July 21, 2015

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

 

CARTERVILLE – John A. Logan College women’s basketball coach Amanda Shelby announced the signing of three new recruits Tuesday.

All three signees are guards. They include: Ariel Crump, a 5-foot-4 point guard from Brunswick, Ga.; Tiaunna Watkins, a 5-foot-9 shooting guard from Hot Springs, Ark.; and Aliah Acker, a 5-foot-4 point guard from Country Club Hills, IL.

“I am pleased with the addition of these guards,” said Vols first-year head coach Amanda Shelby. “I think the guard position is going to be a strong suit for us.”

Shelby described Crump as a “true point guard,” who is quick, handles the ball well, and has great court vision.

“I also like the fact that she is aggressive on both ends of the floor. She will get some steals for us and can even knock down shots from the perimeter.”

Crump was selected “Defensive Player of the Year” in the Brunswick, Ga. region. She was ranked in the top five in state in steals at 5.6 per game. She also averaged 7.2 points, 2.8 assists and three rebounds per game.

Crump’s Brunswick team finished 28-1 before losing at the state tournament.

“I think going to Logan will be a good experience for me,” she said. “I would describe myself as energetic and eager to play. I’m happy that Coach Shelby chose me. I am hoping to come in and contribute right away to the success of the team.”

Shelby said Watkins brings good size to the shooting guard position.

“Her game is mainly getting to the rim, but Tiaunna can also step back and knock it down from the outside at times. Her long arms and aggressive play should help us defensively.”

Watkins averaged 13 points a game, along with five rebounds, three steals and two blocks. Her Hot Springs, Ark. Team won the state championship with a record of 27-4.

As a senior, Watkins was named All-Conference, All-County, All-Tri-Lakes, All State, and All-State Tournament. She was also selected to compete in the state All-Star Game.

“I’m very excited about coming to Logan,” she said. “I can’t wait to get started. I know it’s almost entirely a new team, but that’s OK. We will get to know one another soon enough. I would like to think that I am a team-oriented player.”

Shelby added that Acker is a combo guard, meaning that she can handle the ball at the point or switch off to the shooting guard slot.

“She has the skill to do both. I’m expecting Aliah and the others to push for playing time right away in practice.”

Acker was unavailable for comment Tuesday.

Shelby, who replaces longtime head coach Marty Hawkins, said she still has a few spots to fill on her roster before school starts next month.

“I’m still looking for a power forward and center. We need some depth inside the paint,” Shelby said. “Fortunately, I have a few candidates in mind.”

 

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Dr. Steve O’Keefe at 618-985-2828 ext. 8569 or email at steveokeefe@jalc.edu.