USC Women Add Three Top Players To 2008-09 Roster
Nov. 23, 2007
The USC women's basketball team welcomes three new outstanding players to Troy, as three athletes have signed national letters of intent for the 2008-09 season, USC head coach Mark Trakh has announced. Lined up to become Trojan freshmen in 2008 are Ashley Corral, Briana Gilbreath and Michelle Jenkins.
'This class has been ranked No. 6 in the nation and we're really looking forward to having them here,' Trakh said. 'Our past three classes have now been ranked No. 1, 12 and 6, so we're excited about our talent. When Ashley, Briana and Michelle start, they'll also be joining our two injured players Jacki Gemelos and Stefanie Gilbreath for their first seasons. To consider the five of them all together, that's an especially great class.'
A 5-9 point guard out of Vancouver, Wash., Ashley Corral hails from Prairie High School, where she has accumulated a host of honors during her high school career. Corral is considered by many one of the best pure point guards in the country, rated the No. 3 point guard by hoopgurlz.com and rated the No. 23 player overall. She - like several other current Trojans - has competed with USA Basketball, having played on the USA Basketball Under-18 Olympic Junior Development Team in June. Corral's high school accolades include 2006 and 2007 Regional Player of the Year honors. She was named 2007 league MVP and named to the 2006 Washington State 4A All-Tournament First Team. Corral was ninth in the 2006 tournament in scoring with 16.0 points per game, fifth in shooting percentage (.929), sixth in steals (3.0 pg) and ninth in assists (3.0 pg).
'Ashley is a great point guard with great court vision,' Trakh said of Corral. 'She chose us over Notre Dame, Vanderbilt and Cal. She's just a great, heady point guard who knows how to run the team. She can shoot the three and is a really tough and good kid.'
A 6-1 guard, Briana Gilbreath became a member of the Trojan Family over a year ago, when her older sister Stefanie signed with the Women of Troy. A torn ACL has forced current freshman Stefanie Gilbreath to redshirt her first season at USC, so when Briana comes to Troy the Gilbreath sisters will be set to start their first seasons of competition together. Briana Gilbreath is another prep standout, coming to USC from Cinco Ranch High School out of Katy, Texas. Another USA Basketball Under-18 Olympic Junior Development Team member, Gilbreath was rated No. 7 as a wing by hoopgurlz.com and No. 28 overall in the country. As a junior, Gilbreath was named to the 18-5A All-District First Team and TABC All-Region Team. She put up strong numbers as well that year, averaging 14 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks per game.
'We have one of the best athletes in the country in Briana Gilbreath,' Trakh said. 'She's athletic and can defend well. She chose USC over Texas, Duke and Cal, and having her here with her sister Stefanie is going to be fun. They are both great athletes. Briana can shoot the three and brings a lot as far as athleticism and work ethic.'
Rounding out USC's incoming class is 6-3 post player Michelle Jenkins, who was named the 2006-07 Oregon Gatorade Player of the Year after helping her Southridge High School team win its third straight state title. A former teammate of fellow Beaverton, Ore., native and current USC sophomore Aarika Hughes, Jenkins comes to USC as the No. 7 rated post player and No. 93 player overall according to hoopgurlz.com. She earned 2006-07 All-American Honorable Mention from Street & Smith and was the 2006 End of the Trail Co-MVP. In 2007, Jenkins was an All-Oregon State Tournament First Team selection as well as earning her second straight First Team All-Metro pick. She also recently participated in the 2007 Nike Regional Skills Academy.
'Michelle is very fundamentally sound,' Trakh said of Jenkins. 'She was choosing between Cal, Arizona State and us. Michelle is a solid post player who can get up and down the floor. She is great with her face or her back to the basket.'
'I really want to credit my coaching staff,' Trakh added. 'They brought in a really good recruiting class once again. I've always considered Jody and Derek (Wynn) as two of the top recruiters in the business. This year, Kai Felton also proved her moxie and was also instrumental in this class. I'm really proud of my staff and this class of athletes.'
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