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SHAYA KELLOGG, F, 6’2, AMES, IOWA:
For the second straight year the Oklahoma Women’s Basketball team has gone into enemy territory and come out with the best prep player in the state of Iowa. A year ago it was guard Maddie Manning (6’0) of Ankeny, Iowa and just this week it is forward Shaya Kellogg of Ames High who got an offer from OU and committed to her dream school.
“I have been playing against Maddie for a long time and she is a great player,” said Kellogg. “I came to their camp this June and it was nice having Maddie there, because we were around the team a lot, and having her there made me more comfortable with the team. I just loved everything about the campus and the people there, because it was like a family. I didn’t get offered following the camp so I wasn’t sure what to think, but I liked Oklahoma. Then I got offered on Monday and so I left the camp thinking I wanted to go to Oklahoma, but since they didn’t offer me until this week I had to wait until they offered.
“Coach (Sherri) Coale told me that she saw some intangibles in me that she liked. She wanted to see me play live and she watched me the first part of July and that gave her a chance to see an expanded version of the intangibles that she saw in the camp. She liked how I communicated on the court and she was able to see what she needed to see so she offered me on Monday. I went to that camp hoping to get a scholarship from OU and I am very happy it worked out for me.”
Kellogg earned all-state honors a year ago in leading Ames High to the Class 4A state tournament averaging 12.1 points and seven rebounds per game.
“On my high school team I play the ‘5’ position but on my summer team I play the wing or I play the ‘3’ or ‘4’,” said Kellogg. “I have been used to playing with my back to the basket because I was always a foot taller than everybody that I played against when I was young. Now I am able to play on the perimeter and that is a part of my game that I have developed. I can shoot the ‘three’ and I can drive, but I can still score with my back to the basket.
A year ago Kellogg improved enough on her outside shooting to make 18 3-pointers.
“Our team is really ‘3’ oriented,” said Kellogg. “Sometimes when we can get a ‘3’ up we might take a ‘3’ over a lay-up. That is pretty much what I have gotten used to and that is if I have an open ‘3’ then I am going to take it. I made 18 out of 31 this year so I shot a pretty good percentage from 3-point range.”
Kellogg picked OU over K-State, Oklahoma State, Iowa State and Iowa.
“Everybody is real happy for me,” said Kellogg. “All my family and friends know that Oklahoma was where I wanted to go and they are real happy for me that I reached my goal.
“It feels great to be an Oklahoma Sooner. I haven’t really thought about my future much until yesterday when that offer came in I started looking at myself in the future. I am so happy to be an Oklahoma Sooner.
Kellogg is a very talented player that can score from anywhere on the court. She has great shooting range and is an excellent 3-point shooter, but has the skills to drive past a defender. Currently she is not a shot blocker, but he has the length and the skills to become a pretty good shot blocker at the next level. Kellogg is on pace to qualify.
Freshman Nicole Kornet (6’1) of Lantana (Liberty Christian), Texas and Manning (6’0) have made great impressions. Manning can really handle the ball and she can certainly help out at the point guard spot for the Sooners this upcoming season. Kornet has shot the ball very well thus far in Norman and that is considered her strong suit. She has great range to go along with her size and both Kornet and Manning are great competitors.
Forward Portia Durrett (6’2) of Louisville, Kentucky and Walters State has been just what the Sooners coaches thought she would be when they recruited her as she is a rugged rebounder and tough around the basket.
Junior Nicole Griffin (6’6) and Kaylon Williams (6’3) have made a vow this summer to not get pushed around in the paint this year. Both players had some very good moments a year ago, but their goal is to be much more consistent and consistently good in the post this year. They are both working very hard in the weight room this summer but minor surgery did slow Griffin down for a couple of weeks this summer. With senior Joanna McFarland healthy and junior Lyndsey Cloman coming off ACL surgery the Sooners will be much better in the post this year with five players they can rotate in, and with KK and McFarland blessed with the ability to play three different positions.
Junior point guard Morgan Hook (5’10) and shooting guard Aaryn Ellenberg (5’7) are both working on their ball handling and senior Jasmine Hartman (5’10) coming off ACL-surgery will be the Sooners best perimeter defender. Ellenberg has the potential be a 20-point per game scorer this year and Hook will only get better as an all-around scoring point guard. Throw in senior Whitney Hand-Jones (6’1), the Sooners heart and sole of the team and best all-around player, and talented sophomore Sharane Campbell (5’10) along the two rookies on the wings and OU will have a talented mix and youth and veterans that will have a chance to be a top ten team this year.
Coach Coale and the Sooner staff will get an early start putting this team together as they get to gather the team together in early August for practice as OU will play a series of exhibition games in Australia later this month.
This post has been edited 6 times, most recently by Dave Hunt on 7/22/2012 at 7:10 AM
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