Nov. 20, 2013
OXFORD, Miss. – Head women’s basketball coach Matt Insell announced the signing of a trio of talented players on Wednesday (Nov. 20). Shandricka Sessom (Byhalia, Miss.), A’Queen Hayes (Horn Lake, Miss.) and Toree Thompson (Broken Arrow, Okla.) each signed national letters of intent and will join the Ole Miss women’s basketball family for the 2014-15 season.
“This is a great day for Ole Miss women’s basketball,” said head coach Matt Insell. “The signing of these outstanding student-athletes who made the decision to come and play at Ole Miss makes this a great day for our program. I’d like to complement our staff for the hard work that they put in to make sure that these three ladies came to Ole Miss. These are three explosive athletes that bring things to the table that we need on the perimeter, which is an area that we’re trying to grow our team in. These three players are going to have a direct impact on our future success here at Ole Miss and there is no doubt in my mind that we took a major step forward with the signing of these three ladies.”
Sessom comes to Ole Miss from Byhalia High School in Byhalia, Miss. The 5-10 guard is a three-star recruit with a 90 Scouts grade from ESPN and ranks as the No. 18 guard in her class. Sessom averaged 21 points and 12 rebounds last season, to go with five assists and four steals. Sessom also participated in Mississippi Association of Coaches North-South All-Star game last summer, playing for the North team. Sessom, a candidate for Mississippi’s Miss Basketball and the Max Preps Regional Player of the Year last season, also competed in track at Byhalia. Sessom, District Co-Most Valuable Player in 2013-13, is a Clarion-Ledger Dandy Dozen selection and ranks as the No. 6 player in the state according to the Mississippi Girls Basketball Report.
“Shandricka Sessom is a player from the state of Mississippi that is an unbelievable athlete,” said Insell. “She’s a player that I’ve been recruiting for a long time and I’ve known for a long time. Her athleticism and ability to get to the rim, along with her explosiveness on the perimeter, bring something to the table that we don’t have right now. She’s a player that can get to the rim and make plays with the ball in her hand. Defensively, she’s a game-changer. She can guard the 1-5 positions, and has great size and speed. She can do things in the open court that we need. She’s a perfect fit for our system in being able to play an up-tempo style, and doing things in the open court defensively. That’s something that really excites me about her. I expect an unbelievable career from her. Her game reminds me a lot of former Rebel great Armintie Price and I’m hoping she has that same type of effect on our program. “
What They Are Saying About Sessom
“Sessom will provide Ole Miss with an athletic option on the wing. Sessom’s play on the club circuit this summer showed that she can compete nightly in the SEC”
-Brandon Clay (ProspectsNation.com)
South Reporter Article on Sessom
Hayes is also from the Magnolia State and plays her prep ball at Horn Lake High School, in Horn Lake, Miss. The 5-8 guard led her high school squad to a 27-6 record, including a 5-1 league mark in 2012-13. Hayes averaged 13.2 points per game and 4.9 rebounds per game as a junior, while dishing out 2.2 assists and grabbing 2.3 steals. Hayes led her prep squad to the Mississippi Class 6A state semifinals and was an all-state honorable mention selection. Hayes, like Sessom, is also a 2013-14 Clarion-Ledger Dandy Dozen selection and is the 13th ranked player in Mississippi according to the Mississippi Girls Basketball Report.
“A’Queen Hayes is another player from the state of Mississippi,” said Insell. “She is a player that has had a lot of success in high school. She brings good size to the perimeter, same as Shandricka (Sessom) does. She’s another great athlete that has scoring ability. She can shoot the three, she can get to the rim and she has a great mid-range game. She’s an incredible offensive player, but she also brings athleticism defensively and can guard the 1-4 positions. She can play in an up-tempo style on the perimeter and I’m excited about her joining us. She’s a player that has been successful her entire high school career and I’m excited about having her on our roster.”
Desoto Times Article on Hayes
Thompson comes to Ole Miss from Oklahoma, where she plays her high school basketball at Broken Arrow High School. The 5-8 guard is ranked No. 108 in the Premier Basketball Report Class of 2014 national rankings and is also No. 123 in the 2014 Elite 150 national rankings. As a junior, Thompson averaged 20.9 points per game and pulled down 6.0 rebounds per game, while dishing out 2.5 assists. Her 20.9 points per game led all Oklahoma Class 6A scorers. Thompson earned All-VYPE Eastern OK (Tulsa) Large Basketball second-team honors for leading her squad to the state tournament for the first time since 2002.
“Toree Thompson comes to us from Oklahoma and she’s a player that I’ve been recruiting for a long time. She’s one of the top guard prospects in the country when it comes to point guards and combo guards. She can score the ball in many different ways, and is an incredible offensive player. She brings immediate help to us as the point guard position, where we’re losing a very talented player in Valencia McFarland. She’s someone that we’re very excited about joining our program. She’s a left-handed guard that can do some things offensively, but she can get up and guard on the defensive end. She can also do some things in the open court, creating plays for herself and her teammates.”
What They Are Saying About Thompson
“Toree Thompson had her “coming out” party at the prestigious Elite Basketball Academy Super 64 Camp in June. She ascended into the ProspectsNation.com Elite 150 as a result. A left-handed point guard, Thompson plays with both poise and pace. Look for Ole Miss to get quality minutes from her nightly when she arrives in Oxford.”
-Brandon Clay (ProspectsNation.com)
Tulsa World Article on Thompson
For women’s basketball ticket information, go to OleMissTix.com or call the Ole Miss Ticket Office at 1-888-REB-TKTS (732-8587.). Ole Miss is back on the court on Friday Nov. 22 when they begin a three-game homestand against Southeastern Louisiana. Tipoff is set for 5 p.m. and is the first game of a doubleheader with the men’s team.
For all Ole Miss women’s basketball news and information, go to OleMissSports.com, and follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissWBB, Facebook at Ole Miss WBB and on Instagram at Ole Miss_WBB. Fans can also follow Ole Miss women’s basketball head coach Matt Insell on Twitter at @minsell