Friday, October 4, 2013

Recruiting: Manhattan Women Add Height, Offense

Here's another in the series looking at players joining conference teams for the coming season.

Up now ...


- Jacqui Thompson, a 5-foot-3 junior point guard: She is a transfer from Wagner and will have to sit up the upcoming season and, then, have two years of eligibility remaining. She led Wagner in assists in each of her two seasons there and, overall, averaged 5.3 points, 1.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. "We are thrilled to add Jacqui ..." said Manhattan coach John Olenowski, in a release issued by the school. "She is an experienced, tough point guard with a great knowledge of the game who will be a perfect fit to our system."

- Kayla Grimme, a 6-2 freshman center: She averaged 8.7 points, 9.4 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per game as a senior at Altoona (Pa.) Area H.S. last season. She averaged 10.5 points per game as a junior. "Kayla is an outstanding rebounder, inside scorer and shot blocker who should be able to help us immediately," Olenowski said. "She is an extremely tough, hard-nosed player."

- Nicole Anderson, a 5-8 freshman guard: She was a four-year starter at Hill Regional (Ct.) Career H.S. and has been ranked one of that state's top 25 girls' players every year since 2010. She averaged 10.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game as a high school senior. "Nicole is a great athlete who gets to the basket well," Olenowski said. "She can score off the dribble or shoot the three and is a sound defender."

- Alex Cohen, a 5-foot-9 freshman guard: No high school statistics are available, but Cohen, who played at the Tilton School in New Hampshire, has been a three-time league all star. She is reputed to be a standout three-point shooter who also has an all-around game. "Alex is a sound fundamental guard," Olenowski said. "She can swing at all three (guard) positions. A very good three-point shooter, she can also take it to the basket. She's a very intelligent player, and a very good defender, as well."

-Mikki Guiton, a 6-1 freshman center: She averaged 15.1 points per game as a senior at Perkiomen Valley H.S. near Philadelphia. "Mikki is a tremendous athlete and very strong inside on both the offensive and defensive ends," said Olenowski. "She has a nice, soft outside jump shot, and she can also drive. In addition, she's a top-notch rebounder and defender."

- Maeve Parahus, a 6-1 freshman guard: The graduate of Albertus Magnus H.S. in Bardonia, N.Y. She averaged 18.3 points per game as a junior and her career total of 1,220 points is the best in her school's history. She had a career-high 36-point effort in a sectional tournament game this past season. "Maeve's a flat-out tremendous outside shooter who can also take it to the rim or pull up for a jump shot," Olenowski said. "She's also a sound defensive player and she rebounds well. A very good athlete, she brings us great versatility."

ANALYSIS: Olenowski has indicated that he thinks all five incoming freshmen can help in the coming season, and much of that help will come on the offensive end.Anderson, Cohen and Parahus all appear to be capable offensive players and should help a team that was a little offensively challenged last season. The Jaspers also needed to add some height, and did so with Guiton and Grimme, both seemingly solid inside players. Parahus, though, appears to be the best of the bunch. Your Hoopscribe has picked her to be the conference's Rookie of the Year. She is a versatile player, but her long-range shooting ability is superior.

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