The University of Toledo women's basketball program completed its recruiting class by signing two players, Ta'Yani Clark and Nacole Stocks, from Chipola Junior College in Mirianna, Fla.
"Mark Ehlen may have pulled off one of the biggest recruiting coups in the nation with these two kids," Chipola coach David Lane said. "We finished fourth in the country and these were two of our key players.
"Both were offered [scholarships] by St. John's of the Big East and Nacole also was recruited by Louisiana Tech, Temple and Oklahoma State. These aren't players who fell through the cracks. Mark and his staff just did a great job recruiting them."
Ehlen, Toledo's head coach, has signed seven new players for next season's team.
Two other JUCO players, guard Erika Gaddies from Daytona Beach Community College and forward Tamesha Scotten from Lincoln Trail (Ill.) College, were signed about a month ago. Three high school seniors - Northview forward Lisa Johnson, Van Wert guard Allie Clifton, and guard Chelsea Kane from Ingersoll, Ontario - committed to the Rockets last fall during the early signing period.
Ehlen said UT was able to sign a seventh player because Allison Lindborg, a junior last season, recently left the program in order to study art in Italy during the next school year.
"We're going to be a much improved defensive team and have the ability to run the floor better," Ehlen said. "Athletically, we're going to be able to do a lot of things we couldn't this past season."
Stocks, a 5-8 guard who can swing between the point and the shooting guard slot, averaged 14 points and five assists last season. Clark, a 5-8 wing player who was Chipola's MVP in each of the last two seasons as the team won a pair of Florida JUCO championships, averaged 11.7 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.5 steals.
"Clark can really fill a stat line," Ehlen said. "She does all of the little things to help a team win. Nothing jumps out and then you look at the stat sheet after the game and she has done everything. Nacole Stocks is such an athletic guard, a good defender and penetrator. I'm really excited about these signings."
Chipola's Lane said that "the four junior college kids Mark signed is a really impressive group. I know the two from our program are tremendous people who will represent Toledo very well."
- Dave Hackenberg