Smith Announces Alabama's Miss Basketball and One More to Signing Class

April 22, 2004 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee Head Women's basketball coach Stephany Smith released the addition of two high school players from the state of Alabama to scholarship agreements for the 2004-05 season.

Smith announced Starr Orr of Speak High School and LaToya Barclay from Sparkman High School would be joining the Middle Tennessee squad next season.

"These are two are similar players who will add to the continuous growth of our transition game," Smith said. "I believe both of these players are tremendous finds and it will be interesting from a coaches and fans perspective to follow their transition from high school to college basketball and to see which one will have the most impacting start."

Orr, who is a 5-8 guard, is the two-time Class A Miss Basketball recipient, and averaged 30.8 points, 9.9 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.4 steals this season. She also set the Alabama career state scoring record in all classes (4,158) in her final high school game when she scored 58 points in a 102-91 loss to Hazelwood in the Northwest Regional Tournament. She and Barclay were also a starters in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star game and Orr had eight points, three assists and two steals in 20 minutes of action and Barclay had 16 points, two assists and three steals in 19 minutes.

"Starr is a nationally recognized signee who was recruited by several of the SEC schools," Smith said. "There aren't a lot of players out there that can create their own shot but she understands the game and sees the floor."

Barclay, who is a 5-4 guard, was named the Girls Basketball 6A Player of the Year and led the Lady Senators to the regular season 6A, Region 8 Championship, a sub-regional win and a third straight trip to the Northwest Regional championship game. She averaged 18.1 points, 4.3 rebounds and four assists this season.

"LaToya is a top-notch guard who was probably passed over because of her size," Smith said. "She has great knowledge of the game and is a tremendous playmaker, and most important for us, is a great three point shooter."

"LaToya and Starr are great friends," said Sparkman High School Coach June Seals. "I think they are excited to be able to play together. I also believe Middle Tennessee has come in and gotten two tremendous steals."

The Lady Raiders picked up three players in the early signing period in 5-foot-8 point guard/two guard Sara Nuxol (Winter Springs, Fla.), 6-foot-2 forward Lakirea Boyd (Memphis) and 6-foot-4 center Lynette Jackson (Raleigh, N.C.). Additionally, 6-foot-3 center Amber Benjamin, a transfer from Auburn, and 5-foot-10 guard Monique Martin, the 2002 player of the year in Georgia, sat out this season and will be eligible next year.

"We've had two top 50 recruiting classes in the previous three seasons, but I feel this class has raised the bar," Smith said. ""What makes this class a little more impressive is that it consists of several blue chip players and there isn't much difference in their skill level."

Smith contributes her excellent recruiting class to the hard work of her coaching staff.

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