With a solid young nucleus that includes talented players in the post, on the perimeter and everywhere in-between already in house, Baylor didn’t have to focus on any specific needs.
So the Lady Bears just signed three players ranked among the top 70 in the nation for the 2015 class, coach Kim Mulkey announced Wednesday, when guards Alyssa Dry and Alexandria Gulley, and forward Justis Szczepanski-Beavers all officially decided to join Baylor’s highly successful program.
“One of the main goals of mine is to win a national championship, and playing for coach like Mulkey gives me that opportunity,” Dry said at the time of her commitment. “I love the community and the Christian support Baylor has. I’ve heard from past players how great of a coach she is and how she developed them. To be able to get to play for a future Hall of Fame coach is a great opportunity.”
Gulley, a 5-foot-9 point guard from Class 6A Dallas Skyline, is the highest-ranked prospect in the class at No. 50 nationally, according to Girls Basketball Report and is listed as the No. 2 recruit at her position in Texas by All Star Girls Report.
Gulley averaged 13.6, 3.8 assists, 2.4 rebounds and two steals per game as a junior to help her team to its first trip to the regional final since 1997.
“I’ve known Alexandria Gulley since my early years as head coach at Baylor when her dad would drive her to day camp,” Mulkey said in a statement. “Alexandria believed in our vision from day one, as she committed to us in the eighth grade. She’s a true floor general who is unselfish and sees the floor well. Alexandria comes from an ultra-successful program at Skyline High School.”
Dry and Szczepanski-Beavers were high school teammates at Aledo as juniors, and they’re teaming up again at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, this year.
Dry, a 5-9 combo guard, was a Class 4A Texas Coaches Association of Basketball Coaches all-state pick last year after averaging 16.2 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 4.2 steals per game. She’s listed as the No. 68 player in the nation by Girls Basketball Report.
Dry also has Baylor connections in her family.
“Alyssa excites me because of her talent, knowledge and competitiveness,” Mulkey said. “She handles the ball well, can score when needed and makes those around her better. If her family genetics play a part, she will be an outstanding player. Her father, Mike Dry, was an All-American football player at TCU, and her grandfather, F.A. Dry, is a legendary football coach who at one time coached with Grant Teaff at Baylor.”
Szczepanski-Beavers gives the class some size. As a 6-4 forward, she’s been compared to Chicago Bulls star Joakim Noah because of her ability to run the floor offensively and her shot-blocking and rebounding on the other end.
She averaged 14.5 points, 8.2 rebounds and four blocks per game at Aledo last year, and she’s ranked No. 59 in the nation and 11th at her position, according to Girls Basketball Report.
“Justis is one of the most athletic players in the Class of 2015,” Mulkey said. “She runs the floor well, alters shots and tracks down rebounds. Offensively she also has the ability to put the ball on the floor and get to the rim. She reminds me of a 6-4 Rachel Allison, who was a great player for us at Baylor.”