November 10, 2010

BU Women's Basketball Signs Four Local Players

BETH COUTURE INTERVIEW

INDIANAPOLIS – The Butler women's basketball program has added four local standouts during the early signing period. Hannah Douglas, Haley Howard, Jessika Lark and Amanda Raker have signed National Letters of Intent and will join the Bulldogs in the fall of 2011.

"We're very excited about this group," head coach Beth Couture said. "We are losing five great seniors after this season, and I feel like this group will keep us from having to rebuild. We can reload with this group and the players we already have. These four players bring a lot to our team both offensively and defensively."

Douglas is a 5-9 guard who averaged 13.0 points and 4.5 rebounds a game last year at Pendleton Heights High School. She was named Anderson Herald Bulletin Player of the Year last season after sharing the honor with a teammate in 2009. The 5-9 guard was an Indiana Junior All-Star last spring and was recently named one of the top seniors in the greater Indianapolis area by the Indy Star.

"Hannah is a great perimeter player. She is athletic and has a great jumpshot," Couture said. "What she does that I really like is she plays defense. And sometimes that is tough to see at the high school level. Another thing she can do is drive to the basket. We feel that with her strengths on the perimeter, she'll be able to help us."

Howard is a 6-0 wing player who averaged 14.7 points and 5.7 rebounds last season while shooting 50 percent from the floor and 83 percent at the free throw line for Whiteland High School.  She was an Indiana Junior All-Star last year while being named first team all-conference and all-county. She was also on the state's Top 100 list. Howard has been an All-Johnson County honoree in each of her three seasons and All-Mid State Conference during the past two years. Her high school coach at Whiteland is Bill Hogue.

"Haley is an aggressive player. The best thing about Haley is that she is an emotional player," Couture said. "She is very excited about being at Butler and being a part of our program. She is a 6-footer who can really score, and we've seen her get better every year."

Lark is an athletic forward attending Pendleton Heights this year after transferring from Anderson Highland High School. She averaged 18.1 points and 4.7 rebounds a game last year at Highland. She was first team all-area and all-conference last year and was AHHS's team MVP each of the past two seasons. Off the court, she was been honored by the Character Counts Program. Coach Couture says the 5-9 Lark is a well-coached player whose game resembles that of current Bulldog senior Chloe Hamilton.

"We're very excited about having Jessika, as we are Hannah, because of the coaching they receive over at Pendleton Heights with Shari Doud," Couture said. "Jessika is an athletic player who is relentless on the boards and she can run the floor. We feel like we can get her out in our break gong to the basket."

Raker is a 6-0 forward from Perry Meridian High School on Indy's south side.  She averaged 13.0 points and 7.5 rebounds during her junior season, capturing all-county and all-conference honors. Raker, who played in the Indiana Junior All-Star Classic, has been a three-year starter for the Falcons for coach Mike Armstrong. She led her AAU team, Indiana Explosion, to a title at one of the nation's top summer events, the Deep South Tournament at the University of North Carolina. Her AAU team was coached by Lee Larkins. Raker is also a volleyball standout, having been named IVCA All-State this fall. Academically, she's in the top 11 percent of her class and is on the A Honor Roll at Perry Meridian. Her father, Gary Raker, played men's basketball at Butler from 1978-80.

"Amanda is an athletic player who has unbelievable potential," Couture said. "She could've been recruited in volleyball, but she chose basketball. We're excited  about Amanda coming in and helping us at the post position."

The Bulldogs open the 2010-11 season at Bradley Saturday, Nov. 13 at 3 p.m. ET. Butler has won 20 games in each of the last three seasons and has made the WNIT in each of the last two years.

2010 Butler Early Period Signees

Hannah Douglas G 5-9 Pendleton, Ind./Pendleton Heights
Haley Howard G/F 6-0 Greenwood, Ind./Whiteland
Jessika Lark F 5-9 Anderson, Ind./Pendleton Heights
Amanda Raker F 6-0 Indianapolis, Ind./Perry Meridian