Nov. 13, 2013
Reaping the rewards of tireless recruiting efforts, the Vanderbilt women's basketball team announced one of the best signing classes in the program's history on Wednesday.
Head coach Melanie Balcomb, along with recruiting coordinator Kim Rosamond, landed a collection of five talent-rich players who represent the No. 9 class in the nation, according to Blue Star Report.
It marks the second consecutive season in which the Commodores have put together a Top-10 ranked class.
This year's group includes Paris Kea (Greensboro, N.C.), Rachel Bell (Cumberland Furnace), Christa Reed (Bay St. Louis, Miss.,) and twin sisters Audrey-Ann and Khaléann Caron-Goudreau (Gatineau, Quebec).
"I believe we have made a statement of where this program is headed with this recruiting class," said Balcomb."To be able to sign back-to-back Top 10 classes speaks volumes about the future of Vanderbilt basketball."
* Kea, an explosive 5-foot-8 point guard from Page High in Greensboro, N.C., was one of the most sought-after recruits in the nation. She was named the North Carolina Player of the Year last season by the Greensboro News & Record and GreensboroSports.com after helping her team to a 28-2 record and the North Carolina 4A State Championship game. She averaged 14. 2 points and 7.4 assists per game as a junior last season, and scored 31 points in the 4A State Championship game.
* Bell, a 5-foot-10 combo guard, is rated the No. 37 overall player by Blue Star Report. As a junior, Bell averaged 20.4 points and 5.5 rebounds per game last season at nearby Creek Wood High, helping the team post a 27-5 record in 2012-13 and earn a spot in sub-state Sweet 16.
* Reed, a 5-foot-11 combo guard, averaged 24.3 points and 4.8 rebounds per game last season while leading Bay High to a 36-0 record and the Mississippi Class 4A State Championship. The gifted shooter was the Gatorade Player of the Year last season in her home state.
* Twin sisters Audrey-Ann and Khaléann Caron-Goudreau, natives of Gatineau, Quebec, are 6-3 forwards from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. Combining for 30 points per game last season -- with Audrey-Ann averaging 15.4 and Khaléann adding 14.9 -- they helped IMG Academy roll up a 42-8 record under head coach Shell Dailey. Prior to joining IMG, the twins were selected as members of Canada's U-17 Women's National Team after helping the SSF Blizzard to the Canadian Juvenile-AAA State Championship.
"I love the balance we were able to achieve with this group of signees," said Balcomb. "We have answered every need with five players who I feel can come in and make a significant impact as freshmen.
"Each one is very versatile and brings a number of different gifts to the table," she said. "This class, combined with the players we will have returning, gives our program everything we need to compete at the highest level. Memorial Gym is going to be an exciting place to watch basketball for the next several years.
"These are not only outstanding players, they are outstanding young women," Balcomb said. "They all come from fantastic families, and we will be proud to have them represent Vanderbilt on and off the floor."