Region Roundball Review
October, 2003

News & Updates
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October, 2003
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Important OCTOBER Deadlines/Events:

10/18   First authorized NCAA practices allowed
10/20 First authorized IHSAA practices allowed

Other Upcoming Deadlines/Events:

11/10 First authorized IHSAA contests allowed
11/10-11/13   NCAA Dead Period
11/13-11/20 NCAA Early Signing Period
11/16   State Farm Women's Tip-Off Classic - Purdue v. Kansas St.
12/6   Hoosier State Classic @ Valpo U (BSU, ISU & Butler)



Friday, October 31


Happy Halloween!

According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, Jeffersonville senior Amy Austin has committed to head coach Wendy Hedberg at D-II Southern Illinois-Edwardsville. Austin, a 5'6 guard, averaged 11.0 points and 5.7 assists last season. SIU-Edwardsvillle was recently picked to finish 8th in the Great Lakes Valley Conference in the preseason coaches' poll. Austin may be in a good position for playing time when she joins the Cougars roster, as SIU-E will lose three guards to graduation after this season.

Notre Dame junior Jackie Batteast of South Bend Washington (right) has been selected to the Preseason All-Big East First Team. The Irish were picked to finish third in the conference behind Connecticut and Rutgers. ND incoming freshman Crystal Erwin was also named Preseason Co-Freshman of the Year. More:
Notre Dame Picked Third In BIG EAST Preseason Poll

Tennessee junior Shyra Ely (Ben Davis) was selected to the Southeastern Conference preseason All-Conference Team in a recent poll of coaches. Her team was also selected to finish first in the SEC. More:
Kentucky, Tennessee Predicted to Win SEC Basketball Titles - SEC website

According to the Indianapolis Star, 2A state contender Indian Creek may be hurting -- literally -- to start the season. Miss Basketball candidate Adrienne Squire is still recovering from an ankle injury she suffered in the spring, and sixth woman Mary McConnell, a 5'9 sophomore forward, tore her ACL on the first day of practice. She is not expected to be back for the entire season.

According to the Logansport Pharos-Tribune, Caston, Logansport, Peru and Pioneer have committed to a four-year contract for an annual invitational for both girls and boys basketball. The first event will be held in November, with Caston facing Logansport and Peru taking on Pioneer on Tuesday the 23rd. The consolation and championship games will be played on Saturday, November 27 at Logansport.

More coverage on the commitment of Julie DeMuth to Ball State appears in the Post-Tribune.

High school season previews:
Hamilton Southeastern Royals return solid group of veterans - Indianapolis Star
(also includes short previews on Carmel and Westfield)
Brebeuf and Heritage Christian experience offers an edge - Indianapolis Star
Southwestern (Farmersburg) is focused on getting even better - Indianapolis Star

Madison senior Brittany Myers will receive a Medal of Accomplishment from the Kentuckiana Wendy's Corporation in association with the National Association of Secondary School Principals. The medal is being awarded to Myers for her excellence and contributions in athletics, academics and community service.

Sophomore Ashley Barlow (5'8 G) of Pike has been added to our 2006 Prospects listings.

According to several sources, senior All-Star candidate Robyn Stone of Lawrence North may be prohibited from participating on her school basketball team this season due to school and athletic code violations.

The college previews and updates are coming fast and furious now. Articles of interest:
Indianapolis Women's BB third in GLVC poll - Indianapolis website

Women's Basketball Outlook - Part 3 - Purdue website
Purdue basketball scrimmages Saturday - Indianapolis Star

Senior superstars take Big Ten stage - Daily Northwestern
Indiana State receives MVC's first academic award (columnist) - TH Tribune Star

ND's inside power is Crystal clear - South Bend Tribune
2003-04 Cornell women's basketball outlook - Cornell website
Orange Slices - Tennessee website
Tennessee season preview - Tennessee website
Lady Vols picked to win SEC title - Knoxville News
Big East primed to add six schools - Washington Times
Representatives from universities fight bill - ESPN




Wednesday, October 29


Last season's Region Roundball Review Player of the Year, Julie DeMuth of Merrillville, has committed to head coach Tracy Roller (Crown Point) at Ball State. DeMuth, who averaged 17.7 points, 8.0 rebounds and 3.3 steals per game as a junior, carried her Highland team to the 3A North Semi-State last season, where the Trojans fell to state runner-up South Bend St. Joseph's. DeMuth, who chose the Cardinals over Valparaiso, Tulsa, Vermont and Indiana, transferred to Merrillville for her final high school season due to a family move. DeMuth was an Indiana Junior All-Star core member this past summer and is considered one of the front-runners for the 2004 Miss Basketball award. More:
DeMuth commits to Ball State - The Times

Indiana junior Jenny DeMuth (Highland) discusses her upcoming season in The Times. DeMuth, who returns as the leading scorer for the Hoosiers this season at 12.0 points per game, is hoping for a better season than the team's 13-15 (5-11 Big Ten) record last season when she felt "most of the team just wanted to get the season over with." Head coach Kathi Bennett credits DeMuth with being a catalyst at practices so far this season and evolving into the team's best defender.

The annual Clabber Girl Classic pairings in Terre Haute have been set for the upcoming season, according to the Terre Haute Tribune Star. Fountain Central will face two-time defending tournament champion Terre Haute South in the opening round on Friday evening, November 14, with the winner playing Northview on Saturday morning. On the other side of the bracket, West Vigo and South Vermillion will face off on Friday, with the winner taking on Terre Haute North on Saturday. The finals will be on Saturday evening.

More season previews:
Waldron Mohawks expect to be improved defensive team - Indianapolis Star
Shelbyville coach, players get acquainted - Indianapolis Star

According to the Terre Haute Tribune Star, Rose-Hulman senior Jessica Farmer (Brownsburg) will be returning to the women's basketball team after a one-year absence. Farmer, who averaged 13.8 points per game as a sophomore, did not play last year due to a difference of opinion with then coach Jody Prete. Prete was replaced by Tony Hill as the head coach for the Engineers in May of this year. More:
Engineers' hoops teams optimistic at media day - TH Tribune Star

Indiana State sophomore Melanie Boeglin (Terre Haute South) has been named to the Missouri Valley Conference Preseason All-Conference Team. Also, the Sycamores have been picked to finish third in the conference behind Southwest Missouri State and Creighton. Indiana's other representative in the MVC, Evansville, was picked to finish eighth in the conference. More:
SMS Picked No. 1 In Preseason Women's Basketball - MVC website
Aces' Gray has plenty to motivate her - Evansville Courier Press

Articles of interest:
Women's Basketball Outlook - Part 1 - Purdue website
Women's Basketball Outlook - Part 2 - Purdue website
Experienced coaches 'train on the edge' - Purdue Exponent
Badgerball preparing for tough road ahead - Wisconsin Badger Herald



Tuesday, October 28


Center Grove 6'0 senior forward Deanna Thomson has committed to D-II University of Indianapolis head coach Teri Moren. Thomson who helped her team to a 14-7 overall record and fifth place in the tough Metropolitan Conference last season, was a 2003 Junior All-Star alternate and averaged 13.3 points, 8.1 rebounds, 3.3 steals and 3.0 assists per game for Trojans head coach Joe Lentz. Thomson, who also garnered All-MIC, All-County and All-South Metro honors as a junior, chose Indianapolis over D-I programs at Southern Mississippi, Eastern Illinois and Jacksonville University. The Greyhounds, who have only one player over 6'0 tall on their roster, will welcome the height of the Center Grove standout.

According to the Indianapolis Star, Southport senior Jamie Mason will be attending St. Joseph's in Rensselaer next season. The 6'1 power forward averaged over 8.0 points per game last season and was the shot-blocking leader in the Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference as a junior. Mason will join former teammate Michelle Bova (5'10 F), who is a freshman forward on Puma roster this season.

The Indianapolis Star has begun it's preseason coverage for girls basketball, beginning with Edinburgh and Southport.
Edinburgh returns four of its top scorers from last season, including Mid-Hoosier All-Conference 6'1 senior and leading rebounder Michelle Basey. Also in the mix are three underclassmen who started for the Lancers last season - sophomores Hannah Basey, Shelby Henderson and Stephanie Knue.
On the other hand, Southport lost 41 points to graduation but have five returning seniors who will bring experience to the lineup. The scoring responsibilities will most likely fall on the shoulders of 6'0 Jamie Mason, who will move from the center position to power forward. Also, expectations are that freshman guard Sarah Bassler will contribute early and could be a starter later in the season.

Two Valparaiso guards were selected to the Mid-Continent Conference second team in preseason voting last week. Suzie Hammel (Lebanon/Lafayette Jeff) and Katie Boone (Center Grove), representing last season's MCC tournament champion after solid season performances in 2002-03, were tabbed for honors. Also, Region product Kafayat Davies (Gary West Side) represents Chicago State on the MCC Preseason Second Team. Valparaiso (8 first place votes) was picked to finish second in the Mid-Continent Conference behind favorite Western Illinois (17 first place votes). Chicago State was picked to finish seventh, while Indiana's other representative in the MCC, IUPUI, was picked to finish eighth. More:
Western Illinois tabbed in Mid-Con preseason women's basketball poll - MCC website

Tracy has an excellent interview with Ball State head coach Tracy Roller (Crown Point) and her expectations for the upcoming season. Her evaluation of newcomers Tina Bolte of North Columbus, Kelsey Corbin of Northrop and Teran Warner of Shenandoah are also included. Of note is that Warner is rehabbing from shoulder surgery and, although she has been released to practice, cannot go full contact as of yet.

Purdue was picked to finish second in the league by Big Ten coaches and first in the league by the media in preseason voting according to the Big Ten website. Also, Shereka Wright of Purdue was selected to the Preseason All-Conference team by both the coaches and media. More:
Boilermakers Picked As Big Ten Favorites - Purdue website
Rivals see team as tough to beat - Purdue Exponent
Coaches basking in NCAA success - Boiler Station
MVC feeding coaches to Big Ten - The Michigan Daily
Big Ten women gaining on NCAA's best - Star Tribune
Hoosiers feel overlooked - Courier-Journal

Articles of interest:
MVC 2003-04 Women's Basketball Preview - MVC website
Miami (OH) Women's Basketball Making Strides During First Week of Practice - MU website




Friday, October 24


The 2003 Indiana High School Basketball Guide by High School Sports Publications will be hitting the streets within the next couple of weeks. On the cover are the IHSBG Tremendous Twenty-Six, which includes 13 girls basketball players chosen as some of the top players in the state in skill and character. Gracing the cover of this year's issue are:
Janese Banks of Ben Davis, Kiki Bytnar of Calumet, Christina Cunningham of  Perry Meridian, Julie DeMuth of Merrillville, Courtney Felke of Rochester, Whitney Frame of  Randolph Southern, Kaleigh Gossman of Castle, Amber Jackson of Brebeuf, Marshay Jolly of Merrillville, Jaclyn Leininger of Warsaw, Rebekah Parker of  Tippecanoe Valley, Adrienne Squire of Indian Creek and Robyn Stone of Lawrence North.
The IHSBG can be ordered by calling 1-800-969-0097, or you can order it online at the HSSP website.

According to the Madison-Courier, basketball seniors Brittany Myers (right) of Madison, Gretchen Haehl of Shelbyville, Rachel Selby of Southmont, Jessica Smith of Washington, and Katherine Wood of Tecumseh have all been named as Indiana finalists for the Wendy's High School Heisman. The award, which encompasses all sports, honors students who have excelled in academics, athletics and community service.

Purdue sophomore Carol Duncan of NorthWood will be battling for a starting position with the Boilers this season, according to the South Bend Tribune. With the departure of Mary Jo Noon (Jeffersonville) to graduation, the Boilers will be looking for a new force in the middle. Duncan says that the transition from high school ball to college "boggled" her mind, but felt that her preparation under NorthWood coach Steve Neff helped prepare her for the transition. More Purdue coverage:
Women's basketball team learns from past, focuses on future - Purdue Exponent
Purdue looking for another shot at the title -
Transfer gives Purdue women added depth - Boiler Station

Former Indiana All-Stars Natalie Yudt (Portage) and Abby Scharlow (New Albany) have been named to the Horizon League's Preseason All-League Second Team. Both play for 2003 NCAA Region VI Coach of the Year Kevin Borseth at Wisconsin Green-Bay. The Phoenix were selected as the preseason favorite despite losing four senior starters from last season. UWGB has claimed four conference titles in the past five years under Borseth. More:
UWGB, UWM women expected to lead the race - Green Bay Press Gazette

According to INew Jersey, former Broad Ripple and Purdue standout Shalicia Hurns may gain another year of eligibility at Rutgers. The 6'2 forward left Purdue after her freshman season and then transferred to Wabash Valley Community College. After playing just two games at WVCC, she tore her ACL and then transferred to Rutgers two months later in January. She began playing for Rutgers coach Vivian Stringer 12 months later in January of this year. Her eligibility status will be determined by the Big East Conference sometime this season.

The Ball State women's team was picked to finish third in the Mid-American Conference West Division behind Western Michigan and Toledo. Head coach Tracy Roller (Crown Point) may be encountering some early setbacks with two starters nursing preseason injuries. Returning high scorer Johna Goff (Mt. Vernon-Fortville) is on crutches for at least two weeks with a broken foot, and starting point guard Dana Collins is rehabbing stress fractures, also in her foot. More:
BSU women set sights on NCAA bid - Muncie Star Press
MAC women's preseason poll - MAC website
MAC race has usual suspects - Toledo Blade

Central Michigan Women's Basketball Readies For 2003-04 Campaign - CMU
Toledo Tabbed to Finish Second in MAC's West Division - UT

Coaches, next time your team has a bad shooting night, just read this article and you won't feel so bad. A team in Michigan, where girls basketball is played in the fall, did not score a single point in a game earlier this week. Leslie High School dropped a 61-0 loss to Olivet Tuesday. A spanking by an overzealous, under-matched team, you might ask? Nope. According to Leslie coach Jay Harkness in several accounts, "The whole bus ride home, I couldn't believe it. We missed layups. We missed 2-footers. Everything that could go wrong did. It was just like in the movies, where the ball bounces on the rim three or four times and it feels like 20 seconds go by before it falls out. Our whole night was like that." More:
Olivet basketball team blanks Leslie 61-0 - South Bend Tribune
A day after shutout, practice continues - Lansing State Journal

Articles of interest:
ISU women ready to defend MVC title, shoot for NCAA tourney berth - TH Tribune Star

Bennett praises Indiana freshmen - Bedford Times-Mail
IU South Bend women have a good handle on things - SB Tribune
Butler's Bowden Named to League Preseason Team - College Sports News

Allen commits to Notre Dame - Pittsburgh Live
McGraw ready to unleash LaVere - South Bend Tribune
2003-04 Ohio State women's basketball outlook - OSU website
PSU freshmen hoist goals for women's basketball; look to find place - The Collegian
New Mexico Freshmen Display Talents at Howl - Interest! Alert





Wednesday, October 22


Senior Chelsea Gugliotta of North Knox has committed to Division-I Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, according to the Vincennes Sun-Commercial. The 6'0 Gugliotta, an Indiana Junior South All-Star Team member last summer and niece of Phoenix Suns player Tom Gugliotta, averaged 17.9 points and 9.4 rebounds last season. Lamar will be a young team when Gugliotta arrives on campus next season, as head coach Leonard Drake welcomed seven new players to the Lady Cardinals roster this season. Lamar is a member of the Southland Conference, which includes ten other programs, mainly located in Texas and Louisiana.

Region basketball fans will remember 1999 Merrillville grad Shannon Wells. The All-DAC player and All-Area honoree played volleyball for four years at Southern Indiana and finished out as arguably the most decorated player to go through the USI volleyball program. But Wells wasn't finished when her volleyball career ended. She still had eligibility to play basketball at the college level and will enter her second and final season as a starter for the 2003-04 Screaming Eagles. In 13 starts last season, Wells averaged 8.6 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. This season Wells will be joined by a familiar name to all Indiana girls basketball fans. Former UConn player Kennitra Johnson of New Albany joins the USI roster this season as junior. The 5'8 guard wowed crowds her senior year, most memorably in the 1999 Southport Semi-State when she out-dueled Miss Basketball April McDivitt of Connersville in double-overtime to help her team advance to the state finals. (Best high school game I ever saw.) Johnson went to Connecticut and McDivitt went to Tennessee, but now both are playing for new teams. The USI women's website has a preview of their season: Southern Indiana 2003-04 Women's Basketball Outlook

The Terre Haute Tribune Star has a preview of some of the teams in the Wabash Valley area as practices get underway this week. Teams covered include North Vermillion, Terre Haute South, Terre Haute North, West Vigo and Northview.

Bedford North-Lawrence is previewed in the Bedford Times-Mail. Head coach Frank Decker is weeding his way through a 50% increase in the number of athletes trying out for the basketball program at BNL this season. Decker attributes the increase to a very athletic, multi-sport freshman class. The Stars will play Bloomington North in a controlled scrimmage on November 6 and opens the season on November 11 against Mitchell.

The Evansville Courier Press has coverage on two Indiana All-Stars now playing for the Aces. Laura Gaybrick of Perry Meridian and Kim McMillin of North Harrison both played on the 2003 Indiana All-Star team and talk about their earlier meeting at the Top 40 Workout, when Gaybrick helped convince McMillin that Evansville was the place to be.

The WBCA/Summerville RPI Strength of Schedule Report for the 2003-04 preseason is out. Of 324 teams, Tennessee ranks No. 1 with the toughest overall schedule. All rankings are based upon last season's records of opponents for each school's current season. Indiana programs rank as follows for overall strength of schedule:

   7. Purdue

 22. Notre Dame

 54. Indiana

118. Evansville

158. Indiana State

182. Butler

198. Ball State

203. Valparaiso

226. IPFW

232. IUPUI has a nice report on Purdue's first practice at Midnight Mackey Madness. Quotes from Coach Kristi Curry and players Erika Valek and Shereka Wright are included, as well as photos from the evening's events. More photos can be found on the Katie Gearlds website at

Articles of interest:
Quotes From Purdue Women's Basketball Media Day -
Indianapolis women's hoops opens practice Wednesday - UI website

Sophomore serendipity (Notre Dame) - South Bend Tribune
Irish face tough schedule - South Bend Tribune
Injury-riddled Irish start year - Ft. Wayne Journal Gazette

Northern Kentucky prepares for another NCAA run - NKU website
Riley, team place second (WNBA Select Team) - Peru Tribune



Tuesday, October 21


Hannah Richards, a 5’11” senior forward from Heritage Christian, has committed to continue her basketball and academic careers at Bethel in Mishawaka. Richards helped Coach Mark Richards and the 23-2 Lady Eagles to a #1 ranking in Class 2A last season, winning both the school’s first ever sectional and the Indianapolis City Championship. Richards averaged 12.5 points, 9.4 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 3.5 steals, and shot 63% from the field during her junior season.
“Hannah has a great work ethic on and off the court. She is very competitive and wants to do her best in everything. I like her mobility as a forward and her court awareness in passing the ball. She will fit in well with our style of play and the family atmosphere of Bethel College. Hannah comes from a great high school program under Coach “Doc” Richards (Hannah’s father). We are really blessed to have Hannah join the Bethel College family for the 2004-2005 season," states Bethel Coach Jody Martinez. “With Hannah making an early decision, hopefully, she will just have a great senior year and enjoy her last year of high school on and off the court. Hannah joins three other seniors who have already committed to play basketball at Bethel College next season: Nora Didrick (Fort Wayne North); Carrie Hanson (Avon); and Natalie Young (Adams Central).”

Merrillville players, coaches and parents opened the Pirate season at the stroke of midnight Sunday night. They all paused from the night's activities for a group shot. Junior Melissa Borom set the tone for her season by winning the parent/daughter free throw shooting contest with her dad.

The South Bend Tribune examines South Bend St. Joseph's and other area teams with the start of practice yesterday. St. Joe's is considered a favorite heading into the 3A season after a trip to Conseco last March. Coach Mike Megyese's Indians will return its stellar backcourt in junior Aimee Litka and super soph Melissa Lechlitner (left). The duo will anchor an experienced team that will receive some help in the post from highly touted freshman Kristen Dockery.

Players being recruited by Conference USA schools take note. According to ESPN, C-USA will be losing tough Midwest women's basketball programs Louisville, Cincinnati, DePaul and Marquette to the Big East. Three other schools are planning to leave the Western Athletic Conference to join C-USA, all from the West. They include Rice, Southern Methodist and Tulsa. Marshall is also expected to receive an invitation to join the conference. With the defection of the four Midwest schools to the BE, current remaining members of C-USA are Tulane, TCU, St. Louis, Houston, Southern Mississippi, UAB, Memphis, South Florida and East Carolina.

At the annual AAU meeting on Sunday, Walt Raines of Franklin was voted in as the new Chair of Indiana AAU Girls Basketball. Raines replaces outgoing chair Evan Beauchamp.

Articles of interest:
Lots of pain, immeasurable gain at APA - South Bend Tribune
Hard-to-figure out Irish looking for consistency - Ft. Wayne News Sentinel
Irish Take The Floor For Media Day -
   New Banners Honor Purdue Basketball Tradition -
Lobo Howl (New Mexico) - The Insiders


Monday, October 20


It's P-Day! The first day of practice for the new season. The Times previews some of the changes in store for Highland, now under new head coach Mike Urban. As Urban states in the article, Highland will be without a DeMuth on the Trojans' roster for the first time in seven years. (No one in the LAC is complaining.) Senior Julie DeMuth will play at Merrillville this season after moving to Pirate country with her dad, who is an administrator at Merrillville. DeMuth's mother, formerly an administrator at Highland, took a job in central Indiana. DeMuth and the highly touted Merrillville Pirates had their Midnight Madness opening practice last night beginning at 12:01 a.m.

Julia Whitted, who enrolled at Hamilton Southeastern at the beginning of the school year, has moved back along with her family to Brazil. The 6'6 sophomore has re-enrolled at Northview and says she is "ready for a great season for the Northview Knights."

Cyndi ValentnAccording to the Indiana women's basketball website, former Bloomington South standout Cyndi Valentin (right) was the winner of the 3-point shooting contest for the second year in a row at the IU Midnight Madness Friday. Valentin knocked off her male counterpart Donald Perry by draining 9 treys to Perry's 8 in the head-to-head competition. The 5'8 sophomore, who was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team in 2002-03, is expected to be a starter for the Hoosiers this season after averaging 10.4 points and 3.8 rebounds her rookie year. More:
Hoosier hyperbole - South Bend Tribune

Purdue opened practice at midnight on Friday. You can read about the evening's events on the Purdue women's website. Nearly 2,000 Boilermaker fans got their first look at freshman Katie Gearlds on the Purdue floor. Gearlds started at the point for the Gold team, which also included senior Shereka Wright. Gearlds scored 2 points and dished out numerous assists to her All-American candidate teammate. More:
Midnight Mackey Madness Kicks Off Hoops Season - Gold & Black Illustrated

Half of the RRR staff attended the Midnight Madness at Wisconsin-Green Bay Friday night, where over 1,000 fans showed up for the evening's festivities. Former Region standouts Natalie Yudt of Portage (left) and Alex Webster of Crown Point (center) participated in a post-midnight scrimmage, as did fellow Hoosier Abby Scharlow of New Albany (right). All three played for the white team, which won the scrimmage. Yudt, a senior, returns as the only starter and leading scorer for the Phoenix from last season. Scharlow, a junior in eligibility, will see a significant increase in responsibility this season after contributing high quality minutes off the bench last season. Webster will have to sit out the 2003-04 season to comply with NCAA rules after transferring from Southern Mississippi, but will have three years of eligibility remaining starting with the 2004-05 season.

HSSP Internet Radio in Crown Point has announced its broadcast schedule for the upcoming season. Sixteen games, plus full tournament coverage from sectionals to the state finals, will be available to basketball fans on the Internet. The schedule is as follows:
Tuesday December 2nd
SB St. Joseph's at Andrean

Tuesday December 16th
Lake Central at Chesterton

Friday December 19th
Lake Central at Merrillville

Monday & Tuesday December 22-23
South County Girls Tournament at Hebron
Field includes Hebron, Boone Grove, Kouts and Morgan Township

Monday December 29
Gary Holiday Tourney Girls Final

Thursday January 8
Gary West Side at East Chicago

Tuesday January 13
Merrillville at Munster

Saturday January 24
Griffith at Andrean

Tuesday January 27
Merrillville at Chesterton

Tuesday February 3
Merrillville at Lowell

Articles of interest:
Lady Vols face many questions - Knox News
Women's Basketball Looking Towards Magnanimous Season - Central Michigan
Lisa Stone Names Women's Basketball Captains - Wisconsin
Great Lakes Valley Conference preseason voting - GLVC (PDF document)



Thursday, October 16


The NCAA practice season gets underway around the country at the stroke of midnight tomorrow evening. Midnight Madness, Midnight Mayhem, Midnight Mania... no matter how you name it, it all starts at 12:01 a.m. October 18 when teams are allowed to step on the court for official practices. In Indiana, only Purdue and Indiana will take advantage of first-minute practices. The Purdue Midnight Mackey Madness will try to beef up student attendance with the lure of a free semester's in-state tuition with a successful half-court shot. Free drinks and food will also be an attraction. Indiana will begin it's Midnight Madness festivities at 10:45, with fan contests leading up to the 12:01 introductions of the men's and women's teams.  Notre Dame will have a season opening celebration on Sunday. The 2003-04 Season Kickoff will take place from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the Joyce Arena. Former ND All-American and WNBA Tournament MVP Ruth Riley (North Miami) and coach Muffet McGraw will be on hand to sign autographs. Half of the RRR staff will be at the Wisconsin-Green Bay Midnight Mania, which will feature a bonfire, fireworks, live radio coverage, and student and player competitions before the women's and men's team officially take the court at midnight.

With the implementation of the new Duneland Athletic Conference home-and-home schedule this season, which limits the number of opponents DAC members can schedule during the season, Andrean has not watered down its schedule. In place of long-time DAC opponents Valparaiso, Crown Point, Merrillville, Lake Central and Portage, the 'Niners have added a trip to Ft. Wayne Luers as their season opener on November 15, and also will play Penn, South Bend St. Joseph's and Gary West Side.  Andrean will also play in the Wheeler tournament on December 26-27. More: Andrean 2003-04 schedule

According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, High Potential Basketball Recruiting Service out of Kentucky has ranked top players from Indiana. Listed as the top two players are 5'11 junior Jodi Howell of Alexandria and 6'3 center Stephanie Lynch of New Albany.  Others in the top 12 list include 6'2 senior Candace Bain of Clarksville, 5'10 Tara Miller of North Harrison, 6'5 Samantha Johnson of Jeffersonville, 5'10 senior forward Janese Banks of Ben Davis, 5'8 senior guard Tarrah Miller of South Bend Clay, 5'11 power forward Julie DeMuth of Merrillville, 5'6 sophomore guard Fahkara Malone of Evansville Memorial, 6-0 senior forward Jaclyn Leininger of Warsaw, 6-0 junior center Whitney Thomas of Bloomington North, and 5-7 senior guard Robyn Stone of Lawrence North.

Former Lawrence North and Terre Haute South standout center Reicina Russell (right) is quoted in a Northeastern Pennsylvania News article about the Penn State women's basketball team preseason workouts. The Lady Lions have been using football blocking sleds to work on being more physical while retrieving rebounds. a/k/a Tim Russell has released his preseason team rankings and player rankings by class for 2003-04.

Midwest Sports Publications has released its Top 40 Preseason teams, and NWI's new favorite, Merrillville, is at the head of the pack. Three other NWI teams appear in the first ten spots, including Gary West Side at No. 3, East Chicago Central at No. 9 and Valparaiso at No. 10.  Lake Central shows up at No. 31, while Chesterton is at No. 35. The complete list is below:


1. Merrillville
2. Warsaw
3. Gary Westside
4. Perry Meridian
5. Hamilton Southeastern
6. North Central
7. Bloomington North
8. Kokomo
9. East Chicago Central
12.Brebeuf Jesuit
13. Huntington North
14. Lawrence North
15. Jeffersonville
16. New Albany
17. Castle
18. Ben Davis
19. Terre Haute South
20. Pike Township
21. McCutcheon
22. Evansville Memorial
23. South Bend Riley
24. Indpls. Arsenal Tech
25. Center Grove
26. North Harrison
27. South Bend Clay
28. Angola
29. Franklin Central
30. Martinsville
31. Lake Central
32. Floyd Central
33. Fort Wayne Bishop Luers
34. South Bend St.Joseph’s
35 Chesterton
36 Pendleton Heights
37. Shenandoah
38. South Bend Washington
39. Tippecanoe Valley
40. Corydon Central

OTHER TEAMS WHO WILL CONTEND: North Knox, Crown Point, Alexandria, Greencastle, Brown County, Connersville, Elwood, Garrett, North Posey, F.W. Northrop, Cambridge City Lincoln, Twin Lakes, Plainfield, Beech Grove, South Ripley, Indian Creek, Brownstown Central, Fort Wayne Northside, BNL, Clinton Prairie, NorthWood, Avon, Charlestown, Plymouth, Highland, Boonville, Tri Central, Carmel, Clarksville, Calumet, Carroll-Allen, Randolph Southern, Shelbyville, Mt.Vernon-Fortville, Madison, East Noble, South Dearborn, LaVille, Elkhart Memorial, Southwestern Shelby, Rochester, North Vermillion, Batesville, Gibson Southern, Washington, Vincennes Lincoln, Heritage Christian, North Judson, North Putnam, North Vermillion, Triton, New Palestine, Bellmont, New Castle, Harrison.

Are you having trouble keeping track of all the team and player rankings? Well, we're here to help. Under the Resources link on our main menu, you will now find a Rankings & Statistics page that puts access to all of that information in one place. If you have any other links to add to what we have there now, just send it to us and we'll add it.

The IHSAA now has it's School Directory available online as it appears in the popular printed version. You can either download the entire directory in PDF form, or view schools alphabetically online. This is a nice improvement over the abbreviated directory previously available on the IHSAA website.

A number of colleges with former Indiana players are previewing their seasons online, and we'll be including those we come across with our usual articles of interest:
Bethel women's team hopes to see red - SB Tribune
Indiana State's women make the top grade in academics - Indianapolis Star
2003-04 Women's Basketball Season Outlook - Southern Illinois
Toledo Looks to Build Off of Solid Foundation in 2003-04 - Toledo
WNBA to take midseason break - Indianapolis Star


Monday, October 13


Our top Region team for the preseason is the Gary West Side Cougars.

We'll be the first! Our RRR Top 12 for the preseason is now online for you to view. As in the past, we will update our Top 12 for Northwest Indiana and our Top 12 for the entire state every Monday during the season. We expect all of our preseason picks to be strong throughout, although a few may experience early setbacks if their top players are still in volleyball or soccer playoffs. Also, our picks are based upon all expected healthy players returning to their teams from last season. Best of luck to all teams as they start practices next week. The slate is clean at 0-0 for everyone, and as we all know, there are always surprise teams that will shake up the Indiana girls basketball world order.

Steve Stremming of Midwest Sports Publishing and Central Indiana Sports has released his annual picks for Top Players for the Pre-Season. Included in his picks are seven senior teams and three junior teams, as well as other senior, junior, sophomore and freshmen players to keep an eye on for the upcoming season. We've highlighted players from Northwest Indiana on Steve's lists.

The Denver Post has an interesting article about the differences between summer basketball and college basketball from recruiters' perspectives. Included in the article are some interesting comments from former Ball State coach Brenda Freese, who is now at Maryland. This one is sure to stir up some debate among high school and AAU coaches.

Articles of interest:
A Litigious Future for Prep Sports? - Ft. Wayne News-Sentinel
Russia native commits to Purdue's Curry - Lafayette Journal & Courier




Thursday, October 9


Castle senior Kaleigh Gossman has committed to head coach Frank Bennett at Lipscomb University. The 6'0 forward, who was honored recently as a member of the IHSBG Tremendous 26, a Street & Smith Honorable Mention and a member of last summer's Indiana Junior All-Star South team, averaged 17.6 points and 8.2 rebounds while shooting 50.9% from the field and 73.0% from the free throw line last season for head coach Wayne Allen. Says Allen, "Coach Bennett is getting an excellent player in Kaleigh. She's a versatile player that can contribute from both inside and outside. This is a nice fit for both of them. Kaleigh is an outstanding player and an outstanding person, and I couldn't be happier for her." The Lipscomb Lady Bison program, which moved up to D-I from NAIA status just two years ago, boasts a 100% graduation rate for the past 24 years. Located in Nashville, Tennessee, Lipscomb is a small Christian school with high academic and conduct standards. The Lady Bison will compete as a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference for the first time this season.

Former Princeton player Jennifer Taylor lost her life yesterday in one-car collision, according to the Princeton Daily Clarion. The 18-year-old 2003 graduate, who was the daughter of Princeton's girls soccer coach Matt Taylor, was attending Oakland City University as a freshman. A 5'6 three-sport athlete, Taylor was named the Daily Clarion Co-Athlete of the Year for 2002-03.

Carrie Hanson, a 5’10” senior forward from Avon, has committed to Bethel. Hanson saw limited action last season due to injury, but will be a big factor in the success of the Lady Orioles for the 2003-2004 season. “After watching Carrie play this summer, as a counselor at the Bethel College summer sports camps, I feel she has tremendous upside in her game. With improvement, Carrie will be a great asset to the Bethel College Women’s Basketball program," states Bethel Coach Jody Martinez. "With Carrie making an early decision, hopefully, she will just have a great senior year and enjoy her last year of high school on and off the court.” Avon is coached by former Regionite Steve Drabyn of LaPorte. His daughter Kristin Drabyn, averaged nearly 20 points per game for the Orioles last season.

Johna GoffAccording to the Mid-American Conference website, Johna Goff of Ball State has been selected to the all-MAC preseason team. The former Mt. Vernon (Fortville) standout led the MAC in three-point field goals with 2.60 per game and was second on the Cardinals roster in scoring last season at 15.0 points per game. The 5'7 guard enters her senior season with 1,244 career points, which is sixth all-time at BSU. More:
BSU's Goff named to preseason team - Muncie Star Press

The Women's Basketball Coaches Association has announced it's academic team awards for the 2002-03 season. Topping the list in D-I is the Hoosier State's very own Indiana State with a cumulative GPA of 3.639. Valparaiso ranked 9th with a GPA of 3.394 in D-I, while Huntington College ranked 16th in NAIA schools with a 3.265 GPA.

Players recently added to the RRR prospects lists include Gretchen Haehl of Shelbyville to the 2004 Prospects, Tara Miller of North Harrison to the 2005 Prospects, and Audrey McDonald of Kokomo to the 2006 Prospects.

Articles of interest:
Fever's Catchings makes U.S. Olympic team - Indianapolis Star



Wednesday, October 8


Abbie Thomas
of Crawfordsville will be playing on scholarship at Missouri-St. Louis next season.

Crawfordsville senior Abbie Thomas has committed to new head coach Lee Buchanan at D-II Missouri-St. Louis. The 5'6 guard, who attended Northfield her first two years of high school, averaged 10.7 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.7 steals per game last season. She also led the Athenians in blocks and set a school record for most 3's in a season (44). Thomas also set the record for 3-point accuracy her sophomore year at Northfield, shooting 46.2 percent from long range. Thomas will join Iesha Billups of Pike on the Riverwomen roster.

Twenty-four players from Indiana were recently named Honorable Mention in the annual Street & Smith All-America selections. Two of those players are from Northwest Indiana. Junior Cassie Kerns of Valparaiso and sophomore Brittney Moore of Merrillville, both from the tough Duneland Athletic Conference, were honored as top players in Indiana.

Whitney Ash, 6'2, Angola
Janese Banks, 5'10, Ben Davis
Christina Cunningham, 5'7, Perry Meridian
Kaleigh Gossman, 6'0, Castle
Sarah Harper, 6'2, Mooresville
Amber Jackson, 6'2, Brebeuf
Brittany Myers, 5'8, Madison
Kyra Pappas, 6'0, Brebeuf
Rebekah Parker, 5'10, Tippecanoe Valley
Amanda Quattrocchi, 5'6, Brebeuf
Natalie Roberts, 6'1, Connersville
Adrienne Squire, 6'0, Indian Creek
Robyn Stone, 5'6, Pike
Stephanie Ford, 6'3, Franklin Central
Mara Freshour, 6'0, Brown County
Jodi Howell, 5'11, Alexandria
Samantha Johnson, 6'5, Jeffersonville
Cassie Kerns, 6'3, Valparaiso
Stephanie Lynch, 6'3, New Albany
Leah Phillips, 5'6, Castle
Whitney Thomas, 6'0, Bloomington North
Amber Harris, 6'5, North Central
Brittney Moore, 6'1, Merrillville
Ta'Shia Phillips, 6'4, Brebeuf

 Articles of interest:


Ball State plans Halloween hoops event - Muncie Star Press
3-point line change up for final approval - Indianapolis Star




Monday, October 6


We are just two weeks away from the start of the practice season, and as we have for the past five years, we present the RRR Super Senior 25. Something new this year is that we solicited the opinions of a number of high school coaches around the state, and their opinions are reflected along with ours in the Top 25 selections. The Class of 2004 is extremely deep, especially in Northwest Indiana, where this class has made an impact since their debut year in 2000-01. We know all of you won't agree with our selections, but you can voice your opinions of your own Top 25 on the RRR Message Board. Best of luck to this stellar class. They will provide Indiana girls basketball fans with some great competition this season!

According to the Madison Courier, former Paoli boys coach Mike Brown will take over the helm of the Paoli girls program with the departure of Mandy Leuking DeSpain, who left to take an assistant coaching position at St. Louis University. Brown, who only agreed to take the position for one year, is expecting to push the Rams hard this season, although he jokes in the article, “I am promising them that I won’t be sending them home crying every day.” Paoli returns six seniors to their roster this season after going 9-12 last season.

With only 14 days until the start of practice, the fabulous Indiana Girls Basketball website by John Harrell is beginning to post 2003-04 schedules for teams around the state. John is asking for schedules to be faxed to 812-331-4383 for posting on his site. The only NWI schedule posted so far is for Crown Point.

Notre Dame has released its schedule for the upcoming season. The Irish will play 17 teams that advanced to post-season play in either the NCAA Tournament or the NIT last season. One game of interest to Indiana fans will be the Purdue game in Lafayette on January 4, which will be telecast on ESPN2. More:
Challenges aplenty for ND Women - South Bend Tribune
Notre Dame Announces 2003-04 Women's Basketball Schedule - ND website

Articles of interest:

Big recruiting weekend for Purdue women's basketball - Lafayette J & C
Fortner still bitten by coaching bug - San Antonio Express News




Thursday, October 2


Becca Papach
of Whiting, who has put up significant numbers since her freshman season, is a Division I recruit. (Photo courtesy of

Although basketball is her sport of choice, Whiting senior Becca Papach (right) is providing strong leadership for a young Oiler volleyball team this season, according to articles in The Times and Post-Tribune. Papach, an All-Area Second Team honoree last season, averaged 21.8 points and 10.8 rebounds per game in 2002-03 for the Oilers. She is being recruited by Division I programs at Michigan State, Illinois State, Dartmouth and IUPUI.

According to the Evansville Courier & Press, Castle senior Kaleigh Gossman (left) has been selected to the Indiana Basketball Guide Tremendous 26. Gossman, who is being recruited by a number of Division I programs, averaged 16.0 points and 8.0 rebounds last season, while logging a 50.9 percent field goal percentage.

According to a press release from her family, Brittany Myers of Madison is being recruited by Wisconsin, Vanderbilt, Texas Christian, Liberty, Drake, DePaul, Lipscomb, Creighton, Austin Peay and Michigan State. Myers is also one of nine athletes in the state to appear in television commercials for the IHSAA Role Model Program.

Former West Lafayette standout Lello Gebisa is quoted in a Capital Times article about the Wisconsin women's team. The 6'7 Gebisa, who transferred from Duke to Wisconsin to join sister Ebba Gebisa on the Badger roster two years ago, will be playing her final season of college basketball under new UW head coach Lisa Stone. Last season, Lello averaged college career bests of 10.0 points and 6.1 rebounds per game, while younger sister Ebba averaged 7.3 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. Ebba was also named a recipient of the Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar award for the 2002-03 academic year. The 6-3 starting forward had a 4.0 GPA during the spring semester and has a cumulative 3.909 GPA.

Former Indiana All-Star and New Albany standout Abby Scharlow is appearing on the ticket brochure (left) for the Wisconsin-Green Bay Phoenix this season. Scharlow, who transferred from Cleveland State to UWGB two years ago, averaged 8.2 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists off the bench as a sophomore, while shooting 45% from the field and also 45% from 3-point range last season. Also returning for the Phoenix is Portage grad and 2000 Indiana All-Star Natalie Yudt, who started all 32 games for the Phoenix last season and returns as the team's leading scorer with 9.5 points per game. The Phoenix, who advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament last season, sold out the majority of their home games in 2002-03.

Ball State may be looking forward to mid-winter away games in the future with a possible new member in the Mid-American Conference. According to the Indianapolis Star, the MAC has offered full membership to Central Florida. CFU is already a member of the MAC football conference, but would be allowed to compete in all other conference sports if accepted.

Better late than never. The South Bend Tribune reports on Evansville recruits Rebekah Parker of Tippecanoe Valley and Courtney Felke of Rochester.

We've added four new listings to our College Prospect pages. Kaleigh Gossman of Castle, Molly Land of Hauser and Becca Papach of Whiting have been added to the 2004 Prospect listings. Maria Olsthoorn of Castle has been added to the 2006 Prospect listings.

Although this article in the Chicago Daily Herald about college recruiting uses a football example, it has some valuable information for parents trying to help their children obtain athletic scholarships.

An enterprising Madison grad is turning a dream he had about a basketball board game into reality with his new game Spot-A-Shot. Michael Montgomery, who names Bobby Knight, Rick Pitino and the Ball State women's basketball team as fans of his board game, was recently featured in the Madison Courier, Ft. Wayne News-Sentinel, and Lafayette Journal & Courier. Montgomery will make a board to replicate the game floor of your favorite school, including school colors, and if it's for a high school, include the school name and mascot with permission from the school's AD. (He cannot use college names and/or mascots on his game boards due to the high cost of copyright licensing fees.) Montgomery is a supporter of the RRR and we have placed an ad for his product on our home page. Each game is $25.00 and takes two to four weeks to make by hand. Montgomery's game is expected to get picked up by Mattel, at which time the hand-made, custom-painted wood game boards will no longer be available. For ordering information, go to

Articles of interest:
More on Notre Dame and the ACC - South Bend Tribune
Midnight Mackey Madness Set For October 17-18 - Purdue website
Toledo season preview (Decatur's Mary Blessing and St. Joe's Allison Lindborg) - Toledo website




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