After racking up 62 game starts between them over the past two years, East Chicago's Kelly Watts (left) and Elkhart Memorial's Alyssa Pittman (below) have left the Eastern Michigan program to come back home to Indiana. A change in coaching staff took place last spring when dynamic EMU head coach Suzy Merchant left the Eagles for Michigan State and the Big Ten, and now Watts and Pittman are also leaving for teams closer to home.
Watts will bring her 6'0 frame and rebounding prowess to the Crusaders of Valparaiso University, just a stone's throw from her home town of East Chicago. This past season, she started 22 games for the Eagles and led EMU in rebounding at 6.2 rebounds per game to go with her team's fourth-best 7.0 points per game. Watts saw her minutes nearly double from the previous year, helping the Eagles to a 17-12 record.
Citing unhappiness with the EMU program this past season in The Times, Watts is looking forward to playing closer to home where friends and family can come to games. VU head coach Keith Freeman will add Watts to a growing stable of multi-faceted wing players for the Crusaders. Photo from daylife.com.
Pittman, a 5'8 guard, was named the MAC Freshman of the Year last season after starting 24 games for then head coach Merchant. During her freshman season she averaged 12. 3 points per game, and matched that average again as a sophomore. She started 16 games for the Eagles this season, and was the leading scorer for EMU through her team's first four games (22.8 ppg), but saw her floor time decrease over the last four games of the season. During her time at EMU, Pittman was deadly from three-point range, racking up 152 treys. Butler coach Beth Couture continues to attract a fine group of Hoosier players to the Bulldogs roster.
EVANSVILLE STANDOUT FELKE LANDS GRAD ASST POSITION AT NORTHERN IOWA
Former Evansville and Rochester standout Courtney Felke has been added to the Northern Iowa staff as a graduate assistant. The UNI Panthers know Felke well after they were beaten by the Aces three times during last season within the span of two months. Felke, a sports studies major with an emphasis in communication, will cut her coaching teeth under the guidance of head coach Tanya Warren. Felke made UE women’s basketball history this past season, rewriting the school records for three-point field goals made in a game (8) and in a career (205). Felke also earned honorable mention All-MVC honors two years in a row.