Posted-Novermber 10th, 2011 3:32 pm
MADISON, Wis. – First-year head coach Bobbie Kelsey has announced the signing of her first group of athletes to National Letters of Intent. Kelsey brings in Nicole Bauman, a 5-10 guard from New Berlin, Wis.; Makailah Dyer, a 5-9 guard from Madison, Wis.; Shannon Malone, a 6-1 power forward from Flower Mound, Texas; and Dakota Whyte, a 5-8 guard from Ajax, Ontario.
“With the signing of Dakota Whyte, Nicole Bauman, Makailah Dyer, and Shannon Malone we have added four great athletes, conscientious students, and phenomenal people,” says Kelsey. “We are proud that they have chosen to attend the University of Wisconsin where each will play a significant role in helping our program propel to the highest level of competitiveness within the Big Ten Conference and ultimately on the national stage.
“We have high expectations of them as they do of themselves, which will undoubtedly add to the tradition we have already begun to establish with our current team. The athletic skills, basketball IQ, and exceptional personalities that Dakota, Nicole, Makailah, and Shannon possess are exciting to say the least. We cannot wait to coach them and help maximize their potential as student-athletes. This is a wonderful group of young ladies we have signed to become Badgers.”
Bauman was a unanimous selection to the 2011 Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Division 2 All-State team. She was named the 2011 Woodland Conference Player of the Year for Coach Gary Schmidt at New Berlin Eisenhower High School. In 2011, Bauman earned first-team all-area honors by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel , all-county honors by the Waukesha Freeman and all-suburban honors by Community Newspapers. As a junior, she averaged 15.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 2.9 steals per game, leading Eisenhower to a 23-3 record.
“We are so excited to sign a guard of Nicole’s caliber in this class,” says Kelsey. “She is exactly the type of guard we needed moving forward. She brings playmaking ability, court awareness and aggressiveness to our rotation.
“In other words, Nicole is savvy and has a lot of “spice” in her game. She sees things before anyone else recognizes what is going to happen, which sets her apart at her position. Also, her ability to play the point if needed will allow our backcourt to flow into our offense without stopping to call plays. I know Nicole loves to play an up-tempo game therefore she will fit right into our system. We are expecting major contributions from her right away.
Dyer earned WBCA Division I all-state honors as a junior after averaging 19.8 points, 4.7 assists, 2.3 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game. She also earned second team all-state honors by the Associated Press for Coach James Adams at Madison East High School. Dyer is the second generation of her family to don the Cardinal and White. Her mother Janet (Huff) played for the Badgers from 1980-83, averaging 12.3 points per game.
“Makailah, being Madison’s hometown girl, will undoubtedly infuse even more excitement for the fan base of our program,” says Kelsey. “And besides being a crowd favorite, she will add another scoring threat to our system. “
Dyer was a 2010-11 Wisconsin Gatorade Player of the Year nominee and scored her 1,000th career point as a junior. She is a two-time all-area and all-conference selection.
“Makailah has the uncanny ability to hit shots and long ones to boot; she has NBA-plus range,” says Kelsey. “I do not remember ever coaching a player with her shooting range. She will allow us to stretch the defense which will open the paint for her teammates to penetrate. We are expecting Makailah to make immediate contributions as a freshman.”
Malone is the first Badger signed from the state of Texas, although she was born in Wisconsin. A first-team all-district selection as a junior, she averaged 14 points and eight rebounds per game at Marcus High School for Coach Fred Jones. Malone served team captain as a junior and was also an all-region honoree.
“Passionate, aggressive and tough is how I would characterize Shannon Malone,” says Kelsey. “She loves to hit and be hit in the post which is why we know she will make a major impact at this position with the void left by graduation.”
Malone also played with Cy-Fair AAU Club, which were an AAU National finalist and Nike National contender.
“Shannon loves the game of basketball,” says Kelsey. “She plays with a confidence that no coach can teach. When we first evaluated her, we were actually at the game to see another player. However, once the game started we were all sitting there thinking, ‘Who is that?’ Afterward we knew we had to sign Shannon and thank the Lord it worked out perfectly. She is exactly the type of post player we were hoping to sign.”
A member of the Canadian National team that competed at the 2011 FIBA 3-on-3 Youth World Championships in Rimini, Italy, Whyte also represented Canada at the first ever Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in 2010. She helped Canada go 4-0 in the preliminary round, en route to a fourth-place finish at the youth games.
“Dakota Whyte is a point guard, pure and simple,” says Kelsey. “She makes things happen on the floor whether she has the ball or not. Her ability to affect the game so significantly on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball makes her a perfect addition to what we are building here at Wisconsin.”
Whyte, who attends Notre Dame High School, won a gold medal with Team Ontario at the 2011 17U National Championships in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player. She averaged 14 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.2 steals per game at the championship. She also helped Ontario win silver at the 2010 17U National Championships in Toronto, Ontario, earning a spot on the first all-star team.
“Dakota is also a playmaker due to her high basketball IQ and passing skills,” explains Kelsey. “Dakota will add depth to our point guard position. She is a leader in every sense of the word, which is why we will expect great things from her as a Badger. She is ready for the challenge of leading our team.”