MARTIN, Tenn. – Kevin McMillan, the fourth year head women’s basketball coach announced late Wednesday afternoon that he has signed four players to basketball scholarships at The University of Tennessee at Martin. The four players include Tiara Caldwell from Millington; Trischa Lacy from Urbana, Ohio; Elizabeth Masengil from Englewood; and Shai’ Darrion Warfield-Cross from Bloomington, Ind.
“Overall this could be the best recruiting class we have ever put together,” McMillan said. “It is characterized by great young ladies who all have a desire to be the best they can be in the classroom, in the community and on the court.”
Caldwell is a 6-2 post player from Millington Central High School, the same school that current Skyhawk Jasmine Newsome attended and the same school where McMillan got his coaching start.
Caldwell plays for head coach Bruce Marshall and comes in as one of the best athletes McMillan and his staff have ever recruited. “She is a solid post with the ability to alter a game on both ends of the floor,” McMillan said. “She averaged a double-double her junior year, hates to lose and is growing every day as a player. She has wanted to be a part of the Skyhawk program since the end of her sophomore year and we are delighted to have her. If she works at it and pushes herself, she could be one of the best posts players we have ever coached. She can immediately play athletically and will be asked to hold down the boards.”
Lacy, a 5-10 guard with solid ball-handling skills, plays at Urbana (Ohio) High School for head coach Bill Moss. She currently holds the state records for most 3-pointers in a season and averages almost two dozen points per game. She shoots better than 40 percent from 3-point range.
This past summer Lacy played AAU ball for coach Ronnie McClendon. She was teammates with fellow signee Warfield-Cross.
“She will play a wing for us and be asked to keep teams honest from the outside,” McMillan said. “She is another competitor who loves to win and loves to be a teammate. She has the natural ability shoot the basketball that you don’t teach. She is a coach’s daughter and you can tell by the way she plays, approaches and understands the game.”
Masengil, a 5-11 wing and the Class AA Miss Basketball, is from a championship program at McMinn Central High School. She is coached by Johnny Morgan, who McMillan says is one of the best coaches in Tennessee.
“She was this past years Class AA Miss Basketball for a reason, and we are excited she is joining us,” McMillan said. “She has the ability to play multiple positions from the one to the four. She is a prolific scorer (averaging about 24 points and 11 rebounds per game) and will fit well in what we do. I have watched her since she was a freshman and what stands out to me more than anything is her character and her competitiveness. She is a fierce competitor and one of the most humble young ladies you will ever meet. Fans will love how hard she plays, how she approaches the game, and love her spirit..
Warfield-Cross, a 5-9 wing player at Bloomington (Ind.) North High School, plays for coach Alaina Harrington and played with fellow signee (Tricha) Lacy and coach (Ronnie) McClendon this past summer.
“She is another incredible athlete who has shown the ability to elevate her game, scoring 32 points in the Junior Indiana Summer High School all-star game this past summer,” McMillan said. “She can play either guard position or the wing and has the ability to slash and score, and is a great passer. She is another unselfish player who also loves to compete. She can keep up with anyone in the country and as she continues to develop, the sky is the limit.”
McMillan and the Skyhawks have won back-to-back Ohio Valley Conference tournaments and have been in the NCAA Tournament two consecutive years.
“We are honored these four players and their families have chosen to share their lives with us and look forward to the bright future,” McMillan said. “They fit well with what we have here and continue a solid foundation for the future.”