Nov. 16, 2009
AUBURN - The Auburn women's basketball team signed five players to National Letters of Intent during the early signing period for the class of 2010. Peyton Davis, a 6-5 center from Birmingham, Ala., Camille Glymph, a 5-10 guard from Greenville, S.C., Courtney Strain, a 5-9 guard from Woodland, Ala., Tyrese Tanner, a 6-2 forward from Birmingham, Ala., and Jassany Williams, a 6-2 forward from Davie, Fla., will join the Tigers for the 2010-11 season, head coach Nell Fortner announced Monday.
"I am very excited about this class," said Fortner. "This class falls along the lines of the 2005 class of DeWanna Bonner, Whitney Boddie, Sherell Hobbs and KeKe Carrier. I think this class has a chance to do some really special things during their time here at Auburn.
"We want to win championships and I feel they will have opportunities to win some championships while they are here."
With three players ranked in the top 100 in the nation, the signing class has been ranked 13th in the country by Blue Star, 18th by ESPN.com's HoopGurlz, 22nd by Dan Olson and 26th by All-Star Girls Report.
"This is a very balanced class and they all have room to get better," said Fortner. "They all have tremendous upside and have had success in their high school years and that is always good to have kids that are used to winning, they come in here and expect to win."
Davis, who players for Mortimer Jordan High School in Morris, Ala., and the Alabama Roadrunners club team, is one of three in-state players joining the Tigers next season. Named as a captain for her team this season, Davis scored 16 points per game last year while pulling down 12 rebounds and six blocks for a team that finished 21-7 on the year.
For her efforts, Davis was named to the all-state and all-area while also earning All-Metro Academic honors and a spot on the North-South All-Star Team. A two-sport athlete in high school, she was also an all-area volleyball selection last season, leading the Birmingham metro area in blocks and kills.
As a rising junior, Davis was named to the ESPN.com HoopGurlz Top 100 Watch List and enters her senior year ranked as the 27th best post prospect in the country.
"Peyton Davis is another post presence to go along with what we have in P.J. West," said Fortner. "She has a nice, soft touch on the ball and her game improved so much from her junior to her senior year. When she gets the coaching that she is going to get here at Auburn, she is going to be a special player for us."
Glymph is entering her senior year at J.L. Mann High School in Greenville, S.C. She also players for the Carolina Cougars club team. She enters the season ranked as the No. 52 overall prospect in the country by ESPN.com's HoopGurlz and the No. 13 guard prospect.
A two-time all-state selection, Glymph has led Mann High School to two state championships during her tenure. She is also a three-time all-county and two-time all-region honoree. While playing for the Carolina Cougars during the summer of 2009, she led the team to a runner-up finish at AAU Division II Nationals.
"Camille Glymph is going to be very good, she has tremendous work ethic, a great three-point shoot, tremendous quickness and good size," said Fortner. "At 5-10, she is very deceptive and brings good size the guard position."
Strain, who set the Alabama state scoring record as a junior last season at Woodland High School, is coming off a season in which she led the nation in scoring for the second year in a row with 34.5 points per game. A two-time Alabama 2A Player of the Year, she has been selected to the all-state first team in each of her three seasons at Woodland and was selected to play in the North-South All-Star game as a member of the North team.
Named a MaxPreps.com honorable mention All-American following her junior year, Strain also led the nation in scoring as a sophomore with 40.6 points per game. On Jan. 27, 2009, she surpassed the previous Alabama career scoring record of 4,155, held by Starr Orr and enters her senior campaign with 4,440 career points.
Playing under her father and head coach, Larry Strain, she led Woodland to a 30-2 record during the 2008-09 season and won the area and county championships.
"Courtney Strain is just an unbelievable scorer," said Fortner. "She holds the record for points scored in the state of Alabama and she is only going to add to it this year. She can get her shot off anywhere she wants to, off the dribble or off the pass. She has a beautiful shot with great accuracy and we are excited about her coming to Auburn."
The third of the in-state players is Tanner, who is playing for a Hoover High School team that is ranked 13th in the nation by ESPN.com. She enters her senior season ranked as the No. 43 overall prospect by Blue Star, 46th by All-Star Girls Report and 75th by ESPN.com's HoopGurlz. She is also ranked as the 13th-best wing in the country by HoopGurlz.
Tanner was ranked as high as seventh in the nation following her sophomore season in which she was named All-Region and All-Area for the second season in a row. She sat out her junior year because of injury, but has already made an impact in her return as she was the North team MVP in the annual North-South All-Star Game.
While playing for the Alabama Twisters club team, she has been named a Nike All-American and received one of only 20 invitations to the Nike Skills Academy. She also led her team in scoring in 2007 and 2008, leading the Twisters to top-15 finishes each season.
"Tyrese's upside is phenomenal and she is a very versatile player," said Fortner. "She can play small forward or power forward. She has a body similar to DeWanna Bonner had and has the ability to put it on the floor right now.
"Her work ethic is great, as she has shown coming off her injury. She wants to be a great player and she will have every opportunity to be that player."
Rounding out the class is Williams, who plays for Nova High School in Davie, Fla. She enters her senior season ranked as the No. 59 overall prospect in the country by ESPN.com's HoopGurls and is the seventh-best post prospect in the nation. She also received a top-100 ranking from the All-Star Girls Report, coming in at 83rd.
She has been recognized as an ESPN Rise Magazine Player to Watch as she led her team to a state runner-up finish as a junior. Named to the All-Sun-Sentinel and Miami Herald First Teams, she has also been recognized as part of the FAB 5 of Broward County.
While playing for the South Florida Lady Jaguars, Williams led the team to a runner-up finish at the 2005 USSA Girls National Invitational Tournament and was MVP the next year at the USSA Treasure Coast State Qualifier. Last summer she was named MVP of the South Florida Lady Jaguar Tournament and the Big Orange Classic.
"Jassany Williams is an athlete that has come on strong the last couple of years," said Fortner. "She has a great work ethic and she has the ability to get you inside because she is a big, physical player with a good-sized body, but she is very versatile to be able to step outside and shoot the ball and also put it on the floor."
With three players in the class hailing from the state of Alabama, Fortner said she is proud of her staff for continuing something that has been a point of emphasis since they arrived.
"We always want to get the best players out of Alabama and I think we got three of the best with Tyrese Tanner, Courtney Strain and Peyton Davis," said Fortner. "We are excited that they are going to be Auburn Tigers.
"And, I could not be more pleased with this class as a whole, because it is a very well-rounded group of players and I cannot wait to get them to campus."
The Auburn women's basketball team (1-0) will continue its season at 6 p.m. CT, Tuesday as the Tigers travel to Philadelphia, Pa., to take on Temple (1-0).