A flurry of women's basketball recruiting activity on Saturday thwarted Tennessee's ongoing efforts regarding the Class of 2013.
Diamond DeShields, a 6-foot-2 forward from Norcross, Ga., informed Lady Vols new head coach Holly Warlick that she had committed to North Carolina. DeShields was one of the prized prospects of the class, ranked No. 3 overall by ESPN HoopGurlz. Along with UT, Connecticut, Maryland and Duke were the finalists for DeShields.
Her decision led a banner day for North Carolina, which failed to make the NCAA tournament this season. Forward Stephanie Mavunga, wing Allisha Gray and point guard Jessica Washington also committed to the Tar Heels.
UT was among the final five choices for Gray, who was ranked No. 8 in the class.
Mavunga, a 6-3 forward from Indianapolis, also was being recruited by the Lady Vols. She was ranked No. 15 in the class by HoopGurlz. She's a good friend of center Mercedes Russell of Springfield, Ore., who's ranked No. 1 and is one of UT's top recruiting priorities .
Bill Wagner, Russell's high school coach, said via text message Saturday that he thinks Russell will make her official visits before deciding. But he conceded that Mavunga's decision could impact Russell.
Meanwhile, Wilka Montout, a 6-5 center from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, has signed with South Carolina.
Tennessee recruited Montout but couldn't get the junior college player to visit.