Husker Class Climbs to No. 9 by ESPN
Lincoln - Nebraska's 2014 recruiting class made the biggest move in ESPN's newest set of rankings released on Thursday, Nov. 21. The Huskers vaulted to No. 9, improving seven spots on the ESPN list.
Nebraska's class jumped from No. 16 with the late addition of Washington prep product Chandler Smith over the weekend. It also includes ESPN Top-100 high school players Natalie Romeo from California and Kaylee Page from Kansas, along with Tennessee Class 2-AA Player-of-the-Year Jasmine Cincore and California prep standout Darrien Washington.
Nebraska's group of freshmen for the 2014-15 season also grew by one player, with the addition of Kansas prep star Emily Wood. The 5-5 guard out of Salina Central High School will join the Huskers as a walk-on next season. Wood passed up several Division I scholarship offers, including a pair of Ivy League schools, to join the Huskers.
"Emily turned down scholarship offers from other schools in order to walk on at Nebraska," Coach Connie Yori said. "That in itself shows her maturity and the value she will bring to our program. She sees the big picture and how Nebraska can be a great fit for her overall development.
"On the court, she will help us because she is a good passer and a great shooter. She is also a smart, tough player. Every morning before school, she's in the gym working on her game. That is the type of kids you want in your program. She is competitive and will make our team better every day in practice."
Wood earned honorable-mention Class 5A all-state honors as a junior for Coach Geoff Andrews at Salina Central High School. She added second-team All-AVCTL honors in 2012-13. She averaged 11.2 points and 2.3 assists per game, while hitting 35.6 percent of her three-pointers. She also knocked down 81.8 percent of her free throws. She enters her senior season with 132 career three-pointers.
As a sophomore, Wood averaged 12.5 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.9 steals per game while shooting 35 percent from three-point range. She earned second-team all-state honors from the Wichita Eagle and added third-team all-state accolades from the Topeka Capital-Journal.
As a freshman starter, Wood averaged 8.7 points and 2.3 assists per game. She earned second-team All-AVCTL honors, while also being named Salina Central Team MVP in a vote by her teammates.
Wood played club basketball for Coach Doug Finch for the MOKAN Eclipse, helping the team to a top-eight finish at 2013 Blue Star National in Augusta, Ga. In the summer of 2011, she was named to the all-tournament teams at Miss Basketball Kearney, the USJN Gateway Challenge and USJN Mountain Madness. As a seventh and eighth-grader, Wood was a club teammate of fellow Husker recruit Kaylee Page with the Eclipse-Sparq. Finch, who is the father of the Nebraska assistant coach Dayna Finch, is also the head boys coach at Salina Central.
Wood, who also competed in volleyball for Salina Central, is an outstanding student who carries better than a 4.1 GPA. She is the National Honor Society President as a senior and is the editor-in-chier of Salina Central's school newspaper. She won a state championship for news page design in 2013.
Wood chose Nebraska Nebraska over Harvard, Dartmouth, West Point, Washburn and Western Illinois.
"I chose Nebraska because of the people," Wood said. "I do not think there is a better coaching staff, better teammates, or a better university environment in the country than Nebraska."