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Women’s basketball put finishing touches on 2015 class

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Rebecca Noble

Arizona women’s basketball coach Niya Butts consults with assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Calamity McEntire during Arizona’s 65-46 loss to California in McKale Center on Feb. 6. Butts and the Wildcats capped their 2015 recruiting class at four players.

Fresh off the program’s fourth straight losing season, the Arizona women’s basketball program finalized its 2015 recruiting class on Tuesday.

The Wildcats added four players to the program: 6-foot-8 center Eugenie Simonet-Keller, 5-foot-7 guard Michal Miller, 6-foot-2 forward A’Shanti Coleman and 6-foot-2 forward Destiny Graham.

The 2014 class consisted of mainly guards and saw highly touted Taryn Griffey miss the entire season due to injury.

Hailing from Le Biot, France, Simonet-Keller is the tallest player in Arizona women’s basketball history and the second tallest player in the Pac-12 Conference behind UCLA’s 6-foot-9 center Savanna Trapp.

The previous tallest player in program history was 6-foot-7 center Beatrice Bofia in the 2006-07 season.

According to a UA press release, Simonet-Keller is a three-time selection for the French Women’s National Team and is currently listed as the tallest female of her generation in France.

Arizona women’s basketball coach Niya Butts said Simonet-Keller will bring size and skill to the Wildcat front court.

“On the court, Eugenie has a lot of tools for us to work with,” Butts said in a press release. “She is mobile, has great hands and the ability to face up. Eugenie has a huge upside and strong work ethic. Our staff is excited to get in the gym with her as she continues to develop her game.”

Collegiate Girls Basketball Report scout Dan Olson says Simonet-Keller is a “low-post insider with emerging interior footwork.”

Adding to the front court that didn’t have a player over 6-foot-1 on the 2014-15 roster, the Wildcats will complement Simonet-Keller with 6-foot-2 forwards Coleman and Graham.

Coleman comes to Arizona from Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep in San Francisco. She is the 108th ranked forward in the country, according to “The Jump Off Plus.”

Butts said Coleman’s athleticism will greatly help the Arizona frontline, an area that was lacking last season.

“A’Shanti Coleman is an exceptional athlete and fits well in our system and the way we like to play,” Butts said. “She’s a transition post player who gets up and down the floor, can finish around the rim and make the 16- to 18-foot jumper. She also has a tremendous presence inside in terms of blocking shots.”

Graham comes to Arizona from Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Calif., and is ranked as the No. 28 forward in the country by Collegiate Girls Basketball Report.

Along the same lines as Coleman, Butts said Graham brings athleticism and agility to the team.

“Destiny Graham is extremely athletic and agile,” Butts said. “She brings a bit more size than we have now, and her presence is certainly going to be needed. Destiny fits our style of play and has a huge upside. We are looking forward to her joining our family.”

The lone guard in the 2015 class, Miller comes to Arizona from Michigan City High School in Michigan City, Ind., and was ranked as the 35th-best guard in the country by Collegiate Girls Basketball Report.

Butts said Miller will bring versatility and shooting to the Wildcats.

“I feel like we were able to get one of the best perimeter players in this class in Michal Miller,” Butts said. “She is an extremely versatile guard who can play all three spots on the perimeter. She can slash and get to the basket, has a solid midrange jump shot and her game beyond the arc is also efficient. She has all the tools to be one of the great players in our league, so we’re really excited about that.”

With back-to-back talented recruiting classes, there is certainly optimism from the Arizona women’s basketball program.

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