USC Women Add Stellar Class For 2010-11

Nov. 29, 2009

USC's first-year head coach Michael Cooper has hauled in a powerful set of newcomers to Troy with the signing of five athletes to national letters of intent to join the USC women's basketball program for next season. Cooper's new group of Trojans is Desiree Bradley, Len'Nique Brown, Cassie Harberts, Thaddesia Southall and Lauren White.

'We have a class that is tall, athletic and specialists in certain things and good in other areas. I think they are good complements to each other,' Cooper said of his first set of signees. 'These young players are going to play. We are not bringing them here to sit on the bench and not play them. They are going to learn by experience and the only experience you get is to be out there on the floor.'

Harberts and Southall are both Southern California products ranked in the ESPN Top 100 recruits for 2010. Cassie Harberts is a 6-2 forward out of San Clemente, Calif. (San Clemente HS) who comes in as the No. 11 recruit in the nation and the No. 2 power forward in the mix. Thaddesia Southall hails from Long Beach, Calif. (Long Beach Poly) and ranks No. 99 overall and No. 20 as a 6-4 power forward.

'Cassie is the ultimate Larry Bird player. She is not afraid to bang and get down in there, and she is a scorer with a high IQ,' Cooper said of Harberts. 'Cassie is a player we definitely need on our ball club to not only give us size, but to take those big people out there on the perimeter and if not score from there at least put the ball on the floor and drive by them.'

'Thaddesia is a very good basketball player. She's a solid player who we can count on to be a banger and an inside presence for us,' Cooper said of Southall. 'She is a scorer and gives us the post presence that we need going through the Pac-10 and the nonconference play. She's an athlete who can play multiple positions and that's why we cannot wait for next year.'

Coming to Troy from out of state are three athletes representing a range of skills to add to the Trojan roster. A 5-5 guard, Len'Nique Brown joins the Trojans from San Antonio, Texas (Karen Wagner HS) as the No. 54 ranked point guard in the nation. A Charlotte, N.C. native (Hickory HS), Lauren White is a 6-4 center who brings key size to the USC gameplan, ranking as the No. 61 center in this year's set of recruits.

'Len'Nique is a very quick, cat-like point guard who can get up and pressure full court,' Cooper said of Brown. 'She's a player who can score; she's a good team player and a very good student. I think she is going to be a good leader for us as far as a young point guard coming onto our team.'

'Lauren is a good, solid post player for us,' Cooper said of White. 'She's an athlete who can run the floor, and we are so happy that she'll be joining us next year because she is going to give us a big defensive presence in the middle. She is top 5 or 10 in the nation in shot blocking for a high school player. We are excited to have her.'

Rounding out the five-player incoming class of talent coming to Troy is the nation's No. 35 recruit overall in 6-1 forward Desiree Bradley. Bradley is from Oklahoma City, Okla. (Carl Albert HS) and has picked up the No. 8 ranking as a small forward.

'Desiree is a Reggie Miller type of player. She is a long-distance three-ball shooter and we can definitely use that simply for the fact that she will open up the floor for us,' Cooper said of Bradley. 'Desiree is another athlete that can get out on the wing and run and play multiple positions. Defensively she is very, very good with her long arms, which can create some havoc on the defensive end. I think her best weapon for us is just her basketball IQ and her perimeter shooting.'

'The class is going to give us a new look,' Cooper said. 'We have a good group graduating this season, so we are looking for the new youth to come in and that is what they are going to provide for us. With valuable people at every position, we can really be competitive whether it is nonconference or whether it is in the Pac-10.'

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