University of South Carolina head women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley announced that Marah Strickland (Mt. Airy, Md./University of Maryland/Towson Catholic) has signed a financial aid agreement to attend the University of South Carolina and play basketball for the Gamecocks. Due to NCAA transfer rules, Strickland will sit out the 2009-10 season but will have two years of eligibility remaining.”Marah brings a level of experience that no one on our roster has after playing in the ACC and for a top-10 program,” Staley said. “She has the ability to play both sides of the ball and can shoot from long distance. Having her in practice this year will be invaluable to our program. She will come in and set the pace with leadership and hard work. We’re so happy that she chose the University of South Carolina to continue her career.”
In two years at the University of Maryland, Strickland started 59 of 70 games and ranked among the Atlantic Coast Conference’s elite 3-point shooters. As a sophomore, she was seventh in the league in 3-point field goal percentage (.375) and 10th in 3-point field goals made per game (2.35) en route to scoring 8.8 points per game.
An Honorable Mention ACC All-Freshman selection in 2007-08, Strickland shot 40.7 percent from long range to rank second in the league and scored 8.5 points per game.
Strickland enrolled at Maryland following an All-America high school career split between Towson Catholic and St. John’s at Prospect Hall. A Parade Magazine, McDonald’s and WBCA All-American, she was the 2007 Gatorade Maryland Player of the Year and was ranked the nation’s third-best shooting guard in the Class of 2007 by the All-Star Girls Report and the eighth-best overall by the Blue Star Report.
The two-time Baltimore Sun Metro and County Player of the Year, Strickland led Towson to its first IAAM A conference regular-season championship in 21 years as a junior.
Staley added Strickland to a signing class already ranked among the nation’s elite, coming in at No. 4 on the All-Star Girls Report. Strickland joins Kelsey Bone (Sugar Land, Texas/Dulles), Ashley Bruner (Norman, Okla./Norman), Ieasia Walker (Copiague, N.Y./Copiague), Monique Willis (Savannah, Ga./A.E. Beach) and Ebony Wilson (Newark, N.J./Rend Lake College/Malcom X
Shabazz) in the group.