Recruiting updates on Glasgow hoopers Breanna Glover, Shalika Smith

Glasgow freshman forward Breanna Glover (Photo by Nathan Morgan/Daily News)

Glasgow freshman forward Breanna Glover (Photo by Nathan Morgan/Daily News)

Glasgow girls’ basketball coach Justin Stinson passed along some recruiting updates today on freshman forward Breanna Glover and junior center Shalika Smith.

Glover, a 5-foot-11-inch forward, averaged 12.3 points, 8.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 3.3 blocks per game in 2012-13. She shot 50 percent from the floor.

Stinson said the schools that have shown the most interest in Glover are Kentucky, Louisville, Western Kentucky, Dayton, Michigan State, Vanderbilt, Arkansas, Florida, Marquette, Wake Forest and Bucknell.

Smith, a 6-1 center, averaged 14.5 points and 8.3 rebounds per game as a junior. She shot 67.9 percent from the field, which ranked first in the state.

Stinson said the schools showing the most interest in Smith are Morehead State, WKU, Navy, Arkansas State, Norfolk State, Eastern Illinois, Austin Peay, Georgetown College and Eckerd College.

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Recruiting update: Bowling Green 2014 WR Nacarius Fant

Bowling Green junior receiver Nacarius Fant

Bowling Green junior receiver Nacarius Fant

The recruiting circuit is still going strong for Bowling Green junior receiver Nacarius Fant, but he thinks this summer is when he could take it to the next level.

Fant has been visited by several coaches in the last two weeks, including a visit from Ohio State today.

The Buckeyes also stopped by South Warren to see DL Adrian Middleton and LB/S Joel Iyiegbuniwe.

Fant currently has offers from Western Kentucky and Illinois.

On April 22, WKU offensive coordinator Jeff Brohm came by to see Fant and junior quarterback Devin Hayes.

“Before, they focused on the run game, but with the new coaches, they’ve kind of changed that a little bit and are throwing it around,” Fant said.

On April 23, Fant got a visit from Kentucky offensive coordinator Neal Brown. The two talked again on Thursday, and Brown told Fant he’d like him to come to UK’s camp June 8 and compete against elite cornerbacks.

An offer could come out of that performance, Fant said.

“He said he likes my routes and thinks I run really good routes,” Fant said. “He wants to see what I can do one-on-one against those elite guys.”

Fant also got visits Thursday from Cincinnati, Louisville and Indiana, and from Purdue on Monday.

As of now, he’s planning to attend Louisville, Kentucky and Ohio State camps over the summer, he said.

Fant caught 70 passes for 1,335 yards and 19 touchdowns as a junior.

“It’s really, really getting better this year,” Fant said of the Bowling Green area’s talent. “It’s going to be a great season for coaches to come to, and it’s nice to see people getting that interest. It’s special to be a part of the group getting these kinds of offers and looks, because not many people can say that.”

Lady Topper updates from Michelle Clark-Heard, new assistant Candyce Bingham

I caught up today with Western Kentucky coach Michelle Clark-Heard and new Lady Topper assistant Candyce Bingham.

We talked about Bingham’s hire, the addition of JUCO guard Jasmine Crawford and other roster updates. Heard declined to comment further on the departures of LeAsia Wright and Mariah Sunkett beyond Monday’s statement.

Here are comments from Heard and Bingham:

MICHELLE CLARK-HEARD

Hiring Bingham: “When I went back and looked at what I needed to do with that position, I wanted someone who knew me – someone who knew basically everyone on my staff, and someone who knew how to win. I wanted someone I thought the girls would be able to connect with right away. … And I was looking at a little longevity, too. I knew I could have her for a while, and I thought it would be good if we had some consistency.”

Bingham’s experience as player, coach: “Our ultimate goal is to get our team to the Final Four. To bring in a player and coach who’s been involved in it twice in a national championship game capacity, I don’t know where else I would have had to go to find that. She has the passion and the will to be great.”

Watching Louisville’s title game run: “Most of those players I sat in on a home visit or was on campus with. We told them we could reach that again if we continued to get players. It was something special to watch. Jeff Walz does an amazing job, and those kids played their hearts out.”

Bringing in a guard in Jasmine Crawford: “The position that we really struggled with was having a point. Micah (Jones) did a phenomenal job, but that’s not her true position. We wanted to have depth at that position, so no matter what, we have someone who can lead the charge.”

More on Crawford: “She’s very vocal and charismatic. The first day I talked to her on the telephone, I thought it was amazing because I thought she could be the fit. I wanted to get her on campus and around our players, and she fit like she’d been here the whole year.”

More on Crawford: “She’s a true point guard. She can handle the ball, she can pass it. She gets to the basket very well, and she has a level of quickness that I think will be good for us. She likes defense, too, so it’ll all fit.”

Will you add more players in 2013 class? “If it’s going to be a fit or something that will help us improve, we’ll do it.”

CANDYCE BINGHAM

Coming to WKU: “I’ve always wanted to get into coaching, and I knew she had the third assistant open, but I didn’t know if she was going to ask me for it. That was the end of it. I wanted to come with her when she first got the job, but I had already talked to coach Walz about getting into grad school. Once she asked me, I was all in.”

Relationship with Heard: “It’s a little different now that I’m not a player and a little older. At U of L, she was like another mother to me. We’d talk about not just basketball, but life. Being here, she’s only going to teach me more.”

Did you think Heard was ready to be a head coach then? “We always talked about it. I knew she wanted to eventually get back to Western and be a head coach.”

Being grad assistant on national runner-up team: “I knew what those ladies were going through, and I knew they could get to the Final Four. It was a great experience being on the other side of it. I want to come here and show these girls that it’s possible and very fun to get to those levels.”

Recruiting update: Warren East 2015 LB/RB Eli Brown

Warren East sophomore linebacker/running back Eli Brown

Warren East sophomore linebacker/running back Eli Brown

Warren East sophomore linebacker/running back Eli Brown is in the middle of a recruiting whirlwind, but he’s enjoying the ride.

The 6-foot-2-inch, 192-pound Brown has scholarship offers from Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Western Kentucky, and recently had six college coaches visit in one day.

“It’s been kind of fun to see what kind of coaches will come in,” Brown said. “Now, it’s just motivating me more for next year.”

Brown picked up his first offer from UK just before coach Joker Phillips was fired, but he was later offered by new coach Mark Stoops.

“A couple of months later, I got a call from UK to come up, and they offered me when I went for their Junior Day,” he said.

WKU offensive coordinator Jeff Brohm was one of Brown’s visitors at WEHS, and he offered Brown on the spot, he said.

He’s also had visits from Louisville, Indiana, Cincinnati and Florida – the latter from Joker Phillips, who’s now the Gators’ receivers coach.

He plans to attend camps at Florida, Louisville, Kentucky, Cincinnati and Vanderbilt this summer, he said, and would like to make his college decision after his junior season.

Brown recorded 90 tackles in 2012 and rushed for 756 yards and 11 touchdowns on offense. Some teams have discussed also using him as a running back, he said.

Heading into next year, Brown’s planning to work on improving his footwork and mental toughness, he said. He’s encouraged and motivated by the recent surge in college interest for players in the Bowling Green area, like South Warren’s Adrian Middleton and Joel Iyiegbuniwe, and Bowling Green’s Nacarius Fant.

“It’s kind of getting exciting to see that we can get our names out in Bowling Green, because it’s been kind of hard to do that,” Brown said.

Recruiting update: South Warren 2014 LB/S Joel Iyiegbuniwe

South Warren junior linebacker/safety Joel Iyiegbuniwe

South Warren junior linebacker/safety Joel Iyiegbuniwe

South Warren junior linebacker/safety Joel Iyiegbuniwe has a solid relationship with Western Kentucky coaches, he says, but other schools are jumping into the mix.

The 6-2, 210-pound prospect  has offers from WKU and Indiana State, and he’s had interest from Indiana, Purdue, Kentucky, Louisville, Middle Tennessee and Cincinnati.

“It’s crazy,” Iyiegbuniwe said. “I’m just trying to process the whole thing and keep my options open, of course. I don’t want to get too carried away, but yeah, it’s been crazy.”

Iyiegbuniwe attended a WKU practice recently and talked with head coach Bobby Petrino and offensive coordinator Jeff Brohm.

“Loved it,” he said. “We had a brief conversation. (Petrino) asked me how I thought the practice went, and I told him it was great. Coach Brohm was great also. I’m pretty familiar with them, and it’s good.”

Many college coaches have come to check out Iyiegbuniwe and junior defensive lineman Adrian Middleton, SWHS coach Mark Nelson. Some want Iyiegbuniwe to come onto campus and work out for them before offering, Nelson said.

Iyiegbuniwe recorded 64 tackles and three interceptions for South Warren in 2012. He also rushed for 486 yards and two touchdowns and caught 11 passes for 189 yards and two TDs.

Iyiegbuniwe will move from safety to inside linebacker on defense for the Spartans next season, he said, to prepare for how college coaches will use him.

“They feel like I can play a little bit of both and switch me around based on situation,” he said. “They tell me they like my work in the weight room.”

Recruiting update: South Warren 2014 DL Adrian Middleton

South Warren junior defensive lineman Adrian Middleton

South Warren junior defensive lineman Adrian Middleton

South Warren junior defensive lineman Adrian Middleton has caught fire lately on the recruiting trail.

The 6-foot-3-inch, 265-pound prospect received a scholarship offer from Kentucky on Monday after picking up an offer from Louisville over the weekend.

Middleton talked with UK head coach Mark Stoops and offensive coordinator Neal Brown, he said.

He worked out last week for UK, Cincinnati and Indiana.

“They told me they liked me and that I could be a star at UK,” he said.

Middleton also has scholarship offers from Western Kentucky and Middle Tennessee.

He’s been in contact with Louisville coaches Charlie Strong and Kenny Carter, and WKU coaches Bobby Petrino and Jeff Brohm.

Purdue and Florida wide receiver coach Joker Phillips have also stopped by South Warren to see Middleton, SWHS coach Mark Nelson said.

“It’s hard,” Middleton said. “I’ve just been trying to take it all in, and I’ll decide later.”

Coaches have told Middleton they like his quickness and agility, as well as the way he uses his hands, he said. He recorded 59 tackles on the front line in 2012.

Many of the same coaches have taken an interest in South Warren junior linebacker/safety Joel Iyiegbuniwe. The Spartans finished 9-4 last season, falling to Monroe County in the Class 3A quarterfinals.

“It’s going to be really exciting,” Middleton said. “We’re trying to win state championships around here.”

Lady Tops add JUCO guard Crawford to 2013 signing class

Western Kentucky women’s basketball coach Michelle Clark-Heard announced the signing Monday of Jasmine Crawford, a 5-foot-5-inch guard from Chipola College (Fla.)

“We are very excited about adding Jasmine Crawford to our roster,” Heard said in a statement. “She is a true point guard that is very vocal, has an unbelievable personality and feels like a natural fit for our team. After speaking with her and having her on campus, I am very excited about the things she can bring to the table for us. I am excited to get her on the court and coach her.

“She has been in winning programs throughout her career and we are all looking forward to her bringing that winning attitude to the Hill.”

Crawford averaged 10.1 points, 3.5 assists and 2.1 rebounds as a sophomore for Chipola, earning All-Panhandle Conference second-team honors.

The St. Louis native helped Chipola to a 27-7 record and an Elite Eight finish in the NJCAA Women’s Basketball National Tournament. She played her freshman season at Jefferson College (Mo.), where she averaged 10.4 points per game.

“Jasmine is a very, very good defender,” Chipola coach Greg Franklin said. “She’s a kid that plays team defense and she’s a leader. She’s always trying to get the team to go harder and be tougher. She’s always on point and one of the hardest workers I’ve ever had.

“She’s better offensively going to the basket. Her jumpshot is a little streaky from the 3, but when she gets going, she gets going. She played the 2 and the 1 for us. She’s versatile as a combo-guard, and she has a high basketball IQ.”

Crawford committed to WKU over the weekend while on her official visit. Franklin endorsed the move, he said, with a strong knowledge of the school having grown up in Central City.

“She said she liked it,” Franklin said. “We talked via text message, and she said she thought this was what she wanted to do, and I told her I thought it was a great school.”

Crawford will have two years of eligibility left. With five signees and the departures of freshmen LeAsia Wright and Mariah Sunkett, WKU will have 14 players on its roster next season.

The Lady Tops have four other recruits in the 2013 class who signed in November – guard Kierra Muhammad, forward Aleeya Harris, and centers Bria Gaines and Ruta Savickaite.