Lady Lions sign top 10 recruiting class

November 13, 2014

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State Lady Lion head coach Coquese Washington announced Thursday (Nov. 13) that the Lady Lions have signed four players to the 2015 recruiting class, which is ranked in the Top 10 by numerous outlets. Amari Carter (Washington, D.C./St. John's College High School), Teniya Page (Chicago Heights, Ill./Marian Catholic High School), Ashanti Thomas (Lexington, Ky./Lafayette High School) and Jaylen Williams (Braintree, Mass./Archbishop Williams High School) signed National Letters of Intent today and will begin their Lady Lion careers in 2015-16.

The four-player class is ranked eighth by Prospect Nation, ninth by All Star Girls Report, 10th by Blue Star Basketball and 11th by ESPN/HoopGurlz and Collegiate Girls Basketball Report. This is believed to be the highest-ranked class in program history. This is the third Top 15 class to sign under Washington, joining the 2009 and 2013 classes that were ranked 14th by ESPN/Hoopgurlz. It is also the fourth Top 25 recruiting class for Washington (2010 class was 22nd).

"This class has all the makings of being a high impact class for our program," Washington said. "Kia, Itoro, Jocelyn and the rest of the staff did a fantastic job of bringing in a group of ladies that are a great fit for Lady Lion Basketball. This class features size, speed, athleticism and scoring prowess, and I am confident they will excel. The thing that has impressed me the most, however, is their collective passion for this university. They love Penn State!"

A 5-8 guard, Carter is ranked as the #31 overall recruit by both ESPN/HoopGurlz and Collegiate Girls Basketball Report. She is also rated 19th by Prospect Nation and Blue Star Basketball and 32nd by All Star Girls Report. She averaged 17.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.0 steals for St. John's College High School in Washington, D.C. She led the team to a 25-7 overall record and the 2014 DC State Athletic Association championship. Last season, Carter was named to the Washington Post All-Metropolitan first team and All-WCAC first team. As a sophomore, Carter helped the Cadets to the 2013 WCAC Championship en route to collecting second team All-WCAC honors and an All-Metropolitan honorable mention selection by the Washington Post. She is a 2014-15 Sporting News Preseason High School All-America honorable mention choice. Carter has participated in USA Basketball U16 (2013) and U17 (2014) Trials. She plays her AAU ball with the Maryland Lady Terps.

"We started recruiting Amari when she was a freshman in high school and it's been fun watching Amari - and her game -grow up," Washington said. "Amari is a silky smooth lefty with a scorer's mentality. She is good three-point shooter with the ability to create her own shot when she wants or needs too. She has good speed and can be a stifling on-ball defender throughout the game. She is a very exciting player to watch and our fans will love seeing her put points on the board!"

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Page, a 5-7 point guard out of Marian Catholic in Chicago, Ill., is the 21st-ranked prospect by both ESPN/HoopGurlz and Collegiate Girls Basketball Report. She also comes in ranked 17th by Blue Star Basketball, 20th by Prospect Nation and 26th by All Star Girls Report. A 2014-15 Sporting News Preseason High School All-America honorable mention selection, Page has 1,135 career points entering her final season for the Spartans. Last season, she accounted for 14.4 points, 4.7 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game to help Marian Catholic to a 28-5 overall record, a East Suburban Catholic Conference championship and a third-place finish in the Illinois High School Association Class 4A Basketball Tournament. She was also efficient from long range, connecting on 45.7 percent of her three-pointers as a junior. Page was selected first team All-State by the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association, second team All-State by the Associated Press, first team All-State by The Northwest Indiana Times and third team All-State by the Chicago Tribune in 2014. She was also a two-time East Suburban Catholic Conference All-Conference team selection in 2013 and 2014. As a sophomore, Page guided Marian Catholic to the IHSA 4A State Championship with a 33-1 record on the season. She was an all-state honorable mention selection by The News-Gazette in 2013. Page has participated in USA Basketball U16 (2013) and U17 (2014) Trials in each of the last two springs. She plays AAU basketball for Midwest Elite.

"Teniya is point guard in the truest sense of the word," Washington said. "She runs her team with aplomb, and keeps opponents off-balance with her ability to both set up teammates and score at will. She has incredible court vision and a very high basketball IQ. She sees the floor extremely well and is exceptional at creating shots for her teammates. She rarely turns the ball over because she is a strong decision-maker. She definitely will excel in our up-tempo system and is poised to have a brilliant career here at Penn State."

Thomas, a 6-5 post player out of Lafayette High School in Lexington, Ky., is the 87th-ranked recruit by Prospect Nation and is ranked 106th and 109th by All Star Girls Report and Blue Star Basketball, respectively. She is a candidate for Kentucky Miss Basketball entering her senior season. As a junior, she led the Generals to a 29-4 overall record with a 9-1 mark in districts en route to a District and Regional championships. Thomas averaged 9.2 points and 8.2 rebounds per game last season on the way to All-State third team accolades from KySports.tv. She was ranked as the eighth-best player in the state of Kentucky during her junior year by Kentucky.com in Dec. 2013. During her sophomore campaign, Thomas accounted for 10.3 points and 9.5 rebounds per outing. She also connected on 51.8% of her shots from the field on the way to claiming Fayette County Public Schools All-City first team. Thomas plays AAU basketball for Mac Irvin Lady Fire.

"Ashanti is post player with tremendous athleticism," Washington said. "She will be a dominating presence in the paint for us. She gets up and down the floor like a guard, has great hands and is an outstanding leaper. She is a shot-blocker and a forceful defender. In addition, she has a soft touch offensively and can play effectively in both the low and high post. She will certainly be able to handle the rigors of Big Ten post play."

 

A 6-4 post player, Williams is the ranked 80th by Blue Star Basketball Report after missing her junior campaign at Archbishop Williams due to a knee injury. She is also considered the 17th-ranked post player in the country by ESPN/HoopGurlz. The 2014-15 Sporting News Preseason High School All-America honorable mention honoree accounted for 8.5 points, a team-best 11.6 rebounds, 3.5 blocks and 4.3 assists per game as a sophomore. Williams helped the Bishops to the 2013 Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) Division 3 State Championship with a 23-5 record. She played her AAU basketball for Lady Rivals AAU select team under the guidance of Scott Hazelton. Williams and the Rivals squad have won two state championships. She also has a strong athletic background in her family as her father, Brent, played in the NFL for 11 years with the Jets, Seahawks and Patriots. Her brother, Brennan, has played for the Houston Texans and her other brother, Camren, is a junior linebacker for the Ohio State football team.

"Jaylen will add to our size, depth and athleticism in the post," Washington said. "She is a feisty forward who is a fierce competitor. She comes from a family of football players and, without question, it shows on the court. She is an aggressive rebounder, runs the floor very well and defends multiple positions. She will certainly ignite our transition game, and as her offensive game grows and flourishes she will present match-up problems."

The 2014-15 Penn State Lady Lion Basketball season is presented by Kish Travel and Kish Insurance. The Lady Lions open the season Friday, Nov. 14 at noon against Towson in the first round of the Preseason WNIT. If the Penn State wins its opener, it will either face Albany or St. Francis (N.Y.) on Sunday, Nov. 16 at 2 p.m. Should the Lions fall to Towson, they will host a consolation tournament on Friday, Nov. 21 and Saturday, Nov. 22 with doubleheaders each day at 4:30 and 7 p.m. Penn State would play the 7 p.m. game each day.

Lady Lion Basketball single-game and season tickets are available by calling 1-800-NITTANY. Single-game tickets range from $10-17 for adults and seniors and $5-11 for youth (12 and younger). Season tickets are $105 for adults and $52 for youth (12 and under). Additionally, the Family Season Ticket package, which features two adult tickets and two youth tickets in the family section in section 114L, is $210. There is a $15 handling fee per order on season tickets.

The PNC Flex Books are $120 and give fans 12 vouchers, 10 that can be redeemed in any combination for Nittany Lion and Lady Lion Basketball tickets throughout the year and two extra vouchers for the Nittany Lions' Coaches Vs. Cancer game and the Lady Lions' Pink Zone game. The Lady Lions also have a pair of mini-plans available this season with the B1G Deal and the Five for the 50th plans. The B1G Deal is a mini-plan that includes the nine Big Ten Conference home games. Tickets for the B1G Deal are $90 for adult sideline, $63 for youth sideline, $63 for adult baseline and $45 for youth baseline tickets. To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Women's Athletics at Penn State, there is a Five for the 50th mini-plan. The plan features a ticket to the following games: South Florida (12/21), Illinois (1/4), Rutgers (1/10), Michigan State (2/11) and Ohio State (2/26). The package is $50 in honor of the 50th anniversary. 

Last Updated November 13, 2014