in stature and will need to bulk up to play inside which she does quite a bit in high school. Callie gained quite a reputation in her freshman and sophomore years making the Top-50 list for Southern California players. This past year, she had several niggling injuries which significantly dropped her production.

    Here are her 2018-2019 year highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F73XFhKBg3w

    I have several questions with this commit, none of them have anything to do with Callie. We are drop dead loaded at the wing, do we really need another 6' wing with a slight stature on the team for 2021? Max Preps has Callie currently listed as the 76th best player in California and the 661st(???) best player in the USA. With no slight meant to Callie, but why, after getting the 32nd best player in the country to commit last week, are offering the 661st ranked player? Sorry, I do not get it, as we are loaded at the position and apparently the rating companies are not nearly as high and Callie as are CLF and staff.

    Max Preps info on Callie: https://www.maxpreps.com/athlete/cal...FA/default.htm

    The selection would make sense to me if Callie was to be a premier walk-on with the opportunity to earn a scholarship. But according to my sources, Callie will be a full scholarship player from the get go.

    The good news is that my source has indicated that CLF is holding the last scholarship in her back pocket for a big.

    Well I guess that the question if CLF was going to have a typical team or a large team has been answered with, she is going to have a very large team.

    Just hope we get to welcome everybody next fall in the Kennel.

    ZagDad

  2. #2

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    Well first of all on Memorial Day sending respect to all our Veterans past and present on keeping the USA a free country. In God we trust, and he has kept this country free, lets never forget the sacrifices, and our beliefs which have pulled us thru the most desperate of times.
    Last edited by ZAGS ATTACK BASKET; 05-25-2020 at 12:58 PM.

  3. #3

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    Its always hard to judge talent coming in unless they are close to our area, within a few states. IE Jill Barta, Jessie Loera, Jazzie Redmond, Chandler Smith, Jill Townsend, to name a few.

    Some players put up huge stats in High School but at lower level competition. IE Laura Sullivan, Gillian Barfield. Can't quite figure out Canada, some players put out of this world High School stats, but when they arrive in Gonzaga seem to be really overrated or have a lot more flaws in their game than one would expect. IE Kacie Bosch, Louise Forsyth.

    It is often the case of how well the Zag staff did their homework, and their judgement to see this player developing more, do they see the intangibles, do they see fire and hunger to improve, etc.

    We as Zags fans are often way off again unless its a semi local girl within a 3 state radius perhaps. Example Goshzagit on the forum a few years back said "I see Louise Forsyth as a immediate starter, fantastic prospect, Wirth twins ways to go most likely redshirt."

    So to get back to the point Calli Stokes, the question should not be her ranking the question should be what does CLF and staff see in this prospect? Does Calli Stokes have the heart of a Lion, does she see herself as a underdog that will have to work 3 times as hard as everybody else? Will Calli Stokes bring her game to a new level her Senior year?

    Never count out the underdog, I'm hoping CLF and staff found a needle in the haystack.

    Yes I'm not going to lie I like tougher looking players, like Portland freshman recruit from Australia, and Jill Townsend.

    But as the record states CLF and staff have been putting up winners. We have two sets of identical twins and Jill Townsend coming back this year that CLF and staff were spot on with.

    Side note I saw John Stockton in a few games on the ten part Michael Jordan series on ESPN. John looked like a little kid in stature guarding John Paxton. But no one had a heart like John Stockton, still amazes me to this day. Long live the underdog who has drive, determination, to succeed against tremendous odds. In the military they call this Uncommon Valor.
    Last edited by ZAGS ATTACK BASKET; 05-26-2020 at 11:40 AM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZAGS ATTACK BASKET View Post
    Well first of all on Memorial Day sending respect to all our Veterans past and present on keeping the USA a free country. In God we trust, and he has kept this country free, lets never forget the sacrifices, and our beliefs which have pulled us thru the most desperate of times.
    Here, Here. Let me add my thanks as well on this Memorial Day.

    Great Job ZAB, reminding us of the importance of this day.

    ZagDad

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    ZAB,

    See, you chastise me for using too many words, then when I tie multiple concepts into a sentence or two it gets misinterpreted.

    I think we can agree, that recruiting, as a whole, is a crap shoot and a players "national" rankings may be an indication but certainly not a guarantee of their collegiate performance. I think the number of collegiate offers (and from whom the scholarship is offered) certainly would provide some verification that other top tier coaches have seen the same qualities as CLF, but it is still no guarantee of future performance.

    We can also agree that the vast majority of we fans, have, at best, normally only seen some highlights of a particular HS player while CLF and staff have been following the player for 2 or more years during their recruitment. CLF and her staff certainly have a much better understanding of the entirety of the player than we pundits of the Lady Zag board.

    In fairness to Calli, she played on championship winning teams her freshman and sophomore year and a 0.500 team this year while fighting niggling injuries, all of which may have led to a drop in Calli's performance numbers, subsequently leading to a decrease in Calli's national ranking.

    Calli looks like a good player, regardless of her national ranking. Even if Calli Stokes has the heart of a Lion, sees herself as a underdog that will work 3 times as hard as everybody else to bring her game to a new level her Senior year, how much value does she bring to the 2021 Lady Zag team? CLF, as you stated above, very well may have found a needle in the haystack, but the real question I intended to ask above was not about Calli's ranking or even about her ability as a player.

    Realizing that CLF has only two (2) remaining scholarships for the class of 2021, the question from the Monday morning quarterback crowd is, with four (4) wings already on the roster for 2021 (O'Conner, Williams, Little, Griffin) & Salenbien would make 5 wings, did it make sense to use one (1) of the two (2) remaining scholarships to add another wing (particularly a shorter wing) to this loaded roster especially since we have only one (1) listed shooting guard, one (1) listed post and 3-4 listed forwards with the tallest being 6'3"? Would it have been wiser to have held this scholarship for a shooting guard, a forward/post transfer or a post given our current line-up of wings?

    As we discussed above about the crap shoot of the recruiting process, now that CLF has only one (1) 2021 scholarship remaining, that I have been told is being held for a big, she (CLF) better get it right with her big selection, because there are no more scholarships to give out to proven forward/post transfers or to another forward/post to hedge your bet.

    ZagDad

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    There are so many things to consider when offering a student athlete a spot on your team. This coaching staff knows what they want and need in a player. And so far, I think they have done well.

    I know nothing about these new players or their abilities. But I would say that one thing they all have in common is that they are all gamers... they love their team (family) and the game.

    CLF has kept her coaching staff together from the beginning and she has had great backing from GU and the fans.
    I’m thinking she has a short and long range plan and understands it’s fluid. I’m thinking all her players will be able to play multiple positions.

    That being said... welcome Calli to the GU family.

    Go Zags!!

  7. #7

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    Howdy. First time poster and long time reader.

    ZagDad - your enthusiasm for the Lady Zags is palpable and you do your homework. It is fun to read your posts. I believe the ranking numbers you posted for Callie from MaxPreps are the team rankings for Redondo Union High School. If you go to the Girls Basketball page for her high school you see the same two numbers.

    I happened to watch Callie quite a few times last summer as I recruit for small colleges on the West Coast. Callie played with her high school team, thus you may not find her on any/many national recruiting rankings. She played very well in the tournaments I saw and had the entire WCC and most Pac12 schools watching her last summer.

    She plays similar to Chandler Smith (good news for Zag fans) - good pull up game, can handle ball in open court. She has good lift and court vision. As with most high school players transitioning to the college game, she will have to play quicker and get stronger - she has the motor. She will fit in well at GU - the staff can recruit. Wings that can handle are valuable against teams that play faster and want to press.

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    Quote Originally Posted by coachfromafar View Post
    Howdy. First time poster and long time reader.

    ZagDad - your enthusiasm for the Lady Zags is palpable and you do your homework. It is fun to read your posts. I believe the ranking numbers you posted for Callie from MaxPreps are the team rankings for Redondo Union High School. If you go to the Girls Basketball page for her high school you see the same two numbers.

    I happened to watch Callie quite a few times last summer as I recruit for small colleges on the West Coast. Callie played with her high school team, thus you may not find her on any/many national recruiting rankings. She played very well in the tournaments I saw and had the entire WCC and most Pac12 schools watching her last summer.

    She plays similar to Chandler Smith (good news for Zag fans) - good pull up game, can handle ball in open court. She has good lift and court vision. As with most high school players transitioning to the college game, she will have to play quicker and get stronger - she has the motor. She will fit in well at GU - the staff can recruit. Wings that can handle are valuable against teams that play faster and want to press.
    Welcome to the Lady Zag board Coachfromafar.

    The rankings make much more sense if they are for the 2019-2020 Rodondo HS team.

    Thank you for the first hand account of Callie and her skills. It is always great to have first hand data for discussion.

    Don't be a stranger,

    Thanks again,

    ZagDad

  9. #9
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    From The Slipper Still Fits:

    Gonzaga Secures 2021 Commit Calli Stokes
    Head coach Lisa Fortier is on a tear.
    By Peter Woodburn@wernies May 26, 2020, 8:44am PDT

    Over the weekend, the Gonzaga Bulldogs landed the commitment of 2021 forward Calli Stokes.

    Stokes is a 5’11 forward who spent a good chunk of her junior season injured. Despite that, she was named one of the top 50 players by Scorebook Live in Southern California.

    This is the third forward the Bulldogs have landed after Bree Salenbien and English product Esther Little. Head coach Lisa Fortier and her staff have focused on the frontcourt, which by the time 2021 rolls around will need a bit of retooling.

    Jenn and LeeAnne Wirth, who have occupied the major roles at the post for much of the past two years, will embark on their senior campaigns next season. Although the Zags still have talent down low, outside of Melody Kempton, much of it is an unknown.

    Anamaria Virjoghe showed promise in short spurts, but still needs seasoning. Eliza Hollingsworth spent much of last season recuperating from an injury that wouldn’t quite heal. Those injuries forced Kempton into a forward role.
    Article Link: https://www.slipperstillfits.com/202...stokes-gonzaga

    ZagDad

  10. #10

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    I did watch some video of Calli and did see some nice moves to the basket. All the videos showed her good dribbling, and getting around players and mostly off the backboard baskets. I did not see any jump shots. When I saw Chandler High School video she just seemed bigger and taller than those around her all five players coming at her from opposing team and her still getting a jump shot in. So at this time do not really see the Chandler Smith comparison. But I like the future happy thoughts and its nice to dream. We will see how she progresses her Senior Year and get back healthy for a full year.

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    I will be the first to admit, I did not see CS play high school ball. But you need to look at the comparison of the competition they are playing. One thing is for sure, CS did not play near the high school competition playing at Brewster (900 students in the entire district) that Calli has played (Redondo Union HS has over 3,000 students). Much easier to shine against lower level competition and easy to see why CS looked bigger and stronger when compared to her teammates and competition.

    The 8+ highlight video link I posted to start this thread has an entire section of highlights for jump shots. In the highlights Calli shows a jump shot range from just outside the key, to the elbow out to the 3 point line. Obviously the highlight video will cherry pick a players best highlights, but she does have the range.

    I will agree, that how Calli plays in HS and how CS played at GU are not all that similar. Calli plays a much more physical game than CS with the majority of her game occurring within the key. CS tended to play out at the wing and only rarely would venture inside the key. Calli appears to frequently take the ball to the hoop for lay-ups and short range jumpers while CS rarely took the ball to the hoop, usually taking the stop and pop route.

    I actually think that Calli plays her position much more like JT than CS. More physical, takes the ball to the hoop, and does not shy away from contact.

    Hoping Calli takes this time to heal up her injuries and has a great senior season.

    ZagDad

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    Hailey Van Lith and Jill Barta would probably have something to say about the small school experience preparing them for college....

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    Quote Originally Posted by sylean View Post
    Hailey Van Lith and Jill Barta would probably have something to say about the small school experience preparing them for college....
    And Jill Townsend. Her HS is in the same league as Van Lith. I'm assuming they went head to head a few times when Townsend was a Sr. and Van Lith a Fr.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sylean View Post
    Hailey Van Lith and Jill Barta would probably have something to say about the small school experience preparing them for college....
    Sylean, let's try that again. What I said was:

    Much easier to shine against lower level competition and easy to see why CS looked bigger and stronger when compared to her teammates and competition.
    Where did I say that a lower division HS did not (or could not) prepare a player for college? I can guarantee you that Van Lith was much prepared for college by playing for her AAU team than for her HS team. You misunderstood the point I was trying to make which simply was that a HS player playing for a lower level division team may likely have higher statistics than they would if they routinely played against a higher level of competition.

    Gamers are going to be gamers no matter where they play. Their stats and physical appearance (when compared to HS teammates and opposition) may be overly inflated by player against lower levels of competition. Hard to compare stats for a player playing primarily against 2A/2B competition and a player playing primarily against 4A/5A competition.

    ZagDad

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