Coaches talk about their recruiting classes

Originally Published: November 27, 2007
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Alabama

Coach Stephany Smith on her class of Carmen McCoy, Kayla Robinson, Ericka Russell and Candace Sykes:

"With each recruiting class our goal is to bring in a collective group of players that fill voids, add depth and in general make us better. Since our arrival at Alabama we believed that our third recruiting class would be key. We have two recruiting classes currently on campus, and a roster of players committed to putting Alabama Women's Basketball back on the map. When this third class arrives in Tuscaloosa it will meet up with a core group of players who have operated within our system at least one season and for the first time the experience won't be that of all underclassmen."

American

Coach Melissa McFerrin on her class of point guard Raven Harris from Princess Anne High School in Virginia Beach, VA, combo guard Kristin Coles from Notre Dame Academy in Middleburg, VA, wing Lisa Strack from Archbishop Wood High School in Warminster, PA, wing Ebony Edwards from Bishop McNamara High School in Forestville, MD and center Alisha Moritz from Crosby-Ironton High School in Crosby, MN:

"Raven is a confident floor leader who loves to play at a high tempo. She has the ability to score on her own and create easy shots for others. She has great court vision. Defensively, look for her to be among our leaders in steals. ... Kristin is a high-intensity player. Her effort and desire are on display every time she takes the court. She is a great pressure defender and can slash to the rim with the best of them. Notre Dame Academy is one of the best high school programs in the USA. ... Lisa is a very versatile offensive player who can score in a variety of ways. She can shoot the three, penetrate the lane and score from mid-range. Her size and athleticism make her a great defender and she is accustomed to guarding the other team's best player. She also plays on one of the top teams in Philadelphia at Archbishop Wood. ... Ebony knows how to play on both ends of the floor. She's a great shooter and scorer but also knows how to get down and defend on the other end. Her teams at McNamara are known for their high energy pressing style of play and for winning. ... Alisha had great size and strength in the post. She will be a back-to-the-basket player and a shot blocker on the defensive end. We like her work ethic and therefore trust that her upside is tremendous."

Arizona

Coach Joan Bonvicini on her class of Amani Butler, Courtney Clements, Jhakia McDonald and Malia Nahinu:

"Overall, this is the best signing class we have had in a number of years. I want to credit our coaching staff for all of the hard work that has been done in landing this group of talented players. We signed some players that will really fulfill our needs on the court. I think each player has the talent and ability to come into our program and play right away. ... Amani is an excellent ball handler and can slash to the basket," Bonvicini said. "She has a nice shot, she has the ability to get to the free throw line and is a very good defender. ... Courtney is an excellent player who can drive to the basket, shoot the jumper and plays terrific defense. She is a leader on the court, a great athlete, and she has the potential to be a big-time scorer and rebounder for us. ... Jhakia is a very good point guard who is smart with the ball and can hit the three. She is very well coached, and she will challenge right away for our point guard spot next season. ... Malia is one of the top post players in California and in the country. She is a very skilled player who can shoot with both hands and has great moves in the post. She has the potential to come in here and contribute immediately."

Auburn

Coach Nell Fortner on her class of Chantel Hilliard, a 6-foot-2 forward/center, Morgan Jennings a 5-foot-8 guard, Parrisha Simmons a 6-foot guard and Sierra "CeCe" Sims, a 5-foot-7 point guard :

"I am very excited about the future of our program with the addition of these four players. They are fast, quick, and just extremely athletic. With the style of basketball we are playing, we have to continue bringing in this high caliber of athleticism. They are hard-working kids, but I just love their speed and quickness. We are excited about this class."

California

Coach Joanne Boyle on her class of Casey Morris, Oakland, Calif., and Shawna-Lei Kuehu, Honolulu, Hawaii:

We're excited to welcome Casey and Shawna to the Cal family. Casey will be an immediate asset to our backcourt. She brings athleticism, length, terrific court vision and the ability to score or distribute the basketball. She also brings leadership and competitiveness to our team, and her experience winning a state title as a freshman will be invaluable to Cal. Shawna is one of the top guards in the country. She is a versatile wing player that will give us a new dimension on the perimeter. She can do it all: shoot, score off the dribble, pass, rebound and defend. Her performance at Nike Nationals, in particular, showed that she belongs in the company of the nation's most elite players. We look forward to having her in a Cal uniform."

Colorado

Coach Kathy McConnell-Miller on her class of Alyssa Fressle and Julie Seabrook:

"The addition of Alyssa and Julie meets our immediate needs for next year. With Jackie (McFarland) and Susie (Powers) graduating, we will need to replace great leadership, scoring and rebounding. The two players we have added will be able to come in and make an immediate impact. ... Fressle is a difference maker. She is as versatile as any player in our program. I feel in her career as a Buffalo she will develop into a go-to player. She's mentally tough and has been challenged at every level and is a proven winner from her AAU experiences to her experience at Highlands Ranch. She has been successful following many great players like Ann Strother and Susie Powers leading Highlands Ranch to championships and we expect her to be able to do the same at this level. ... Julie is competing at the highest level for her country/ She has a great excitement about coming to Colorado. She is extremely versatile; a finesse player. She can hit the '3', post up or put the ball on the floor. With (NEDA) coach Christine Stapleton she will spend the next 10 months developing and competing for her country. She's already had to make some sacrifices (moving from Vancouver to Ontario) to be with the national team and this will prepare her to compete and get ready for Big 12 play."

Duke

Coach Joanne P. McCallie on her class of Chelsea Hopkins of North Las Vegas, Nev.; Kathleen Scheer of New Haven, Mo., and Shay Selby of Cleveland, Ohio:

"I'm extremely excited, very proud of our staff and very proud of our team because they are so much of the recruitment process. Shannon [Perry] and Samantha [Williams] did a fantastic job, as well as Al [Brown]. Our team are incredible hosts and are incredible ambassadors of Duke University. The three women coming in are smart, they play hard and they have a blue-collar mentality which I love. ... Chelsea is interesting. She's very speedy, very quick and aggressive. She plays with a tremendous amount of confidence, can create off the dribble as well as anybody and is excellent in transition. Chelsea has a skill set of speed and quickness. She's alert and is mentally pretty quick in terms of her decision-making. She can certainly hit the three ball although she doesn't rely on it. She has an uncanny knack to get the ball to the post in excellent position. Not to mention, as a defensive stopper, we're looking for people to pick up the ball full court and to really wreak havoc on opponents. Chelsea is somebody you wouldn't want to go against because she's in your face and she doesn't quit. ... Well Shay is just again a very committed, loyal person. She knows what she wants and academically she loves Duke, always has, and has always dreamed of playing at Duke. When you find somebody like that, that's a pretty special thing. Her versatility separates her as she does not have to be the point. She can be two or three and whenever she's on the floor she has so many weapons. She can create off the dribble, can pull up for a three and her favorite thing to do is to create for her teammates and create assists. You think about Abby Waner eventually graduating and some of the scoring opportunities that we'll need from the perimeter, there's no question that Shay's going to make an impact. ... Kathleen has a tremendous up side. She is one of the hardest workers you will ever meet. Her work ethic and her willingness to pay the price separates her from so many players almost immediately. Then you couple that with her size, her ability to shoot the three and her passing ability; she truly is a point guard or post. She is somebody that could potentially play all five positions on the floor. Again, I don't anticipate that early, but she has the skill set and the desire to be so very good. I just think that it's amazing; the message she has sent her hometown. She leaves a very small hometown to join Duke and to go after the highest level. Her whole story is quite an inspiration to our team. ... Well it's great that we recruited our needs with the losses of Wanisha and Emily for next season. I look at Shay as a person who is very versatile. She can play the one or the two, can be aggressive and attack the floor. Chelsea is that incredible, hard-nosed point guard that can just disrupt defensively all over the place as well as create offensively. To me, those are the two guards. Kathleen is truly a forward to me. She can play some three, but at this level she might be best to be joining the post group for a while and really get her feet wet that way. She is one of the most unique players in the country given her versatility and ability to shoot the three-point shot. ... All three are gritty and very excited to wear the Duke uniform. I'll never forget Shay for her commitment early and then how she maintained that commitment through incredible pressure to make a change. Also with Kathleen and Chelsea, as highly recruited student-athletes, with all of the choices that they had and their focus narrowing so quickly on Duke; it was a team effort. A lot of people stepped up to make it possible and all three have a chance to impact our program immediately as freshmen because of their competitive spirit and willingness to play hard."

Florida

Coach Amanda Butler on her class of Tailor Jones (5-foot-11, Guard, Altamonte Springs, Fla./Lake Mary High School), Trumae Lucas (5-foot-8, Guard, Greensboro, N.C./Grimsley High School) and Azania Stewart (6-foot-4, Center, Wood Green, England/Notre Dame Academy in Middleburg, Va.):

"I am really excited about the addition of Tailor, Trumae and Azania to our program next season. They immediately make us better in the paint and on the perimeter. One of the most important qualities we were looking for in future Gators was their desire to compete for championships. All three of these young women aspire to be champions and want to do so wearing the Florida uniform. They are excited about the opportunity to make history with the Gators and we expect them to contribute right away. All three blended perfectly with our existing Gator family and chemistry is such an important element in orchestrating a championship team. ... Tailor is one of the best passers I've seen in a long time, especially in transition. She has a high basketball I.Q., great timing on the court and has the ability to score in a variety of different ways. She has the mind of a point guard and has the size to play on the wing in the Southeastern Conference. Lake Mary, coached by Carl Brown, is traditionally one of the best high school programs in the region and it's great to keep such talented kid in state. ... Trumae is quick, athletic and has played on one of the best high school teams in North Carolina. She will give us a lot of different options on the perimeter. She is confident and expects to make plays every chance she gets. She plays hard, is very competitive and can put points on the board. She's been well coached by Phil Weaver and Stanford Ray and knows how to win. ... Azania is a true center and will give us a big presence in the pain. She has a great attitude and is wonderful person to be around on and off the court. Azania has had the good fortune to learn and play her high school ball under Mike Teasley, who has done a tremendous job of developing Azania's skills and building a national championship caliber program at Notre Dame Academy."

Georgia Tech

Coach MaChelle Joseph on her class of Mo Bennett, a 5-10 guard from Statesboro, Ga.; Chelsea Regins of Broward, Fla., Sasha Goodlett of Bolton, Miss., and Liberty County (Ga.) high school teammates LaQuananisha Adams and Metra Walthour:

"This recruiting class is very special. It is without question one of the most talented and deepest classes that we have signed at Georgia Tech. This group brings much needed size to our front court and tremendous speed and quickness to our backcourt. Not only are these some of the top players in the country they are also the type of student-athletes that will excel at Tech. Our recruiting coordinator Sytia Messer and our coaching staff did a great job of putting together one of the top-10 classes in the country and the second top-10 class in as many years. We are excited about the impact that this class will have."

Hofstra

Coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey on her class of Nicole Capurso (Staten Island, NY), Joelle Connelly (Arcade, NY) and Kim Watson (New York, NY):

"I am excited to bring this trio of student-athletes to Hofstra University and our Women's Basketball program. They are very skilled basketball players and will be wonderful additions to the Hofstra community. In our last two recruiting classes we have answered some of our biggest needs and my staff and I look forward to having the opportunity to coach Nicole, Joelle and Kim."

Iowa State

Coach Bill Fennelly on his class of Ashley Arlen (Cascade, Iowa), Whitney Williams (Ft. Worth, Texas) and Alexis Yackley (Onida, S.D.):

"For us, recruiting is about finding young people who fit the culture of Iowa State and our basketball program. The three players we signed will all bring with them a commitment on and off the court to help continue the tradition of our program. ... We felt Ashley was the best player in the 2008 class in Iowa. She is a great athlete who has a very competitive mentality. We will need a great deal of help in the post in the years ahead and this is a great start for us. Being from the hometown of (ISU men's basketball) Coach McDermott is an added bonus. ... Whitney can play either guard spot. She understands the game very well and can impact the game in a variety of ways, whether it is her three-point shooting or her ball handling. Coming from Texas, she has played against great competition her whole life. ... Lex is a prototypical point guard. She plays the game the way we like to play it and does a great job of making those around her better. I think she has a great shot to be Miss Basketball in South Dakota (this season)."

Kansas State

Coach Deb Patterson on her class of guard/forward Alina Voronenko, forward Jalana Childs and forward Jennifer Gilbertson:

"I feel terrific about the quality overall of this signing class. We continue to bolster our post game with the signing of Jalana Childs and Jenny Gilbertson and with Alina Voronenko, we got a versatile perimeter player with good size. This is a balanced class inside and out and it will help us counter the loss of Shana Wheeler, Kimberly Dietz and Carolyn McCullough. These three possess excellent personal character and they are all committed to achieving academic success. ... Alina is impressive in the combination of size and versatility that she brings to the program," said Patterson about Voronenko. "I'll look for her to be a very effective three-point shooter but she can also post up and has good penetration ability. She is a tremendous competitor who loves the game and is a gym rat. I think Alina has a chance to be a very unique and successful Big 12 player. I expect her impact to be felt very early in her career here at KSU. ... I love the offensive game Jalana brings to the floor. She is a tremendous finisher, is athletic and has great hands. Jalana is a person with very high expectations of herself on and off the floor. She brings a great conscience to scoring the basketball and to making quality, productive plays. She brings terrific toughness, athleticism and a good touch from 15 feet and in. ... Jenny's style is very much like that of Ashley Sweat. She has the ability to post up, but at 6-2, is a four-player that can shoot the three and attack the rim from 19 feet off the dribble. She is a fiery competitor with a competitive disposition that will continue to add toughness to our front line. Jenny's work ethic is a perfect fit for our program as is her overall versatility."

Louisiana Tech

Coach Chris Long on his class of three Alabamans - guards Jasmine Bendolph, DeAngela Sword and Kiara Young:

"I think all three of these players will come in and compete for playing time when they walk on campus. We addressed several needs with this group. All three were highly recruited. I feel like we signed the best three guards in the state of Alabama and three of the best in the Southeast. ... Jasmine is a special player. We have been watching Jasmine play for quite some time. She is a pure point guard that can handle it, distribute it, and score it. She has an excellent command of her dribble. ... Dee is a great athlete. She is quicker than quick. Once she gets stronger, she will help our team rebounding, scoring, and has lockdown defensive ability. What separates Dee from other players is her first step and ability to slash and hit the pull-up jumper or get to the basket. Her range on her 3-pointer is getting better and better. Dee and (Jasmine) have played together for a long time in AAU basketball so they will be very good together. ... Kiara is a very strong guard that can play either the 2 or 3 guard position. She has very strong shoulders but is also very explosive. You just don't find many high school players with the strength level she has particularly on the wing. She is also a player that should really have a good career on the boards. Her first step allows her to get by players guarding her and she can finish at the basket. I think with hard work her upside is very high."

Louisville

Coach Jeff Walz on his class of Janae Howard, Mary Jackson, Monique Reid, and Gwen Rucker:

"This is an exciting day for Louisville women's basketball. I need to say thanks to my entire staff for all the hard work they put into making this class come true. Stephanie Norman, Michelle Clark-Heard and Bethann Ord worked many hours to help secure our 2008 recruiting class. Taking over in late March we went full speed in recruiting and it paid dividends. This is one of the best group of seniors to come out of Kentucky in many years and for us to have three signed at this point makes a statement to where Louisville basketball is going and how we are perceived in the state. All three of these young ladies will be able to help us win in the Big East. You add Mary Jackson and Tiera Stephen to that mix and all the sudden, we have put together a solid group of incoming freshmen."

Loyola Marymount

Coach Julie Wilhoit on her class of Alex Cowling, Monica DeAngelis, and Mikah Maly-Karros:

"I am extremely excited about this incoming class because for the first time, we did not want to bring in anyone but these young women and, more importantly, they did not want to go anywhere besides LMU. When we first met with each of them, we walked away knowing that these were players that we wanted to coach. Furthermore, their stats speak to the type of talent that each brings to our program. ... Alex is a complete player. She is a floor general who makes everyone around her better. She is a scorer and tenacious rebounder but what impresses me the most is that she knows what she wants. Alex is a winner and we are happy to have her come and continue to do so at LMU. ... Monica is a savvy point guard who is dedicated to continually improving through her hard work. She has a great scoring touch and incredible shooting range that will help us stretch defenses. ... Mikah is extremely athletic and a fearless rebounder. She has a tremendous nose for the ball and is very strong for someone her age."

Loyola (Md.)

Coach Joe Logan on his class of Kathleen Excellent (Montreal, Quebec, Canada/Auntsic College), Kiara Henderson (Hyattsville, Md./Bladensburg High School), Mallory Lawes (Elmira, N.Y./Notre Dame High School) and Miriam McKenzie (Columbia, Md./Oakland Mills High School):

"We are excited about next year's incoming freshmen. Although we will be a young team again, their enthusiasm, and the fact they are coming from winning programs, will mesh well with our returning players. It is great to get two more players from Maryland. We want to continue to recruit locally and keep players at home as we continue to build on the winning seasons that we've had over the last two years. ... Kathleen is an athletic post player who will give us increased depth and versatility in the post. She will help us when we press and cause match-up problems for opposing post players. ... Kiara Henderson will give us an immediate height presence in the low post. She is still developing on the offensive end of the court, and we think she has the potential to make an immediate impact in the MAAC (Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference). ... Mallory comes from a program with a great winning tradition. She helped them win two state championships at Notre Dame. She is a tough, gutsy player who is a bit of a throwback in the way she plays. Mallory is going to help us win, and people will enjoy watching her play because she is such a consummate competitor. ... Miriam is also a versatile perimeter player. She can shoot the three and take people off the dribble, so she will be a difficult person for teams in the conference to guard."

LSU

Coach Van Chancellor on his class of LaSondra Barrett, a 6-2 forward from Murrah High School in Jackson, Miss.; Ayana Dunning, a 6-3 post from Eastmoor High School in Columbus, Ohio; Destini Hughes, a 5-10 guard from Kennedale High School in Ft. worth, Texas; Taylor Turnbow, a 6-2 forward from Stephenson High School in Stone Mountain, Ga.; Crystal Riley, a 5-5 guard from Hillcrest High School in Memphis, Tenn.; Courtney Jones, a 6-2 forward from Midfield High School in Midfield, Ala.; Swayze Black, a 6-3 forward/center from Brookhaven High School in Brookhaven, Miss., and Erica Brown, a 5-10 guard from Tallahassee Community College and Dillard High School in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.:

"It is unbelievable the job that our assistant coaches have done with recruiting this fall. It was a great job done by Travis Mays, Yolanda Wells-Broughton and Bob Starkey. This class lets us continue the tradition of LSU women's basketball. We are so excited about who we have signed. ... Barrett comes to us after playing from one of the great coaches in the state of Mississippi," Chancellor said. She is just a warrior that can play multiple positions. We will play her at the four and the three. She can rebound, she can shoot and she can score. ... Dunning is a rugged inside player that gives us some great post up moves. ... Hughes is a great combo guard. She can play the point and play the two guard. Her dad is a coach so she has a great understanding and awareness of the game. ... Turnbow out of Georgia is a player that will probably play the four and the five for us. She is a strong player and has really improved her midrange jump shot. ... Riley gives us great quickness. She is a guard that will be in the tradition of Erica White and Temeka Johnson. She is someone that can score and get to the rack. ... Jones is a tremendous athlete. She can shoot and run and can defend. ... Black has tremendous upside in her game. She is 6-3 and can put both hands on the rim. She is a tremendous athlete with her best basketball in front of her. ... Brown will be a player that will give us some great help at the guard position and gives us good outside shooting."

Maryland

Coach Brenda Frese on her class of Lynetta Kizer and Demauria Liles, both from Washington, D.C.,:

"Our number one goal is to always keep the best talent in the state locally and nationally playing for us. We have done that again with this class. ... We're excited to have someone of Lynetta's caliber join our team. She will have an immediate impact on this team and this program. She will be the biggest post player we have had here so far we're looking forward to working with her and developing her skills. She can already shoot and handle the ball well and will give us a physical post presence inside. ... Liles will bring an `above the rim' dimension to our team. She is one of the most athletic and explosive players in the country. She will be very quick in the post and is able to bring defenders outside where she can shoot over or drive by them. I've always thought versatility equals value and Dee certainly brings that."

Memphis

Coach Blair Savage-Lansden on her class of Laquawanda Sippio of Acadiana Prep in Louisiana:

"Adding Sippio to our squad and our family, we get a person who has overcome a lot of obstacles in her life. She's a Katrina evacuee who has overcome a lot. She was fortunate enough to end up at Acadiana Prep, and she led them to a state title last year. And even though there is controversy over that (state title), they still got there under her tutelage and her guidance and scoring. She's a player that's under the radar, and we knew that going in. She's extremely athletic and has a great feel for the game. She'll be a very athletic player for us from the four position."

Michigan

Coach Kevin Borseth on his class of Courtney Boylan, a 5-8 guard from Minnetonka, Minn., Jamillya Hardley, a 5-9 guard/forward from Grand Rapids, Mich., and Carmen Reynolds, a 6-0 guard/forward from Hilliard, Ohio:

"Courtney is a floor general, an elite guard who demands a lot of respect. She's got a ton of skill and she makes the players around her better. Courtney is very driven, a real tough kid. We're extremely excited to have her. ... Jamillya gives us depth at the perimeter position. She's very strong, athletic and skilled in addition to having great knowledge of the game. We can use Jamillya at a couple different perimeter positions. She can handle the ball at the point or play at the No. 2 or No. 3 position. She's very multi-talented. ... Carmen is a kid who grew on me over the summer when I watched her. If you had to pick a player that would best suit me as a coach, that player would be Carmen Reynolds. She can do it all. She can handle the ball, she can shoot it and she can post up. Carmen is a very skilled lefty who has a great understanding of the game."

Middle Tennessee

Coach Rick Insell on his class of guard Abby Andrews and forward Shytoria Davis:

"We feel like we got a good one in Abby. A lot of people were looking at her early and we were looking at her early. She's the type of player you're going to win championships with. She's not going to jump out of the gym or show you flashes of brilliance with her athletic ability or lateral quickness, but she knows how to pass the ball, how to score. She's hard-nosed. She's the type of personality we're looking at to win championships. We're very, very happy to have her and she's going to be a good addition to the Blue Raider program. ... With Shy, we went for someone who can go and get the basketball. When she came in, one of the questions I posed to her was, Are you aggressive and can you go and get the ball? She said yes. We knew that before she came in and I just wanted to hear it from her. Shes very athletic, very aggressive, goes and gets boards. She can score and finish on the inside, runs the floor, can defend on the outside on the perimeter. And that's kind of the type athlete we're looking for for that four and five (position). We feel really, really good about bringing Shy in and we think she can make an immediate impact next year."

Minnesota

Coach Pam Borton on her class of Kiara Buford, Brianna Mastey, Nicole Mastey and Jackie Voigt:

"We are very proud and excited about our 2008 recruiting class. All four of these future Golden Gophers played on very competitive AAU programs (North Tartan and Minnesota Stars) over the summer. Their high school programs are some of the best in the state with great coaches. They all have traveled from coast to coast to compete against the best in the nation. This recruiting class is one of national caliber. Their exceptional versatility makes them a special group. They all have the ability to play more than one position and each of them can do so many things on the floor. This class has so much going for them. They know how to win -- three come in with a state title on their resumes -- and have team-first attitudes. They are great students and they work hard. Our fans will enjoy watching this class on the court wearing the Maroon and Gold."

Missouri

Coach Cindy Stein on her class of 6-3 Christine Flores (San Antonio, Texas / Winston Churchill HS), 6-5 Kendra Frazier (Altamont, Kan. / Labette County HS) and 5-11 Bailey Gee (Andover, Kan. / Andover Central HS):

"I really like this recruiting class. I love their personalities, come from good families, are quality people, they are all well-coached and have a passion for the game. They also give us something that we need and that is size with athleticism and obviously talent and work ethic. This group will make a difference right away and we look for them to have an immediate impact. ... Christine is a tremendous athlete and the ultimate team player. She is a very talented young lady with good size. Her passing ability is awesome for her position and makes her even more dangerous. She has a great love for the game and embodies the concepts of the complete player. She shoots well, rebounds well, defends and knows the game. We are excited to see Christine in a Tiger uniform. ... Kendra is someone that is an amazing athlete and brings a presence in the paint," Stein said. "She will play physical and can also play with finesse. Her ability to run the floor for her size, control the boards and being a defensive presence definitely compliment her offensive ability. Kendra helps us fill a void that we needed to address inside. Kendra is an outstanding student as well and is extremely well-coached. She will make a big difference in our program. ... Bailey is someone that you can put anywhere on the floor and she will make a difference," Stein said. "She has great court sense, work ethic and can score from inside or out. She is someone that works at full force the entire game and always brings the momentum to your side. She will step in to take the needed charge, grab the key rebound or hit the winning shot and she is always around the ball. Bailey is also a gifted student and will be a great asset to our team."

North Carolina

Coach Sylvia Hatchell on her class of Laura Broomfield of Lexington Park, Md.; Chay Shegog of Stafford, Va.; She'la White of Portsmouth, Va., and Candace Wood of Charlotte, N.C.:

"We are very excited about bringing in another outstanding class. All four of these young ladies are true student-athletes - they are all strong both in the classroom and on the basketball court. We love the balance of this class, and we feel like we have covered all aspects of the game from point guard to great shooting to strong post play."

North Carolina State

North Carolina State Coach Kay Yow on her class of forwards Michelle Davis and Bonae Holston:

"We're very pleased to add two more front court players to an already talented group of players we have now. We feel like this will add to our depth with the upcoming departure of All-ACC senior Khadijah Whittington."

Notre Dame

Muffet McGraw on her class of Natalie Novosel, a 5-11 guard from Lexington, Ky. (Lexington Catholic High School), Erica Solomon, a 6-2 power forward from Oak Park, Mich. (Detroit Country Day School) and Kellie Watson, a 6-2 small forward from Ionia, Mich. (Ionia High School):

"I'm very pleased with the group of players we'll be bringing in next season. Each of these players has some special qualities that are going to mesh very well with our veterans. All three of them are tremendous offensive threats at their respective schools, but they also have the athleticism and skill to be important contributors on defense as well. They're hard-working individuals and should fill some key roles for us in the years ahead. We're looking forward to having all Natalie, Erica and Kellie join us on campus next year. ... Natalie has a scorer's mentality and with a fiesty, aggressive presence that we really like. She's also poised in pressure situations, shows good court awareness and her fundamentals are really solid. She's got a chance to make some early contributions for us next season. ... Erica gives us another gifted athletic post presence, which is something we will need with the graduation of Melissa D'Amico. She's got a strong fundamental base and good versatility. She can stretch defenses with her offensive skill package, whether it's posting up, taking defenders off the dribble or hitting from outside. She's also a very good rebounder and defender, which are two qualities that you can never have enough of. ... Kellie is not your typical forward in that she has the size of a low-post player, but the skills of a perimeter player. She creates a lot of matchup issues for other teams, much like our current junior Lindsay Schrader. Kellie is a very heady player and works extremely hard on her game. Her ability to play multiple positions fits very well with our system and will really add to our team next season."

Oklahoma

Coach Sherri Coale on her class of Whitney Hand, a 6-foot-1 shooting guard from Fort Worth, Texas, and Jasmine Hartman, a 5-10 point guard from Bellaire, Texas:

"Whitney Hand is one of those kids you pray you get a chance to coach. She's skilled; she's smart; she has an unwavering work ethic; and she loves to play. Lots of kids say they love to play. When Whitney has a basketball in her hand, you're absolutely sure she does. Whitney's a big guard who can really shoot the basketball and she's the best offensive rebounder I've come across in a long, long time. She might end up being the most prepared incoming freshman to ever put on a Sooner uniform. ... We feel so fortunate to add Jasmine Hartman to our family," Coale said. "She is a good-sized, left-handed guard who is terrific with the ball in her hand. She's explosive, smooth and very creative in delivering to the open player on the court. She can defend and block shots and she comes from a great high school basketball program at Bellaire. She's such a neat kid. Her enthusiasm for basketball and the University of Oklahoma is refreshing."

Oklahoma State

Coach Kurt Budke on his class of Kelsey Hatcher, Little Rock, Ark.:

"I have never had a player that has worked as hard on her game or spent as much time in the gym as Kelsey has. She is one of the top five shooters in the country and we are very fortunate to have her."

Oregon

Coach Bev Smith on her class of Darriel Gaynor (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman HS), Jasmin Holliday (Chino, Calif./Ayala HS) and Amanda Johnson (Santa Rosa, Calif./Maria Carrillo HS):

"Darriel is an outstanding addition to our program. She is a proven winner on the floor after leading her team to back-to-back state championships. 'D' plays with heart, desire and smarts, and brings an athletic presence to our team. Envisioning her with our returning guards next season - Tamika, Nia, Taylor, and Micaela - is incredibly exciting and gives us a dangerous mix of athleticism, skill, and talent in the backcourt. ... Jasmin brings an incredible athletic presence to both ends of the basketball floor. Jasmin's ability to score, rebound, and defend gives her a versatility at the forward and power forward position that is truly exciting for our basketball team. Jasmin's play last year was instrumental in their championship run. Not only can she score and rebound with double-double numbers, it is perhaps her defense and blocked shots that really sets her game apart from others. ... Amanda Johnson is a very important addition to our basketball program. AJ has tremendous offensive versatility as a power forward; she has incredible range from the three-point line, passes and handles the ball extremely well on the perimeter, and as a result, looks very 'Kraayeveldesque' in all that she does. AJ is a very strong and competitive athlete and her will to win and make others around her better is something that she takes great pride in. AJ fills a tremendous need for the Ducks at her position and we can't wait for her to be on board."

Oregon State

Coach LaVonda Wagner on her class of Brittany Kennedy, a 5-7 guard from Lewis & Clark High School in Spokane, Wash., and Kirsten Tilleman, a 6-foot-1 guard/forward from Bozeman, Mont.:

"Brittany is a defensive stopper. Her speed and quickness will allow her to disrupt the other team's offense, as evidenced by the number of steals she had last season. She is a great leader and a pass first, shoot second point guard. She has the ability to play multiple positions on the perimeter. At the point, she does a great job of getting everyone involved and making her teammates better. I'm excited about her opportunity to learn from point guards Brittney (Davis) and Mercedes (Fox-Griffin) without the pressure of being a freshmen point guard. Kirsten Tilleman adds another dimension to our basketball program. Her ability to play inside and outside gives us much needed versatility. This will allow her to do so many things on the court. She's a student of the game and comes with a high basketball IQ. She possesses the speed and quickness of perimeter player. And she has the size and strength to have a presence inside."

Penn State

Coach Coquese Washington on her class of Zhaque Gray (Chicago, Ill.), Emily Phillips (South Bend, Ind.) and Renee Womack (Lansdale, Pa.) :

"Overall, I am really excited about this recruiting class, it is our first recruiting class, and we wanted to set a tone for the type of player that we want to bring to Penn State. All three of the players are fast. They are going to help us get our transition game going and they can also do a lot on the defensive end of the floor. I am really excited about what they bring to the table and really look forward to getting all three of them here next year to see the kind of impact that they will have on the program. ... Zhaque Gray is a scorer. She can shoot the three and she excels in transition. She is very versatile and can play some point and two, but one thing is for sure, she knows how to put the ball in the basket. I am looking forward to watching her development when she gets here. ... Emily Phillips has a wonderful personality. She gets after it on the defensive end and has great court vision. She is an extremely good passer and she makes some passes that are just phenomenal. I think our players are really going to enjoy playing with her because she is going to get them the ball and get them easy baskets. ... Renee Womack is a tremendous athlete. She jumps well, she runs the floor well and she had a good mid-range game and is working on extending it out to the three-point line. She is going be a really good defender for us."

Pittsburgh

Coach Agnus Berenato on her class of posts Kate Popovec and Shawnice "Pepper" Wilson:

"I am very pleased with the recruiting efforts of our staff. We addressed our needs in the post with signing two bigs that will help us in the future and give us the depth we need. Both student-athletes will make an immediate impact on our program. ... We are so excited about signing Kate. She is a great student-athlete as well as a presence in the paint. She knows the game, and has done very well competing in a strong basketball environment against some of the top teams in the nation. Because of this, she will be able to make a smooth transition to the Big East. We are thrilled to sign our first Ohio recruit in a basketball-rich area. ... For the second year we have been able to sign the top student-athlete from the city of Pittsburgh. That is a sign of a great program when you can keep the local talent in town. Pepper has a versatile game for being 6-6. She can play with her back to the basket or pull up for a three. In addition to her athletic talents, she is No. 2 in her graduating class. It excites us to have such a great student-athlete as a part of our program."

Purdue

Coach Sharon Versyp on her class of Alex Guyton, a 6-3 forward from Bloomington, Ind., (Bloomington North High School); Chelsea Jones, a 6-4 center from Fort Smith, Ark., (Fort Smith Southside High School); Chantel Poston, a 5-10 guard from Milan, Tenn., (Milan High School), and Brittany Rayburn, a 5-11 guard from Attica, Ind., (Attica High School):

"This is a very talented group of players that fit our system and give us depth at key positions. Because of the importance of instate recruiting, we are proud that we were able to sign two of the top seniors in Indiana. We were also able to get two players from the heart of SEC country, who should make a big impact in the Big Ten. Recruiting is a continual process, but we feel that we were able to sign players this fall that will help us further our goals."

Rutgers

Coach C. Vivian Stringer on her class of Jasmine Dixon (Long Beach, Calif.), Chelsey Lee (Miami, Fla.), Brooklyn Pope (Fort Worth, Texas), Nikki Speed (Pasadena, Calif.) and April Sykes (Crawford, Miss.): "This is a special class to me. Each of these young women is different in their own way, but it's probably because of that difference and the combination of blending those differences that makes for what can be seen as a dangerous and explosive group. The addition of these outstanding recruits gives us a talented core of players for years to come. ... We are thrilled these five young ladies have decided to make Rutgers part of their family."

Stanford

Coach Tara VanDerveer on her class of Sarah Boothe (Gurnee, Ill./Warren Township HS), Lindy La Rocque (Las Vegas, Nev./Durango HS), and Grace Mashore (Washington, D.C./National Cathedral HS):

"We are very excited about our 2008 recruiting class and the skill and depth that they will bring to our program. Lindy La Rocque is a tremendous three-point shooter with range who will help open up our offense. Sarah Boothe possesses excellent back-to-the-basket moves and a strong physical presence. Grace Mashore is an excellent passer and shooter, and will make the point position more competitive. We expect all to contribute immediately."

Texas

Coach Gail Goestenkors on her first recruiting class for Texas - Yvonne Anderson of Columbia, Mo., and Ashleigh Fontenette of Pflugerville, Texas:

"Both Yvonne and Ashleigh fit in perfectly with our running and pressing style of play, and we are very excited to welcome them as part of our first recruiting class at Texas. Ashleigh is an incredible athlete, starring in both basketball and track. Her versatility as a combo guard will help us at both ends of the floor. She has been under the radar on the national recruiting front, but Ashleigh had a great summer in leading her AAU team in some of the toughest tournaments. She also attended our basketball camp, and we immediately saw her potential. Yvonne has an incredible understanding of the game, and it is obvious that she is a coach's daughter. You can tell that she learned the intricacies of the game early on. As a dual guard, Yvonne has tremendous strength and explosiveness and uses that strength to score, yet she also can play at the point and run the show. ... The signing of Ashley Gayle gives our team a legitimate inside presence. She is strong and athletic and quick off the floor, which makes her a force on defense as a shot-blocker and on the glass. Ičm thrilled that she will join our program next fall. Ashley waited until Monday [Nov. 19] to sign her National Letter of Intent as Bishop Gorman decided to hold an all-sports college signing ceremony on its campus. Ashley comes to Texas with great experiences. She's won two high school state championships, she plays on one of the top summer club teams, and she's played in the USA Basketball system. I am thrilled with the three student-athletes wečve signed during the November signing period. Gayle, Yvonne Anderson and Ashleigh Fontenette represent the type of student-athlete we want at The University of Texas competitors who have versatility and who will fit in perfectly with our running and pressing style of play."

Texas Christian

Coach Jeff Mittie on junior college athleteApril Murphy (Corpus Christi, Texas)and four high school commitsChelsea Cunningham (Houston, Texas), Tolu Omotola (Houston, Texas), Brittany Pennell (Anaheim, Calif) and Amanda Sims (Fullerton, Calif.):

"We knew going in that this would be a class with large numbers. We will need to replace several talented guards next season. We had to build depth in that position with this class, and I think we accomplished that. Secondly, we wanted to add size. In the women's game, adding size and physical players is critical to being able to progress your program. I think we have also been able to accomplish that. Overall, I would put this class, from a talent perspective, against any class we have signed since I've been here.

Texas Tech

Coach Kristi Curry on her class of Jordan Barncastle (Ben Wheeler, Texas/Martins Mill H.S.), Lindie Kimbro (Kyle, Texas/Jack G. Hays H.S.) and Kierra Mallard (Frisco, Texas/Frisco H.S.):

"We are excited to sign an all Texas class, which says a lot about our coaches and how hard they are working the state of Texas. This class will add depth and compliment our team immediately as we prepare to host first and second rounds of the 2009 NCAA Tournament. ... Jordan brings size, versatility and a knowledge of the game being a coach's kid. She has the unique ability to stretch the defense with her shooting range and also score in the paint. She will bring all the intangibles to the court along with a winner's attitude that will help make our team a success. ... Lindie gives you everything you want in a guard. She has the ability to run your team and can score in many different ways. She will be a great leader and great addition to our program. ... Kierra brings athleticism and size to our team. She is a very good defender and rebounder. She has the ability to score in transition, posting up, or facing the basket. We expect her to be a big contributor to our team immediately."

Tulane

Coach Lisa Stockton on her class of Brett Benzio, a 6-3 forward from Jensen Beach High School in Florida, and Jennifer Nwokedi, a 6-1 forward from St. Agnes Academy in Texas:

"I am very happy with our signing class. These two young ladies fit our need so well especially since we lose two post in our senior class. Jennifer and Brett will complement our 2007-08 freshmen post players, Kiara [Slaton] and Brittany [Lindsey] very well and will give us a very exciting front court for the future. ... Brett is a strong skilled post who comes from an excellent high school program. She will give us needed size and rebounding. ... Jennifer is a very versatile post with nice shooting range. She is a very good rebounder and defender."

UCLA

Coach Kathy Olivier on her class of 5-11 guard Atonye Nyingifa of Torrance, CA (Redondo Union HS) and 5-10 guard Rebekah Gardner of Fontana, CA (Ayala HS):

"Atonye is a scorer who is very aggressive and knows how to get the ball to the basket. She is an overachiever who works extremely hard and never stops working or moving. She's known for her hustle and for outworking people. Atonye plays bigger than her size, and with her aggressiveness and long arms, she gets a lot of points off steals. Rebekah has great range and can shoot the three. She also has good ball-handling and slashing abilities, and on the defensive end, she has long arms and good quickness. She will blend in really well with the size we have inside and will allow us to stretch out defenses. Both Atonye and Rebekah come from very successful high school programs and know how to win. They played at the highest club level this summer, and we expect the transition to college to be an easy one for them."

UNLV

Coach Regina Miller on her class of Brittani Smith, a 6-3 center from Coweta, Okla.:

"Brittani will complement our post game next year. It's a position that we needed to add depth to, and she will enhance our rebounding ability while also is strong scoring around the basket."

Vanderbilt

Coach Melanie Balcomb on her class of Jordan Coleman, a 5-11 wing from Longwood, Fla.:

"Jordan is extremely versatile and brings tremendous athleticism. Her experience and knowledge of the game will help her be a great fit in our system. On top of that, Jordan is a proven winner that exudes confidence. We really like Jordan's background. She's developed with very good coaching at the high school level and in AAU, and she has a high basketball IQ."

Virginia Tech

Coach Beth Dunkenberger on her class of Shanel Harrison and Brittany Lewis:

"We are extremely excited to have Shanel and Brittany join our program. Both are tremendous athletes who can not only hit the three, but are extremely dangerous off the dribble. We were able to find two next level athletes with this class, and both should be able to immediately help us as we strive to climb up ladders and cut down nets."

Washington

Coach Tia Jackson on her class of guard Kristi Kingma (Mill Creek, Wash.), forward Liz Lay (Oklahoma City, Okla.) and forward Mollie Williams (Cerritos, Calif.):

"We are delighted to have Kristi Kingma, Mollie Williams and Liz Lay join our program. I couldn't be more pleased with the type of young women and tremendous talents we will have joining our program next season. They each have the athleticism, the skill level to shoot the ball, and the presence to dominate any game. They each have the potential to be outstanding players in the Pac-10 and in the country. ... Kristi is an explosive guard who sees the floor well and excels at finishing around the basket. Her other more notable gift is her ability to perfect the mid-range game. She is a bright student who brings a high level of basketball intelligence to our program. Her ability to play both guard positions is something that fits right in with what we are trying to accomplish here. ... Liz is a powerful presence on either end of the floor that has an incredibly explosive first step. She has the uncanny ability to finish with contact while at the same time perfecting the long range three. Her style of play fits with the up and down tempo of our program and she will be able to dominate smaller defenders inside. Her strong build and fierceness translate well to the next level as a Husky. ... Mollie brings an athleticism that our program definitely needs. She is not only a player who can be both physical and finesse, but who gives us more depth and versatility at the forward position. She is capable of stepping out and knocking down a 3, but what I love most about her is how she pursues the basketball. She is an outstanding player and we are happy to have another all-around player join our Husky program."

Washington State

Coach June Daugherty on her first class for Washington State - April Cook, Long Beach, Calif.; Katie Grad, Auburn, Wash.; Danielle Lenoir, Los Angeles; Jessica Oestreicher, Redding, Calif.; Jazmine Perkins, Berkeley, Calif.; Lexie Pettersen, Spokane, Wash., and Rosie Tarnowski; Philadelphia:

"This is a great recruiting class! I can not say enough about how much I appreciate how hard my coaching staff worked to evaluate and attract these elite level student-athletes to WSU. The enthusiasm that our current players, administrators and athletic staff provided throughout the recruiting process was a huge reason for our highly successful signing this year. ... Katie is a talented and complete player that will provide strong and aggressive play at both ends of the court. She has the will and talent to defend every guard position on the floor and welcomes the challenge. She is a dedicated multi-sport athlete that has a great work ethic. She is a born leader that will not be outworked, and her experience winning the Washington state title in basketball at Auburn-Riverside will be a big asset to our program. ... Jessica is an extremely skilled shooter that will give us huge firepower in the pivot position. She possesses an amazing shooting touch and has the ability and size to single-handedly change the game. She is also an intelligent young lady that is blessed with size and a strong skill set. ... April is an explosive, athletic guard with a full basketball tool box of skills. She is a confident and talented shooting guard from the best high school team in the country. A powerful defender that will stop opponents with her athleticism and defensive `shut-down' mentality, she is an incredibly gifted athlete and basketball player. ... Danielle is a dynamic, versatile and very talented guard that plays beyond her years. She has a great feel and understanding for the game. A bright playmaker who sets her teammates up and can score with ease, she has the `pit bull' mentality on defense and will enjoy the challenge of defending against the talent-laden Pac-10 Conference opponents. ... Lexie is a strong, athletic forward with toughness in her gam. Her ability to play numerous positions will make her a valuable threat on the court in several ways. She is an intense player that works hard each and every possession to get it done for her team, and an accomplished multi-sport competitor that has great passion and competitive fire. ... Rosie is a highly talented, athletic forward that possesses a big-time basketball IQ. She will bring valuable championship experience after winning the National AAU basketball title in 2006. Rosie is a big, multi-skilled and accomplished player, and will be a huge asset to the Cougars. ... Jazmine is an elite level guard that is a flat out big-time scorer. She brings the complete and entire package when you look at her high level of play on offense and defense. Jazmine is a proven, talented player we will count on to provide a big scoring punch with her outstanding play. We will look forward to utilizing her ability at both the two and three guard positions. ... As a coaching staff at WSU, we are all very proud and excited to be able to have these talented young student-athletes join our Cougar basketball family, as they are all great people of strong character."

West Virginia

Coach Mike Carey on his class of Madina Ali (Williamsport, Pa./Daytona Beach CC), Jessica Capers (Gastonia, N.C./Forest View High), Donica Cosby (Coldwater, Miss./NW Mississippi CC), Dominique Dixon (Detroit, Mich./Detroit Renaissance High) and Amanda Keehan (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills High):

"Madina is a very gifted athlete.She's very active and very aggressive on both ends of the floor. ... Jessica is a quality athlete that will boost our inside post play. She is very versatile in that she can play several positions and her strengths are her athleticism and explosiveness around the basket. ... Donica is an explosive scorer and she plays very big for her size. She's very versatile and capable of playing the one- and two-guard positions for us. ... Dominique is an athletic two guard that fits very nicely into our transition game. She's very physical on the perimeter on both sides of the ball. ... Amanda is a blue collar worker. She's very versatile and aggressive on both sides of the ball. ... Overall, this class is tremendously athletic. We really addressed our needs in the post and on the perimeter. These young ladies will do an excellent job of representing our program both on-and-off the court. In the late signing period we'll be looking to bring in two quality centers."

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