ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Amarillo Guards Give Verbal Commitment to New Mexico
Don Flanagan isn’t opposed to a little Texas two-for-one shopping.
In fact, the UNM women’s basketball coach recently completed his 2010-11 recruiting class by scoring a pair of Texas high school teammates.
Jasmine Patterson, a 5-foot-7 shooting guard, and Brianna Taylor, a 5-5 point guard, confirmed they have given verbal commitments to play at New Mexico next season. Both are seniors at Amarillo’s Palo Duro High School, where they were All-District 3-4A performers last season.
Patterson averaged 16.5 points, 4.2 rebounds and three steals per game on her way to being named district player of the year.
“Jazzy is a natural scorer, a kid who gets double-figure points every night,” Palo Duro coach A.J. Johnson said in a phone interview. “She can go left, go right, spot up and shoot the 3. She’s a slasher with an excellent stroke.”
Taylor, meanwhile, is a natural point guard who averaged 9.9 points and 5.1 assists last season. The left-hander looks to pass first and makes things happen with her speed and quickness, Johnson said.
“You’re not gonna have a faster kid in New Mexico than Brianna Taylor,” he said.
Patterson and Taylor have grown up playing together and said the chance to be college teammates at UNM was too good to pass up. They got a look at New Mexico’s campus during this summer’s Lobo Team Camp and will return for official visits in time for the Lobo Howl on Oct. 16.
Johnson said both players had other Division I offers but UNM was the lone school recruiting them as a duo.
“I really wasn’t considering anywhere else,” Patterson said. “I liked the campus, I was really impressed with coach Flanagan’s 100-percent graduation rate — and I like to play in front of big crowds.”
Added Taylor, “I really liked the whole atmosphere.”
Patterson and Taylor have played together since they were in first grade and believe they bring the best out of each other on the basketball court.
“It’s a big advantage because we can read each other,” Patterson said.
To prove it, each player offered a basketball assessment of the other.
“Jasmine’s really a good shooting guard,” Taylor said. “She’s quick, smart, plays good defense and has a great pull-up.”
Said Taylor, “Brianna’s game is getting assists. She knows when to get someone the ball, but she can beat people down the court and score, too. She’s fast.”
Patterson and Taylor are the fourth and fifth players to commit to UNM for 2010-11, joining Tina Doughty (a 5-10 guard from Granbury, Texas), Morgan Toben (a 6-3 guard from Owasso, Okla.) and Erin Boettcher (a 6-3 post from Concord, Calif.).
Assuming all five sign national letters of intent, the Lobos will have filled their scholarships for next season. The NCAA’s early signing period is Nov. 11-18, and the regular signing period is April 14 through May 19.
NCAA rules prohibit coaches from commenting on recruits until they submit signed letters of intent.
From a position standpoint, UNM appears to have addressed its greatest future needs: Point guard and post. Current point guard Amy Beggin and center Val Kast are seniors.
However, if things go as anticipated the Lobos will be particularly young in 2010-11 with five sophomores, five freshmen and just two seniors (Amanda Best and Jessica Kielpinski) on the roster.
OPEN SCRIMMAGES: Dates have not yet been set but Flanagan plans to continue his tradition of holding open preseason scrimmages — despite the Pit’s unavailable status.
Flanagan said he intends to have scrimmages at the Rudy Davalos Center, which would require some temporary seating to be brought into the Lobos’ practice facility.
“We couldn’t accommodate a big crowd, but I know some of our fans like to get a look at the team,” Flanagan said. “I think its good for the players, too. We’ll work something out.”