Kansas Lands Two Additions in Early Signing Period

Nov. 16, 2011

Fall Signing Day 2011
Women’s Basketball Signees
Name Pos. Hometown
Lamaria Cole G Bryan, Texas
Markisha Hawkins G Little Rock, Ark.

LAWRENCE, Kan. – A pair of standout guards have signed National Letters of Intent to join the University of Kansas women’s basketball team beginning in the 2012-13 academic year as head coach Bonnie Henrickson announced the signing of Lamaria Cole and Markisha Hawkins Wednesday afternoon.

“I think both have an opportunity to be contributors right away in their first year here at Kansas,” Henrickson said of Cole and Hawkins. “I think from a maturation and experience standpoint and who they will get to play with, in addition to the quality post players in our program, it’s a great situation for them and for us.”

Ranked No. 24 among 2012 guards, Cole has been a starter at Rudder High School in Bryan, Texas for the past three seasons averaging more than 14 points and five steals per game in that span. As a junior in 2010-11, the 5-foot-9 guard was named district MVP after putting up 14.5 points, 5.2 steals and 4.6 assists per game. She was also named to the All-Brazos Valley First Team for the second-straight season. In her sophomore year, Cole led her team to a 30-7 overall record in just the second year of Rudder’s women’s basketball existence. She scored 12.6 points per game to go along with 6.6 assists and 6.1 steals per outing as she earned district offensive MVP honors.

It is no secret that Henrickson would like her team to improve on the defensive side of the ball and she believes Cole, who played for the same AAU team- Houston Elite under coach Howard Randle- as current junior Carolyn Davis, is the type of player who can help with that aspect.

“Lamaria has a passion on the defensive end. As we’ve put pieces together and identified where we’ve got to improve here, it’s on the defensive end and she brings a lot of toughness and a lot of pride on that end of the floor,” Henrickson said.

“And then on the offensive end, she brings a lot of speed and quickness with the ball in her hands. She can really play at a high speed with a ball in her hands, but still is able to make good decisions and get her team in transition. Offensively she can create; she is an unselfish kid that makes the extra pass.”

Hawkins is currently in her second season for coach Trenia Tillis-Jones at nationally-ranked Tyler Junior College in Tyler, Texas. The Little Rock, Ark., native had a successful freshman year earning All-America Honorable Mention Honors with the Apache after averaging 17.8 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. Before Tyler JC, Hawkins was a standout at North Little Rock High School where she earned all-state accolades twice. During her senior season in 2009-10, the 5-foot-9 guard guided the Charging Wildcats to a perfect 31-0 season capped by a state title. Hawkins was named North Little Rock’s Female Player of the Year and was a McDonald’s All-American Game nominee.

While Henrickson lauds Hawkins’ work on defense, praising her job on the glass, the Jayhawks’ head coach definitely sees Hawkins as a scoring threat for Kansas.

“She’s an offensive-minded kid who shoots the ball really well. She reminds me a lot of Monica Engelman in her ability to shoot the ball,” said Henrickson. “She is a pull-up jump shooter, but can put it on the floor. Offensively, Markisha is really skilled. She attacks the basket and can do a lot of things off the dribble.”