VERMILLION, S.D. (USD) — South Dakota head women’s basketball coach Dawn Plitzuweit is pleased to announce the signing of Cassidy Carson, Carley Duffney and Grace Larkins to National Letters of Intent.
“We are very excited to officially welcome Cassidy, Carley and Grace into our Coyote women’s basketball family,” said Plitzuweit. “This class is comprised of three extremely driven young ladies who are proven competitors that excel both in the classroom and on the court. Our mission is to continue to recruit young ladies who have a winner’s mentality in everything they do and these three signees will be great additions to our pack!”
Cassidy Carson | Guard | 6-0 | Eagan, Minn. | Eastview HS
Cassidy Carson, a 6-foot guard from Eastview High School in Eagan, Minnesota, captured a Minnesota state title as a freshman. She’s a three-time all-South Suburban Conference honoree in both basketball and golf. She garnered honorable mention all-state honors the past two seasons on the hardwood. The Lightning have made the state tournament three times with Carson on the roster. She averaged 12.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.1 blocks per game as a junior. On the club circuit, Carson has been to multiple national championship tournaments and won a Minnesota championship with the North Tartan EYBL Program. A member of the Lightning golf team, she also qualified for the Minnesota state golf meet. Carson is a National Honor Society member and was named the Eastview Outstanding Academic Athlete as a junior.
“Cassidy possesses the ability to handle the ball and set her teammates up while truly being a knockdown shooter,” said Plitzuweit. “Her length also makes her a threat on the defensive end of the court. We love the enthusiasm and passion that Cassidy carries herself with and we are thrilled to welcome Cassidy and her family to Vermillion!”
Carley Duffney | Forward | 5-11 | Green Bay, Wis. | Preble HS
Carley Duffney, a 5-11 forward out of Preble High School in Green Bay, Wisconsin, garnered the Fox River Classic Conference Player of the Year honors as a junior. Duffney is a 1,000-point scorer for the Hornets who garnered all-FRCC first-team honors the past two years. She earned honorable mention all-state recognition as a junior after helping Preble reach sectionals. She averaged 16.3 points per game, shot 53 percent from the field and grabbed 5.8 rebounds per game. Duffney played for the Purple Aces AAU team and has garnered numerous all-tournament honors in the AAU circuit. A member of the Hornets’ volleyball and track and field teams, Duffney owns the school record in the 300-meter hurdles. She twice qualified for the Wisconsin state meet in both the 100 and 300 hurdles. Duffney is a National Honor Society member and ranks in the top-five percent of her class for GPA.
“Carley is very versatile and has the ability to play multiple positions for us,” said Plitzuweit. “She has great speed, length and athleticism, and that combination will allow Carley to make a lot of positive things happen on both ends of the floor. She also has a very dynamic personality and we are excited to have Carley and her family join our pack!”
Grace Larkins | Guard | 5-10 | Altoona, Iowa | Southeast Polk HS
Grace Larkins, a 5-10 guard from Altoona, Iowa, already holds the Southeast Polk High School career scoring record entering her senior campaign with 1,487 career points. During her junior year, she averaged 21.4 points per game to garner all-state honors from both Iowa Print Writers Association and Iowa Girls Coaches Association for the second-straight season. She competed at the Iowa state tournament as a sophomore and junior. Larkins played for the All Iowa Attack in the Nike EYBL circuit, winning two AAU National Championships and finishing runners-up once. The Attack posted an undefeated 2020 season with a record of 43-0. A member of the Rams’ cross country and track and field program, Larkins was a four-time qualifier for the Iowa state cross country meet with a fourth-place finish as a sophomore. Larkins is a member of the National Honor Society and an honor roll student at Southeast Polk.
“Grace is an extremely competitive player who is not only a tenacious defender, but also very skilled offensive player,” said Plitzuweit. “She is always in attack mode and fits our style of play incredibly well. She truly gives her best in everything she does and is so much fun to be around! We are thrilled for Grace and her family to be welcomed to USD by Coyote Nation!”
The trio will enroll at and be eligible to compete for South Dakota in the fall of 2021.