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Ezell looks to bolster ETSU women’s roster with new signees

Jeff Birchfield • May 8, 2020 at 4:00 PM

JOHNSON CITY — East Tennessee State University women’s basketball coach Brittney Ezell hasn’t been able to burn up the roads on the recruiting trail, but she has still been busy filling the 2020-21 roster.

Coming off a disappointing and injury-riddled 9-21 season, the Bucs have signed five freshmen and one graduate transfer so far. Two other recruits — another grad transfer and a junior college player — are expected to sign as soon as the dead period is over.

It comes as Micah Scheetz, the team’s leading scorer in the 2019-20 season, transferred to Butler to pursue studies for a career in broadcast journalism. Filling that void first and foremost, Ezell recently signed Kelly Post, a fifth-year collegiate guard from Fayetteville, N.C.

Post, a 5-foot-6 graduate transfer, scored more than 2,000 points and had more than 1,000 steals in high school. She appeared in six games for Campbell University in an injury-riddled freshman season before playing the last three seasons at Mount Olive, where she started 48 games and scored 337 points.

Ezell explained that tells only part of the story, as Post was a sought-after recruit out of high school.

“When she was in high school, Kelly originally committed to North Carolina under Sylvia Hatchell,” Ezell said. “When North Carolina had its academic sanctions and lost some scholarships, she became collateral damage. She played at Campbell briefly and got hurt.

“She’s a tough kid from a military family, very disciplined. She has interned for the ACC and done some work for the NCAA Final Four. She’s a basketball junkie and can fill a leadership role that we need now with Ti Kimbro being the only returning senior.”

Besides recruiting, Ezell and her staff have been working on the upcoming schedule that includes ETSU hosting Georgia Tech and road games at Tennessee and Wake Forest. In addition, the Bucs are continuing non-conference series with nearby schools Appalachian State, Asheville and Davidson.

While the schedule is appealing to the fans, the Bucs should be a little deeper throughout the lineup.

Jasmine Sanders, a 6-foot guard who had to sit out this past season due to transfer rules, should make her way into the rotation, as should Mykia Dowell, a 5-foot-9 forward who transferred from Middle Tennessee State.

Other additions include Carly Hooks, a 5-foot-8 freshman guard who played on two Georgia Class 7A state championship teams at Atlanta Westlake, and Courtney Moore, a 5-foot-7 freshman guard from Gainesville, Fla., who was twice named her area’s top player.

“Carly is a winner. She can stretch a defense with her range and is crafty with the basketball in creating opportunities for others,” Ezell said. “Defensively, Carly will be another weapon as she thrives applying pressure to opposing guards.

“Courtney is a dynamic scorer and floor leader. She is an athletic, up-tempo guard who genuinely enjoys playing the game.”

Ezell and staff are also adding some size with wings Abby Carrington, 5-foot-10 from Westlake, Ohio, and Imani Williams, 5-foot-11 from the Chicago area.

“Abby can score at all three levels and can defend multiple positions,” Ezell said. “Abby has a high motor, a solid basketball IQ and possesses an extreme amount of passion for the game. Much like Imani, her best basketball is still ahead of her.

“Imani is a hard-nosed, gritty player who plays with an incredible amount of passion. She will bring a tremendous amount of athleticism to the program and is an incredibly instinctual player, especially on the glass.”

Rebounding help should also come in the form of Jakhyia Davis, a 6-foot-3 center from Knoxville. A three-time all-state player at Bearden, the agile left-hander surpassed 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds over her high school career.

“We needed some help on the glass. Jakhyia Davis, Abby and Imani give us that,” Ezell said. “Abby and Imani can play 3 through 5, and Abby can play the 2 if we need her to. With Jakhyia, she’s a big left-handed center who can step out to mid-range. I’m really pleased to add a lot of athleticism to our frontcourt.

“Carly and Courtney can really shoot the basketball in the backcourt. We are thrilled with what we’ve been able to add to the recruiting class so far.”

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