Nov. 12, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame head women's basketball coach Muffet McGraw announced Wednesday that Kaila Turner (first name pronounced KAY-luh), a 5-8 guard from Joliet, Ill., and a student-athlete at Marian Catholic High School, has chosen to continue her academic and athletic career with the Irish, signing a National Letter of Intent to attend Notre Dame beginning in the fall of 2009. Turner made her official commitment to Notre Dame during the early signing period, which also began Wednesday.
A speedy, athletic player who can fill either guard position, Turner is ranked among the top 20 players at her position by all major recruiting services and is among the top 100 players in the nation overall.
"We are thrilled that Kaila has decided to come to Notre Dame and join our program next fall," McGraw said. "More than anything else, she's going to bring more speed and explosiveness to our backcourt, which will be an important addition for us on the defensive end. She also handles the ball very well, makes good decisions on offense and has a really nice outside shot that extends to the three-point line. We look forward to Kaila's arrival on our campus next year."
Ranked 16th in the preseason Associated Press poll and 14th in the preseason ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll, Notre Dame will open its 2008-09 season Sunday when it travels to Baton Rouge, La., to take on No. 24/22 LSU in the 16th annual State Farm Tip-Off Classic. Tip time from the Pete Maravich Assembly Center is set for 1:30 p.m. CT (2:30 p.m. ET in South Bend), and the game will be broadcast live to a national television audience on ESPN2.
A capsule look at the newest addition to the Notre Dame women's basketball program follows:
KAILA TURNER (KAY-luh), 5-8, Guard (Joliet, Ill./Marian Catholic High School)
Statistics/Records: Three-year starter at Marian Catholic High School (combined record of 75-20, .789) in Chicago Heights, Ill., where she is coached by Annie Basic ... career averages of 10.0 ppg., 3.2 apg., 2.5 rpg., with .343 3FG% (81-236) ... averaged 13.4 ppg., 4.2 apg. and 3.7 spg., last season for 23-6 Spartans team that earned a spot in the Illinois Class 4A sectional final (two-point loss prevented team from making third consecutive trip to Illinois state tournament [top 16 teams]; Turner had game-high 13 points in contest) ... averaged 9.1 ppg. and team-high 3.3 apg., as a sophomore in 2006-07, helping MCHS to a 29-4 record and third-place finish in the state in Class AA (lost in state semifinals to eventual champion Fenwick, led by current Irish sophomore forward Devereaux Peters; came back to win third-place game in overtime) ... during freshman season (2005-06), she averaged 7.6 ppg., with .435 3FG% (30-69), and was part of Marian Catholic squad that reached Class AA state quarterfinals before ending up with a 23-10 record ... played AAU ball for Illinois Wolverines 16U Black, where she was coached by Ron Newquist ... team advanced to "Sweet 16" of '08 AAU Junior Girls National Championship (formerly 16U Nationals) before losing to eventual champion.
Awards/Honors: Second-team Illinois Basketball Coaches Association (IBCA) all-state (2008) ... Times of Northwest Indiana Illinois Player of the Year (2008) ... two-time first-team all-area selection by Times of Northwest Indiana, Illinois Times and Daily Southtown (2007, 2008) ... two-time all-East Suburban Catholic Conference choice (2007, 2008) ... Most Valuable Player of Maine West Tournament (2007) ... ranked 82nd in the country by Blue Star Basketball and All-Star Girls Report.
Personal Data: Born Sept. 5, 1990 ... daughter of Pat Autman and Danny Turner.
Dan Olson Collegiate Girls Basketball Report on Turner...
"Explosively quick lead-guard ... handles, penetrates, efficiently gets to rim ... difficult to contain ... range to the arc ... elevates on jumper ... solid floor game."
All-Star Girls Report on Turner...
"Very athletic ... slasher ... stop pop ... shoots 3 ... pull up J ... step back J ... good leader ... great passer."