Basketball coaches sign top rated recruits to letters of intent
Published: Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 23:04
The Florida Gulf Coast University men’s and women’s basketball teams are re-building after stellar 2011-2012 seasons in which the men’s team reached the Atlantic Sun Tournament final and the women’s team reached the first round of the NCAA tournament.
The FGCU men’s basketball team finished 15-17 in 2011-2012 under first-year head coach Andy Enfield and finished 2nd in the Atlantic Sun Tournament behind Belmont.
FGCU will only be losing seniors Kevin Cantinol and Ed Rolax to graduation, and will be without freshman Dante Holmes, who is transferring this offseason.
DaJuan Graf (Charlotte, NC), the only signee of the fall signing period for the men’s squad, played in the Jordan Brand Classic Regional Game last Saturday at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, NC. Graf scored eleven points and had four rebounds for the West team in an 84-82 loss.
Graf averaged 17.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 3.6 steals per game as a senior.
Graf reached double figures in 25 of 26 games, including eight 20-point outings, and lead his high school Phillip O. Berry Academy to an 18-8 record.
Graf will join guard Brett Comer at the point guard position and compete for the starting spot in the fall.
On the women’s side, after a 29-3 season, a Atlantic Sun Conference title and a trip to the NCAA tournament, head coach Karl Smesko faces a tough task of replacing his five seniors: Kelsey Jacobson (Barnesville, MN.), Sarah Whitfield (Eugene, Or.), Courtney Chihil (Tipp City, Ohio), Nicoya Jackson (Houston, TX.), and Eglah Griffin (Fort Myers,Fla.).
In the November signing period, Smesko got five players to sign National Letter of Intent’s to FGCU.
DyTiesha Dunson (Albany, Ga), Jamie Gluesing (Greendale, Wisc.), Bethany Murrell (New Palestine, Ind.), Katie Meador (Salem, Ill.) and Taylor Gradinjan (Cudahy, Wisc.) all signed during the November signing period.
“We had a really good signing period in November, we added five freshmen that we believe can have a big impact on the program in the future, and we lost some really good seniors so it’s going to be really important that the new players show up ready and motivated to get started,” Smesko said.
Last week, the Lady Eagles added another recruit in Amanda Moore (Seymour, Ind.).
In her senior year, Moore set single-season scoring record for her high school with 515 points and had a career scoring average of 23.4 points a game and was great from the free throws line making 132 free throws in a season.
Moore, who was named one of the top 100 senior girls basketball players by Hoosier Basketball Magazine and was the 140th-ranked guard by HoopGurlz.com, was chosen to the 2012 Indiana All-Star team and selected as the 2012 All-Area Player of the Year.
“She is a very versatile guard, she’s got good size, she can play any of the guard positions, and she’s a really good shooter and scorer,” Smesko said.
“She’s hopefully someone that right away has a positive impact for us.”
The Lady Eagles made an NCAA record 342 three pointers last year and the three-point shooting will not end with this class.
“We are looking for versatile players and skill players, but the three point shot is a big part of our offense,” Smesko said.
“We like having players that have the ability to knock down the three.”
Moore chose FGCU over Loyola Marymount, Bowling Green, Indiana and Northern Illinois.