Women's Basketball Signs Four in the Early Period.

Nov. 8, 2000

TEMPE, Ariz. - Arizona State has signed Carrie Buckner of Corvallis, Ore., Kylan Loney of Ames, Iowa, Lauren Stagg of Airdrie, Alberta, Canada, and Alexis Tate of Escondido, Calif., to study and play basketball beginning next fall, head women's basketball coach Charli Turner Thorne announced Wednesday.

'We really got everything we wanted in this class,' Turner Thorne said. 'We have signed players with tremendous speed and athleticism who are also very skilled basketball players.'

A 5-9 shooting guard out of Crescent Valley High School in Corvallis, Ore., Buckner was an all-state selection as a junior. Coached by Craig Ellingson, she averaged 18 points, six rebounds and six steals a game for Crescent Valley which turned in a 26-2 record last year, captured its eighth straight conference title and finished fourth at the Oregon 4A state tournament.

'Carrie is the one of the best players and the most athletic girl I've coached,' Ellingson said. 'She does a great job at both ends of the floor and can take over a game defensively. She has great basketball skills but is still very coachable. Carrie is a great all-around person. What makes her special are her defensive instincts. There are very few kids with those instincts. She is so strong and fast, and she will be a great fit for what Charli Turner Thorne likes to run.'

'As talented as we are on the perimeter right now, Carrie gives us some things we don't have,' Turner Thorne said. 'She can take over a game with intense, in-your-face defense or explosive offense. The most exciting thing is that Carrie has only scratched the surface of how good she can be.'

A 5-7 point guard, Loney comes to Arizona State from Ames (Iowa) Senior High School. Loney, whose father Steve is the offensive coordinator of Iowa State University's football team, led her high school with 13 points, five assists and 3.7 steals per game last season. Coached by Bruce Vertanen, Loney guided Ames to a 21-3 record and the quarterfinals of the state tournament, the team's first state tournament appearance since 1979. A two-time all-conference and all-district selection, she earned second-team all-state accolades as a junior and third-team honors as a sophomore. Loney is also an all-state track athlete, competing in the 200 and 400 meters.

'Kylan is an unbelievably tough competitor who will fight to the end,' Vertanen said. 'Her game is her speed and intensity, and she plays at full speed. She is a consummate point guard who loves to run a team. She enjoys every part of being a point guard and almost likes assists more than points.'

'Kylan is a quick, aggressive scoring point guard,' Turner Thorne said. 'In addition to her awesome physical talents, Kylan is a strong leader and is absolutely driven to be the best player she can be.'

Stagg is a 5-10 guard from George McDougall High School in Calgary, Alberta. She finished last season as her league's scoring champion and Most Valuable Player, averaging 24.0 points, 12.0 steals and 10.0 rebounds per game. Coached by Joe McLaughlin, Stagg led her team to seven tournament championships and the Rocky View School title last season and has twice attended the Canadian Nike Camp.

'Lauren is a phenomenal player. She is a coach's dream and works hard on offense and defense,' McLaughlin said. 'She practices all the time and will keep shooting after practice until you kick her out of the gym. She is a super ball handler, rarely turning the ball over, and has unbelievable range on her three-point shot. She is the best high school player I have seen in five years.'

'The best word to describe Lauren is versatile,' Turner Thorne said. 'She can play all of the positions on the perimeter and is particularly adept at pushing the ball and creating things in transition. Lauren has a ton of talent, and it will be just a matter of gaining some experience and strength for her. She also has all of the intangibles to be a great collegiate player.'

A 6-3 post out of Rancho Bernardo (Calif.) High School, Tate averaged 15-plus points and 10 rebounds last season for her team which turned in a 21-8 record and has reached the semifinals of the state tournament in each of the last two seasons. Tate, who is currently in rehabilitation after tearing her ACL this summer, attended the Nike All-America Camp and is ranked 60th in the Blue Star Index of the top 100 high school seniors in the country. Coached by Peggy Brose, she is also a track standout in relays and the 400 meters.

'Alexis is the best basketball player I've ever had in my 24 years as a high school coach,' Brose said. 'She has the physical skills to turn a game around and is a great role model for our team. She is encouraging and leads by example even though she is hurt. She runs the floor so well and can stop on a dime and shoot the jumper. The best thing is that she has not even tapped her potential yet.'

'Alexis comes out of the Lisa Leslie and Ashley Robinson mold,' Turner Thorne said. 'She is an athletic, versatile post who, with some maturity, will be unstoppable on the boards and as an inside and outside scorer. She is really going to be fun to coach and watch.'

ASU WOMEN`'S BASKETBALL SIGNEES

Name Ht. Pos. Hometown (High School)

Carrie Buckner 5-9 G Corvallis, Ore. (Crescent Valley HS)

Kylan Loney 5-7 PG Ames, Iowa (Ames Senior HS)

Lauren Stagg 5-10 G Airdrie, Alberta, Canada (George McDougall HS)

Alexis Tate 6-3 F Escondido, Calif. (Rancho Bernardo HS)

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