Williams Announces Signing of Four Future Owls

Jazz Taylor was one of four to sign with the Owls.
Nov. 14, 2014

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HOUSTON, Texas - Rice women's basketball head coach Greg Williams announced the signing of four student-athletes to National Letters of Intent on Friday. Lexie Ducat, Lauren Grigsby, Gabrielle Stanton and Jasmin "Jazz" Taylor are set to enroll in school and join the Owls in 2015-16.

"Thanks to my entire staff for the hard work they put into bringing these four outstanding student-athletes to Rice University," Rice head coach Greg Williams said. "We are very pleased and excited about the class and feel they can make a big impact on our program during the next four years. All were highly recommended, which illustrates how well the staff performed to get this class signed. We feel this 2015 class brings a unique competitive spirit to our program that will enable them to excel quickly at the next level of their careers."

Ducat, a 6-1 forward from Brock HS, is rated No. 80 in the nation and No. 15 in Texas (by all classifications) by MaxPreps. She was also rated the No. 65 forward in the country by ESPN. Ducat played a big role her junior season on a Lady Eagles team that went 35-3 (12-0 in district) and advanced to the 2A State Championship in 2014. During that season she was the District 9-2A MVP, a TABC All-Region II 2A selection, named to the 2014 UIL All-State Tournament Team and a TGCA All-State Team selection. 

"Lexie is a very physical post who can score inside with both her right and left hands," Williams said. "She runs the floor well, is a good free throw shooter and has three-point range now to extend the defense. Lexie is a strong rebounder on both ends of the floor and is a great fit for our up-tempo style. She has played in three state championship games, winning two while playing for one of the most-storied high school programs in Texas, as well as playing on an excellent club team in the summer. She has been well-coached and is ready to step in and contribute immediately. We think she can be a very effective player in C-USA during her Rice career."

Grigsby, a 5-10 guard from Dekaney HS, averaged 16 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 3 steals in 32 games as a junior en route to being named a 13-5A First-Team selection. In 2013 she was a first-team all-district selection after the Lady Wildcats won their third consecutive District 13-5A title. Grigsby also played club ball for AD Elite.

"Lauren is a versatile guard with good size that will allow her to play multiple perimeter positions for us," Williams said. "She is an outstanding defender who can guard all three perimeter spots. She's an excellent passer overall, but is especially adept at getting the ball inside to post players in a position for them to score. She can shoot the three, and has the mid-range shot and slashing ability to get to the basket. Lauren is an excellent free throw shooter which adds another dimension to her scoring ability. Lauren loves to play the game and will bring a competitive drive to our program that we like. She has excelled at a high level with both high school and club teams while being well-coached in both those opportunities."

Stanton, a 5-6 guard from Kingwood HS, is rated the No. 25 player in Texas per Premier Basketball Report and ESPN ranks her the No. 31 PG in the country with a 90 scout grade. Stanton averaged 14 points, 4 assists and 3 steals as a junior. She was selected to the 13-5A First-Team All-District squad and was the District Offensive Player of the Year. Stanton was also an All-Region selection. 

"Gabby is a highly-skilled guard who can score, defend, pass, and handle the ball, giving her the ability to play both guard positions," Williams said. "She can shoot the three and create her own shot off the dribble, as well as driving to the hoop. Gabby has tremendous court vision, combined with a high basketball IQ that allows her to make some spectacular plays, which Rice fans will enjoy. Gabby is a fierce competitor with a tremendous work ethic to continue and improve her game. She has quick hands and excellent defensive anticipation resulting in numerous steals for her team."

Taylor, a 5-7 guard from Duncanville HS, is rated the No. 10 player in Texas by Premier Basketball Report and ESPN ranks her as the No. 25 point guard in the country with a 90 scout grade. Taylor transferred from Irving MacArthur and will be playing for the Pantherettes in 2014-15. 

"Jazz is coming off a fantastic summer showing she has fully recovered from a previous ACL injury," Williams said. "She is an intense competitor who hates to lose and plays with great passion, both offensively and defensively. She is a physical guard who will be an excellent defender in C-USA. Jazz is a true combo guard, which are difficult to find. She shoots well from beyond the arc and create off the dribble to the rim or mid-range jump shot. Jazz sees the floor well and is very unselfish on the court. She's played for two of the legendary high school coaches in Texas, as well as top club programs in the summer to prepare her to play quickly at the next level."

What Others Are Saying

Jazz Taylor per Premier Basketball Report
"Very strong ball handling skills. Has a quality mid-range game and finishes around the basket. She loves up tempo style of play. Excellent speed and quickness. Tremendous pull up jumper. Can penetrate the lane and gets to the hole at will. Her free throw percentage has to be over 80%. Her defensive lateral movement and instincts are above the charts. Plays with fierce and tough intensity. Has blazing speed with and without the ball. Burst onto the summer scene and feel like this player will work hard to improve her game." 

Jazz Taylor per ESPN Recruiting Insider
"Quick point guard who does a lot of nice things on the court. Likes to attack off the dribble and get in the lane."

Gabby Stanton per Premier Basketball Report
"A wonderful shooter with a scorers mentality. A combo guard who can also play the point with adequate ball handling skills. A very high IQ player who uses her knowledge and leadership to have an edge on other outstanding athletes."

Gabby Stanton per ESPN Recruiting Insider
"Floor-leader handles and distributes, executes in half-court set; reads pressure, court awareness; mid-range threat to the arc; game manager."

Lexie Ducat per Premier Basketball Report
"Strong post player, strong down low and can score close to basket. Can pin her girls & has a good left and right. Good defensively as well. Gets on boards and works hard on both ends. Great footwork at the post and difficult to stop down low. Has a great jump hook. Work ethic makes her special."

Lexie Ducat per ESPN Recruiting Insider
"Versatile prospect with competitive edge finishes plays around the rim; system contributor, rebounds, versatile defender; extra effort yields results."

Lauren Grigsby per Premier Basketball Report
"An athletic guard who is a good on ball defender and likes to attack the basket."







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