- Glenn Nelson, ESPNHS HoopGurlz
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That Samantha Logic's cell phone didn't quite "blow up" at the beginning of August the way many projected had nothing to do with her popularity, or lack thereof, with college recruiters. After her last exposure tournament of July, her family made its usual trek to northern Wisconsin. And there, Logic said, "the cell service wasn't too good."
Which is just as well. Logic, of Racine, Wis., was determined to keep her college list at a manageable level -- and Iowa had a strong hold on the top of that list anyway. The No. 10 prospect in the ESPNU HoopGurlz 100 committed to the Hawkeyes on Sunday, two days after making yet another unofficial visit.
Logic's other finalists were Marquette, Stanford and Vanderbilt. She kept her options focused as much out of fairness to the competing programs as for her own sanity. When she received her application for Stanford, Logic said, "I already could see myself at Iowa," so she didn't submit the paperwork because she didn't want to string along the Cardinal coaching staff.
"Every time I went there, I got a really, really good feeling," Logic said of Iowa.
The feeling certainly had to have been mutual. Coach Lisa Bluder's is a program on the upswing, having produced three straight 20-win seasons, the last culminating in a second-round NCAA loss to another of Logic's finalists, Stanford. But the Hawkeyes, which also have a commitment from No. 62 Virginia Johnson of Iowa City, rarely sniff the stratosphere of as elite a prospect as Logic.
Logic seemed almost to come from nowhere. During her first go-round in high-level club ball last summer, the 5-foot-11 combo guard didn't just take the circuit by storm, she cast thunderclaps upon it that reverberated throughout the recruiting nation. "I just knew coaches everywhere were turning around and saying, 'Who the heck is this girl?' " said John Waring, Logic's trainer at Pacesetter Basketball.
She was well known only in Wisconsin, where as a junior Logic averaged 15.3 points, 9.3 rebounds, 7.8 assists, and 4.4 steals while leading Racine Case to its first-ever trip to the state tournament. In the quarterfinals, Case was toppled 68-62 by three-time defending champion Vincent and 6-6 post Nicole Griffin, an Oklahoma signee ranked No. 80 in the 2010 class by ESPN HoopGurlz. That was in spite of Logic's 32 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and seven steals.
"Some players make other players on their team better," Waring said. "She not only does that, she makes other players seem better than what they are. She does things you don't normally see on the college level, and you never see in AAU ball."
Pacesetter Basketball is a program into which players have to be accepted after first being invited to try out. Logic's first tryout, during her freshman year at Racine Case High School, resulted in a selection as an alternate. She made the program the next year and at the time, Waring said, was unable to knock down wide-open shots from 15-18 feet out. But she had an affinity for details that elude players two levels higher. On a national stage last summer, Logic revealed an intelligent and physical, pass-first, take-a-charge and take-charge style that propelled Midwest Elite to within a whisper of beating DFW TJack Elite at the Nike Summer Showcase in Chicago before breaking through for a title, without two other top prospects Alex Cohen and Jewell Loyd, at the prestigious USJN Nationals in Washington, D.C.
Waring and her club coach, Ralph Gesualdo of Midwest Elite, say Logic's competitive nature tends to percolate most when the stakes are highest. Logic is content to allow everyone else to exhaust themselves analyzing her game and her breakout summer.
"People are going to talk about what they're going to talk about," she said. "I'm just out there to play, whether people say bad things about me or really good things. I try not to take any of it to heart, you know? I don't think I played that much differently. I had great players on my (club) team, and I don't think that ever hurts."
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Glenn Nelson is a senior writer at ESPN.com and the founder of HoopGurlz.com. A member of the Parade All-American Selection Committee, he formerly coached girls' club basketball, was a co-founder and editor-in-chief of an online sports network, authored a basketball book for kids, has had his photography displayed at the Smithsonian Institute, and was a longtime, national-award-winning newspaper columnist and writer. He can be reached at email@example.com.