Collen announces top Louisiana signee

FAYETTEVILLE – Baton Rouge Capitol High standout Dominique Robinson becomes the second spring signee for the University of Arkansas women’s basketball team, Razorback head coach Tom Collen announced on Friday.

The 6-0 Louisiana player of the year for Class AAA joins Australian JUCO 6-3 forward Skye Rees in the Razorbacks’ late signees. During the early signing period in November, the Razorbacks signed a pair of 6-3 post players, Sarah Watkins of Germantown, Tenn., and Darshea Burnside of San Bernadino, Calif.

A playmaker with size, Robinson is listed as a shooting guard and a power forward by media and recruiting services. At 6-0 and with a 20-point-per-game touch, Robinson gives the Razorbacks tremendous flexibility in how she is used in the offense next season.

“We plan on her playing at the small forward,” Collen said. “A lot of the recruiting experts had her as a shooting guard. She’s very explosive off the dribble, but she is also an excellent rebounder who can help us replace Whitney Jones on the boards.”

Recognized as one of the top high school players available during the late signing period, Robinson was ranked highly by All Star Girls Report overall and top 40 in the nation among shooting guards at No. 32.

“She was one of the top 10 unsigned high school seniors in the nation,” Collen said. “We wanted to sign her in the fall, but she had not taken her college exams yet so we could not bring her in for a campus visit.”

A double-double average for one of the state of Louisiana’s dominant girls’ basketball programs, Robinson averaged 23.7 ppg and 13 rpg in leading Capitol to a 28-4 state championship season for Class AAA state coach of the year, Alvin Stewart. Robinson was the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s Player of the Year for 3A as well as a first-team all-state selection.

Capitol has won two state titles and runner-up a third season with Robinson. She dominated the recent 2009 state championship game with 31 of the Lions’ 63 points. Robinson also pulled down 13 boards for the double in the 22-point win over Lake Charles, La., St. Louis Catholic. Hitting 9-of-13 from the field and 12-of-18 at the line, Robinson was the MVP of the Class AAA title game.

“She is a dominating player in transition,” Collen said. “Our fans will really enjoy how hard she plays and her personality on and off the court.”

A LSWA all-state selection since her sophomore season, Robinson averaged 21 ppg and 10 rpg in 2007 to lead the Lions. Her junior season, Robinson repeated her first-team honors, averaging 22 ppg to lead CHS to the state title.

With Collen’s 2009 recruiting class at four players, the Razorbacks anticipate adding at least one more prospect.

Arkansas was 18-14 last season, reaching the Sweet 16 round of the Women’s NIT as the Southeastern Conference’s automatic selection to the 48-team tournament.

The Razorbacks return several players from the team, led by rising junior SEC Sixth Player of the Year Charity Ford and SEC All-Freshman team members Ceira Ricketts and Lyndsay Harris. Ricketts was also picked as the top newcomer in the league, and this weekend is at the USA Basketball U19 team trials in Colorado Springs, Colo.