Two of the top women’s basketball prospects in the junior class are making unofficial visits to Tennessee this weekend.
Center Mercedes Russell and forward Stephanie Mavunga were teammates on the U.S. U16 national team this summer and are good friends. Russell was on campus on Friday while Mavunga is expected to arrive today.
The 6-foot-5 Russell is the top-rated recruit in the Class of 2013 by ESPN HoopGurlz. She helped lead Springfield (Ore.) High to a Class 5A state championship last season, averaging 24.5 points, 15 rebounds and five blocks per game.
The 6-3 Mavunga, who’s from Indianapolis, has a strong résumé as well. She’s ranked 15th in the class and has played two varsity seasons at Brownsburg High, where she already holds the career record for blocks with 174. She averaged 18.5 points, 10.1 rebounds and 4.3 blocks per game for a 20-5 team. She shot 58.4 percent from the floor.
Mavunga, who was born in Harare, Zimbabwe, has single-game career highs of 30 points, 22 rebounds and 11 blocks.
Injury Update: Point guard Ariel Massengale remains sidelined after colliding with teammate Cierra Burdick on Monday and suffering a concussion. The Lady Vols freshman hasn’t even been attending practice.
“Her symptoms are getting better but they’re not gone,’’ said Jenny Moshak, the Lady Vols’ associate athletic director for sports medicine.
Taber Spani, who underwent left elbow surgery last week, has a doctor’s visit on Wednesday and Moshak hopes to begin integrating the sophomore guard back into practice within a week to two weeks thereafter.