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UM Women's Basketball Inks Three in Early Signing Period

The Ole Miss women’s basketball team welcomed three members to its family on Wednesday as Victoria “Torri” Lewis of Olive Branch, Madinah Muhammad of Chicago, Illinois, and Jonell Williams of Palatka, Florida, singed National Letters of Intent to join the program for the 2015-16 season. Ole Miss’ class ranks 27th nationally according to Prospects Nation and is fourth best in the SEC.
“What a great day for Ole Miss basketball,” said Ole Miss head coach Matt Insell. “I’m very excited to welcome such a wonderful group of young women to our program. I know we’ve added the right pieces to our growing program that will allow us to continue to push towards the top of the SEC. I want to compliment my staff on its hard work because without them this day wouldn’t have happened. Our mission is to compete at the top of college basketball each year and our staff works very hard to find elite athletes that fit our system, which will allow us to accomplish our mission.
“Very seldom do things work out exactly how you plan in recruiting, but the signing of Torri, Madinah and Jonell was exactly what we hoped would have happened in this class from day one. These are three players we have been recruiting very hard since my first day on the job at Ole Miss. I’ m glad they chose to be a part of the Rebel Nation.”
Lewis comes to Ole Miss after playing seven years in the Memphis Home Education Association (MHEA), where she is an all-metro performer and has earned Homeschool first-team All-American status each of the last four years. Lewis, who plays who AAU basketball for the Tennessee Flight, is also a four time Memphis Commercial Appeal Best of the Preps selection and scored her 2000th point during the 2013-14 season. Last season, Lewis led MHEA to a 33-7 record and a runner-up spot in the national home-school tournament.
The Mississippi native has made some noise nationally and is the top rated prep player in Mississippi. Lewis checks in as the No. 22 shooting guard in her class and the 26th best shooting guard in the region. Lewis chose Ole Miss over Kansas State, Florida, Memphis and LSU.
“It is always good to keep the best player in our state at home and that we did with Torri Lewis,” said Insell. “She is a versatile offensive player that can score the basketball in many different ways as she showed all last summer playing on the Nike EYBL circuit against some of the top players in the country. She has great size for the perimeter and I see her making a big impact in our league over the next four years.
Muhammad comes to Oxford and Ole Miss from one of the top high school basketball programs in the country at Whitney Young in Chicago, Illinois. Muhammad led her prep squad to the Illinois 4A championship last season, dropping just one game all season to an in-state school, while closing the year winning 16 consecutive games en route to its third straight state title. Muhammad is known for her quickness and can scorch opponents from the arc. Muhammad is ranked No. 67 nationally according to Prospects Nation. Muhammad chose Ole Miss over LSU.
“It speaks volumes for the direction of our program to be able to go into one of the elite high school/summer programs in the country in Chicago, Illinois to sign a player with the ability of Madinah Muhammad,” said Insell. “There is not a lot that Madinah can’t do on the basketball court as a scorer. She has the ability to play multiple positions offensively and the incredible ability to defend in the same way. I have watched Madinah for four years compete at the highest level of basketball and she has proven to be one of the elite players in the country. We’re very glad to have her as an Ole Miss Rebel.”
Williams, a post player comes to Oxford from Palatka high school in Palatka, Florida. Williams, was named to the Full Court Fresh 50 Watch list after averaging better than 20 points add 10 rebounds as a junior and is listed as one of the top five players in her class in Florida. A three-time Florida 5A first team all-state selection, Williams has led Palatka to a 70-4 record entering her senior season. A three-star recruit, she is the 17th ranked forward in her class. Williams is the daughter of University of Florida running back John L Williams who spent 10 years in the NFL with the Seahawks and Steelers. Williams chose Ole Miss over Northwestern and Virginia.
“It was important for us to sign an active low post player in this recruiting class and we got exactly what we needed in Jonell Williams,” said Insell. “Coming from an athletic family, she understands what it takes for her to compete in the SEC. She brings a dimension to our team that we haven’t had in my two years here with her ability to score and defend in the paint. She brings a level of physicality that we much needed in our program as we move into the future and I expect her to be a force for us over the next four years.”
2015 Ole Miss Women’s Basketball Signing Class
Victoria Lewis – 5-8 – Guard – Olive Branch, Miss. (Home School)
Madinah Muhammad – 5-8 – Guard – Chicago, Ill. (Whitney Young HS)
Jonell Williams – 6-3- Forward/Center – Palatka, Fla. (Palatka HS)
2015 Ole Miss Class Rankings
Blue Star Report – 29th Nationally, 5th SEC
Prospects Nation – 27th Nationally, 4th SEC
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

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