NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Head coach Larry Inman sports two three-star athletes and a two-star post player for his Lady Tigers' 2018 class. Tia Wooten (Memphis), Michelle Cox (Denver, Colo.) and Samantha Palma (Dayton, Ohio) will add to the future of TSU women’s basketball.
“This is another piece to the puzzle,” said coach Inman. “We have added more depth to some positions and it allows us an opportunity to grow as a program.”
Wooten has been a big part of Memphis Central High School success. She has guided MCHS to three consecutive Tennessee State Championships, including the title as a freshman in 2011. Wooten has been given an 85 scout grade and is a three-star athlete who has been ranked 72nd in the country at her position. The 5-11 wing/post player played her AAU ball for the Memphis Elite and is currently with the Memphis Elite.
“Tia could be regarded as the Memphis player of the year,” Inman said. “She is a great athlete and a great player. We are very fortunate to get her. She is coming off an injury, but they are expecting great things out of her this year. And we expect great things in her four years at TSU.”
Cox is a three-star athlete with an 83 scout grade who is ranked 99th at the point guard position. Cox guided Denver East High School to a 20-5 record and a perfect 8-0 conference record as she averaged 9.0 points per game and 5.7 assists. The 5-8 guard tallied 18 points with six assists and eight rebounds in the Colorado State Tournament’s round of 32. Denver East was eliminated in the sweet-16 as Cox scored nine points with six assists and three rebounds. She will complete her high school career at Highlands Ranch High School.
“Michelle is a true point guard and will give us a little more size at the point,” Inman said. “Despite being a bigger guard, she is still extremely quick. If you look at her accolades as a player, she’s one of the most outstanding players in that part of the country. She is a good shooter, passer and an excellent student. She brings a lot of promise to our program.”
Palma is the 58th ranked post and a 78 scout grade. The two-star athlete plays for Wayne High School, as well as the Dayton Lady Hoopsters. Palma’s competed in 22 games, starting in 15, as a sophomore at WHS and averaged 4.1 points per game, 5.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks. Her top performance came against Sydney High School as she recorded her first double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds, while swatting away five attempts. Palma’s numbers increased during her junior campaign averaging 11.7 points, 9.1 rebounds and 3.3 blocks per game. The 6-2 post player registered seven double-doubles and highlighted her season with a 24 point, 15 assist and eight block performance in December of 2012.
“Sam is a 6-2 post player who can run and jump,” said Inman. “She can even handle the ball for someone her size. She is an outstanding who fits our needs. We need help in the post area and she brings all the tools needed.”
Inman’s second signing class will join his first class of seven for the 2014-15 season. The two groups are part of the vision of creating an Ohio Valley Conference Championship contender.
“The problem is, we will still be young,” Inman commented. “It will take a little time and some development to get where we want to go.”