Long Beach Poly and Mater Dei among those to reap transfer benefits while Poly head coach Carl Buggs also honored for career win No. 400
The day a lot of girls throughout the state have been waiting for has finally arrived. As of this past Monday, January 6, a whole lot of players now become eligible after sitting out the mandatory period as prescribed by the National Federation of State High School Associations.
While the affect will have implications throughout the state and at several levels, not surprisingly, two of the teams that it will have some of the biggest positive influences are already sitting on top of the heap.
By far the biggest impact is on Long Beach Poly. In one fall swoop, the Jackrabbits now have one of the state’s top front lines.
Besides getting UCLA-bound 6-foot-3 Lajahna Drummer, who wasn’t on the first Ms. Basketball State Player of the Year Tracker since she missed last season but if she does anything like she did this summer could very well move near the top of the next list, they also get Michigan-committed 6-foot-2 Emoni Jackson, an additional now eligible transfer from St. Bernard (Playa del Ray) that missed almost all of last season.
“Adding a major piece and the type of player like Lajahna has an immediate impact and also gives us the ability to get the ball inside more, plus it opens up our three-point shooting,” said Poly head coach Carl Buggs.
“The team that played during the holidays was a different team, so our win over Millikan (75-30 on Wednesday) was the first real game we’ve played together. There was some feeling each other out,” continued Buggs, who got career victory No. 408 against Millikan after getting win No. 400 in the second game of the Iolani Classic in Hawaii.
Buggs, who was honored for his milestone prior to the tip-off of the first home game, emptied the bench against Millikan with everyone including the starters playing about 10 minutes. Despite the limited playing time, Louisville-bound Airica Carter led the Jackrabbits with 13 points and Drummer added nine.
The impact at Mater Dei isn’t as huge as Poly, but the Monarchs do get Neah Odom eligible, and they can definitely use her size on the front line. The 6-foot sophomore was the leading scorer and rebounder as a freshman on a 22-6 Los Alamitos team that made it to the second round of the CIFSS D1AA playoffs.
The biggest news in Northern California is the eligibility of University of San Francisco-commit Tiara Tucker. The flashy guard transferred from Stockton Brookside Christian to crosstown McNair.
Tucker currently has 2,519 points so the lost time will mean she will finish a little lower on the all-time leading career scoring list in the Cal-Hi Sports Record Book, but could help McNair make a deep run in the Division II playoffs.