Davidson Women’s Basketball Signs 5 Recruits
DAVIDSON, N.C. — Wednesday, Nov. 11, served as National Signing Day across the country and Davidson College head coach Gayle Fulks announced the signing of five incredible scholar-athletes set to join the Wildcats’ program next fall; Tomisin Adenupe, Kelby Bannerman, Keeley Evans, Mallorie Haines and Issy Morgan.
“Recruiting at Davidson is different,” Fulks emphasized. “Elite talent that can share, shoot, and stifle gets you noticed by our staff. Being “Wildcat Ready” means much more – it is ultimately your character and excellence in the classroom that makes you the perfect fit. When you choose Davidson, you know you are signing up to be challenged every single day, in an environment that is going to push you to become the best version of yourself, surrounded by peers that want to be pro’s both on and off the court. Every Wildcat has big dreams and knows this is the best place in the country to achieve them. We are very excited to welcome these players and their families into our program. All five of them are Wildcat Ready. Off the court, they are high achievers in the classroom, as well as leaders in their community. On the court, they fit our style of play perfectly, are supportive teammates, and are driven to win championships.”
MEET THE CLASS OF 2021
Adenupe is a 6-foot-1 forward from Marietta, Georgia. She has earned varsity letters from George Walton High School, where she is already a member of the 1,000-point club heading into her senior season. Averaging 16.3 points per game as a junior, Adenupe was named MVP last season and led her conference with 407 points on the year.
“Tomisin is one of the most athletic and versatile wings in the class,” Fulks said. “She has the ability to shoot from the perimeter, get downhill for rim finishes, and is electric in transition. She is going to be a big time rebounder and pesky defender that can guard multiple positions. We are beyond excited about the impact Tomisin will have on both sides of the ball.”
“Davidson is unique,” Adenupe said of her decision to join the Wildcats. “After one visit on campus, I could see that Davidson truly cares about the success and the wellbeing of their students and student-athletes. It was important for me to go somewhere where, along with playing basketball at an elite level, I could grow academically, athletically and socially. It is rare to find a college that balances all three as well as Davidson does.”
Bannerman hails from Hampshire, Illinois as a 6-foot-1 forward. Entering her fourth season as a member of Hampshire High School’s varsity basketball team, Bannerman was a Class 3A third team all-state selection and averaged 16.4 points per game and 10.8 rebounds per game as a junior.
“Kelby is a versatile, stretch forward with a long, athletic frame,” Fulks said. “She is a monster on the glass, and tough as nails on the defensive end. Offensively, she has great touch around the rim and range out to three, making her the perfect addition for us. Her physicality and toughness sets her apart from other forwards in her class, and we’re excited to see how her competitive spirit inspires the rest of her teammates.”
“I chose Davidson to become the best student-athlete and person that I can be,” Bannerman said. “Davidson College is a place with a rigorous academic program and opportunities for undergraduate research. I am so excited to build relationships with the Davidson community and join a supportive environment where I know I will be challenged and grow.”
Haines is a local product, coming out of Davidson Day School right down the road and is native to Sherrill Fords, North Carolina. Standing at 5-foot-10, Haines ranks among ESPNW’s top-100 recruits in the 2021 class and has led her high school team to two straight N.C Independent Schools State Championships.
“Mallorie is an elite shooter, and I’d dare say one of the best in the country,” Fulks noted. “She has a lightning-fast release with in-the-gym range. Having a constant threat on the perimeter will enhance our transition game and allow us to have great spacing in our half-court offense. She’s truly a game-changer. We are thrilled to add another competitive guard that plays with great enthusiasm and joy for the game.”
“I love the fast paced and hard working mentality that the team has at Davidson,” Haines said. “There’s an amazing culture and family environment there. I’ll be able to receive an education at one of the best institutions in the country, while still playing basketball at a high level. Davidson really feels like a home away from home, and I know I’m going to be playing under the best coaching staff in the game, who truly want the best for me and my teammates.”
Evans is one of two international recruits in Fulks’ 2021 signing class, coming to Davidson from Melbourne, Australia. At 6-foot-3, Evans is an experienced athlete, playing in the 2019 FIBA U17 Women’s Oceania Championship and being named to the Under-18 Women’s Victoria Metro Team.
“Keeley is a post player with tremendous length and mobility for her position,” Fulks said. “She has a natural feel as a rebounder at both ends and has a great touch and balance around the rim. We are excited by the development Keeley has shown in adding versatility to her offensive skill set on the perimeter, and we believe she is a player that has a high ceiling in our program and will thrive in this environment.”
“Davidson allows me to achieve my dream of playing college basketball, and getting a degree from a highly regarded academic institution,” Evans said. “The close community of Davidson will provide me the opportunity to form strong relationships, as well as excel academically and as an overall person. Coach Gayle and her staff have established a style of play and team culture that will develop my game alongside amazing teammates.”
As a 5-foot-10 guard, Morgan is a Sydney, Australia native who has competed on the national stage for the Under-20 Women’s Australian National Championships. She was also selected as a 2019 All-Schools NSW Team honoree.
“Issy is one of the best guards out of Australia in her class,” Fulks shared. “Already with college level strength and athleticism, she has an ability to play both guard positions within our system. A three-level scorer, Issy is a dynamic finisher with both hands, and has great range. Her ability to create for herself and others will be a great addition to this class. Issy is also a lockdown defender. Her experience against older players will have her well prepared for the college game.”
“A huge part of my decision to attend Davidson was the coaching staff and style of play,” Morgan admitted. “This team loves to move the ball quickly up the court and is very similar to the Aussie playing style. After getting to know the coaching staff better, I was confident that they would be able to bring the best out of me and the team. When watching the team play, it is evident how in sync and together they are. Davidson also allows me to receive an incredibly high-quality education, that will push and challenge me both mentally and physically.”
The Wildcats are back on the court, Friday, Nov. 27 when they open up the 2020-21 season at the Gulf Coast Showcase’s #BeachBubbble in Fort Myers, Fla.