SAINT LEO, Fla. – Saint Leo University head women's basketball coach Nikki Jessee has announced the signings of Colby Ryan, Marcedes Caver, and Erin Higgins to National Letters of Intent as they will join the Lions' women's basketball program in the fall of 2012.
"All three recruits, as well as Abbey Steudler, who we signed in the early period, are very good shooters," said Jessee. "Our biggest recruiting goal was to improve our team's overall shooting, and I believe we have done this. Along with shooting, each player brings something extra to the table and we are expecting big things out of this recruiting class."
After signing guard Abbey Steudler in November, Jessee has equipped her current nine-woman squad with three additional guards all of whom hail from out-of-state.
5-10, Guard, So.
Northwest Florida State College
Originally hailing from Wilmington, Del., Ryan attended Spain Park High School in Hoover, Ala. At Spain Park, the incoming guard built an impressive resume as she was named Birmingham News All-Metro Honorable Mention from 2008-11. Additionally, she was named to the Springville Classic All-Tournament Team (2008-09), en route to earning Offensive Player of the Year honors in 2008-09. She topped-off her playing career by being named Shelby County Reporter Top-Five All-Area (2012). Before joining the Lions, Ryan spent one season at Northwest Florida State College
Jessee's Thought's: "Colby should make an immediate impact. At 5-11 she can play either the three or four position for us, and will push for a starting spot at either position. She is a lefty shooter with unlimited range which fills a void we sorely needed to fill. Colby is a gifted shooter who will help spread the floor for us offensively."
5-4, Guard, Jr.
Bedford Heights, OH
Bluefield State College
Piecing together a phenomenal amateur career, Caver has enjoyed success at the high school and collegiate level. Coming to the Lions as a Sport Business major, the Ohio native established herself on the Bedford High School squad as she earned the 2009 State Board of Education Award of Merit accolade. In addition, she was tabbed All-District Honorable Mention and set the school record for scoring 30 or more points in four games. She was named a GCBCA All -Star Game participant in 2008-09, before seeing Lake Erie All-League Honors in 2007-08 and Lake Erie All-League First Team admirations in 2008-09. Splitting time at Genesee Community College and Bluefield State College, Caver earned NJCAA All-Region Third Team in 2010.
Jessee's Thought's: "Caver is an athletic and quick guard who can play either the point or shooting guard position. She is a very good shooter who can attack the basket, as well as create scoring opportunities for her teammates. We expect her to be a major contributor at either position."
5-6, Guard, Sr.
University of Illinois-Chicago
Originally from Asuncion, Paraguay, the Psychology major made a home in Kenosha, Wisconsin and St. Joseph's High School. A standout guard, Higgins immediately positioned herself as one of the region's best players as she was named All-Conference and All-State First Team in 2006-07. She equaled her All-Conference award in 2007-08, in addition to grabbing Lakeshore Conference Player of the Year honors. After being selected All-State Honorable Mention as a junior, she finalized her high school career as she was selected All-Midwest Conference First Team and All-State Second Team, before being selected as a prestigious McDonald's All American nominee and Kenosha County Athlete of the Year.
Jessee's Thought's: "Depending if Erin is healthy and in great physical shape, she could be a special player for us. She was highly recruited out of high school and has played DI basketball, but has suffered through several injuries. Erin is scorer who can shoot, drive, and creates for others. I believe the sky is the limit for her, and she could be a major player for us in the future if she comes back in shape and healthy."
The Lions will open its 2012-13 season on November 9 as they take part in the University of Tampa's Tip-Off Classic.
For more on the women's basketball program, visit SaintLeoLions.com.