With an improving program close to home recruiting her, the decision became an easy one for Hutchinson Community College guard Heather Robben.
"It was pretty much a no-brainer," she said Wednesday after signing with Wichita State's women's basketball program. "I felt comfortable there. I really enjoyed being around the girls."
Robben, who played at Maize, watched the Shockers closely this season. Their improvement to an 18-15 record made WSU an attractive choice.
"I enjoyed watching Coach (Jody) Adams coach," Robben said. "She's really competitive. That's the kind of coach I want to play for."
Robben and Wakeland (Texas) High forward Jackie Patterson signed with WSU on Wednesday, the first day of the signing period.
Adams said she believes she filled her team's biggest needs by adding a good shooter in Robben and more inside depth in Patterson.
"We needed every position two years ago," she said. "Now we're able to target specific needs and we have done that."
Robben (5-foot-9), averaged 16.0 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists for Hutchinson. She was named a third-team NJCAA All-American as a sophomore. Robben was an honorable mention All-American as a freshman.
"It's a great fit," Hutchinson coach John Ontjes said. "She's a tremendous shooter. She's very intelligent about the game."
Robben, who visited Oregon and Valparaiso, made 46.5-percent of her shots and 43.5 percent from three-point range as a sophomore.
"We will also have (guard Alicia Sanchez) back on the court, so we will have two shooters," Adams said. "(Robben) comes in with the right mentality and the right attitude."
Patterson (6-1) averaged 11.7 points and 6.9 rebounds for Wakeland, located in Frisco, Texas. ESPN.com rated her the No. 62 power forward prospect in the nation. She was named All-Class 4A by the Texas Girls Coaches Association and All-Region II by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches.
Robben and Patterson join a four-person fall class.
Center Shannika Bryant (6-4) of Chicago, guards BreAnna Dawkins (5-6) and Krystle Henderson (5-6) of Dallas and forward Kelsey Jacobs (5-11) of Fortuna, Calif., signed in the fall.
Ragland signs with WSU men — North Platte (Neb.) Community College guard Joe Ragland, an NJCAA All-American who committed to WSU two weeks ago, signed on Wednesday.
He averaged 18.4 points and made 56 percent of his shots, 45.8 percent of his three-pointers and 75.4 percent of his free throws as a sophomore. He holds North Platte's career scoring record with 1,286 points. In two seasons, he averaged 19.5 points and 3.1 assists and made 45.3 percent of his threes.
As his statistics indicate, Ragland (6-0) can be the big scorer or the distributor, depending on the need.
"He's a scoring point guard," North Platte assistant Ted Shurtleff said. "He's very unselfish. He's not a pass-first guard, but he's not a shoot-first guard, either."
Ragland will have two seasons of eligibility at WSU. Shurtleff expects the WSU coaching staff to make Ragland into an even more productive player. Like many transfers, he must adjust to the pace and intensity of NCAA Division I basketball.
"He's not perfect," Shurtleff said. "It's consistency and working hard all the time. Sometimes when Joe plays, it looks like he's pacing himself. When he wants to play defense, people can't get by him."
* Wagner (Texas) High forward Andre Roberson visited WSU last weekend. Roberson, a 6-foot-7 senior, was an All-Class 5A pick in Texas.
Knight to Kentucky — Brandon Knight, Rivals.com's No. 1 overall player in the class of 2010, committed to Kentucky on Wednesday, choosing the Wildcats over Kansas, Syracuse, Connecticut and Florida.
Knight, a point guard, was expected to choose Kentucky and coach John Calipari, following in the footsteps of one-and-done point guards Derrick Rose, Tyreke Evans and John Wall.
KU is expected to garner a commitment from point guard Josh Selby, the No. 4 overall player in the class, on Saturday night when he makes his announcement in New York City at the Jordan Brand game. Another KU recruit, shooting guard Doron Lamb, the No. 21 player in the class, will announce at the same time as Selby.
KU has two scholarships to give.