When asked at the end of her season how she would recruit players to Seattle University, coach Joan Bonvicini chuckled -- perhaps dismissively -- and said, "I can recruit."
She proved that quickly, getting Oregon State University guard Talisa Rhea to transfer to the independent SeattleU, a program that just completed it's first full season of Division I play this past season.
SeattleU Women's Basketball Inks Four Additional Student-Athletes for 2010-11 Season - Seattle University Redhawks Athletics
Talisa Rhea • 5-11 • Guard Juneau, Alaska/Oregon State/Juneau-Douglas High School
An elite Division I basketball player, Talisa Rhea will join the Redhawks after transferring from Oregon State. She played for the Beavers from 2007-10, where she was a two-time All-Pacfic-10 Honorable Mention selection and was named to the Pacfic-10 All-Freshman Team following the 2007-08 season. Rhea was named to the All-Pacific-10 Team by the media after being the 15th Beaver to score over 1,000 career points as a junior. She led OSU in 2009-10, averaging 15.3 points and 3.6 rebounds on the year. A complete student-athlete, she is a two-time Pacfic-10 All-Academic and ESPN The Magazine Academic District VIII Second Team honoree. Due to NCAA transfer rules, she will redshirt the 2010-11 season and will have one season of playing eligibility with the Redhawks.
Coach Bonvicini on Talisa Rhea: "Talisa is someone I have known for quite a while, as she is someone I had recruited when I was at Arizona. She is a smart person who understands the game and is an excellent shooter. Talisa brings so much to the table, as she is a proven winner, a great team player, an excellent leader and a hard worker. Beyond that, she very bright and brings a lot of different elements to our program. Bringing in someone who is a proven winner will really help our program. She will be the oldest of all the new players, but with the redshirt year, it will not only benefit her but her teammates playing around her."
Rhea was 7th in the Pac-10 in scoring last season and 10th in both assists and free throw percentage. During Pac-10 conference play, she posted a free throw rate of nearly 38% and her toughness and ability to get to the line will be a huge addition to their program.
Aside from the court impact on the court, this is big news for the direction this program is headed -- drawing talent away from a Pac-10 program will not only help in the win column, but also with their reputation and future recruiting.
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Update (Thurs, 4/15): Brooks Hatch of the Corvallis Gazette-Times provides some background on Oregon State transfers under coach Lavonda Wagner.
Update (Sat, 4/17): Comments from SeattleU coach Joan Bonvicini and Why Rhea’s Transfer is Exciting for SeattleU & Troubling for Slumping Oregon State