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Motlow College Athletic News

Coach Collins building Lady Bucks' basketball roster around returners Boutwell and Ledbetter

Aug. 23, 2017

Motlow State women's basketball coach LaTanya Collins inherited a challenging roster situation when she arrived on campus in mid-July. With only two players from last year's national tournament team returning, Collins needed to fill a roster in a short period of time.

Miranda Boutwell
Motlow State sophomore Miranda Boutwell is one of two returning student-athletes for the Lady Bucks' basketball program. Boutwell, from Linden, Tenn., along with classmate Jewel Ledbetter, will be counted on to be leaders for the Lady Bucks under new head coach LaTanya Collins. Motlow begins practice Oct. 1.
So far, she has exceeded expectations.

With Motlow classes scheduled to start on Monday, Collins is still putting the final pieces of her roster puzzle together. So far, she has recruited a talented group, with a nice mixture of sophomore transfers, incoming freshmen, and the two returners.

"It's always a challenge when you come into a situation late in the recruiting cycle with only two returning players," said Collins. "I have a lot of contacts across the country and I have reached out to many of them to check on student-athletes who might still be available. I am very pleased with the responses, and I feel we have a solid group."

Collins welcomes back sophomores Miranda Boutwell and Jewel Ledbetter, who will return to Motlow for their second season. Boutwell is a 5-8 wing from Linden, Tenn., who missed over half the season last year and averaged three points per game. Ledbetter is 5-10 and played in 18 games, averaging three points and a rebound each outing, while shooting 54% from the field.

Leading the pack among newcomers is Brianna Jones, a 6-4 post player from Surry County High School in Virginia. Jones is joined in the freshman class by Janna Lewis, who played her prep basketball at Butler in Louisville, winning a state championship in 2016 and being named the state tournament most valuable player.

A trio of talented players from Tennessee round out the freshman class. Mattie King is from Hohenwald and played for Lewis County, Chantel Maxwell is from LaVergne in Rutherford County, and Haylee Northcutt is from Morrison and attended Grundy County High School.

Sophomore transfers include Tajah Clark from Clayton, N.C., who played her freshman season at Fayetteville State University in her home state; Lynshawn Ebron, a point guard from Washington DC who spent her first season at Mississippi Valley State; Joy Porter from Little Rock, who played her initial college season at Independence Community College in Kansas; and Jasmine Williams from New Jersey, who played her freshman year at Lackawanna Community College in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Collins is still seeking to add additional players and is considering an open tryout to fill additional roster spots.

"I look forward to watching the progress we make as the preseason approaches," continued Collins. "Right now we are still getting to know each other. I'm confident as we move forward we will begin to gel and become a true team both on and off the court."

The Lady Bucks have already begun off-season workouts, with practice scheduled to officially start Oct. 1. With Collins' late arrival to her position, the non-conference portion of the schedule is still unofficial. Tennessee Community College Athletic Association play begins Nov. 10, with the Lady Bucks joining the Bucks on a road trip to Jackson State.

Both Motlow teams will be on the road for much of November, with the first conference home game not scheduled until Friday, Dec. 1, when Cleveland State will visit Copperweld Arena. Tipoff for the women's contest is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.