Times West Virginian
West Virginia University women’s basketball coach Mike Carey announced Friday the signing of five players to the 2014-15 Mountaineer roster.
Abigail Asoro (Stockholm, Sweden/Fryshueset Gymnasium/Iowa Western CC), Kristina King (Thomasville, N.C./New Hope Christian Academy), Kayla Montgomery (Powder Springs, Ga./McEachern High/Gulf Coast CC), Dominique Simpson (Orlando, Fla./Jones High) and Tyara Warren (Plano, Texas/Plano West High) make up the class of 2014.
“This is a large class, and we’re really excited about it,” Carey said. “We brought in three freshmen and two junior college players. We’re losing five seniors this year, so we felt we had to get some players to come in with experience, plus bring in some great freshmen. Overall, I am very pleased with the players. They are all very great young ladies and make good grades.”
Asoro is a 6-foot forward transferring to Morgantown from Iowa Western Community College. Iowa Western is currently 4-0 this season with Asoro leading with 18.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, including a 30-point outing. A native of Stockholm, Sweden, Asoro was named the best player in Sweden’s youth-18. She was a member of the 2011 Scandinavian All-Star team and played her first collegiate season at Daytona Beach in 2012-13.
“Abigail is a very athletic and versatile player,” Carey said. “She can play inside and out and is a great athlete. She brings a lot of experience to us from the junior college level.”
With the Falcons, Asoro averaged 23.4 points per game as the second-leading scorer for the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). The freshman ranked No. 8 in the NJCAA for 609 points that season. Asoro led her team with a 48.5 field goal percentage in 26 games played. She shot 27.9 percent from 3-point range, 72.5 percent from the free-throw line and pulled down 10.1 rebounds per game. Asoro earned a NJCAA Player of the Week honor and closed out the season as an NJCAA All-America honorable mention selection.
King is a 6-foot-3 post player out of New Hope Christian Academy. A four-star prospect by ESPNU HoopGurlz, King ranks No. 8 overall in her position group, and in the top-100 (No. 73) by All-Star Girl’s Report. Prospectsnation.com has King ranked No. 56 nationally, and also No. 8 in her position group, calling her a ‘versatile power forward who is a threat to score from the inside or outside.’
“Like Abigail, Kristina is very athletic as well,” Carey said. “She is long at 6-3 and is a wing player that can also play inside and out. She runs the floor extremely well and fits into our system really well.”
As a junior, King averaged 8.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game in 32 games played. She collected 284 points on 38 percent shooting (116-302), while recording 29 threes, and pulling down 199 rebounds. King also blocked 46 shots and grabbed 79 steals. The Thomasville, N.C., native also played AAU basketball for the Lady Phoenix Elite. Montgomery is a 6-foot-4 center transferring in to WVU from Gulf Coast Community College. At Gulf Coast, Montgomery was selected to be a part of the 2013 NJCAA Women’s Basketball Coaches Association All-Star Tournament. She played in 29 games as freshman, and this season her team is currently 5-0 with Montgomery averaging 10.2 points, 9.0 rebounds and 3.8 blocks per game. She had a career-high 20 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks in the season-opening victory over Palm Beach State.
“With Asya Bussie leaving and having some younger post players, Kayla really brings some experience to us at the post immediately coming in from the junior college,” Carey explained. “She is a very good face-up post player that can block shots and run the floor.”
The Powder Springs, Ga., native played at McEachern High. Her team posted a 33-0 overall record, a 14-0 conference mark, a No. 6 national ranking and a 2012 Georgia Girls State Basketball Title her senior season. As a part of the class of 2012, Montgomery was a four-star prospect with a No. 14 position ranking by ESPNU HoopGurlz.
Simpson, a 5-foot-8 guard out of Orlando, Fla., is a three-star prospect and ranked No. 18 in her position by ESPNU HoopGurlz. As a sophomore, Simpson led Jones High to the 2012 FHSAA Final Four for the first time in 10 years, averaging 14.2 points and 10.8 rebounds per game. Following that season, Simpson was named the Florida Class 3A Player of the Year. She was sidelined for the first half of her junior season with an ACL injury, but returned for a successful season.
“Dominique is another athletic guard that can shoot, has a nice stroke, is very athletic and can get to the rim,” Carey said. “She has great quickness, and we think she can help us on the perimeter.”
She was rated as high as the Top-70 nationally by All-Star Girl’s Report and Collegiate Girl’s Report. She was a top scorer in the 2012 and 2013 Deep South Classic. Simpson also played for Florida Girls Basketball (FGB) 17U AAU team.
Warren is a 5-foot-9 guard out of Plano West High that ranks No. 24 in her position by ESPNU HoopGurlz. She is a three-star prospect that also plays for Texas Prep Elite AAU team. The Plano, Texas native helped Plano West High to a 36-4 overall record, a 9-1 league record and a national ranking of No. 32 her junior season.
“Tyara is another player that can play several positions,” Carey said. “She can play on the perimeter, but also does a great job defensively. I was impressed with what I saw from her on defense, and she can also attack the rim and make plays, so we think she is another great fit for our system.”
A team captain, Warren was a three-time All-District first-team selection, named to the All-Region team her junior year and a two-time Defensive Player of the Year. She surpassed the 1,000-point mark her junior season, averaging 12.8 points, 3.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 4.0 steals per game. With Warren, Plano West is three-time district champions and reached the regional semifinals her in 2013.
The All-Star Girl’s Report ranks West Virginia’s recruiting class of 2014 as the 18th-best in the nation.