The next generation of Texas talent hit the hardwood for the second time in a month at the women’s Jordan Brand Classic on April 14.
Texas commits Chasity Patterson and Rellah Boothe make up the Longhorns’ No. 3 recruiting class. The top point guard and forward tandem established Texas as one of only two programs to sign multiple top-ten prospects, and the only university to have two of the top five.
Both players competed in the McDonald’s High School All-American Game, and Boothe was named MVP. It’s too soon to tell how both players will adjust to the college game, but one thing has become
The duo is already clicking.
“I cannot wait to play on her team,” Boothe said of Patterson. “She’s one of those teammates that everyone wants to have. When we’re on the court, she makes sure that you’re seen.”
The fall roster is stacked with top-talent. With the inclusion of Patterson and Boothe, Texas boasts eight former All-American players. And with two potential stars gelling this early in the process,Texas head coach Karen Aston said that the ceiling for this team may be higher than any she’s coached before.
“If we mature like I think we can, and the players who come in as freshmen — and newcomers — if they buy into the process this summer... I do think we have the ability to be as well-rounded as we’ve been,” Aston said.
Boothe and Patterson’s relationship extends beyond the basketball court. The two have quickly become close in their short time spent together, sharing rooms at events and making jokes at shootarounds.
“We can relate to each other, as far as personal experience and stuff like that,” Boothe said. “I also like her as a person too. She’s goofy. She’s very goofy. Even when I think about her I laugh because I know every time I see her she’s gonna do something to make me laugh.”
On the court Patterson, a 5-foot-6 point guard out of Houston’s North Shore High School, is every bit the lethal shooter of Texas’ leading scorer Brooke McCarty.
She adds a long range scoring threat to an elite team that only averaged four three-pointers a game last season and was outscored from behind the arc in almost every matchup.
“The one thing I will tell you about Chastity is that she’s pretty legit in a sense of what she brings to the table,” Aston said. “And even though Chassity is being labeled as a point guard — and she is — we recruited her for her shooting ability.”
Boothe offers another level of dynamism. The supremely talented wing/forward will make for nightmare matchups on both ends of the floor with her size and skillset. At 6-foot-3 inches, Boothe comes to Texas mirroring last year’s prospect Joyner Holmes, who gave Texas 12.1 points and 8.2 rebounds in her first season.
Both Boothe and Holmes entered as the No. 2 recruit, and both have the versatility to fill a variety of roles.
“Rellah is a scorer,” Aston said. “I wouldn’t say she has a label. Or a position. Very much like Joyner. But she does have the capabilities of stretching the floor.”
Boothe averaged 27.5 points and 9.8 rebounds her senior year of high school. Her lefty jumper and handles are further developed than Holmes at the same stage of her career. When asked about the similarities, Boothe acknowledged the different roles the two would fill.
“She’s versatile,” Boothe said. “Very versatile. I’m also the same. She can play outside, she can play inside. We’re pretty much built the same.”
“I can play one through five,” Boothe said. “I can play point guard.”
Boothe and Holmes’ versatility coupled with Patterson and McCarty’s shooting spells trouble for the Big 12 next season.
“I think we are most certainly headed in the correct direction,” Aston said. “If you talk about where we were five years ago, and now we’re contending for conference championships. And we’re really a shot away or two away from one, with a young team — (it) makes you excited for the future.”