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Every player that carried the Minnesota Fury to the top division championship at the 2014 Deep South Classic has departed, but the program still has very high expectations.
“We lost all those 2015 players, but we’re very excited about our 2016 group. They have sort of been the signature team for our program for a number of years,” said Fury founder Nick Storm. “We are going back down there to win it. That’s our goal.
“This group actually played in the top division at the Deep South last year, and they went 3-1, so they have some experience at that level. They also have a fantastic coach in Ruth Sinn (who is also the head coach at DIII power University of St. Thomas, where the second-ranked Tommies headed into the NCAA Tournament with a 27-0 record). She has done a great job working with the kids on their fundamentals. She has built them as individuals, and as a team. She’s got these kids grinding through college type practices.”
The 2015 Deep South Classic will be played in Raleigh, NC on April 24-26. The Deep South Classic, which annually features the nation’s top travel programs, will once again have the entire tournament in one facility — the tremendous Raleigh Convention Center.
In addition to quality coaching, the Fury benefits from consistency. Four of their players (forward Abby Kain and guards Erika Schlosser, Bri Miller and Emma Sinn) have been together since the sixth grade. Two more current members came on board the following year, and three more are heading into their third year with the program.
The Fury will be paced this year by Taylor Koenen (6-1, G) and Jamie Ruden (6-2, F). Koenen, who has verbally committed to North Carolina, is currently listed as the No. 58 recruit in the Class of 2016 by the All Star Girls Report. Ruden, who is headed to Arizona State, is ranked at No. 160 by ASGR.
“Taylor can play anywhere on the perimeter,” Storm said. “She shoots the ball very well, and she has great instincts. She went to the Elite Camp at UNC, and she just wowed them with her understanding of the game.
“Jamie is an old school player who will remind you of Tim Duncan the way she uses the glass. She is unbelievable from mid-range, and she has extended her range out to the three-point line. She is a prolific, and proficient, scorer.”
Bret McCormick, the analyst for ASGR, also added his perspective on the Fury standouts.
“Koennen is a good athlete with a really good skill set. She shoots it well, and she could play any of the three guard spots,” McCormick said. “Ruden is a strong athlete who uses her body well, so she can score inside. She also has a really good face-up game that includes a nice three-point shot, so she is a good fit for Arizona State.”
Storm is also expecting big things from Fury newcomer Sarah Jacobson (2016, 5-8, G).
“Sarah is a big addition for us,” Storm said. “She brings ball handling that we need, but her competitiveness and leadership are even more important. She has a real passion for the game, and for competing.”
The Fury also has two younger players who have drawn a lot of attention in Kristin Scott (2017, 6-2, P, No. 151) and Lindsey Theuninck (2017, 5-7, PG). Scott has committed to Iowa State, while Theuninck has verballed to South Dakota State.
“Scott is a very athletic, active power forward with the ability to score down low,” McCormick noted. “She is a good rebounder with a shooting range that extends to 15 or 16 feet. Theuninck has good quickness and she understands the game. She passes and handles the ball very well, and she is a solid three-point shooter.”