Women's Basketball Adds Three Spring Signees for 2009-2010
April 15, 2009
The University of Memphis women's basketball team added a four-year college transfer, a junior college transfer and a high school prepster to a signing class that was already ranked in the top 60 in the nation it was announced by Head Coach Melissa McFerrin, Wednesday.
"Today is a special one for our program as we take another step toward our goal of becoming the `Class of Conference USA.' This recruiting class adds a combination of leadership, athleticism, skill and championship experience that is sure to help Memphis Basketball regain its rightful spot among Conference USA's best," McFerrin said. "Chatia Kelsey, Jasmine Lee and Taylor Mumphrey are poised to impact our campus both on the court and in the classroom. Each young lady helped her previous basketball program attain unprecedented success and I have no doubt that they will collectively continue this trend at the University of Memphis."
The Tigers will add another freshman to the roster next year with the addition of 5-8 guard Chatia Kelsey. Kelsey, who hails from Harvest, Ala., and Sparkman High School, averaged 15.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.6 steals and 2.1 assists per game in her senior campaign, while helping Sparkman to a 31-2 record and a No. 2 ranking in the state of Alabama under Head Coach June Seals. Kelsey, who helped the Senators to a state championship as a junior, was named to the 6A all-area and all-region teams and was ranked the No. 11 guard in the class in the latest rankings on bamaprepgirls.com. Kelsey was also a 6A state all-tournament team honoree and an area 16 all-tournament team honoree in 2006-07. For her prep career, she finished her four-year varsity career with over 1,000 points, 200 assists and 400+ rebounds. She helped her Senator squad to two 6A Final Fours, four 6A Northwest Regional Finals and three national team rankings and to three honors as the top team in 6A.
"When the game is on the line, Chatia wants the ball in her hands," McFerrin said. "Her athleticism, tenacity and competitive spirit allow her to thrive in an up-tempo, full-court game. Her strengths fit our style perfectly."
Kelsey also played AAU ball with the Southern Starz and is the daughter of Candice Kelsey.
The Tigers will add a pair of transfers for 2009-2010, including another four-year transfer from the University of Georgia. Jasmine Lee, a 6-2 post player from Bessemer, Ala., was the nation's No. 78 ranked player coming out of Jess Lanier High School. Coached in high school by Connie Morris, Lee helped her team to a 32-2 record as a junior and a trip to the Final Four of the Alabama Class 5A state tournament by averaging 13.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 1.8 steals during her last two prep seasons.
Lee also played AAU ball in her home state of Alabama, playing for the Alabama Twisters, coached by Gerard and Mimi Johnson. She earned All-America status while leading the Twisters to a fifth-place finish in the 2007 AAU National Championships, then moved to Athens, Ga., to begin her collegiate career at the University of Georgia. With the Bulldogs, Lee appeared in 47 games over her freshman and sophomore campaigns, starting 12 games and shooting 56 percent from the floor and averaging 3.6 points and 3.4 rebounds per game this past season.
Lee is no stranger to the University of Memphis team, as she was a roommate her freshman season with current Tiger Brittany Carter. Carter sat out the 2008-09 season after transferring from Georgia last summer and will suit up for the Tigers next season. Lee selected the Tigers over Florida State, Western Kentucky, Alabama, UAB and UCF and will sit out the 2009-2010 season.
"At 6-2, Jasmine possesses a rare combination of athleticism, power and raw talent that sets her apart from most post players," McFerrin said. "Our team will benefit from her size and caliber of play in practice on a daily basis next year and we expect her to be a two-year, impact player for us starting in 2010-2011."
The Tigers will also add a junior college transfer with the addition of 6-2 post Taylor Mumphrey. Mumphrey comes to the Tigers as the No. 27 ranked junior college player and the No. 5 ranked center in the country according to the Collegiate Girls Basketball Report. A native of Cedar Hill, Texas, Mumphrey spent the last two seasons at Connors State Junior College in Warner, Okla., playing for Head Coach Eddie Kite. At Connors, she averaged 11 points and eight rebounds as a sophomore, helping the team rank as high as No. 5 in the country at one point this season in the NJCAA national poll. Mumphrey helped the Connors State Cowgirls to a Bi-State Conference Championship, a Region II Championship and a No. 3 seed in the NJCAA National Championships in Salina, Kan. All three accomplishments were firsts since the 1999 season for Connors State, and for her part in the feat, Mumphrey was voted to the Bi-State East second team all-conference team, while her coach earned coach of the year honors.
At Cedar Hill, Mumphrey helped her senior squad to a 27-9 record and a No. 8 ranking in the state of Texas under Head Coach Andrea Harmon-Robins.
"As a 6-2, nationally-ranked junior college standout, Taylor brings an ability to run the floor, finish in the paint and to block shots," McFerrin said. "Her maturity and team-first nature will be major assets on and off the court. She is a model student-athlete and will set high standards for her teammates and coaches."
The three late additions to the roster will join a trio of early signees -- Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir (Springfield, Mass./New Leadership HS), Nicole Dickson (Greeneville, Tenn./Greeneville HS) and Ashley Robinson (Millington, Tenn./Millington Central HS), and will give the Tigers six new faces to replace graduating seniors Jessica Jackson, Paris Leonard and Ashley Thornton.
Coming in to the late signing period, which runs from April 15th until May 20th for the National Letter of Intent Program, the Tigers' 2009-2010 recruiting class was ranked No. 55 in the country with the fall signees and the addition of Carter in the latest rankings in the All-Star Girls Report.