Lady Vols sign four players, ink top five recruiting class

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    Photo By Kate Luffman/Tennessee Athletics

    Kellie Harper signed four players from the class of 2021 to her program on Wednesday, inking a class that ranks fifth nationally according to Collegiate Girls Basketball Report

    The Lady Vols inked signatures from four-star forward Karoline Striplin, four-star guard Kaiya Wynn, four-star guard/forward Sara Puckett, and point guard Brooklynn Miles.

    Here’s a breakdown of each player that signed with the Lady Vols:

    Sara Puckett

    Puckett is the highest ranked recruit to sign with the Lady Vols. The 6-foot-2 guard/forward chose Tennessee over Mississippi State, Louisville, Kentucky, Florida State and Georgia.

    “Sara was one of the first prospects that was able to come to campus after we were hired at Tennessee,” Harper said. “She visited campus multiple times, which helped her get to know our team and staff.

    “I am excited about what she brings to the court next year, because Sara is such a skilled player. Her versatility allows her to play on the perimeter, make shots and post up inside. Sara’s work ethic and self-motivation will help her transition to the college game.”

    The Muscle Shoals, Alabama averaged 20.3 points, 11.4 rebounds, and 2.7 assists last season, picking up 65 steals and blocking 49 shots. Puckett is a two-time Alabama Sports Writers Association 6A All-State First Team selection (2019, 2020) and a third-team choice in 2018.

    Karoline Striplin

    Striplin signed with the Lady Vols out of Hartford, Alabama. She’s considered the No. 38 overall player in the country and No. 11 forward by ProspectsNation.com.

    “Karoline Striplin was the first player in this class to give us a verbal commitment and ignite this process,” Harper said in a press release. “This past season, she came to a Lady Vol game and fell in love with our vision for this program.

    “On the court, Karoline is a tough and versatile post player with a college-ready body that will help her score around the basket. She can make shots around the floor, has a high motor and plays hard on both ends of the court. Karoline is a fun-loving young woman that we know will be a terrific teammate and also bring a positive attitude to our team next year.”

    She averaged 22 ppg., 14.0 rpg. and 5.0 bpg. as a junior, scoring her 2,000th career point during the 2019-20 season. She is a two-time Alabama Sports Writers Association 2A All-State First Team selection (2019, 2020) and a second-team choice in 2018.

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    Kaiya Wynn

    Wynn, the No. 39 overall player in the country, chose the Lady Vols over Louisville, NC State and Kentucky. The 6-foot guard currently resides in Richmond, Texas, but played high school basketball at Ensworth High School in Nashville.

    “Kaiya Wynn grew up in Tennessee, so she understands just how important the Lady Vol program is,” Harper said. “After watching her play and practice, and visiting with her, we knew she was a priority for our class.

    “Kaiya is an athletic wing who can score behind the arc or drive to the basket, as well as rebound and defend. She is competitive and aggressive on both ends of the court. Kaiya is a winner with high character, and I am thrilled she is joining our program.”

    Wynn averaged 15.3 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 2.3 steals as a junior at Ensworth. She was a DII AA Miss Basketball finalist in 2020 and was a two-time TSWA DII-AA All-State choice in 2018 and 2020, as she helped lead Ensworth to a pair of DII AA state titles (2019, 2020).

    Brooklynn Miles

    Miles, considered the No. 75 overall prospect, chose the Lady Vols over Kentucky, NC State, Miami and Purdue. The Frankfort, Kentucky native is considered the top-ranked player in the state of Kentucky.

    “Signing a point guard was a priority for our staff, and we are thrilled that Brooklynn Miles is that player,” Harper said. “Her recruiting process looked very different due to the COVID outbreak and subsequent NCAA regulations. We were not able to host Brooklynn on campus and thus relied on phone calls and virtual presentations to recruit her.

    “Brooklynn brings attributes that I value in a point guard. She is quick with the ball and can set up her teammates or create her own scoring opportunities. She is tough, hard-nosed and competitive. I know the team and fans will gravitate to Brooklynn’s confident and lively personality.”

    Miles averaged 21.5 points, 4.9 assists, 4.1 steals, and 3.8 rebounds as a junior.