NSU signs 4 in new recruiting class

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It’s almost impossible to have a basketball-related conversation with Nicholls State women’s basketball coach DoBee Plaisance without hearing her favorite four-word phrase.

“The future is bright,” Plaisance often touts. “Around here, our best days are still in front of us.”

This week, the coach’s trademark saying appears to look more accurate than ever.

That’s because the Colonels unveiled arguably their best recruiting class in the Plaisance era, hauling in four players.

The group is headlined by Chapelle guard Emani White and Orlando Christian’s Hope Pawlowski – both players who are very highly regarded by national recruiting services across the country.

“I’m very excited about our recruiting class,” Plaisance said. “I expect all four players to contribute immediately, allowing us to pick up where we left off last season.”

The biggest need in the Colonels’ recruiting was at point guard – a void created when 2011-12 starter Sumar Leslie graduated and moved onto the professional level.

To lessen the void of her departure, the Colonels nabbed both White and Pawlowski, who enroll as two of the most decorated players in the history of Nicholls’ program.

A 5-foot, 7-inch point guard, Pawlowski averaged 24 points per game as both a junior and senior at Orlando Christian Prep.

Pawlowski’s biggest impact may have been on the AAU circuit, where she played for Central Florida Elite – a top-tier AAU team.

Collegiate Girls Basketball Report analyst Dan Olson said the Colonels are getting a good one in Pawlowski.

Olson said the point guard has a “strong, wiry frame,” “dishes in uptempo,” and “passes with purpose.”

Cut from the same mold, White lands in Thibodaux after a two-time All-State career at Chapelle.

The 5-foot, 4-inch point guard averaged 21 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.9 steals per game in her senior season, leading the Chipmunks to a 26-4 season.

White was a state champion during her career at Chapelle and also eclipsed the 1,000-point mark for her career.

Because of those accolades, White was a three-star prospect according to recruiting service HoopGurlz.

“It’s plain fun watching her juke and fake her way into the lane, lift off and perform all sorts of mid-air gyrations to deliver the ball to the rim,” HoopGurlz recruiting analyst Glenn Nelson said of White. “She also will take a lick and collect her points at the free-throw line, not to mention kick the ball out to someone who can get the points in a less punishing fashion. Though undersized, White makes herself a pest on defense, going into whirlwind mode at that end of the floor.”

With Leslie’s replacements lined up, Plaisance shifted her attention to the team’s No. 2 hole – the post.

To take care of that need, Plaisance inked Varnado High School center LaDesha Carrier and Zachary forward Bria Reed.

A 6-foot, 2-inch center, Carrier lands in Thibodaux after averaging 18 points and 13 rebounds per game as a senior. She also averaged six blocks per game.

Reed’s stat sheet was just as diverse and the 5-foot, 11-inch forward averaged 16 points, eight rebounds and six assists per game for Zachary.

Both of those players will likely have an opportunity to replace outgoing post player Jasmine Hoskins, who graduated following last season.