New UM women's recruit 'a lethal player'

Alicia DeVaughn left her South Florida home for College Park last week as an uncommitted yet highly touted prospect.

When she returned to Florida on Sunday from her official visit to Maryland, DeVaughn was committed to the Terps. The quick decision was no surprise to Blanche Ely girls basketball coach Tommie Butts.

“Yeah, I saw it coming,” Butts said of DeVaughn’s commitment. “She always liked Maryland. That’s all she talked about, was Maryland.”

DeVaughn, a 6-foot-4 post player, picked the Terps over offers from Oklahoma, Purdue, Georgia and Louisville. She averaged more than 16 points and 18 rebounds as a junior for Butts’ squad. “She can play at any level,” Butts said. “She has those capabilities to play with anybody. She just has to continue to work hard and continue to believe in her abilities. She has great upside, she has the size, she has the knowledge of the game and she has the work ethic. Those combinations make her a lethal player.”

DeVaughn, the No. 57 player in the 2010 class according to ESPN HoopGurlz, joins a Maryland class that was already the top-ranked group in the country. DeVaughn’s role will be to man the post, but Butts says she’s more than just a back-to-the-basket player.

“Playing against her, she has always been the type of player that you have to plan for,” Butts said. “Now she’s added more to her arsenal. She has a perimeter shot, which she didn’t have before. She’s a more consistent perimeter shooter. Her back-to-the-basket game has always been good. Now she’s working more on facing the basket, working on two or three patented moves. She’s a 6-4 forward that’s athletic and can put the ball on the floor. That size is just hard to stop when she’s going to the basket.”

Butts said despite DeVaughn’s many accolades on the court, she’s incredibly humble and “you would never know she was an all-star with the way she acts off the floor.” DeVaughn is the biological daughter of WNBA standout Yolanda Griffith (who gave her up for adoption), so her long-term potential is great. The Maryland coaching staff, according to Butts, couldn’t be more excited to tap into that potential come 2010.

“They like the fact that she’s a long type of player,” Butts said. “They like her leadership ability, and the way she was just dealing with our players. They like the way she can handle the basketball for a player of her size. They like the fact that she’s a 6-4 player with a long wingspan that can shoot the basketball from the perimeter. They like her humbleness. They like the fact that she has more to offer with her size and her knowledge of the game. They know that she has the potential of being a great player at Maryland. From my understanding, Brenda Frese feels like she could be a freshman of the year.”

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