Kent State’s 2018 recruiting class looks as if it could be the best in school history.
KSU added three players — a freshman post player and two junior college transfers — in the late signing period earlier this month. I’ll wrap that up in the next post. But the five who signed letters of intent in November will be the core of the Class of 2022.
I wrote the coaches of the five players or sportswriters who covered them. Here’s what I learned:
5-10 guard-forward from Brookville High School, outside Lynchburg in south central Virginia
Young finished her career with 1,998 points in an overtime loss in the state quarterfinals. She was first team all-state in Virginia Class 3 for the third year in a row, Class 3 player of the year as a junior and second-team all-state as a freshman. Her teams went 97-12 over four years.
As a senior, she averaged 19.5 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 3.5 steals and 1.3 blocks on a team that went 24-4.
As a junior, Young averaged 19.8 points and 7.9 rebounds as state player of the year in her class. Made 53 percent of her field goals and 43 percent of her three-point shots. Team went 27-2 and reached state semifinals.
As a sophomore, she averaged 18.8 points and 7.3 rebounds on the first team in school history to make the state tournament. As a freshman, she averaged 17 points a game on 21-1 team.
From Ben Cates, who covered her as a sportswriter for the News & Advance in Lynchburg:
“Hannah can post up inside, drive through the lane for high-percentage shots or drain shots from beyond the arc. A fierce competitor who cares for her teammates, she has always displayed a high degree of sportsmanship.
“Not only will Hannah go down as one of the most talented athletes in her school’s history, she will be remembered for her kind spirit and ability to lead effectively while serving as a role model for young students and athletes.”
5-3 point guard, Archbishop Williams High School, Braintree, Massachusetts (outside Boston)
Dingle averaged 19 points, 4.5 assists, five rebounds and five steals per game during her senior year in leading her team to the state championship. Boston Globe player of the year in Massachusetts. Dingle shot 52 percent on two-point shots and 25 percent on three-pointers.
She scored more than 1,500 points in her career, and her team won three state championships in four years.
In her junior year, she was the only 11th grader on the Globe’s all-scholastic team and averaged 20 points, six rebounds, five assists and five steals a game.
From her coach, Matt Mahoney:
6-2 forward, Strongsville (Ohio) High School
Thall averaged 13.5 points, 7.0 rebounds. 1.6 blocks, 1.6 assists and 1.7 steals on team that went 21-5 and reached regional finals for the second time in school history. She led her team in three-point baskets (36) and three-point percentage (36.2) and overall shot 39 percent from the field. She was on Plain Dealer’s all-area first team, was third-team all-district, honorable mention all-state.
As a junior, Thall averaged 15 points, 8.3 rebounds and 3.1 blocks and once blocked 14 shots during a game. She was listed as a three-star recruit by ESPN. Her mother, Dawn, is one of the leading scorers in Strongsville basketball history.
From her coach, Jeff Eicher:
“Kent State is not only getting an outstanding basketball player but, more importantly, an outstanding individual. Besides Lindsey’s skills on the court, her positive leadership qualities were the main reason we had one of the best season’s in school history.
“She is a versatile player who can pass very well and shoot the three-point shot. Inside she is a great rebounder and has the instincts and timing to block shots. As a leader, she makes everyone feel they have an important role on the team. Lindsey is a program changer. I can’t wait to see what she accomplishes at Kent.”
5-11 guard-forward, Lakeview High School, Cortland (Ohio)
“Annie is the most deserving athlete I have ever had the privilege of coaching. Her work ethic can only be overshadowed by her willingness to be the best teammate possible.
“In her senior year, she was the sole focus of the opposing team’s defensive strategies. Annie handled that burden with great maturity and strength. Her leadership helped bring a very young core of varsity athletes into the game of basketball. Throughout this season, the team looked to Annie for everything, and she always delivered her best as an athlete and person.
Mariah “Ri” Modkins
5-foot point guard, Solon (Ohio) High School
Modkins averaged 9.6 points, 2.6 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 2.3 steals on a team that went 26-3 and lost in the state finals by four points. The Comets averaged 22.2 points more than their opponents, so, the writer who covered them said, Modkins and the other starters rarely played a lot in the fourth quarter.
Modkins played with four other senior starters, including all-stater Valencia Myers, who is bound for Florida State. So her role was definitely not as a scorer.
From Tony Lang, who covered her as sports editor of the Solon Times:
“Mariah Modkins is a kinetic guard who provides relentless effort in all facets of the game. She has the ball-handling skills to break ankles and create space for her go-to running floater, she shoots the three with confidence and her on-ball defense produces turnovers time and time again.
“She draws charges, anticipates passing lanes and simply competes at a high level from start to finish. And perhaps most notable, Modkins understands and accepts her ever-changing role. She doesn’t care about individual spotlight. She does whatever it takes to help her team win.”