Three Former Spartans Ink Professional Contracts Overseas
Oct. 12, 2012
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The three seniors on last season's Michigan State women's basketball team - Taylor Alton, Lykendra Johnson and Porsche Poole - will continue their basketball careers, as all three signed professional contracts to play overseas.
Alton signed with the Nottingham Wildcats in the England Basketball League (EBL), while Johnson will play in the Swedish top division, Damligan, after signing with Northland Basket, and Poole heads to Israel.
The three seniors were the top three scorers on last season's squad. MSU went 20-12 overall and tied for second in the Big Ten at 11-5. In their four-year careers, the Spartans advanced to the NCAA Tournament and won at least 20 games in each season, in addition to finishing in the top-2 of the Big Ten all four years.
Alton was the poster-child for hard work and dedication. After playing sparingly as a freshman and sophomore, she continued to grind in practice and was finally given a full-time opportunity late in her junior season. She took advantage and continued the success into her senior campaign. Alton averaged career highs in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks last season.
Alton made a team-best 64 3-pointers in 2011-12, which ranked fifth in the Big Ten and seventh in a MSU single-season. Also, Alton shot a team-high 36.6% from behind the arc, ranking seventh in the conference. At season's end, she competed in the 2012 State Farm College 3-Point Championship at the Men's Final Four. Alton finished her career fourth in 3-point field goal percentage (35.6%) and eighth in 3-pointers made (116) in MSU history.
Johnson finished her prolific Spartan career as one of the top players in program history statistically. She became the second Spartan and 13th Big Ten player to record 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in her career, while being one of only four to also add at least 200 steals and 100 blocks to that tally. Among the MSU all-time leaders, Johnson was second in rebounds (1,018; also 11th in the Big Ten) and offensive rebounds (405), third in blocks (147), fourth in steals (224), sixth in double-doubles (27) and games started (116), eighth in games played (131), 10th in minutes (3,361) and 11th in points (1,242).
A two-time captain, Johnson led MSU and was second in the Big Ten this season in both rebounds (8.6 a game) and double-doubles (10). She also led the team and was top-10 in the conference with 57 steals and 42 blocks, while ranking second on MSU in points with 10.8. Just the sixth Spartan to be a four-time All-Big Ten selection, Johnson was picked to the second team by the media in March.
Poole has seen drastic improvements throughout her Spartan career. The Canton, Ohio, native, improved her scoring output in each of her four collegiate seasons, capped by a team-high 13.4 points this season, which ranked 14th in the Big Ten. Her +7.3 increase from her junior season was fourth in the conference and the seventh largest in MSU history. In addition to her point increase, she posted career highs in rebounds, assists and steals. Her 3.4 assist average was second on the team and 12th in the league. Her play this season earned her all-conference honors for the first time in her career, being selected to the second team by the Big Ten coaches.
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