North Texas Daily

Women’s basketball adds three forwards in Mitchell’s full first recruiting class

Women’s basketball adds three forwards in Mitchell’s full first recruiting class

April 04
19:25 2016

Brady Keane | Staff Writer

@BradyKeane3

After taking over the Mean Green women’s basketball program and leading the team to marketable improvement across the board, head coach Jalie Mitchell signed a recruiting class in the fall that will help give the team added depth next season.

In the Mean Green’s first season with Mitchell, the team more than doubled its win total from the 2014-2015 season and was awarded the Women’s Basketball Shooting Award for the most improved field-goal percentage in the 2015-2016 season.

The improvement was made with a roster that significantly lacked depth. And while the recruiting class will help in that facet of the game, Mitchell said the recruits will have an opportunity to make an immediate impact on the court as well.

“They add a lot of defensive ability, a lot of athletic ability, a lot of depth,” Mitchell said. “They bring energy and some rebounding that we were missing this year. We’ll be able to do a lot of different things with the people that we added.”

The recruiting class is composed of three forwards, as the Mean Green are hoping to find a replacement for senior Achiel Tac while bolstering a front court that can compliment the return of junior guards Candice Adams, Kelsey Criner and Terra Ellison. Tac was the team’s leader in rebounds and blocks per game, and finished second to Criner in scoring.

Madison Townley – Duncanville, Texas

In addition to the athletic ability the former Duncanville star brings to the table, Townley knows how to win. Townley lost a combined seven games in four years of varsity action at Duncanville High School and capped off her senior season with a 39-0 record and a Class 6A State Championship.

Townley brings a strong rebounding presence to the Mean Green and is an athletic and versatile player at the forward position. She averaged 9.6 rebounds per game as a junior and was named the District 8-6A Defensive Player of the Year as a senior.

According to Max Olson of ESPN, Townley is a “rebounder delux” and is “among the most improved prospects in the class of 2016.”

Jada Poland – O’Fallon, Missouri

Like Townley, Poland is an extremely athletic forward who has the ability to make an impact with her versatility on the court. Poland averaged a double-double as a junior with 16 points and 10 rebounds, and her style of play fits in nicely with the up-tempo offense that Mitchell has instilled with the Mean Green.

Poland bought into Mitchell’s program almost immediately and committed to the Mean Green last July.

“The first time I talked to the coaches, I felt compassion, like they cared about me. But they barely knew me,” Poland said. “I’m so excited to play for coach Mitchell these next four years, because I see so much potential in our team. She has definitely made her mark already.”

Hannah Hopkins – Atascocita (Humble, Texas)

While Poland and Townley are forwards who use their athletic ability to make up for a lack of size, Hopkins has the size to make the defensive impact as a shot blocker who could help fill the void of Tac’s graduation.

Hopkins battled through injuries during her time at Atascocita High School and finished her senior season averaging 11.2 points, 8.5 rebounds, 3.9 blocks and 1.8 steals per game.

She was originally verbally committed to Conference USA rival Rice University early in the recruiting process before Mitchell took over at North Texas and swayed the defensive play-maker to join the Mean Green.

Featured Image: Junior guard Candice Adams (14) looks towards the lane for a pas against Southern Methodist. Dylan Nadwodny | Staff Photographer

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