It's no secret that University of Louisville women's basketball head coach Jeff Walz and his staff have made Waco (Tex.) La Vega High School post Erin DeGrate a priority. The Cardinals have remained in frequent contact and have been present at many of her games.
Louisville isn't alone in having the 6-foot-5 top 20 prospect high on their wish list. Prior to the start of the July evaluation period, DeGrate's list of suitors included Baylor, Florida State, Kansas, Michigan State, Northwestern, Texas, Texas A&M, and Washington. Her strong play during the month has drawn even more interest.
“After the first round of evaluations a bunch of new schools jumped on,” DeGrate's AAU coach Jamarius Byrd told Cardinal Authority. “Schools like Duke and Tennessee are involved now. She has certainly been appreciative of all the attention and the relationships she has made through this process.”
DeGrate, who helped her high school team post a perfect 35-0 record and win the 3A state title as a junior, capped the evaluation period off an impressive way. At the Sylvia Fowles Summer Classic in New Orleans, La., last weekend, DeGrate's play helped Texas United roll through the event unscathed and leave as champions.
Jeff Walz and his staff were four deep watching her play throughout the tournament.
“Jeff Walz has let his presence be known,” Byrd said. “Him and his staff have done a great job of that throughout the whole process, even back in April. It's kind of funny how all the other colleges have noticed that Jeff is at all her games.”
While her school options continue to rise, DeGrate anticipates trimming her list to five soon.
“She wants to go ahead and announce her official visits,” Byrd said. “Her mom is interested in listening to the new schools, but everyone pretty much knows that she has her choices narrowed down. I think she has three that she knows and the hope is to have all five by August 1.”
DeGrate has previously made an unofficial visit with Louisville and the Cardinals are expected be among her final list of schools and receive an official visit.