Nov. 16, 2012
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana head women's basketball coach Curt Miller signed five players to national letters of intent this week during the early signing period to play for the Hoosiers in 2013. Miller's first recruiting class at IU is ranked as high as 27th in the country by the Collegiate Girls Basketball Report and is rated the third-best class in the Big Ten by Blue Star Basketball.
"I am so excited to announce our five early signees in the class of 2013," Miller said. "This recruiting class represents the new era of IU women's basketball and will be the backbone of our future. All five signees are recognized by national recruiting services, including four of them being considered in the Top 40 in their individual position. I am pleased to see that early reports have our class ranked in the Top 30 in the country but what the recruiting experts don't know about these five young women is that they are even better people off the court. They all have great character, they are all excellent students and they all believe in our approach that championships are won in the locker room with a team committed to chemistry and unity."
Joining the Hoosier roster in 2013 will be Taylor Agler (Westerville, Ohio/Olegtangy Orange H.S.), Larryn Brooks (Richmond, Ky./Madison Central H.S.), Alexis Gassion (Fairborn, Ohio/Fairborn H.S.), Lyndsay Leikem (Tucson, Ariz./Flowing Wells H.S.) and Karlee McBride (Erie, Pa./Villa Maria H.S.).
"Our goals for this recruiting class on the court were to improve many areas including our ball handling, our basketball IQ, our guard depth and our overall competitiveness," Miller said. "I can't thank enough the tireless work by my assistant coaches since our arrival. It is remarkable that we have been able to attract this kind of talent in our first recruiting class given our short time here at IU. We will continue to passionately recruit great student-athletes while we build this program day-by-day.
"I would also like to thank the talented high school and AAU coaches of our signees. It is not by chance that these players became Division I caliber basketball players. All five of them received excellent coaching and will begin their Hoosier career with a strong foundation."
Westerville, Ohio/Olentangy Orange 5-9 G
Agler is a senior at Olentangy Orange High School currently playing under head coach Maryann Grimes. As a junior, Agler averaged 15.6 points, 6.8 assists and 3.5 steals per game on her way to being named player of the year in her conference while leading her team to a 22-2 record. She also earned first team all-district, first team all-district metro and second team all-state honors in 2011-12. The Westerville, Ohio, native played AAU ball under head coach Jay-Bee Bethea for All Ohio Black and she is the daughter of Brian Agler, current general manager and head coach for the WNBA's Seattle Storm.
Miller on Agler: "Taylor is your typical coach's kid. Taylor has great basketball IQ, plays extremely hard and makes everyone better around her. We love her versatility to play multiple guard positions. She has point guard skills, speed and knowledge, but can also play off the ball just as effectively. She has a quick release and we believe she will develop into an outstanding 3-point shooter during her career. We are ecstatic she has joined our IU family after recruiting her for years."
Richmond, Ky./Madison Central 5-5 G
Brooks is a senior at Madison Central High School playing under head coach Robert Cooksey. As a junior last year, Brooks averaged 18.7 points per game while leading Madison Central to a third-consecutive district championship and a 30-6 record on the season. Brooks has already scored more than 1,000 points in her career and was named to the Kentucky Junior All Star team last spring. She played for the Kentucky Premier AAU team under coaches David Tapley and Jarrad Parmley.
Miller on Brooks: "Larryn is a true point guard that brings explosive quickness to our program. She is excellent in transition and has a good feel for the game. She will be counted on to attack off ball screens creating opportunities for herself and her teammates with her penetration. She will also help improve our defensive pressure on opposing point guards. We are very fortunate to have her a part of our family after having a breakout spring and summer."
Fairborn, Ohio/Fairborn 5-10 G/F
Gassion is currently playing under head coach Steve Hannaford at Fairborn High School. Gassion led her team to a third-consecutive sectional title in 2011-12 while averaging 17.8 points, 11.2 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 3.7 steals per game and was named conference player of the year and All-Ohio District 15 Underclassman Player of the Year. Last season, Gassion also earned AP All-State honorable mention, second team AP All-Southwest District, All-Ohio District 15 Underclassmen team and first team all-conference honors. Gassion played her AAU ball under head coach Tom Jenkins for Sports City U.
Miller on Gassion: "Alexis is an outstanding, versatile guard with great length. She creates off the bounce and will be excellent in pick and roll opportunities. Her versatility to play and defend multiple guard positions is a huge plus for our program. She is a smooth player and makes everything on the court seem easy. We have closely followed Alexis for years and immediately targeted her when we accepted the job at IU. With our starting wings graduating at the end of the year, we look for Alexis to make an immediate impact for us."
Tucson, Ariz./Flowing Wells 6-1 F
Leikem is playing her senior year for head coach Michael Perkins at Flowing Wells High School in Tucson. Leikem led Flowing Wells to a 27-4 record during her junior year and was named Southern Arizona Player of the Year. She also earned first team all-state, first team all-conference and first team all-city recognition in 2011-12. Leikem averaged a double-double last season with 15 points and 12 rebounds per game while shooting over 40 percent from 3-point range. As a sophomore, she was part of a 5A-1 state championship team while playing at St. Mary's High School. Leikem played AAU for the Arizona Warriors under head coach Curtis Ekmark.
Miller on Leikem: "Lyndsay is an outstanding forward and the latest commitment in this class. She is a strong and physical player but plays with a versatile face-up game. She is a talented perimeter shooter, passer and ball handler but has proven consistently to be able to guard big post players at the defensive end of the court. Lyndsay is also a winner, helping her former high school team to an Arizona state championship. Our courtship with Lyndsay was the shortest in this recruiting class but there was an instant connection. She is genuinely excited about helping us build something special at IU."
Erie, Pa./Villa Maria 5-10 G
McBride is playing her high school basketball at Villa Maria Academy under the direction of head coach Doug Chuzie. McBride led Villa Maria to a final four appearance during her junior year where her team finished ranked No. 2 in the state in class AA, this on the heels of Villa winning back-to-back AA state championships during her sophomore and freshman seasons. She averaged 14.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 2011-12 and was named first team all-conference, second team all-state and was just one of five players among 49 teams to earn an all-district honor. McBride played AAU for the Erie Saints, which is also coached by Chuzie.
Miller on McBride: "Karlee is a strong, physical wing player with great basketball knowledge. She is a tough matchup for opponents because she can put it on floor, shoot the three and is an excellent post up guard. She is a warrior and ultimate competitor. Karlee also knows how to win, helping her high school team win two Pennsylvania state championships. She will understand the effort that it takes to build a championship culture on and off the court."