Zias coach pleased with recruiting season

Staff report

If all goes according to plan, the Eastern New Mexico University women’s team appears to have most of its core set up for the next two seasons.

So far this offseason, coach Josh Prock has added six new players to the fold for his second season.

“We still may possibly sign one more kid,” Prock said Wednesday, “but we are for the most part finished. We like the class we’ve put together for sure.”

The most recent of the half-dozen signings came Friday, when ENMU added junior college transfer guard Shayla Williams. Other junior college transfers include:

• Howard College guard and Fort Sumner native Sarah Stinnett

• San Joaquin Delta (California) post Teylor McMiller and

• Otero College post and Gallup native Brittany Gutierrez.

Eastern also signed high school guards Dominique Carpenter from Cibola and Marissa Manzanares from Alamosa, Colorado.

“We wanted to address our needs, and our biggest needs were our post position and our guard position,” Prock said. “We felt we met those needs. We’re excited about the kids we’ve got coming in.”

Not returning for the 2014-15 campaign are guards Lakeeyscia Griffin, Amber Williford and Clovis’ Ashlee Pierson and forwards Neisha Peterson, Rodnishua MIlum and Breanna Conway. All were juniors except for Peterson, a sophomore.

Prock said to his knowledge, none were planning to play basketball at other universities.

Griffin started all 26 games for the Zias last season, averaging 6.0 points and a team-high 4.1 assists. Peterson started one game in the place of Jasmine Johnson, and averaged 8.3 points and 4.4 rebounds.

The player moves leave the Zias with two incoming seniors — Floyd’s Tori Tucker, who led the Zias in points (11.9) and rebounds (6.9) and Johnson, second in each category (10.0 and 5.6, respectively). The remainder of the roster includes seven juniors, including Melrose guard Cassie Doherty and Texico twins Jordyn and Jaylyn Cooper, Cara Barnard of Melrose as the lone sophomore and the two incoming freshman.

“We like the core that’s back, no doubt about it,” Prock said. “We feel like we added to it.”

Prock said if the Zias sign another player, the approach is “best player available” instead of trying to fill a specific position.

The Zias went 6-20 last season with a 4-12 mark in the Lone Star Conference, and were knocked out of contention for the eight-team postseason tournament on the final weekend of the regular season.