Champaign, Ill. - Illinois head coach Jolette Law has announced the signing of 6-0 guard McKenzie Piper (Iowa City, Iowa/Iowa City West H.S.) and 6-3 forward Nia Moore (Bolingbrook, Ill./H.S.).
Piper committed to Illinois in June following Elite Camp. She also considered Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa State and Iowa among others. Piper averaged 11.3 points and 5.3 rebounds per game and shot 41 percent from the field in helping Iowa City West to the championship game of the Class 4A state tournament. The Trojans also won the Mississippi Valley Conference for the first time in 22 years. Piper transferred to Iowa City West after playing her first two seasons at Keokuk, who advanced to the state quarterfinals during her freshman year. The three-star recruit also played for All Iowa Attack and is ranked as the 59th best guard in the class by HoopGurlz.
"McKenzie is definitely one of the most versatile players I have seen," Law said. "She shoots the three exceptionally well and brings that winner's edge. She works extremely hard, is a fierce competitor and has a refuse to lose mentality."
Mark Lewis of HoopGurlz says of Piper, "This versatile guard has the size and skills to make play after play and does so in many ways. The ability is there to put the ball on the floor and get into the paint to create shots or looks for her teammates."
Moore committed to Illinois a month ago after also considering Notre Dame, Auburn and Wisconsin. She is the second player from the highly successful program to join the Illini, along with current freshmen Taylor Tuck. Moore was the starting center for the 2011 IHSA Class 4A champions. The Raiders have won the last three state titles in the largest class in Illinois. Moore is a three-star recruit according to HoopGurlz and transferred to Bolingbrook after playing her first two years at Morgan Park. HoopGurlz ranks her as the 82nd best forward in the class nationally and evaluates her as a "shot blocker/changer." She played for the Illinois Dream Team during the summer.
"Nia Moore is one of the best shot blockers that I have seen in a long time," Law said. "She runs the floor extremely well and has a deadly mid-range game. We need a center with a strong presence inside that loves to play defense and Nia is just that. She has only scratched the surface of her potential as an offensive player, but she can guard a perimeter player as well as a post and that is something we need going forward."