Women's Basketball 2009-2010 Class of Newcomers Called Tops in Conference USA
June 12, 2009
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The University of Memphis women's basketball recruiting class for the 2009-2010 season is ranked No. 52 in the country and the best in Conference USA according to the Collegiate Girls Basketball Report. The ranking included seven newcomers that will be eligible for Memphis in 2009-2010 (Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir, Ashley Robinson, Taylor Mumphrey, Starkitsha Luellen, Brittany Carter, Nicole Dickson, and Chatia Kelsey), but did not include the transfers of Mary Jackson (Louisville) and Jasmine Lee (Georgia), who must sit out the upcoming season per NCAA transfer rules.
"We have been able to sell the University of Memphis to our recruits," Head Coach Melissa McFerrin said. "We have a clear vision of who we want to become; that has been critical in this process. These players have come to Memphis to be the group that puts us among the elite teams in Conference USA and back into the NCAA tournament field. We also have the benefit of a great city, support from our administration, a firm commitment to improve facilities and a coaching staff that these players trust with their futures."
Memphis signed eight total players during the 2008-09 signing periods and will return just four players (Tehani Goldsmith, Savannah Ellis, Alex Winchell, Ramses Lonlack) to this year's team who suited up and played in games last season.
"This class, along with our four signees from last spring, serves to solidify our immediate future," McFerrin said. "The building process has been quick, but is nearly complete. There are impact players in this class and there will be more in our future."
The Tigers also establish a strong Memphis base with this class, with prep player Ashley Robinson (Millington Central), junior college transfer Starkitsha Luellen (Melrose HS, Southwest Tennessee CC) and four-year college transfer Mary Jackson (Oakhaven HS, University of Louisville).
"We like the Memphis flavor of this class," McFerrin said. "That has been a focal point in our recruiting. This city has talent and we want talented Memphis players at the University of Memphis."
The recruiting class has also earned a national ranking from the All Star Girls Report, ranking the Tigers No. 56 nationally and No. 3 in Conference USA.
Memphis has a handful of players already enrolled in summer classes in preparation for the upcoming season, and will tentatively open its upcoming season with a home game against Big Ten member Indiana on Nov. 13th.