Daugherty hot on the recruiting trail

JASMINE WILLIAMS

NEW COUGAR WOMEN'S basketball coach June Daugherty has hardly had time to unpack since coming east of the mountains. In addition to filling out her staff, she's been hot on the recruiting trail, looking to fill three roster spots for the upcoming season. While late in the proverbial game, word out of Pullman is that Daugherty believes some outstanding talent is still available.

The ultimate prize, of course, is Katelan Redmon, the uber-talented wing from Spokane's Lewis & Clark High who committed to the Huskies but is now requesting a release from her letter of intent because the coach she thought she signed on to to play for -- June Daugherty – was let go by UW athletic director Todd Turner.

Redmon, who received some two dozen scholarship offers, hasn't said she wants to follow Daugherty to WSU –- though that seems the clear direction.

Regardless, she is clear that she doesn't want to play at UW now that they've chnaged staffs.

Turner, however, is taking the low road. He won't grant the release. As Jim Moore of the Seattle P-I so eloquently noted in a May 10 column, he's decided to play hardball with the pony-tailed 18-year-old -- despite the fact it's common practice around the country to give an incoming recruit their release if they aren't comfortable with the college's coaching change.

Redmon's parents have lined up a lawyer and vowed to fight Turner, so it could be an interesting case to watch over the coming weeks.

IN LOOKING AT THE Cougars' current roster, one name stands out for those who follow the Puget Sound high school scene. Jasmine Williams, a 5-9 guard from Seattle Prep, quietly signed a letter of intent with the Cougs somewhere between Sherri Murrell's departure and Daugherty's arrival.

Williams scored more than 1,300 points in her prep career, earning first-team all-league honors this past season and second-team plaudits as both a sophomore and junior. She was the Panthers' team captain and MVP this year.

Her Cougar roots run deep. Her brother Corey Williams is a sophomore receiver for the WSU football team and cousin Brandon Gibson, also a receiver, is one of the Cougs' most dangerous offensive weapons.

Jasmine is one of two new recruits on the Cougars' 2007-08 roster. The other is Katie Calderwood, a 6-foot All-State forward from Broomfield, Colo., who committed to the Cougs last fall.

Daugherty has room to fill out the roster because of graduation losses (Kate Benz and Adriane Ferguson), transfers (Amanda Durocher and Dani Montgomery) and one unexpected departure (Nakejia Kelly late last fall).

DAUGHERTY'S STAFF includes her longtime right-hand man, husband Mike Daugherty; former Montana Tech head coach Brian Holsinger; and former Pullman High and Whitworth College star Kate Werner, who was on Daugherty's staff at Washington from 2003-07. Werner, who will be director of basketball operation, is the daughter of Mike Werner, who played for the Cougs under Marv Harshman in the 1960s. Daugherty is expected to announce the third and final member of her coaching staff any day now.

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