Southeast signs group of prep, juco recruits

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Southeast Missouri State University's men's and women's basketball teams both landed players Wednesday as the week-long early signing period began.

The Indians received a national letter of intent from Vianney High School senior point guard Paul Paradoski. The 6-footer averaged 16 points, four rebounds, five assists and four steals per game last season, earning all-district honors.

"We're very pleased with Paul's signing," Southeast coach Gary Garner said. "He's a true point guard who is a good athlete. He has all the tools to be an outstanding Division I point guard."

The Indians should land one more player during the early signing period. James White, a 6-7 sophomore forward at Southwestern (Ill.) College, committed to Southeast last month, and his letter of intent is expected either today or later this week.

On the women's side, Southeast coach B.J. Smith was beaming after signing Tatiana Conceicao, a 6-2 3/4 sophomore forward at Western Nebraska Community College.

Conceicao, a native of Brazil, averaged 18 points per game as a freshman last season, including 25 points per game during the national tournament as Western Nebraska placed second. She is an All-American candidate who was pursued by high-level Division I programs.

"She's a very versatile player, very athletic. We think she's a high major player," Smith said. "I give my assistant coach Rick Karr a lot of credit for getting her to us."

Smith expects to receive letters of intent from three more junior-college players either today or later in the week.

Softball lands four

Southeast's softball program signed four players Wednesday, including Central High School senior Megan McDonald.

McDonald, who was Central's ace pitcher and played shortstop, had a 16-5 record and 0.48 ERA this year. She batted .383 with four doubles, four triples, 16 RBIs and 14 stolen bases.

"I am elated to have the top player from this area be a part of our program," Southeast coach Lana Richmond said. "Megan is an outstanding athlete. She can play the field, pitch and she is a great hitter. She will have an opportunity to come in and contribute immediately next year."

Others signing were pitcher Stephanie Huffman from Forest Park Community College, pitcher Elaine Fisher from Francis Howell North High School and infielder Ashley Robinson from Sparta (Ill.) High School.

Huffman went 21-9 with a 0.59 ERA this year and led the nation's Division II junior colleges in strikeouts with 234. Fisher was 14-1 with a 0.37 ERA. Robinson batted .400.

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