The honor of being new Lady Razorback head bsketball coach Tom Collen's first commitment went to an in-state star who can flat out shot the rock.
Carlisle's Julie Inman, a 5-8 guard and phenomenal shooter who averaged around 20 points for the 34-2 Class 2A state champs last season, made the decision back to attend the University of Arkansas back in June.
Since then Inman has been helping recruit, including last weekend when she joined 6-2 fellow commit Ashley Daniels of Coldwater, Miss., 6-3 Jamesha Townsend of the San Diego area and 5-10 Houston Bel Air point guard Jasmine Hartman as they all took official visits.
"We all have different personalities, but we all get along really well," Inman said. "I think we would all have a lot of fun and success together if we all end up here."
Inman chose Arkansas over Texas A&M, Kansas and TCU.
"I committed to Arkansas in June because I have grown up here and this is my home state and I have been up here a lot and always liked it," Inman said.
"I came up here on an unofficial visit when the new coaches got here and they were already so organized," Inman added. "They know where the want the program to be and how they are going to get it there. I just fell in love with the coaches and their vision for the program."
All Star Girls Report national analyst Brett McCormick, who has Inman ranked as the 127th best player in the country, says that Inman will be quite the addition to the Lady Razorbacks.
"She is Tom's kind of player," McCormick said. "She is not overly athletic when he comes to SEC standards, but she can shoot the heck out of it. She is a great shooter and will be perfect for him because of that shot and all the basketball knowledge that she brings to the floor."
Inman feels like she has become very versatile.
"I play the one in high school and feel like I see the court really good," Inman said. "In AAU, I play the two and I can drive but if people back off of me I can shoot the 3. I think that versatility helps me in that I can take people one-on-one or shoot over the top of them."
Inman played tournaments this spring and summer with the Arkansas Belles, Kamikaze and then went with the Arkansas Mavericks to the Junior Olympics in Knoxville, TN.
Teaming with Morrilton standout and Tennessee commit Shekinna Stricklen, Inman was part of Mavericks squad that won the national title.
"That was a lot of fun," Inman said.
She considered Arkansas, Texas A&M, TCU and Kansas before narrowing it down to the Lady Razorbacks and the Lady Aggies, now coached by by former Arkansas coach an former Collen boss Gary Blair.
"Arkansas and Texas A&M were my top two," Inman said. "I took an unofficial visit to Texas A&M and went to the Elite Camp. If I wouldn't have gone ahead and committed to Arkansas, I would have taken an unofficial there."
But Colleen convinced her she needed to stay in state.
"He was here when they went to the Final Four so he knows what he is doing," Inman said. "He has a plan to build and I know it may take a couple of years, but we will be back to a winning program and it will be a lot of fun."
It seems that the depth of talent in the state is getting better each year.
"I think it is probably girls playing AAU in the summer and getting out there and getting known," Inman said. "I think the AAO Top 25 that I competed in had a lot of great talent and that helps."
Carlisle has set it sights on repeating this season.
"We lost one girl who was a senior and started," Inman said. "We have three girls that are over 6-foot, two of them that are seniors and one is a sophomore. My sister (Jana), who has gotten a lot better playing AAU ball this season, is a junior and will help me a lot on the perimeter."
"We should repeat, at least that's our goal," Inman said. "After we won, our off season was really easy and we had so many distractions so we have to get our heads together."
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The Lady Razorbacks are also known to be recruiting 6-0 forward Mary Jackson of Memphis Oakhaven, 5-8 Ciara Ricketts of Louisville Fairdale, 5-10 Alabama guard Lindsey Harris of Birmingham and Oklahoma City (OK) Southeast forward Elizabeth Lay.
All are scheduled to take official visits to Arkansas over the first two weekends in October.
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