Spring signing period begins for WKU

Jordan Wells

While many college basketball fans celebrated the start of the spring signing period on April 11, WKU fans are having to take a “wait and see” approach to find out what recruits their program will sign.

Men’s head coach Ray Harper has two scholarships at his disposal, with senior guard Kahlil McDonald’s graduation and freshman guard Derrick Gordon announcing his plans to transfer.

Meanwhile, the women’s program and new head coach Michelle Clark-Heard have four after the departure of rising junior forward Mimi Hill.

Possible targets for the men’s team include guards Jacobby Bledsoe, Darrell Combs, Jalen Pendleton and Andre Applewhite.

Bledsoe, whose Rivals.com offer list includes Oregon State, Dayton, Drake and several others, told the Herald in March that he’s deciding between WKU and Northern Illinois.

“I’ve had a long relationship with (NIU Head Coach) Mark Montgomery since I was younger,” he said. “But I really like the atmosphere at WKU and Coach Harper.”

Combs, a 6-foot-1 senior guard from Thornwood High School in South Holland, Ill., said he’s deciding between WKU and Cleveland State.

He visited WKU’s campus last weekend, with his visit to Cleveland State scheduled for this weekend.

“It’s a beautiful campus,” Combs said of his visit to WKU. “Just a really beautiful place. Great gymnasium facilities too.”

The 6-foot-2 Pendleton from Bosse High School in Evansville also visited last weekend.  

Pendleton averaged 21 points and 8 rebounds per game as a senior, helping Bosse to a 23-5 record.

He has an offer from Indiana State, with interest coming from Tulane, Texas Christian, Middle Tennessee State and Morehead State.

Applewhite, a 6-foot-4 guard from Central High School in Memphis, Tenn., has offers from Missouri, Tennessee, Auburn and Tulane, according to 247sports.com

He’s making an official visit to WKU’s campus this weekend.

The women’s program has signed Green County High School senior Micah Jones, and Jeffersonville High School (Ind.) senior Jalynn McClain. Both signed in the fall period under former head coach Mary Taylor Cowles.

Top targets for Clark-Heard’s first recruiting class include Leasia Wright and Portia Durrett.

A 5-foot-7 point guard prospect, Wright scored 21 points in the KHSAA Girls 2012 Sweet 16 state championship final, leading Dupont Manual High School to a 58-54 victory over Marion County High School.

Durrett, a 6-foot-2 sophomore power forward, played last season for Walters State Community College, a junior college.  She graduated from Louisville Seneca High School.

Durrett has visited WKU, Oklahoma, and Virginia Commonwealth. She said she plans to visit South Carolina this weekend and Memphis at some point.