JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 14, 2006) - ETSU women's basketball head coach Karen Kemp and her staff announced Tuesday that Tara Davis (Murfreesboro, Tenn.), Sabrina Treakle (Richmond, Va.) and Tia Lewis (Poulan, Ga.) have all signed national letters of intent to play for the Lady Bucs in 2007-08.
"This is probably one of the best recruiting classes we have had since I have been here," said Kemp. "Even though I was without a staff until late summer, they hit the road hard and did an outstanding job with the recruiting. It's nice to have back to back solid recruiting classes, as we have a talented group of freshmen now to go along with our group we just signed."
With the Lady Bucs losing two guards after this season in senior's Brooke Wilhoit (Sevierville, Tenn.) and Holly Moring (Irmo, S.C.) one of the top priorities for coach Kemp and her staff to concentrate on was at the guard position. Her staff did an excellent job as they brought in two solid guards in Davis and Treakle to replace the two seniors next season.
Davis will finish her senior season at Oakland High School where she hopes to lead the Patriots back to the Tennessee State Basketball Tournament. During her sophomore season Davis averaged 13.9 points per game and led her team to a final four appearance in the state tournament. After missing all but two games her junior year to a knee injury, Davis still has the opportunity to reach the 1,000-point club as she has scored 698 career points in two seasons.
"One of the biggest things that caught my eye with Tara was her strong defensive ability," added Kemp. With Nichelle (Akers) being a senior next year, she will be able to step in and be that defensive stopper that Akers brings to the court now. Davis will also give us another scoring option as she can create shots and shoot from beyond the arc. Her knee injury really hasn't affected her speed and by being as explosive as she is, it will give us a different option at the guard slot."
Despite only being 5'4" Treakle has not let anything get in the way of her game. She averaged 19.3 ppg as a junior last season at John Marshall High School, along with five assists and four steals. Treakle was named to the 2006 Times Dispatch All-Metro girls team, becoming the first Justice player in 10 years to receive the honor. Last season she led her team to the Colonial District tournament title, averaging 27.3 points per contest in the three games. Heading into her senior year she is ranked as one of the top-three players in the area and her team is ranked in the districts top-10.
"It was one of our top priorities to find a true point guard and we found one in Treakle," said Kemp. "Not only can she distribute the ball, but she can shoot the long range jumper as well. I feel like this is a steal as we were able to land Treakle here at ETSU."
Coach Kemp had to compete with the likes of Georgia, Clemson, Florida State and Alabama in order to land Tia Lewis (Poulan, Ga.) at ETSU. Lewis is a standout post player at Worth County High School where she averaged 19 points and 19 rebounds last season. The southeastern hoops report currently ranks her the second best power forward, and she is currently ranked the ninth best player in the southeast region. She played on the Peach State Elite Black AAU squad, and was named to the 2006 Tip-off Classic All-Tournament team. In 2006 Lewis was named Player of the Year and First-Team All-Metro by the Albany Herald and All-State by the Georgia Sports Writers Association.
"If I had to compare Tia to someone our ETSU fans would know it would be Tiffani Mayes (2001-05)," said Kemp. "Lewis is an extremely gifted athlete, runs the floor well and is a rebounding machine. For us to be able to get a player of this caliber says something about our program and it can take us to the next level."
After opening their season with back-to-back road games, the Lady Bucs will play their first game in Memorial Center this Friday night when they host old SoCon foe Davidson. Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m.