Barry Inks Early Three

University of Colorado women's head basketball coach <b>Ceal Barry</b> announced the early signing of three key Colorado prospects Monday, officially making <b>Jasmina Ilic</b>, <b>Jackie McFarland</b>, and <b>Kara Richards</b> the most recent additions to the program, which is currently ranked 13th in the country in both major polls.

Ilic, a 6-foot guard/forward hybrid from Serbia, heads the list Barry's early signees and will become officially eligible to play after she is certified. Her play in European club teams will bring a unique perspective to the Colorado clubhouse and all indications point towards Ilic eventually stepping in nicely to fill the role currently performed by Swedish native Randie Wirt.

Ilic's play was instrumental in the overall success of several club teams during the past four years. She started on a team which claimed the 1999 European Championships, and was named most outstanding player of the tournament. Her team qualified for the same tournament the following year, but lost the title game.

"Jasmina is a skilled guard-forward who will help us at both positions," Barry said Monday. "We are excited to finally have her in the States and I hope that she'll be able to contribute this season."

The 18-year-old freshman joins a rather mixed bag of international players already suiting up for CU; including Wirt, senior guard Maria Billingsly (Sweden), junior Sarah Lini (Denmark), and Anna Nedovic (Denmark).

Jackie McFarland is probably the most exciting new domestic addition to Colorado. The Derby, Kentucky native earned an unmentionably long list of accolades in a thoroughly successful high school career; consisting most notably of three all-regional honors as well as an all-state mention this past season.

Jackie holds three high school record records including single season scoring (476 points), single game scoring (35 points) as well as free throws in a game (15). The KS Fastbreak, McFarland's club team throughout her high school years, won the MAYB National Championship in 2002 and 2003, and her AAU Topeka Bauersfield squad was national runners-up in 2002.

Finally, Kara Richards will serve as a nice final touch to a fine early recruiting class for Colorado. The 6-foot-4 center was the most sought-after prospect among the players addressed in Monday's press conference, after spending her high school career proving herself as one of the most effective offensive post players in the country.

Richards earned numerous all-state honors throughout her highly successful career at Graham High School in Graham, Texas, including being named offensive player of the year in Texas division 5-3A consecutively in her sophomore and juniors years. She earned national attention this past offseason after improving the whole of her game enough to receive defensive player of the year honors, prompting her to be an all-state pick in Texas Women's Magazine's most recent edition.

Barry still has two available scholarships to be awarded in the late signing period, which sources close to the program indicate will be used to fill the voids left by current seniors in the guard and post positions.

CU will lose, most notably; starting point guard Kate Fagan and preseason All-American center Tera Bjorklund when the Buffs bring a close to the current season this April.

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