Here's another in the series looking at players joining conference programs for the coming season.
Up now ...
- TAYLOR WENTZEL (5-7 guard, Baldwin H.S., Pittsburgh): She averaged 14.2 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game as a high school senior. She was named to the Pittsburgh Gazette's South Fab Five Squad. "She is a truly versatile guard that can do many things for us," said Rider coach Lynn Milligan, via a press release issued by Rider's sports information office.
- LASHAY BANKS (5-10 guard, transfer from University of Cincinnati): As a transfer, she will sit out the upcoming season, becoming eligible for 2013-14 with two remaining years of eligibility at Rider. In two seasons at Cincy she played sparingly, averaging only 0.6 points and 1.1 rebounds per contest. While in high school at Prep Charter School in Philadelphia she was the Philly Public League's Female Player of the Year.
- JANINE LOUTZENHISER (6-1 forward, Miramonte H.S., Orinda, Calif): A standout long-range shooter, she set her high school's record with 10 three-pointers in one game and is her school's career leader with 127.
- MIKAL JOHNSON (5-8 guard, Osbourn H.S., Manassas, Va.): She is her high school's career scoring leader with 1,417 points scored over four varsity seasons. Led her region in three-pointers last season with 56. Also, a four-year letter-winner in track and a two-time state qualifier in the long-jump as well as earning a varsity letter in cross country.
- MANON PELLET (5-7 guard, Montpellier Academy, Vt.): She suffered a torn ACL and set out last season as a medical redshirt, but was expected to be a contributor before suffering the injury. Originally from Marseille, France and wa selected among the best 16 player in France at her age at one point. Was invited to the FIBA International Camp in July 2008 in Slovenia, where she was MVP. A versatile backcourt performer who is capable of playing point guard.
ANALYSIS: If healthy, Pellet could be an impact addition for a program that hasn't had a standout at the point-guard spot in several years. Rider is well-stocked elsewhere, and seemed on the verge of one its best seasons ever in 2011-12 before a variety of injuries. Loutzenhiser and Johnson are both long-range shooters, and both should get into the playing group this year.