March verbally commits to MTSU
Middle Tennessee State University head basketball coach Rick Insell got his girl when Lauren March, senior post player from the defending state champion Marshall County High School Tigerettes and the 2007-2008 TSSAA State Tournament's Most Valuable Player verbally committed to Middle Tennessee State University Monday.
Insell has been hot on the trail of March for over a year now and he finally got the long awaited commitment from March, beating out Missouri State, Tennessee State University, Memphis, Arkansas Little Rock, Austin Peay, the University of South Alabama, and Tennessee Tech.
"I committed to MTSU because all of the parents here can come see me play and because of how good the program is," March said in an interview Monday.
March will join a squad next year in Murfreesboro that includes former local prep standouts and 2007-2008 Miss Basketball winners Abby Andrews (Class A) from Collinwood and Anne Marie Lanning (Class AAA) from Riverdale High School.
The Blue Raiders, who opened up formal practice for the upcoming season on Monday night also sport Mt. Juliet graduate Alysha Clark, the 2005 Class AAA Miss Basketball. Clark, a highly heralded transfer from Belmont University was also voted the Mid-State Player of the Year by the Tennessean in her senior season and was the TSSAA State Tournament MVP, leading the Lady Bears to the state title over Dyersburg.
In a phone interview Monday afternoon, Marshall County High School head coach Boyd West said, "I think there are three reasons why Lauren chose MTSU. One is she liked the system because they play, a lot like us, up-tempo, press, and push the ball up. Two is she liked the coaches, she liked the campus, and she likes the facilities. Three is she wanted to be close to home which allows all of her family and friends an opportunity to come see her play."
West laughed and added, "I really think the biggest reason Lauren has committed to MTSU is her dream of playing in the NCAA Tournament and at Middle she has a real good shot of being there."
"I know they are going to get there (NCAA Tournament) again. They are getting better every year with all the girls they are bringing in. I know all of the girls coming in as upcoming freshman except one," said March.
"The schedule at MTSU also made a difference in my decision because of the games versus LSU, Maryland, Tennessee, and Louisville," she added.
"I always told her that this is your decision, you will have to play there for four years," said West.
"Knowing the coaches and the system at MTSU and knowing what Lauren can do on the court, I think this was a real good choice for the way Lauren plays the game."
"I think this verbal commitment will also help her in the upcoming season now that the decision has been made and the stress of making it is over. Lauren is a very private person and just wants to play ball. This will definitely help her now that this is behind her," West added.
"This makes everything a lot smoother now," said March. "I can focus on my senior year and the team now."
TSSAA regulations mandate that a senior cannot officially sign a formal scholarship until November 12.