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Collen adds Memphis signee Starkitsha Luellen

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Collen adds Memphis signee Starkitsha Luellen

FAYETTEVILLE – One of the nation’s top junior college rebounders, Starkitsha Luellen, takes the University of Arkansas women’s basketball 2008 recruiting class to eight players, Lady Razorback head coach Tom Collen announced Monday. Posting double-double season averages for Southwest Tennessee Community College in Memphis, Luellen led her conference and ranked eighth in the nation with 12.3 rebounds per game. “Starkitsha is a great asset for our inside game,” Collen said. “She is a great rebounder and possesses great physical strength.” The 6-0 product of Memphis, Tenn., Melrose High School, Luellen turned in 13.7 ppg to go with her 12.3 rpg. This past season for SWTCC, Luellen had 13 double-double games including a season high of 24 points and 20 rebounds against Columbia State. “She has the potential to play either post position, but is best suited for the four position,” Collen said. “She has good shooting range, and gives us the flexibility to go big with her at the forward position in the lineup.” An honorable mention NJCAA All-American, Luellen was the Tennessee Junior College Athletic Association’s Western Division Co-Player of the Year for the Lady Saluqis. Along with ranking top 10 in the nation for Division I JUCO rebounders, Luellen was the top rebounder for NJCAA Region VII. With Luellen in the lane, the Lady Saluquis went 25-1 to take the Western Division title and ranked as high as fourth in the nation. SWTCC also won the conference title with a 26-2 mark her freshman season. With two top senior rebounders departing the Lady Razorbacks, Collen put a premium on finding a player with strong rebounding skills in the spring signing period. Luellen’s signing also puts Arkansas back into the mix in the Memphis area. “Memphis is a hot-bed for great talent and we need to establish a presence there,” Collen said. A two-sport athlete at Memphis’ Melrose High, Luellen earned four letters in basketball and three in volleyball. Luellen’s signing takes the record-sized Class of 2008 to eight players. She joins two spring period signees in Michigan freshman post Quistelle Williams and Australian guard Cara Angel. The three spring signees are matched with five signees from the November early signing period. Arkansas’ fall signees were Ashley Daniels, a 6-2 forward from Coldwater, Miss.; Julie Inman, a 5-9 guard from Carlisle, Ark.; Lyndsay Harris, a 5-9 guard from Hoover, Ala.; Ceira Ricketts, a 5-9 point guard from Louisville, Ky.; and Jamesha Townsend, a 6-2 forward from Chula Vista, Calif. The Lady’Backs 2008 class earned a top 25 ranking in the fall by All-Star Girls Basketball Report, and the spring additions are expected to solidify Collen’s first Arkansas recruiting class as among the top in the country.



Sports Category : Basketball (W)