Michigan State Women’s Basketball Adds to Signing Class, Inks Taylor Johnson to National Letter of Intent

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EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State women’s basketball head coach Suzy Merchant announced Thursday the signing of Taylor Johnson (Lakewood, Colo./Highlands Ranch High School) to a National Letter of Intent. Johnson joins Porschè Poole (Canton, Ohio/McKinley High School) and Courtney Schiffauer (Boardman, Ohio/Boardman High School), who signed NLIs in the fall. All three signees will be eligible to play for the Spartans beginning in the 2008-09 season.

Below is a look at Taylor Johnson, and updated bios on Poole and Schiffauer:

Taylor Johnson • 5-11 • G/F • Lakewood, Colo. • Highlands Ranch High School

Multi-dimensional player and excellent passer who can play the 2 or 3...blue-collar worker with a high basketball IQ...led Highlands Ranch to Class 5A state title as a senior...played for Coach Caryn Jarocki…team finished 25-3 with a perfect 12-0 record in league play…Highlands Ranch closed the year ranked No. 7 nationally in the USA Today Super Top 25 rankings…team also ranked third overall by USA Today in the West region…Highlands Ranch was ranked No. 10 nationally in the final Rivals.com poll…one of five players named to the Denver Post Best of the Best All-Colorado Team…first-team Class 5A all-state selection by the Denver Post…scored 10 points in the state championship game in the win over Regis Jesuit…scored 12 points in The Show 2008, a Colorado high school all-star game played at the Pepsi Center...while playing for Lakewood High School as a junior, averaged 16.6 points and 11.5 rebounds a game…led team to a 19-5 record and a 9-1 league mark…also averaged 3.9 assists, 2.8 steals and 1.4 blocks…scored 20-plus points in seven games…had double-figure rebounding efforts in 14 contests, including 23 in one game...daughter of Jim and Karene Alton...has grandparents from Petoskey, Mich....plans to be a veterinarian major.

Merchant on Taylor Johnson:

"We are thrilled to have Taylor join us at Michigan State. Coming from a nationally ranked high school team that also won the state title, she will increase our depth at the guard position. She is a big guard that can score numerous ways and her ability to rebound the ball at both ends is tremendous. Her work ethic and toughness will continue to help build on the foundation of players we have returning."

Porschè (PORE-shay) Poole • 5-8 • G • Canton, Ohio • McKinley High School

Poole, a multi-talented guard who signed with MSU back in November, entered her senior season one of the top 25 seniors in the state by Ohio Girls Basketball Report...averaged 16.5 points a game for Canton McKinley...four-year starter went 68-24 in her career and 20-4 as a senior...was an Associated Press Division I third-team all-state selection and leaves McKinley as the school’s all-time leading scorer with more than 1,300 career points...also ranked among the top 20 scorers in Stark County history...named MVP for Stark County after scoring a game-high 17 points in the annual Rotary All-Star Classic between the Stark County and Summit County All-Stars...named to the All-Federal League first team for the third straight year...scored 20-plus points in nine games, including a season-high 25 in a win over Shaker Heights Dec. 19...first-team all-district and all-county pick for the third consecutive year...named a McDonald’s All-American nominee.

Courtney Schiffauer (SHIFF-hour) • 6-1 • F • Boardman, Ohio • Boardman High School

Schiffauer, a tough inside-outside player, was also ranked as one of the top 25 seniors in the state by Ohio Girls Basketball Report...named second-team all-state in Division I by the Associated Press, averaging 22 points...led Boardman, also nicknamed the Spartans, to the Division I state semifinals and a 19-8 overall record...named to the All-Federal League first team for the third straight year...also received votes for Federal League Player of the Year...Boardman upset Hoover in a district semifinal and captured the district championship...Boardman also won the regional title...named a McDonald’s All-American nominee...first-team all-district and all-county selection...selected to play in the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association All-Star Game...scored 16 points to lead Mahoning County over Trumbull Country in the 38th annual Al Beach Classic at Boardman High School.

Poole and Schiffauer, who both play in the Federal League in Northern Ohio, played against each other three times this past season, with Boardman winning twice. In the first meeting on Dec. 9, Poole scored 19 points to lead McKinley to a 54-46 win. Schiffauer had 18 points and 14 rebounds in the game. On Jan. 26, Boardman defeated McKinley, 68-49. In the rubber match, Schiffauer and Boardman beat McKinley in the district final, 52-46

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