Two down, one to go for the University of New Mexico women’s basketball program.
As the Lobos prepared for Tuesday’s home showdown with Texas, coach Yvonne Sanchez received signed paperwork that made two incoming recruits officially Lobos.
Kenya Pye, a 5-foot-8 combo guard from Tallahassee, Fla., and Tori Henderson, a 6-1 post from Euless, Texas, will join the Lobos next season.
Pye, who is a senior at Maclay School in Tallahassee, will be a true freshman. Henderson, who transferred from Missouri State after her freshman season, will be eligible to play at midsemester of 2014-15 as a sophomore.
UNM was still anticipating one additional signing. Jayda Bovero, a 5-11 wing from Syracuse, Utah, scheduled a signing ceremony Friday evening and planned to submit her paperwork afterward.
NCAA rules prohibit coaches from commenting on unsigned recruits, but Sanchez was only too happy to provide details on Pye and Henderson.
Pye was named the Florida Athletic Coaches Association Class 3A Player of the Year as a junior after averaging 15.5 points, two assists and three steals per game. Her mother, Glenda Stokes-Pye, was a standout player at Florida State.
“I really like Kenya’s game,” Sanchez said. “She’s a great defender, has a terrific pull-up and can handle the ball. She’s more of a 2-guard than a point, but she can definitely bring the ball up.”
Henderson is a physical, left-handed post, who averaged 16 points, eight rebounds and four assists as a high school senior in 2011-12. She appeared in seven games at Missouri State before leaving the program.
Henderson’s final two transfer choices were Texas Tech and UNM, and she verbally committed to the Lobos last weekend.
“It just wasn’t a good fit for her at Missouri State,” Sanchez said, “but Tori’s a kid who can step in and help us right away. We weren’t really looking to sign anyone unless we felt she could be an impact player. Tori can give us a big, physical presence.”
With a signing still pending, Sanchez opted not to sum up the recruiting class as a whole but said: “We’ll get a lot more athletic with Kenya and Tori coming in.”
NOTES: Sophomore Khadijah Shumpert missed practice Friday, returning to her Minnesota home because of a death in her family. Shumpert is expected to return in time for the Texas game, Sanchez said.
Clovis High School junior Danni Williams attended Friday’s practice with her father and club coach Robert Sanchez of New Mexico/Texas Heat Elite. The heavily recruited guard was in Albuquerque to compete in the state volleyball tournament, but the Wildcats were eliminated Thursday night.
Williams is being recruited by numerous women’s basketball heavyweights, including Baylor, Louisville and Tennessee. New Mexico offered a scholarship during her freshman season.
Last season’s Class 5A Player of the Year, Williams said she hopes to announce a decision no later than June.