Women's Hoops Announces Highly Touted Signing Class

Nov. 8, 2006

SEATTLE -- Washington women's basketball signed six prep standouts to national letters of intent, head coach June Daugherty announced Wednesday. The highly touted 2006-07 Husky recruiting class includes Mackenzie Argens (Seattle, Wash./Roosevelt HS), Kali Bennett (Ventura, Calif./Ventura HS), Jess McCormack (Auckland, New Zealand/Northcote College HS), Sarah Morton (Tacoma, Wash.,/Monroe HS), Candice Nichols (Carson, Calif./Long Beach Poly Technic HS) and Katelan Redmon (Spokane, Wash./Lewis & Clark HS).

UW's signing class is ranked eighth in the nation by Blue Star Basketball, and four of the six signees are ranked nationally as top prospects by either Blue Star or HoopGurlz.com. Bennett, a 6-5 forward, is ranked 35th and 36th by the websites, respectively. Nichols, a 5-10 guard, checks in at 63rd according to Blue Star and 83rd according to HoopGurlz. Morton, a 5-8 guard, and Redmon, a 6-1 forward, are ranked 66th and 104th by HoopGurlz, respectively.

Five of the Huskies' signees also rank among the top Western Region prospects according to GrassRootsSports.com with Bennett ranked 11th, Nichols ranked 13th, Morton ranked 14th, Argens ranked 15th and Redmon ranked 27th.

'This recruiting class of 2007 is exceptional,' Daugherty said. 'We were able to attract high quality players at each position on the basketball court. All five positions have impact players that can compete nationally. Overall the size and athleticism will help fortify our rebounding, defense and running game. My coaching staff did great work of not only finding the most talented players, but also high quality students of strong character.'

Argens is a local product, a 6-3 forward out of Roosevelt High School. She is a first-team All-Kingco selection and her prep team's leading rebounder and scorer the past two seasons. As a freshman she helped led the squad to its first ever 4A state title.

'Mackenzie was the first commitment in the class of 2007, setting the tone for a dominating class of size, athleticism and talented players,' Daugherty said. 'Her multi-talented forward skills allow her to play both post and forward positions. Mobility, rebounding and being a long solid defender are some of her strengths that will be good additions to our team.'

Bennett is one of two Southern California signees, coming to Seattle from Ventura, Calif. She is a three-time adidas All-American and was also selected to the Street & Smith All-America Team. A three-time first-team all-county honoree and 2005 first-team all-state selection, Bennett led her prep squad to three straight Channel League titles.

'Kali is a physical post player who will dominate the low block with her size and skill package,' Daugherty said. 'She is a talented scorer with passing skills that are a strong suit of hers. She is an aggressive rebounder who has lightening quick outlets to get our running game going at full speed.'

The Huskies' third recruit comes to Seattle from Auckland, New Zealand, with a highly touted resume of her own. McCormack, a 6-5 forward, has 23 international caps with the New Zealand Women's National Team and at age 15, was the youngest player selected to the senior women's team. McCormack will graduate from high school this winter and could potentially enroll at Washington during the 2006-07 year.

'Jess is an accomplished world class athlete,' Daugherty said. 'She is a post player with a multitude of skills and experience. She has exceptional size, athleticism and skill. She is an amazing, talented rebounder with an up-tempo game mentality.'

Another local product is Morton out of Monroe High School. Morton was a first-team All-Wesco selection last year as a junior, after earning a second-team nod as a sophomore. She led her prep team to fifth and seventh place state finishes her first two seasons as well. Morton is one of two signees to compete nationally for AAU Power Spokane Stars.

'Sarah is an intelligent, true point guard,' Daugherty said. 'She is an extremely quick playmaker with a long athletic build. Sarah is a tough-minded leader who is a perfect fit to the Husky full court defensive and running game. She is smart, competitive and talented.'

Nichols, from Carson, Calif., is the second Southern California signee, coming to Seattle from Long Beach Poly Technic High School. Nichols is a two-time CIF first-team all-state selection and led her prep team to the state title during her junior season and the CIF Southern Section title as a sophomore.

'Candice is a tremendous guard who can really take the ball to the basket,' Daugherty said. 'She could easily be the best athletic defensive guard in the class of 2007. Candice is a good scorer with a defensive `stopper' mentality every time she takes the court.'

Rounding out the six-woman class is Spokane native Redmon who is a two-time Street & Smith's honorable mention All-American. A two-time first-team All-League selection as well, Redmon led her team to a 4A state title last season and regional titles during her sophomore and freshman campaigns. Redmon is also a teammate of Morton's on the Spokane Stars.

'Katie is a wing player who is multi-talented enough to take over games,' Daugherty said. 'She is a good size perimeter player with greyhound speed, quickness and instant energy. Katie attacks the basket in the running game with great intensity and is a versatile rebounder on both ends of the floor.'