MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Early last week, women's basketball Coach Mike Carey was aware that he was close to welcoming one of the country's best recruiting classes to West Virginia.
He then received even better news. Krystal Forthan, a 6-foot-4 forward, transferred in from LSU late last week, extending Carey's string of top-tier recruiting classes and adding to the likelihood the WVU coach will continue his trend of successful transfers.
Before Forthan joined, Carey's five-player class was ranked No. 4 by Blue Star Basketball and No. 11 by ESPN.
Forthan, who was born in Oregon, grew up in Texas and played AAU basketball with former Mountaineers guard Sarah Miles, was one of the best players in the 2011 recruiting class.
"She is a very talented player who will add instant notoriety to WVU women's basketball," Carey said.
Forthan is also the 26th transfer in Carey's 11 years with the Mountaineers. Nine of the 26 have been Division I transfers.
Since the start of the 2009 season, Carey has taken in 10 transfers. Six, including four of the past five, came from Division I schools.
"A lot of the players that we end up getting, a majority of the time we were recruiting them coming out of high school and for whatever reason we didn't get them," Carey said. "We weren't really in there at the end with Krystal, but we knew what type of player she was and we were fortunate we had the second opportunity to get her."
Most of Carey's transfers have been junior college players. He's found talent at the juco level as recently as the 2011 team with Vanessa House and Madina Ali.
All but one of his Division I transfers have come from BCS football conferences and successful women's basketball programs. Forthan and senior forward Ayana Dunning played at LSU and junior Christal Caldwell played at Florida. Before then, Sparkle Davis was at Auburn, Takisha Granberry played at Virginia, Korinne Campbell was at Minnesota, Tonia Williams played at South Carolina and Melanie Small was on a Final Four team at Michigan State.
"We've been fortunate," Carey said. "We do our homework and try to figure out if it's a good fit and if there's a good feel. And we have to have a need. If we have a need for that position, then we want them to be good people and we want them to fit. We don't want a transfer in here that doesn't fit with the rest of the players and upsets the whole program."