Kansas State women’s basketball coach Deb Patterson announced the signing of three players to National Letters of Intent (NLI) during the early signing period on Thursday.
The new additions to K-State’s 2014-15 class include forward McKenna Treece and guards Shaelyn Martin and Lauren Mertz. All three players check in at 6 feet or taller.
“I’m extremely excited about the diverse dimensions that this early signing class brings to our program,” Patterson said. “Each of these young ladies are respected in their home communities for their strong personal character, their work ethic and their commitment to being excellent students.
“This group is characterized by the high expectations they place on themselves individually in their personal character decisions, and as high performing students and players. Many of the expectations you work to instill in young freshmen, this group has demonstrated they already possess in and for themselves. ”
Treece is a 6-3 forward from St. Peters, Mo., who currently plays at Incarnate Word Academy in St. Louis which was ranked No. 5 in the preseason Sporting News 2013-14 Girls Top-25. She helped the Red Knights to an unbeaten 31-0 record in 2012-13 and the Missouri State title, while averaging 7.6 points and six rebounds per game off the bench. In the 2012-13 season, Treece earned MWAA White All-Conference Team honors.
“McKenna Treece is a strong, physical presence in the post with a solid foundation of fundamental post moves and great hands,” Patterson said. “She runs hard and is a terrific post passer, and has range to the 3-point line.”
Martin is a 6-0 guard from Salina, who enters her senior season at Salina Central High. Martin is a three-time All-AVCTL First-Team selection and a three-time All-Saline County First-Team selection. Martin helped the Mustangs to a 2012 state berth and has garnered All-State honors three straight seasons.
Last season, Martin tallied 11.3 points, 9.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 3.5 steals and 1.5 blocks per game. As a sophomore, Martin recorded 11.7 points, 9.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 3.7 steals and 1.2 blocks a game. She enters her final campaign at Salina Central ranked third in school history for career points, first for total rebounds, first in assists, first in steals and second in blocks.
“Shaelyn Martin is an extremely athletic, agile, versatile wing player who is unlike anyone we have had in our gym for quite some time,” Patterson said. “Shaelyn has quick hands and feet defensively. She has a slicing penetration and finish game, a mid-range jump shot and 3-point range.”
Mertz is a 6-0 guard from Overland Park, who attends Blue Valley Northwest. Mertz is garnered 2011 honorable mention All-Eastern Kansas League honors, while helping the Huskies to a substate title. She committed to K-State before her sophomore season, but has battled through knee injuries the last two seasonsand will look to get back on track her senior year.
“Lauren Mertz brings a combination of strength, toughness and the versatility to play an inside-outside game,” Patterson said. “She plays every possession hard, and brings a strong competitiveness to rebounding the ball. She has attacked rehabilitation of her knee injuries with equal resolve and toughness.
“I have every confidence she will be ready to compete at 100 percent in June when she arrives on campus.”