Utah State women's basketball head coach Jerry Finkbeiner announced the signing of guard/forward Shelby Cloninger and guards Lynette Johnson and Elizabeth Landreth for the 2013-14 season.
"Our staff did a nice job in recruiting these three future Aggies. They are players that we are looking forward to coaching here at Utah State University for the next four years. We have the perimeter position covered at the 3, 2 and 1-guard positions, respectively, by this 2013 high school graduating class of young women," Finkbeiner said.
Cloninger, a native of Kamiah, Idaho, is a 5-fot-11 guard/forward from Kamiah High School, playing for head coach Tina Ulmer. Cloninger earned first-team all-state honors by the Idaho State Journal. The forward was also named all-state for two-straight seasons by the Idaho Statesman. She helped the Kubs reach the state finals the last two years, averaging 15.0 points to go along with 3.0 blocks per game. Cloninger is a multi-sport athlete who also played volleyball and ran track. The guard/forward also played for the Idaho Flash club team for head coach Chris Allen.
"Shelby comes from a small town in Kamiah, Idaho. She is very enthusiastic and has a very good basketball build," Finkbeiner said.
Johnson, a native of Sacramento, Calif., is a 5-9 shooting guard. She played at John F. Kennedy High School for head coach Dave Parish. She is one of the top Northern California High School players. She missed time last season due to injury but returned to the Cougars at the end of the season. The guard was the team's leading scorer last season, averaging 20.0 points per game, and was the top interior defender. Last season, the Cougars were 26-9 overall and 11-3 in league action.
"Lynette comes to us from Sacramento. We are looking to get more California kids into our program, and Lynette is a preseason fourth-best guard in the northern half of California. We feel like she is a prize, as an out-of-state kid coming here from the west coast," Finkbeiner said.
Landreth, a native of Meridian, Idaho, is a 5-10 guard from Capital High School, playing for head coach Blas Telleria. She is one of the top-rated players in the state of Idaho, and as a junior, she was nominated for the Idaho Gatorade Player of the Year. During the 2011-12 season, the Eagles spent most of the season ranked among the top five teams in the state media poll and held the No. 2 spot in the 5A SIC at the end of the regular season.
"Elizabeth is a highly touted player coming out of the state of Idaho. As a junior she had the most votes of any junior for all-conference and she plays in the best conference in Idaho, which shows you the respect she has amongst the coaches in southern Idaho," Finkbeiner said.
Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.