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Tulsa's McConnell-Miller Inks Five Players to National Letters

Tulsa Head Coach Kathy McConnell-Miller signed five players to national letters-of-intent.
Tulsa Head Coach Kathy McConnell-Miller signed five players to national letters-of-intent.
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Nov. 9, 2000

Tulsa, Oklahoma - University of Tulsa second-year Head Basketball Coach Kathy McConnell-Miller announced today the signing of two in-state players Bethanie Bentz, and Alison Carney, along with Emily Jaskowiak, LeAnn Upshaw and Tatanisha Wagoner to national letters-of-intent on the first day of the early signing period for high school seniors.

Bentz, a 5'10" guard from Enid, Okla., is a three-year letterwinner at Garber High School in Garber, Okla. In three seasons, she has scored 910 points and has a career scoring average of 16.3 points per contest. She is a two-time Street & Smith High School All-America honorable mention selection and is ranked as the 59th best player in the country and the 16th-best point guard in the nation by the All-Star Girls Report. Heading into the 2000-01 season, Bentz is rated at the third best player in the state of Oklahoma by National Prep Hoops and has been named to the Tulsa World Preseason Blue-Chip Player List. This past summer, she was one of 15 girls from around the United States to earn AAU All-America honors.

During her junior season of 1999-2000, Bentz averaged 16.0 points per game and shot 48-percent from behind the three-point line. She was named to the class "A" all-state first team and was listed as a blue-chip player by both the Tulsa World and the Daily Oklahoman. Bentz was selected by USA Today as the Top Player to Watch in Oklahoma and was one of only six juniors to receive USA Today Honorable Mention National Player of the Year merits. Midwest Basketball and Oklahoma Court Report each listed Bentz as the third best junior in Oklahoma.

She chose Tulsa over Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, New Mexico, TCU, Colorado State, Mississippi State, Texas A&M, Southwest Missouri State and Memphis.

"Bethanie is one of the most dedicated student-athletes I have ever had the opportunity to recruit," McConnell-Miller said. "Her talents are indicative of how hard she prepares. Bethanie is a well-rounded player because she can play the point guard position, she can shoot the ball effectively as a two-guard and she can defend exceptionally well. I think The University of Tulsa is a perfect fit for Bethanie and her family.

Carney is a 6'1" forward from Altus High School in Altus, Oklahoma. A three-year letterwinner and starter, she averaged 12.0 points and 8.0 rebounds per game and shot 48-percent from the field during her junior season. In 1999-2000, she was an all-Southern Conference performer. This past summer, she was a member of the Oklahoma AAU Junior Olympic Team. As a sophomore, she averaged 10.0 points and 6.0 rebounds per contest.

She chose Tulsa over Oklahoma and San Diego State.

"Alison is another outstanding player from the state of Oklahoma. She is very athletic and will add great size and strength to our frontline. She handles the ball extremely well for a tall person, has very good range with her shot and can be a force inside the paint," McConnell-Miller said.

Jaskowiak, a 6'1" forward from Chesterfield, Mo., is a three-year letterwinner at Parkway West High School in St. Louis. She received honorable mention All-America honors by Street & Smith in its preseason publication. Jaskowiak is a two-time member of the all-state second team and the all-conference and all-district first-team. She was tabbed to the all-conference, all-district and all-metro second-team as a junior. Last season, she averaged 14.6 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game. She also shot 51-percent from the field and 75-percent from the free-throw line. Jaskowiak holds her high school's record for career points (1,088), rebounds (751) and free throws made (209). This past summer, she attended the AAU Chicago Deep South Classic Blue Chip Camp in Durham, N.C.

She chose Tulsa over DePaul, Illinois State, Indiana State and Evansville.

"Emily is a very intelligent basketball player who understands the game and will provide versatility to our inside game. She is physical player who knows how to use her body in the paint. Emily plays very well with her back to the basket, but also has the ability to shoot effectively from the high post area. She is multi-dimensional player who should be very successful at the college level," McConnell-Miller said.

Upshaw is a 5'7" point guard from Jonesboro High School in Jonesboro, Arkansas. She is listed as the 21st-ranked point guard in the country and the 115th-best player in the nation by the All-Star Girls Report. After spending two seasons at Marked Tree High School in Marked Tree, Ark., she moved to Jonesboro prior to her junior year. In her first season with the Hurricane, she averaged 19.8 points, 8.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 5.0 steals per game. She has career averages of 22.2 points, 7.9 rebounds, 4.3 and 3.0 steals per game. Upshaw is a three-time member of the all-state, all-conference and all-region team. Heading into her senior season, she has been selected as one of the top-3 players in the state of Arkansas by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and the Jonesboro Sun.

She chose Tulsa over Arkansas, Arkansas State, Memphis and Mississippi.

"LeAnn is a true point guard in every sense of the word. She is a leader who makes everyone around her better. Offensively, she can create her own shot, score and handle the ball under pressure. I think she can not only make an immediate impact on our team, but she is the type of player Tulsa fans will love to watch," McConnell-Miller said.

A 6'1" forward from Alamogordo High School in Alamogordo, New Mexico, Wagoner averaged 12.0 points and 7.0 rebounds as a junior. She also collected a team-best 69 blocked shots and shot 44-percent from the field. Last season, Wagoner was listed as one of the top-10 players in the state of New Mexico by USA Today and was an all-district selection. During her sophomore campaign, the all-district performer averaged 7.0 points and 7.0 rebounds per outing, along with a team-high 40 blocked shots.

She chose Tulsa over Drake and San Diego State.

"Tatanisha is a very athletic player who plays with finesse and is a solid rebounder. She has very good hands and possesses a great instinct for the ball. She will undoubtedly bring a strong inside presence to our team," McConnell-Miller said.

Name Pos. Ht. Hometown/HighSchool Pts. Rebs.
Bethanie Bentz G 5-10 Enid, Okla./Garber 16.3 5.0
Alison Carney F 6-1 Altus, Okla./Altus 12.0 8.0
Emily Jaskowiak F 6-1 Chesterfield, Mo./Parkway West 14.6 8.5
LeAnn Upshaw PG 5-7 Jonesboro, Ark./Jonesboro 19.8 8.7
Tatanisha Wagoner F 6-1 Alamogordo, N.M./Alamogordo 12.0 7.0