Barnes-Arico Inks Highly Rated Class

"This class has the potential be a special class, a group that makes a great impact on our program," Kim Barnes Arico said. "The other great part about it is that they are all different but valuable in their own way. They are all 'Michigan' kids. They are great students, they are great people and they come from great families."

2014 Michigan Women's Basketball Commits
Name / Stat Pack ( Barnes-Arico Commentary

Maria Backman G/F 6-1 Bronx, N.Y. (Cardinal Spellman)

Katelynn Flaherty (Point Pleasant, N.J./Point Pleasant Beach) averaged 30.3 points, 5.8 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 3.5 steals as a junior at Point Pleasant, leading her team to its first-ever Group 1 state title. After playing her first two seasons at Manasquan, she transferred to Point Pleasant Beach and helped the team to one of the best single-season turnarounds ever. Point Pleasant was 4-14 in 2011-12 before Flaherty helped the team to a 26-2 record in 2012-13. Flaherty scored 30 points on 9-for-18 shooting from the floor and a 9-for-10 showing at the free throw line in the NJSIAA Group 1 final, as Point Pleasant Beach hung on for a 56-54 win over Bloomfield Tech for the state title. She is ranked as the No. 19 prospect by the ASGR, received four stars by HoopGurlz and was selected to the 2012-13 MSG All-Metro First Team.

"Katelynn is probably one of the highest ranked recruits to ever sign with Michigan," Barnes Arico said. "I have been watching her play since she has been in the seventh or eighth grade. She is just an exceptional talent. I think she is special because she does all the intangible things and has an incredible work ethic, which obviously comes from her family. She has the ability to score in multiple ways and can create her own shot. She can knock down the three; she can pull up and hit the mid-range shot, which not many kids can do anymore. She also has the ability to get to the basket. But most importantly, she has great court vision and makes the people around her better. She will be a great teammate and a great addition. She will hopefully be able to come in and have an immediate impact on the scoring end for us."

Jillian Dunston G/F 5-11 Germantown, Md. (Academy of the Holy Cross)

Jillian Dunston (Germantown, Md./Academy of the Holy Cross) was the first member of this class to commit to the Wolverines and ranks at No. 98 on the ASGR list. She was an honorable mention All-Washington Catholic Athletic Conference pick as a junior and averaged nearly eight points a game. She scored a season-best 15 points in her team's 71-64 win over Archbishop Carroll and 13 points twice in wins over Good Counsel and Bishop Ireton. Dunston plays AAU for the Maryland Lady Terps and was named to the all-tournament first team at this year's Deep South Classic. Dunston is a three-star recruit, according to HoopGurlz.

"Jillian is such a great asset for our program because she can play multiple positions," Barnes-Arico said. "I have seen her be able to get a rebound and go coast-to-coast and make a great play or finish the play herself. She has a great handle but also has the ability to post you up. She can shoot the three effectively as well. She is a big, strong guard who can play with her back to basket or from outside the three-point arc. She can do multiple things, can rebound well and plays incredibly hard."

Emoni Jackson F 6-1 Pasadena, Calif. (Long Beach Polytechnic)

Emoni Jackson (Pasadena, Calif./Long Beach Polytechnic) comes in at No. 85 on the ASGR list and is a three-star recruit. As a sophomore, she averaged 16.8 points, 12.4 rebounds, 2.4 steals and 1.5 assists per game at Muir High School. She missed her junior season with an injury and will finish up her high school career at Long Beach Poly this season before coming to Ann Arbor next summer. Jackson plays AAU for the Cal Sparks, at one time teaming up with current Wolverine freshman Siera Thompson (Gardena, Calif./Serra).

"Emoni is one of the best athletes I have ever seen," Barnes Arico said. "She can jump out of the gym; she can grab rim. She has a knack for the ball and has a great motor. She runs in transition and is exceptionally long as well. She will be able to help us on the defensive end, as well as run the court and finish in transition. Her ability to rebound the basketball will be invaluable to our team."

Maria Backman G/F 6-1 Bronx, N.Y. (Cardinal Spellman)

Maria Backman (Bronx, N.Y./Cardinal Spellman) averaged 26.3 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks a game as a junior to lead her Cardinal Spellman team to its first-ever CHSAA Class A state final appearance. For her efforts as a junior, she was named the Player of the Year by the New York Daily News. She plays AAU for New Heights and was tabbed at No. 117 in the ASGR rankings. As a sophomore, she was named to the New York Post's All-Bronx team and is also a three-star recruit.

"Maria has tremendous length and that will really help us extend our defense," Barnes Arico said. "Her length and quickness will give us the ability to play aggressive, pressure defense. She is also a 6-1 wing who can shoot the three-ball exceptionally well. She runs the floor like a deer and can score in transition. Her ability to play effectively on both sides of the ball will really help us be a more versatile team."

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