Early signing period starts Nov. 14 – a look at the Lady Tops’ commits

The November early signing period begins tomorrow (Wednesday, Nov. 14), and the Western Kentucky women’s basketball team is expected to pick up three official signees.

Each of WKU’s 2013 verbal commits – Kierra Muhammad, Bria Gaines and Aleeya Harris – has confirmed to me in the last week that she plans to sign with the Lady Tops tomorrow.

The plan is to have comments from each player as she signs, but until then, here’s a refresher course on each of the commits.

Paul Laurence Dunbar High School (Lexington)
5-4 guard

Muhammad verbally committed to WKU on May 22.

She averaged 10.2 points for Dunbar as a junior last season. She helped the Lady Bulldogs post a 30-7 record and reach the semifinals of the girls’ state tournament, where she averaged 12 points, 3.7 assists and 3.7 rebounds over three games.

Muhammad prides herself on her ball-handling and her ability to lock down an opponent’s primary scorer on defense, she said, and she’s looking forward to playing in WKU coach Michelle Clark-Heard’s up-tempo style.

What her coach is saying: “She’s very quick and excellent on defense. We always look to her to wreak a lot of havoc against other point guards. She can cause a lot of issues for other point guards, a lot of turnovers. She’s a very stable point guard. She makes sure people are where they’re supposed to be, and she’s always taking care of the basketball. She’s kind of that rock that you need on offense.” – Sarah Bridenbaugh, Dunbar coach

Bloom Township High School (Glenwood, Ill.)
6-2 center

Gaines verbally committed to WKU on Sept. 2 after visiting the school.

The natural post player averaged 27 points and 16 rebounds as a junior following a strong summer after averaging eight points and four rebounds as a sophomore.

Gaines was especially drawn to WKU because of the Lady Toppers’ immediate need for a presence in the post, she said.

What her coach is saying: “She’s got a great personality. She’s a relentless worker. She has a great attitude and good leadership qualities. She’s really a coach’s dream, because no matter how hard you push her – and I need to be clear, I’m not an easy coach to play for because I push my players to the limits. Bria has always answered the call.” ­- Ron Newquist, Bloom Township and Illinois Wolverines AAU coach

John Jay High School (San Antonio, Texas)
6-1 forward

Harris verbally committed to WKU on Oct. 20 while on her official visit to the school.

She averaged nine points and 5.6 rebounds a game as a junior at John Jay, according to MaxPreps.com, and averaged 15.5 points, 10.2 rebounds and five blocks this year on the AAU circuit, said Theresa Nunn, Harris’ AAU coach with the South Texas Hoyas.

Harris, who also plays volleyball and is known for her shot-blocking prowess, can play the center position but projects more as a forward at the college level.

What her coach is saying: “Her strengths definitely include blocking shots. We have a joke that she’s on the SWAT team, because she literally leads the city in blocks. Her timing is amazing.” – Theresa Nunn, South Texas Hoyas AAU coach


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