Lady Monarch Basketball Welcomes Five to the Squad in 2009-10
By ODU Athletics
Sept. 24, 2009
NORFOLK, Va. - Head coach Wendy Larry and the women's basketball staff welcomed the addition of four players to the team in 2009-10, plus the return of redshirt sophomore Tia Lewis (Poulan, Ga.) after a year on the bench due to NCAA restrictions. Lewis will hit the floor for the first time in 09-10 with junior college transfer Kquanise Byrd (St. Petersburg, Fla.) and rookies Becca Allison (Edinburgh, Scotland), Carolann Cloutier (St. Mathieu de Beloeil, Quebec) and Jackie Cook (Hinckley, Ohio).
Lewis is not new to the team this season, forced to sit out the 2008-09 season due to NCAA transfer guidelines, but will be a new addition to Coach Larry's scheme on the hardwood. The 6-3 forward was named the Conference USA Freshman of the Year and earned Third Team All-Conference USA honors while at Central Florida. She was the league's top rebounder, ranking fifth in the country in boards with 345 total and 11.5 rebounds per game.
"Tia comes in with great credentials," said Larry. "Transitionally, she is one of the finest athletes we've had at ODU. She can fly; and she has a good nose for the ball."
Kquanise Byrd, a 5-7 guard from Florida, transfers into ODU from Miami-Dade College and will be a junior for the Lady Monarchs. Byrd was First Team All-Conference, All-State and was named the Most Valuable Player of the team as the leading scorer in Florida and the number three scorer in the nation. She was also MVP and Player of the Year following her senior season at Lakewood High School in 2006-07.
"Along with some of the other great athletes we've recruited from Florida, Byrd is an exceptional athlete," Larry noted. "She has a scorer's mentality and is very smooth on the floor."
Becca Allison joins homeland teammate Mairi Buchan on the Old Dominion Lady Monarchs basketball team, coming to ODU from Scotland. Buchan and Allison played together on the Scottish national team before Buchan joined the Lady Monarchs a year ago. Allison averaged over 10 points a game in the European "B" Championships in Macedonia and is considered one of Scotland's top prospects. The speedy point guard stands 5-8, averaged 12 points per game for the Edinburgh seniors and 24 points per for the juniors in the 2008-09 Scottish League season.
"The opportunity to have Becca here with her teammate Mairi Buchan from the Scottish national team is great for ODU," said Larry. "She has great quickness and a tremendous understanding of the game. Her experience during international play will prove to be a great asset."
Cloutier, a 5-9 point guard from Quebec, Canada, was one of the most highly recruited athletes from the United States' northern neighbor. She joins the ODU squad after playing with Team Canada this summer at the World University games. She also played on the Junior Women's National Team in 2008 and was an All-Star for the U17 National Championship runner-up in 2006. The MVP of the league champion Dawson College Blues in 2008-09, Cloutier will immediately add depth to the point guard position.
"Carolann, like Becca, brings a ton of international playing experience to the floor," coach Larry said. "She's got great court vision and is very capable of scoring from that position as well. She's got very good size for the point."
Finally, the Lady Monarchs welcome Ohio native Jackie Cook to the court as a 6-0 guard/forward. Cook, a McDonald's All-American nominee and 2009 WBCA Honorable Mention All-American comes to Old Dominion as a first team All-District and All-State player for Ohio after averaging a double-double in each of her final two high school seasons. She led Regina High School to a perfect 27-0 season en route to the 2009 state championship.
"Jackie Cook is a winner," Larry punctuated. "She is a winner; she's got great work ethic and she's a state champion. Winning is a habit."
ODU returns three starters this season led by senior Jessica Canady, the league's second leading rebounder. Junior guards Jasmine Parker and Shadasia Green also return after the Lady Monarchs posted 17 wins last season. The 2009-10 version of the ODU women's basketball team kicks off the season on November 3 at 7:00 p.m. with the annual Blue/White game. The team will hold a free clinic prior to the Blue/White game from 4:30-5:30 p.m.