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Sun04202014

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Lady Tigers high on 6-player class

The University of Memphis women’s basketball team on Wednesday announced the signing of six women’s basketball players to National Letters of Intent. The University of Memphis women’s basketball team on Wednesday announced the signing of six women’s basketball players to National Letters of Intent.

The class had already been called the No. 2 recruiting class by what ESPN.com’s Hoopgurlz classifies as Mid-Major programs, and that was without the addition of a junior college signee to bring the class to its total of six players.

The Tigers went around the country to put together a signing class that features two four-star guards, a junior college forward, a Memphis guard and two more three-star forwards from the prep ranks.

“The 2012 recruiting class is historic in terms of quantity, but more so in terms of quality,” Head Coach Melissa McFerrin said. “This group of six young ladies brings impressive individual credentials to the table. However, it is their collective focus on winning championships at the University of Memphis that excites me the most.”

McFerrin noted that in Ariel Hearn the U of M program adds a local Memphis-metro product for the second-consecutive year.

“We are also excited to welcome Asianna “Asia” Fuqua-Bey, Courtney Powell, Devin Mack, Jaymie Jackson, and Mooriah Rowser from the talent-rich states of Illinois, Maryland, and Ohio,” said McFerrin.

After plucking guard Jailyn Norris (Chicago Heights, Ill./Homewood-Flossmoor) out of the Chicago area last season, the Tigers this time inked Marist High School’s Fuqua-Bey (Chicago, Ill./Marist HS), a 6-3 post.

“Asia is the tallest member of the class at 6’3”, however, she is far too dynamic to play exclusively on the low post,” McFerrin said. “Her length, athleticism, and shooting touch make her a perfect fit in our up-tempo, full-court system.”

Fuqua-Bey is considering majoring in criminal justice or education.

Hearn, a 5-7 guard at Arlington High School, averaged 15 points and five assists per game as a junior.

“Ariel anchors this signing class because she was the first to give us her verbal commitment,” McFerrin said. “It’s very fitting as she is a true point guard and leader. She loves to play, compete, and win and we’re elated that she chose to stay close to her family and to become a ‘hometown hero.’”

Hearn, who will major in secondary education, will be joined in the backcourt by four star recruit Jaymie Jackson, a 5-10 guard out of Toledo, Ohio, and Start High School.

“Jaymie brings as much to our program in the locker room as she does on the court,” McFerrin said. “Her defensive tenacity while guarding the ball will remind Tiger fans of current senior and two-time All-Conference-USA Defensive Team honoree, Ramses Lonlack.”

Jackson, who is undecided on a major, comes to Memphis as the No. 45 ranked guard in the class of 2012, according to ESPN HoopGurlz.com.

The signees include junior college and 5-10 forward Devin Mack, who played high school ball at Boylan Catholic High School in Rockford, Ill., is in her sophomore season at Kishwaukee Junior College, a program coming off three straight 20-win seasons and ranked fifth in the country.

In her freshman season at Kishwaukee, Mack was named a WBCA State Farm Coaches’ All-America team honorable mention, an NJCAA Third Team All-America honoree and a Region IV all-conference honoree. A psychology major with a 3.1 GPA, Mack also serves as the team captain.

 “(Devin) is a proven winner with outstanding communication and leadership skills. These intangibles along with her smooth shooting touch give her a chance to make an immediate impact next season,” said McFerrin.

Up front, Mack will be joined by prep signee Courtney Powell, a 6-1 forward out of Ursuline High School in Youngstown, Ohio.

“Courtney is a great addition to our Tiger family, because she is powerful post with an imposing body,” McFerrin said. “She is chasing greatness and we’re fortunate she chose us to help her reach her goals. Our fans will appreciate her ability to run the floor, rebound, and defend, which are all hallmarks of our style at Memphis.”

Powell plans on majoring in psychology.

Four star shooting guard Mooriah Rowser is a 5-9 guard from St. Johns College High School in Rockville, Md., Rowser is already past the 1,000 career point mark, entering her senior campaign with 1,095 points, 468 rebounds and 170 steals.

“Mooriah is one of the most gifted offensive players in the class of 2012,” McFerrin said. “She has a knack for putting the ball in the basket both in transition and in the mid-range. She is accustomed to competing and winning on the national level…”

Rowser plans on majoring in computer science.

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