UA Women bring two recruits to Midnight Madness

Two players will make official campus visits as guests of the University of Arizona Men's Basketball program this weekend. The UA Women's Basketball program also has two players on campus for their official visits during Midnight Madness.

Donnisha Sanford, a 6-1 combo-forward from Los Angeles (Morningside), Los Angeles, Sanford is an athlete who can play physical on the inside or take her game to the perimeter, put the ball on the floor and use her quickness to create for herself or a teammate.

Sanford is following in the footsteps of Lisa Leslie, who played at Morningside, starred at USC and now plays for the LA Sparks in the WNBA. Sanford averaged 18 points and 13 rebounds per game as a junior and will most likely break the career rebounding at Morningside. That record is currently held by Leslie.

Sanford can also show her speed on the track where she's one of the state's best 100, 200 and 400-meter runners. Sanford spent the summer running and track and because of her lack of exposure many feel Sanford is being under-recruited. Arizona is probably the favorite, but her other schools include San Diego State and USC.

Michelle Strawberry, a 5-11 combo-guard from Corona (Centennial), Calif., also made her campus visit during the Midnight Madness festivities. Like her uncle, Darrell Strawberry, Michelle is also a great athlete. She has great quickness and is deadly from behind the three-point line.

However, Strawberry has been slowed recently by a knee injury that will likely require surgery. That could slow the recruiting process for Strawberry somewhat.

Strawberry has a twin brother, Mike, who's a senior at Santa Ana (Mater Dei). As a freshman and sophomore, Mike was receiving some attention from elite-level programs and Arizona was one of the schools showing interest. However, whereas Michelle's talent has been on the rise, Mike seems to have leveled off. He's now being pursued by some of the mid-major schools on the West Coast.

Strawberry's schools include Arizona, Oregon State, San Diego State, USC and the University of San Francisco.

A week earlier, over the weekend of Oct.6, the UA Women had two other players on campus and both might be considered target recruits on the UA's "A list."

Diedra Chatman, a 6-6 center from Richmond (Kennedy), Calif., and Natalie Jones, a 5-10 combo-guard from Anchorage (East), AK, are both considered national Top 50 players. Chatman, who is considering UCLA, Purdue and Virginia along with the Wildcats, is also very good athlete and shot blocker.

Natalie Jones, a 5-11 combo-guard from Anchorage (East), Alaska, is quite possibly the Wildcat coaching staff's priority recruit. Like Sanford, many feel Jones is being under-recruited. Jones is cat-quick, has great ball skills, sees the floor like a point and can put points on the board in a variety of ways.

Not many schools are aware of her because she was born in the Central American country of Belize and moved to New York with her mother before moving on to Alaska. In fact, Jones just became an American citizen last August.

Jones has Washington, San Diego State and St. Mary's on her short list. She is almost certain to become a Wildcat but might take an official campus visit to Washington before making her announcement.

Notes: Women's Associate Head Coach Denise Dove-Ianello and her husband, Football Recruiting coordinator Rob Ianello, are expecting their first child next April.

Eugene Edgerson will go to a try-out camp for the NBDL (National Basketball Developmental League) in Atlanta at the end of October in hope of hooking onto a team that might eventually propel his career on to the NBA..

University of Illinois wing forward Lucas Johnson tore a ligament in his right knee. He'll have surgery and be out four to six months. Johnson might not be the Illini's best players, but he is the toughest player on the team. He will be sorely missed in the lineup.


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