BY JEREMY HOECK
The latest addition for the University of South Dakota women’s basketball program follows a trend the Coyotes witnessed first-hand at the NCAA Tournament.
Size and length win at the national level.
With that mind, USD announced Wednesday the signing of 6-foot-4 Canadian post Abigail Fogg, a transfer from Division I American University and native of Sault Ste. Marle, Ontario. Fogg will have to redshirt the 2014-15 season, but will have two seasons of eligibility.
Fogg was a situation where a previous connection helped USD, but her height certainly sweetened the package, according to head coach Amy Williams.
“That’s something you can’t teach, that kind of size,” Williams said Wednesday evening.
Fogg is the third recruit — and second transfer — signed by the Coyotes for the 2014-15 season, joining Rapid City native Caitlin Duffy, a 5-foot-11 guard from Colorado State. Both will redshirt next season.
The other recruit is 6-foot-1 post Kate Liveringhouse from Bellevue West (Omaha, Nebraska), who will be a freshman this fall.
Winners of the Summit League tournament in March, the Coyotes were competitive with a much taller Stanford squad in the first round of the NCAA Tournament — ultimately losing by 19 points.
“When you look nationally, some of them have tremendous athleticism, some have tremendous speed, Stanford had tremendous size,” Williams said.
“That was a very impressive thing for us, to see that level up close.”
A close connection is also what brought Fogg to USD’s radar. Current Coyote assistant Josh Hutchinson recruited Fogg to American University, where Hutchinson was an assistant.
When American changed coaches, that eventually led Fogg to want to make a move, Williams said
Fogg played in 20 games last season for the Eagles, averaging 2.6 points and 2.8 rebounds in 9.9 minutes of action per game. At USD, though, she eventually figures to see more time by the time she is eligible, Williams said.
“In Abi’s case, she’ll really benefit spending a year getting stronger and getting to know her teammates and our program,” Williams said.
By the time Fogg and Duffy are eligible as juniors in 2015-16, the Coyote roster could also feature a number of other long and athletic players.
USD has received three known verbal commitments, including a 6-foot-1 post and a pair of 5-foot-9 guards.
“The size is outstanding, and right now we’ve got to keep working at that next step,” Williams said.
Being more consistent in the regular season to contend for a regular season championship, she said. The last two seasons, USD has surged down the stretch and made a deep run in the post-season tournament.
USD will return four starters next season, with the only graduation hit being center Polly Harrington.
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(Photo courtesy of the American University athletic website)