Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Union women’s basketball announces signing class for 2015-16
JACKSON, Tenn. – The Union University women's basketball team and head coach Mark Campbell have announced the signing class for the 2015-16 season. Six new players will be joined the Lady Bulldog basketball team next fall including Kayla Bise (Lucas, Texas), Jada Perkins (Jackson, Tenn.), Tiffany Rechis (Martin, Tenn.), Jada Smith (Hoover, Ala.), Bailey Wilkes (Memphis, Tenn.), and Carnecia Williams (Memphis, Tenn.).
Coach Campbell says of his new class, "I am really excited about the group we have signed early this year. This has the potential to be one of the best classes we have signed in the last 16 years. We lose a group of seniors with high character and they all have made big impacts within the program. Signing a class of quality recruits was vital. I believe that we have done this. Each one of these young ladies chose to come to Union because they want to be in the environment we have here on and off the floor. Former assistant Kayla Hudson Irvin started this process with this class and now Lauren Avant continues the work. Both really did a great job developing relationships with these young ladies. I am thankful for all their hard work and belief in what we are doing. These six young ladies can all shoot it behind the arc and create their own shot off the bounce. I believe this class will allow us to compete on a high level immediately. All of these players turned down other great universities to be here and I am excited about the future!"
Last season at John Paul II High School, Bise averaged 15.6 points, 4.7 assists, 3.5 rebounds, and well over 100 3-pointers on the year at a 46.3 percent clip. Bise was also an 89.6 percent shooter from the free throw line. Bise was earned the JPII Presidential Scholar Award, was named TAPPS 5A Academic All-State, TAPPS 5A First Team All-State, TAPPS 5A All-Tournament, all-district, and was named the District Offensive MVP. Campbell said, "Kayla was a surprise addition. She is a great shooter and has demonstrated this by shooting a high percentage throughout her career. She wanted to be in the Union environment and has a high basketball IQ. We try to sign the best shooters we can and Kayla is definitely that. I am excited about another player that can really shoot it and play with intelligence."
Perkins prepped at Jackson North Side High School where she is starting her senior year. Perkins averaged 16 points, nine assists, four rebounds, and four steals per game as a junior. Perkins surpassed the 1,000 point mark for her career last year. She also hit 87 total three pointers last season, an average of three made 3-pointers per game, including one game where she made six 3-pointers. Perkins turned down several offers in order to stay close to home. Campbell said, "We saw Jada a bunch this summer and the more I saw her the more I realized that she does things that I cannot teach. She is great off the ball on the defensive end. She can guard two people at the same time and I have not had many be able to do that. She is a good three point shooter, as she made over 80 last year and she can get to the rim as well. When we can get a player of her caliber and keep her in Jackson it is always a great thing."
Rechis is in her senior year at a private school after transferring from Westview High School. In her previous three seasons at Westview, she scored 1,582 points (16.0 ppg) and made 221 3-pointers (35%). She averaged 22.5 points and made 113 three pointers as a junior. During her junior year, Rechis was named all-district, district co-MVP, all-district tournament, all-region tournament, all-state tournament, Jackson Sun All-West Tennessee Player of the Year, and TSWA All-State. Rechis helped lead her team to the semifinals of the state tournament, following back-to-back sub state titles. As a sophomore, her team advanced to the state quarterfinals. She was named all-district, all-district tournament, and all-region tournament. Rechis is the younger sister of current Union sharp-shooter Amber Rechis. Campbell said, "I have known Tiffany since she was about 11 years old. She has all the tools to help us on the offensive end next year. She has range out to 25ft and she just loves to score off the bounce as well. She gets to the free throw line 240+ times while making 113 three's last year. We have been recruiting her for several years so I am obviously thrilled she is staying in West Tennessee. I am excited about coaching another Rechis!"
Smith is in her senior year at Hoover High School. She averaged 10 points, five assists, and two rebounds per game last season. Smith also shot 40 percent from long range and hit 40 threes last season. She averaged 11.2 points and 4.3 assists per game for her AAU team, where she was named all-state. She helped lead her Hoover High School team to the Alabama State Title in 2013. She was named Rotary Club Student Athlete of the Month once, all-area tournament, all-region tournament, and Team MVP. Smith was also on the honor roll. Campbell said, "Jada is smart, competitive, and can play several different positions. I believe that her best years of basketball are ahead of her. She is from a basketball family and she will impact our program on and off the floor. She can shoot, pass, defend and think the game well. She is used to competing for state championships in high school so she has the mentality we want. She is another that fits perfectly in to our system and into our Union community."
Wilkes is in the MHEA home school program and has a very successful basketball career in the home school league. She is one of only four players in the country competing for the Homeschool National Player of the Year Award. Her homeschool league, MHEA, has been ranked in the top-5 of the Memphis Commercial Appeal's Dandy Dozen. All of this while competing against top national teams. She averaged 15.8 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 2.8 steals per game as a junior. Wilkes made 80 3-pointers last season, shooting 39 percent from long range. She currently has scored over 1,800 points in her career. Wilkes was named a home school All-American and was selected as a Commercial Appeal Best of the Preps twice. She has helped lead her teams to five consecutive championship appearances in the homeschool national tournament, playing in front of 7,000-plus fans at the national tournament each year. She was recruited by several division I schools. Campbell said, "Bailey is a great three point shooter and is a perfect fit for our program. She is really creative with the ball and is a terrific passer. She wants to be at Union because it fits her perfectly. She is used to competing in AAU and has made it to the Homeschool National Championship game each of her first three years. She knows how to play! Again, I am excited about keeping another player in the West Tennessee."
Williams, a 6-foot-3 forward from Memphis, Tenn., is a transfer from Mississippi State University where she played two seasons. She played in 16 games as a freshman, totaling 10 points and 16 rebounds that season. As a sophomore, she played in all 30 games, starting 25 times. She averaged 8.3 points per game (third on the team) and posted a team best 52.3 field goal percentage. She averaged 4.9 rebounds per game with a second best 146 total rebounds on the team. She scored double figures 10 times, including three 20-point games. Williams prepped at White Station High School where she was voted Best Defensive Player as a senior. She was named the All-Star leading rebounder and helped White Station to a district title. Off the court, she graduated with honors, was a member of the Honors Society, and was top-25 of her class. Campbell said, "Carnecia will bring some athleticism and size that we need next year. With the spacing that our shooters will provide, she will be able to make an immediate in our league and region. She can run, shoot and defend. I cannot wait to see the impact she will make here at Union. Being from Memphis, she will get to play close to home and finish her career in West Tennessee. I am expecting her to make an immediate impact and make every player on our team better right away."