, Md. – The UMBC Women's Basketball team and Head Coach Phil Stern announced the signings of Melissa Book (Raleigh, N.C./Millbrook High School), Mackenzie Butler (Reno, Nev./Reno High School) and Suzanne Morris (Cleveland, Tenn./Walker Valley High School) to National Letters of Intent today.
"We are very happy with this class because it makes us bigger and stronger at every position," said Stern. "We have signed three very versatile players that will be vital components to our program as we adapt to play at the mid-major level."
Book is a 5'8" guard from Millbrook High School in Raleigh, N.C. As a junior she averaged 11.4 points per game and 5.2 rebounds per game, shooting 54.0 percent from the floor and 81.0 percent from the charity stripe. Book is a three-year academic all-conference and all-conference award winner.
"Melissa is a prolific three-point shooter with point and off guard skills," said Stern. "She has a strong work ethic and is a student of the game which fits perfectly in to our system."
Bulter is a 6'2" forward/center from Reno, Nev., who last year was named first team by the Las Vegas Sun after averaging a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds per game. As a junior she was selected to the Northern Region and Sierra Division first teams as her Reno High School squad went to the 4A state title game. In the postseason she increased her scoring to 16 points per game.
"Mackenzie Butler is one of the top players in the state of Nevada and we feel fortunate to have her come to UMBC," said Stern. "She possesses strong basketball skills and a toughness that will enhance our program."
Morris is a 6'2" post player from Walker Valley High School in Cleveland, Tenn. Morris averaged 11.0 ppg and eight rpg as a junior, shooting 58.0 percent from the field and 73.0 percent from the free throw line. Morris earned Best of Preps accolades twice, all-district honors and named to the all-state team in 2003-04. Last season as a junior she reached 1,000-career points as her team went to the state title game.
"Suzanne will play the center position for us and has guard like skills," said Stern. "She is an outstanding passer and has an excellent touch on her jump shot."
The Retrievers are set to begin their second year in the America East Conference and open their 2004-05 slate a week from Saturday when they host Coppin State in the Retriever Tip-Off Tournament at 4:00.
UMBC Women's Basketball signs to National Letter Of Intent Melissa Book (Raleigh, N.C./Millbrook High School), Mackenzie Butler (Reno, Nev./Reno High School) and Suzanne Morris (Cleveland, Tenn./Walker Valley High School)