CHICAGO – DePaul women’s basketball head coach Doug Bruno announced on Wednesday that Megan Podkowa, Brooke Schulte, Brandi Harvey-Carr and Kelsey Smith will all join the Blue Demons for the 2012-13 season. Podkowa, Harvey-Carr and Schulte all signed a National Letter of Intent while Smith will begin attending DePaul in January 2012 after transferring from Michigan State.
"We are very excited about our 2012 recruiting class," Bruno said of the announcement. "This recruiting class will definitely fly under the radar of the national recruiting guru's and that is fine with us. Megan, Brooke, Brandi and Kelsey Smith are all better players than advertised."
Podkowa, Schulte and Smith are all Illinois natives. Podkowa plays for Trinity High School and Smith played her high school basketball at St. Charles North. Schulte hails from Southern Illinois and is a standout guard from Breese Mater Dei High School.
Megan Podkowa a 6-2 guard/forward combination has helped Trinity to a No. 3 ranking in ESPN's Illinois High School Girls Basketball Poll. During her junior season she averaged 17.5 points, nine rebounds, three blocks and two steals and was named a second-team all-state performer by the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association. Podkowa helped Trinity to the Girls Catholic Athletic Conference (Red) Championship and to the IHSA Class 4A sectional finals in 2011. The Glenview, Ill. native also helped her summer team -- Illinois Elite to a perfect season this past summer.
"Megan is just a special all-around player with great length, great ability to score the ball, and most importantly great competitiveness. She can play all five positions on the floor," Bruno said of Podkowa.
Brooke Shulte is a 5-9 guard and helped Mater Dei to the IHSA Super Sectional and a 26-3 record last season. As a junior she became the 10th player in Mater Dei history to reach 1,000 points while she averaged 15.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 3.2 steals during her third season on varsity. The shooting guard is a two-time All-State selection and began her senior season with an 80-8 all-time record at Mater Dei. A standout volleyball player as well, Shulte helped Mater Dei to the 3A State title earlier this year.
"Brooke is that junk yard dog scoring guard who also possessing exceptional competitiveness.” Bruno said of Shulte who reminds him of Anna Martin.
Brandi Harvey-Carr comes to DePaul from Camden, New Jersey. The power forward was third in South Jersey with 23.1 points and 17.7 rebounds per game and was named an honorable mention all-group 1 at Leap Academy. As a junior, Harvey accounted for over 50 percent of LEAP Academy’s team scoring by posting 412 points and adding four “quadruple-doubles”-- double-digits in points, rebounds, assists, and blocks. A member of the National Honor society, she boasts a GPA above 3.5
"At 6-4, Brandi is a big-time rebounder, who has only been playing basketball a couple of years. She has a huge upside with great post presence and a special ability to run the floor," Bruno said of his incoming New Jersey native.
Kelsey Smith is set to enroll at DePaul in January and will sit out the remainder of the 2011-12 season and the Autumn Quarter of the 2012-13 season. DePaul’s Autumn Quarter exams are scheduled to end on Nov. 20. She has two seasons of eligibility left following the 2012 Fall Quarter.
"Kelsey brings the advantage of college experience from Michigan State and the Big Ten. She is another 6-4 post who we recruited hard out of high school and will help our inside game immediately next year," Bruno added.
Smith comes to DePaul after spending the last two seasons at Michigan State. She sat out the 2009-10 season and averaged 5.8 minutes per game last season. Smith had a career-best performance against IPFW with 10 points, five rebounds and three blocks. Coming out of St. Charles North High School, Smith was a three-time Street & Smith's honorable mention All-American (2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09). A four-year starter, she graduated as the school’s all-timer leader in points, rebounds and blocks -- tallying over 1,500 points, 1,000 rebounds and 500 blocks.
"As much as we are excited about this recruiting classes ability to play and compete at a higher level than their ‘recruiting rankings', we are even more excited that all four of these young Women are off the charts spectacular in the classroom," Bruno said in closing.
The Blue Demons return to the court and host Southern Illinois on Thursday. The game tips at 7 p.m. and can be heard on DePaul’s BlueTube with Cami Padilla calling the action.