BATON ROUGE – The LSU women’s basketball team has signed Akilah Bethel and Ann Jones, two Division I college transfers, who will be eligible to compete for the Lady Tigers during the 2014-15 season, head coach Nikki Caldwell announced on Wednesday.
Bethel, a 6-foot-0 guard, comes to LSU after playing her freshman and sophomore seasons at West Virginia. Jones, a 6-foot-3 forward, was previously at the University of Memphis as a freshman and sophomore.
Due to NCAA transfer rules, Bethel and Jones will sit out the 2013-14 season and both will be redshirt juniors eligible to play during the 2014-15 season. Bethel and Jones, however, will be allowed to practice with the Lady Tigers during the 2013-14 year.
“Akilah Bethel and Ann Jones bring us experience and size,” said Caldwell. “We are excited about them joining our team. Both are versatile players who fit in nicely with what we are trying to accomplish here.”
Bethel played in 41 career games at West Virginia, averaging 3.5 points per game. This past season, she played in 17 contests and averaged 3.0 points per game before sustaining a season-ending knee injury against Baylor on Jan. 19.
Bethel, a native of Baltimore, Md., prepped at Academy of Holy Cross and was named MVP and first-team all-conference after putting up 12.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 2.5 steals per game. Bethel is also an exceptional student in the classroom having been named a Big East Academic All-Star.
Jones played in 27 games with six starts and tallied 4.8 points and 2.9 rebounds per game a sophomore this past season with the Tigers. As a freshman, she was twice named Conference USA Freshman of the Week and she put up 2.7 points and 2.7 boards per contest.
Jones, a native of Jackson, Tenn., was ranked one of the top 45 power forwards in high school by ESPN Hoop Gurlz. As a senior, she helped Liberty Magnet School to its first ever state tournament appearance after averaging 16.0 points and 12.0 rebounds. She was also named the All-West Tennessee Girls Basketball Co-Player of the Year.