WKU signs Amos, Johnson to top off 2011 women’s basketball class

Cole Claybourn

Head Coach Mary Taylor Cowles said during the fall signing period that recruiting never stops.

Cowles evidenced that during the spring signing period, as WKU made official two additions to the class of 2011 on Friday. The Lady Toppers are now set to bring in a total of six new players next season after signing four during the NCAA’s Early Signing Period last fall.

Forest, Miss., forward Tyisha Amos and Flagstaff, Ariz., guard Ileana Johnson signed National Letters of Intent to join the Lady Toppers next season during the NCAA’s Regular Signing Period.

“I’m really excited about this class coming in, and especially the two young ladies we have signed in the spring,” Cowles said in a press release.  “It’s going to be very important for this freshman class to come in and learn quickly, and I think they will.”

The six incoming freshmen will more than fill the void — at least depth-wise — for the four vacancies left after last season. Three players graduated, and sophomore Janae Howard left the team mid-season.

Four members of the incoming class are listed as guards and two are listed as forwards. Cowles said Johnson fills a need the Lady Toppers had for depth at the point guard position.

With the graduation of starters Amy McNear and Hope Brown, Chaney Means is the only returning player with significant playing time at the point guard position.

Stevens High School (Texas) guard Alexis Govan was signed in the fall as a point guard as well.

Amos averaged 14.1 points and 8.9 rebounds per game during her senior season and helped lead her Scott Central team to a state championship. During her junior year, Amos averaged 14.6 points and 10.4 rebounds per game.

“We’re really excited about Tyisha’s ability to play the four position and get out to help us defensively,” Cowles said. “She’s very comfortable playing the point on the press, and rebounding and scoring around the basket will be her strengths for us. “

Johnson was named the Girl’s Player of the Year by the Arizona Daily Sun for the third straight season and averaged 18 points, six rebounds, five steals, and four assists per game throughout her career.

The six incoming freshman will join the eight returning players to give the Lady Toppers a roster of 14 players – three more than what they ended the 2010-2011 season with.