FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas women’s basketball team and head coach Tom Collen announced the signing of two players to National Letters of Intent today.
Collen welcomes Jhasmin Bowen and Joey Bailey as the first signees for the 2011-12 season.
"My staff and I are really excited about this year’s class," Collen said. "Our focus was on getting players who would help us under the basket and both of these young ladies will fill that need."
Bowen is a Wichita, Kan., native who has played in 75 games in high school. The 6-1 forward has steadily improved each season averaging 5.1, 13.8 and 16.9 ppg in each of her first three seasons.
Bowen also led the team with 11.1 rpg and has had 1.4 blocks-per-game as a junior leading the Falcons to a 6A state runner-up finish last year.
Jhasmin Lajune Bowen is one of three children of Adrian and Sharon Bowen of Wichita, Kan.
"Jhas is both a special player and person, Collen said. "She has a heart as big as the state of Arkansas and will represent this program like it’s her home state. She was ranked in the top 70 in the country and if anyone had any doubts about her ability, she showed why she deserves her ranking this summer.
"She is a smallish post player who just gets in done on the low block," Collen continued. "Long term, she has the athleticism to develop into a small forward, but she has the physique and strength to do the dirty work in the paint. She is an aggressive rebounder and a very good defender for a high school player. Just like every other player in this recruiting class, she is a great student and a high character young person."
Bailey joins the Razorbacks from Gunter, Texas, where she is a three-year starter for the Tigers. Bailey is a two-time district MVP, two-time all-region pick. Bailey was an all-state pick as a junior. She has played in 103 games averaging 19.9 ppg and 10.3 rpg last season. She has guided the Tigers to a share of the district title for three seasons.
Joey Evelyn Bailey is a 6-1 forward and is one of two children of Brian and Kari Bailey of Gunter, Texas. She was recently selected as Homecoming Queen.
"I’m as excited about Joey Baily as any player I have helped sign at Arkansas," Collen said. "She is a true high post player with great passing skills and three-point shooting range. Even though she is a lean 6-2 athlete, she is amazingly physical and aggressive and will not be afraid to mix it up in the SEC.
"She is also an excellent student and great leader," Collen said. "The fact that she was elected homecoming queen tells you something the way her classmates feel about her as a person. She fits our system perfectly and has a chance to impact us immediately. She helps us continue a long tradition of signing quality Texas players. She is another kid ranked in the top 100 nationally that should be in the top 50."
The Razorbacks return to the floor Sunday, Nov. 12, hosting Florida A&M in an 11:30 a.m. contest. For more information about Razorback women’s basketball, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.