The Maryland women's basketball team made a late addition to its incoming recruiting class Sunday, and it comes at an important position.
Four-star point guard Channise Lewis signed with the Terps after visiting College Park earlier this month, giving the team a capable ball-handler after Destiny Slocum announced that she was leaving the program following a standout freshman season.
Rated the No. 77 overall prospect in HoopGurlz's recruiting rankings for the Class of 2017, Lewis previously had signed with Illinois. But after the Fighting Illini fired coach Matt Bollant in March, the Miami native was granted a relase from her letter of intent.
Lewis is the only high school recruit set to join Maryland next season. (Florida transfer Eleanna Christinaki will be eligible midseason during what will be considered her sophomore year.) The Terps signed a six-player recruiting class last year — only four of whom remain after the departure of Slocum and center Jenna Staiti — and had missed on their top Class of 2017 targets until Lewis became available.
"Channise is a true winner both on and off the court," coach Brenda Frese said in a news release. "She recently led her team to both state and national titles. Her high school team played an up-tempo style like we do and she likes to share the ball. She has a solid and wonderful family supporting her and I know both our team and her family were excited about the opportunities here. We are thrilled to welcome her and her family to Maryland."
The 5-foot-8 Lewis, who reportedly also considered Ohio State after opening her recruitment, led her Miami Country Day team to the Dick's Sporting Goods National High School Invitational championship this month, earning Most Outstanding Player honors. She averaged 13.9 points, 7.2 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 3.3 steals per game this season as she led the Spartans to their fourth straight state title.
"I chose Maryland because I definitely felt the family atmosphere from the team," Lewis, who was named runner-up for Miss Basketball in Florida, said in the release. "To be a part of an elite program and under great coaches is all I could have asked for. I’m most excited for move-in day, because once I'm there, it's time to get to work."
She will join a Terps lineup in flux after the graduation of top-10 WNBA draft picks Brionna Jones (Aberdeen) and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough and the surprising exit of Slocum, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association's Freshman of the Year.
Rising senior Ieshia Small, also a Miami native, and rising sophomore Sarah Myers played at point guard last season, but Slocum led the team in minutes (30.9 per game) and assists (6.0 per game). She has yet to announce what school she is transferring to.