Nov. 18, 2003
ATLANTA – Georgia Tech signed three high school women’s basketball All-Americans, including a point guard, a guard/forward, and a center, during the early signing period, women’s basketball head coach MaChelle Joseph announced on Tuesday. The 2004 recruiting class was ranked the 5th-best nationally, according to the All Star Girls Report in Thursday’s edition of the USA Today, as Tech inked three of the top-25 players in the country.
The Jackets signed Jillian Ingram, a 5-9 guard from Providence Day School in Charlotte, NC, Daphne Mitchell, a 6-3 center from Woodward Academy in Atlanta, Ga., and Janie Mitchell, a 6-0 guard/forward from Callaway High School in Jackson, Miss.
“We’re really excited about this group overall, especially about the fact that all three are outstanding student-athletes,” said Joseph. “They have all earned All-America honors and had unique experiences. Jill was invited to USA Basketball this past summer as part of the Junior Development team for some of the top players in the country, so that experience alone and in itself just separates her from a lot of the players around the country. Daphne is from Georgia, and every year we are committed to signing one of the best players in the state. We feel like by adding Daphne to our team, we have once again signed one of the top student-athletes in the state. Janie Mitchell is special and unique because she can play so many different positions. She can play anywhere from the two to the five, so she can play four of the five positions on the floor. Those are the kind of players that we’re interested in bringing into our system.”
“I think our staff did a great job signing this class, especially because it was our first recruiting class together,” Joseph said. “It says a lot when we were able to sign one of the top recruiting classes in the country during our first year as a staff, and I don’t know how many other first-year staffs can say that they signed a class of this caliber. It’s a great complement to (assistant coaches) Stephanie McCormick, Art PreVost and Brenda Mock Kirkpatrick in the fact that right from the beginning, they were able to establish themselves nationally with one of the top recruiting classes.”
Ingram and Janie Mitchell will add depth to the Yellow Jacket backcourt, which loses four seniors following the 2003-04 season. A fourth team All-American according to All Star Girls Report, Ingram averaged 18 points, seven rebounds, four steals, and 3.5 assists per game her junior season after breaking the 1,000 point mark her sophomore year. She was tabbed 24th in the nation and rated the 5th-best point guard in the country, according to the All Star Girls Report. A 2003 Street & Smith Honorable Mention All-American, Ingram has been a member of the two-time national champion Team North Carolina in AAU basketball. She was tabbed 26th in the nation, according to the National Roundball Journal while the Blue Star Index ranks her 47th. She was selected NCISAA all-state for the third time in 2003, while earning CISAA all-conference four years in a row. An Adidas top-10 all-star the last two years and USA Basketball Development Festival selection, Ingram is a member of the Honor Roll, Beta Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and National Big Brother Big Sister organizations.
“I’ve been watching Jill play over the past four or five years and the thing that’s always impressed me about her is her leadership ability and take-charge mentality,” said Joseph. “I knew that, with this class, the most important position that we would have to fill was the point position because we lose (graduating seniors) Alex Stewart and Nina B?rlin. We really won’t have a veteran point guard coming back, so it was really important that we not only signed a point guard, but that we signed one that could be an impact player as a freshman. Jill Ingram is definitely that type of player. I look for big things early out of Jill next year, and we’re really excited because we feel that we went out and signed one of the elite point guards in the country.”
In addition to Ingram, Tech signed another All Star Girls Report fourth-team All-American in forward/center Daphne Mitchell. Mitchell was named a 2003 Street & Smith Honorable Mention All-American and tabbed the 25th-best prospect by the All Star Girls Report while averaging 14.3 points, nine rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game her junior season. All Star Girls Report tabbed Mitchell as the No. 3 power forward in the class of 2004. She is the second-leading rebounder in school history, has earned all-region honors two years in a row, and was named the Most Outstanding Player while earning the Coaches Award her junior year. Ranked 41st in the nation by the National Roundball Journal, Mitchell is a member of the Junior Civitan Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and Spanish Club and participates in the Volunteer Tutoring program at a local middle school.
“We made a commitment two years ago that we were going to sign one of the top three student-athletes in the state of Georgia every year,” said Joseph. “With Daphne, we definitely feel like we did that. She’s 6-3, she’s big, she’s strong, she’s physical, and she can score with her back to the basket. After losing Sonja Mallory last year, we felt like we needed to find that kind of presence inside. Daphne will definitely fill a hole in the middle for us.”
Fifth-team All-American selection Janie Mitchell will be another power forward addition to the Yellow Jacket frontcourt next season. A year ago, the Street & Smith Honorable Mention All-American averaged 22.5 points, 12.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 3 blocks, and 2.5 steals per game en route to earning an All Star Girls Report ranking as the No. 4 power forward in the class of 2004. Her sophomore year, she averaged 20.6 points, 10.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 2 blocks, and 2.5 assists per game, which earned her 2002 Honorable Mention All-American honors, according to Street & Smith. The All Star Girls Report 39th-best prospect in the nation, Mitchell was tabbed 21st nationally, according Full Court Press, and 54th by the National Roundball Journal, while the Blue Star Index ranked her 57th. A two-time participant in the Nike All-America camp, Mitchell was selected as a National Junior Olympic All-American in 2003 and a member of the Mississippi Dandy Dozen the past two years.
“Janie has averaged over 20 points per game all three high school years,” Joseph said. “She’s a tremendous scorer, she can play inside or outside, she’s strong, and she’s athletic. She starts the game at six feet, and by the time that you finish, you think she’s six-three. She just plays a lot bigger than what she looks. Janie, again, is another player that has had tremendous experiences. She was the Mississippi Player of the Year and one of the top-25 players in the entire country last season. We feel very fortunate that she chose us over Louisiana Tech, which is a perennial power in women’s basketball, and over Ohio State. Those are two great women’s basketball programs, and we are obviously thrilled that she decided to come to Georgia Tech.
GEORGIA TECH WOMEN’S BASKETBALL SIGNEES Jillian Ingram, G, 5-9, Charlotte, NC (Providence Day School) Daphne Mitchell, F, 6-3, Atlanta, Ga. (Woodward Academy) Janie Mitchell, F, 6-0, Jackson, Miss. (Callaway High)