CWU women’s basketball finds new recruits

Head coach talks about future of CWU women’s basketball

Jared Galanti, Sports Editor

With COVID-19 still being a concern throughout the world, colleges have had to get creative with their recruiting.

For some colleges this could be a concern, but it seems that CWU hasn’t been hindered because of it. Over the last couple of months, CWU women’s basketball has quietly had a sneaky good recruiting class. 

Head coach Randi Richardson-Thornley said last year’s recruiting cycle was a little bit back to the status quo in terms of finding talent.

“This last year was more normal because we were able to get out, we were at a point where in the summer tournaments were happening and coaches were able to travel,” Richardson-Thornley said. “So we were able to see all these players play in person, which was great.” 

Richardson-Thornely said that while the number of recruits has stayed consistent with years past, the talent pool they looked through grew this year. This is due to bigger Division I schools having players stay at their programs because they have an extra year of eligibility due to COVID-19.

“It actually probably opened up our pool for more recruits in terms of the talent pool, because what ended up happening is at the division one schools a lot of those seniors decided to take that additional year [of eligibility],”  Richardson-Thornely said. “Which means those scholarships weren’t being opened up at the division one level, which therefore meant division one schools were signing less players this last year.”

CWU has signed three players to scholarships to join the women’s basketball team. Here is a breakdown of each given by coach Richardson-Thornely:

Ashley Schow

“She’s a 6-foot-2-inch forward out of Tenino High School. She is very skilled, she has perimeter skills, she has the ability to play with her back to the basket, she can shoot the three. She is gonna fit in very, very well into our system and I’m very excited about her. She is very competitive, a great student, great teammate and a great leader.” 

Asher Cai

“She is a 5-foot-9-inch scoring guard out of Colfax, Washington. She has an elite ability to shoot the ball from behind the arch. She has great handles and great change of pace with the ball in her hands. Has the ability to create her own shot. She is super talented. She is a gym rat. She is always going to her high school or the park to get some shots up. So she loves the game. Really excited about her having that guard with that ability to score the basketball, and having the size to defend and rebound on the defensive side.” 

Riley Johnson

“She is a 5-foot-9-inch guard and comes from a great program at Cashmere High School. She has a very elite knowledge of the game and the ability to understand. She is a very smart player. She can really shoot it, a great defender because of her ability to think through the game. She has CWU ties as well; her mom and dad both attended CWU. She’s excited to come in and carry on the family tradition of Wildcats.”