RICHMOND, Va. – First-year VCU Head Women's Basketball Coach Marlene Stollings has announced the signing of six recruits during the NCAA's early signing period. Monnazjea Finney-Smith (Portsmouth, Va.), Ashlee Mitchell (Bristol, Tenn.), Camille Calhoun (Bowie, Md.), Keira Robinson (Columbia, S.C.), Briana DuBose (Bowie, Md.) and Isis Thorpe (Reading, Pa.) have all signed National Letters of Intent and will join the program for the 2013-14 season.
"I couldn't be happier with my first signing class at VCU," said Stollings. "This is an amazing group of talented, young ladies. I want to commend my staff for doing a phenomenal job in getting this top-notch class to VCU. I believe this group will do many special things during their careers here."
Monnazjea Finney-Smith, 6-1, Guard (Portsmouth, Va./Wilson)
- Averaged 16.5 points, 3.5 steals and made 33 3-pointers as a junior, earning Eastern District Offensive Player of the Year honors
- First-team All-Tidewater and second-team All-Eastern Region as a junior
- Named newcomer of the year, while earning first-team All-Eastern District as a freshman
- Three-time first-team All-Eastern District honoree in cross country
- Honor Roll student each season at Wilson
- Named Superintendant Scholar as a junior
- Member of the National Honor Society
- Chose VCU over nationally ranked Delaware, Old Dominion and James Madison
Coach Stollings on Finney-Smith:
"We are ecstatic about Monnazjea becoming our first-ever signee from the state of Virginia. She is a high school superstar in the Hampton Roads area and a charismatic leader on and off the court. Monnazjea has the heart of a champion and we are confident she will excite the Ram Nation fan base with her versatility and blue-collar mentality on the court. Monnazjea plays for a high school program with a rich tradition and a veteran coach in Roger Smith at Wilson. In addition, she played club basketball for Boo Williams and is the last of the Finney-Smith siblings to play Division I basketball. Her brother, Dorian is a sophomore at the University of Florida."
Ashlee Mitchell, 5-7, Guard (Bristol, Tenn./Tennessee)
- Named Big Eight Conference Player of the Year, All-State and All-Region as a junior, averaging 17.8 points, 7.0 rebounds, 5.0 steals and 3.0 assists per game.
- Named to Tipoff Magazine's Top 25 Players in Tennessee
- As a junior, had a career-high 34 points and 24 rebounds (school record) in a single game
- Named Johnson City Press Defensive Player of the Year as a freshman and sophomore
- Three-time District One All-Tournament team selection
- Became Tennessee High School's career leader in steals and assists as a sophomore
- Already has more than 1,000 career points
- National Honor Society member
Coach Stollings on Mitchell:
"Ashlee is a highly talented point guard. She is tough, gritty, extremely competitive and a proven winner. Ashlee's basketball IQ far exceeds her age. Her physical strength and attack mentality will be major assets. Ashlee has a blue-collar mentality on the court and the determination it takes to lead a team. She played club basketball for the Knoxville Panthers coached by Don Brown. We expect her to have an immediate impact on our program."
Camille Calhoun, 5-10, Guard/Forward (Bowie, Md./Archbishop Spalding)
- ESPN Top 100 recruit
- Second Team All-Metro
- 2011 IAAM A Conference Champions
- 2010, 2012 IAAM A Conference Finalist
- All-IAAM Conference selection
- Named 695 Hoops All-Metro squad
- Participated in ESPN Rise Tournament
- Second Team All-Tournament at She Got Game Classic
- Named to All-Tournament team at Nike Tournament of Champions in Arizona
- Received President's Education Award for outstanding academic achievement in 2009
- Represented Archbishop Spalding High School at the Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership Seminar
Coach Stollings on Calhoun:
"Camille is an outstanding talent and one of the best guard-forward combos in the class of 2013. She creates a matchup nightmare for opponents with her uncanny ability to step out to the three-point line as well as post up on the low block. Camille knows how to win and comes from a storied Maryland high school program, Archbishop Spalding coached by Bookie Rosemond. Camille has the potential to do great things as a Ram."
Keira Robinson, 5-8, Guard (Columbia, S.C./Keenan)
- Named 2012 South Carolina 2A All-State
- Has received All-Region recognition during each season of her high school career
- National Honor Society student
- Ranks 12th in her class at Keenan with a 3.86 cumulative GPA
- Won the school's Student-Athlete Scholar Award
Coach Stollings on Robinson:
"We are super excited about the addition of Keira Robinson. Keira is a phenomenal combo guard and explosive scorer. Her athleticism allows her to create off the dribble and score in a variety of ways. Keira is exceptional in the classroom and has an unmatched competitiveness on the court. Her best basketball is ahead of her and I am very proud to be her coach. She played club basketball for the South Carolina 76ers organization coached by Anthony Toney."
Briana DuBose, 5-10, Guard (Bowie, Md./Bishop McNamara)
- Played three years of varsity basketball at Bishop McNamara, which competes in the highly regarded Washington Catholic Athletic Conference
- Has played all five positions so far during high school career
- As a sophomore, reached the Final Four in WCAC playoffs
- Leading scorer for Maryland Pride AAU team coached by Tony Gorham, averaging 16.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game
- Named to First-Team USJN All-Tournament squad
- Four-year honor student at Bishop McNamara
Coach Stollings on DuBose:
"We are super excited to have such a hard worker and proven competitor like Briana joining our program. Briana is an incredible person, student and basketball player. She is a sharp shooting, gym rat with a determination and will to win that separates her from the competition. We are thrilled to welcome such a talented young lady both on and off the court to our VCU family."
Isis Thorpe, 5-8, Guard (Reading, Pa./Reading)
- All-State AAAA Second-Team selection (Pennsylvania) as a junior
- Named Berks County Player of the Year in 2011-12 after averaged 20.2 points, 10.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 3.0 blocks per game for Reading team that compiled a 23-3 record
- Named First-Team All-County as a sophomore and junior after leading the county in scoring both seasons
- Received Christmas Tournament MVP honors as a sophomore and junior
- Already surpassed the 1,000-point plateau
- Plays for the Philadelphia Belles AAU organization
Coach Stollings on Thorpe:
"We are elated that Isis has joined our Ram family. Isis brings a tough, hard-nosed defensive mindset that will be contagious to our team. She quickly caught my eye with her high motor and intensity on both ends of the floor. She will grow quickly in our system and raise the level of play from a competitive standpoint. She played club basketball for the prestigious Philly Belles organization."