K-State Signs 3 to NLIs on Thursday

Nov. 14, 2013

K-State Athletics

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State head women’s basketball coach Deb Patterson announced the signing of three players to National Letters of Intent (NLI) during the Fall National Signing Week on Thursday.

The three new additions to the K-State roster in the 2014-15 season are: forward McKenna Treece, and guards Shaelyn Martin and Lauren Mertz. All three players check in at six feet or taller.

“I'm extremely excited about the diverse dimensions that this early signing class brings to our program,” said Patterson of her three new charges for next season. “Each of these young ladies are respected in their home communities for their strong personal character, their work ethic and their commitment to being excellent students. This group is characterized by the high expectations they place on themselves individually in their personal character decisions, and as high performing students and players. Many of the expectations you work to instill in young freshmen, this group has demonstrated they already possess in and for themselves.  The intensity and competitiveness with which they compete in the game is impressive.”

Treece is a 6-3 forward from St. Peters, Mo., who currently plays at Incarnate Word Academy in St. Louis which was ranked No. 5 in the preseason Sporting News 2013-14 Girls Top-25. She helped the Red Knights to an unbeaten 31-0 record in 2012-13 and the Missouri State title while averaging 7.6 points and 6.0 rebounds per game off the bench. In the 2012-13 season, Treece earned MWAA White All-Conference Team honors.

Entering her senior season with the Red Knights, Treece has helped Incarnate Word Academy to a record of 87-8 and two state titles (2011 and 2013) and a third-place finish (2012). In 2011, Treece was named to the All-Underclassman Team at the Girl Powher Showcase.

“McKenna Treece is a strong, physical presence in the post with a solid foundation of fundamental post moves and great hands,” said Patterson about her new forward. “She runs hard and well, she is a terrific post passer, and has range to the 3-point line. McKenna brings a strength element to our post game that is a strong need in our program. McKenna and Shaelyn both have the potential to impact our program immediately.”

Martin is a 6-0 guard from Salina, Kan., who enters her senior season at Salina Central High. Martin is a three-time All-AVCTL First Team selection and a three-time All-Saline County First Team selection. Martin helped the Mustangs to a state berth in 2012 and has garnered All-State honors for three straight seasons – honorable mention in 2011, first team in 2012 and second in 2013.

Last season, Martin tallied averages of 11.3 points, 9.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 3.5 steals and 1.5 blocks. In the 2011-12 season, Martin recorded 11.7 points, 9.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 3.7 steals and 1.2 blocks while helping the Mustangs to an 18-5 record. She enters her final campaign at Salina Central ranked third in school history for career points, first for total rebounds, first in assists, first in steals and second in blocks.

Martin is also an accomplished volleyball and track athlete. She has earned second team All-State honors the last two seasons and was a first team All-County and All-AVCTL selection in that time frame. In track, she has qualified for state over the last three seasons and finished fourth in the 300 hurdles and eighth in the high hurdles last year.

“Shaelyn Martin is an extremely athletic, agile, versatile wing player who is unlike anyone we have had in our gym for quite some time,” Patterson said of the local product. “Shaelyn has quick hands and feet defensively. She has a slicing penetration and finish game, a mid-range jump shot and 3-point range. She plays with a deceptive physicality relative to her slender stature and length.”

Mertz is a 6-0 guard from Overland Park, Kan., who attends Blue Valley Northwest High. Mertz is garnered 2011 honorable mention All-Eastern Kansas League honors while helping the Huskies to a substate title. She committed to K-State before her sophomore season but over the last two seasons, Mertz has battled through knee injuries and will look to get back on track in her senior campaign.

“Lauren Mertz brings a combination of strength, toughness and the versatility to play an inside-outside game,” stated Patterson. “She plays every possession hard, and brings a strong competitiveness to rebounding the ball. She has attacked rehabilitation of her knee injuries with equal resolve and toughness. Lauren has the potential to develop the dynamic inside-outside type of offensive game that we see from current player, Katya Leick. Lauren is working diligently on her rehabilitation and I have every confidence she will be ready to compete at 100% in June when she arrives on campus.”  

Kansas State will travel to El Paso, Texas to face UTEP on Saturday, Nov. 16 at 3 p.m. (CT). The game audio will be available for free at kstatesports.com/allaccess. The Wildcats will return to Bramlage on Wednesday, Nov. 20, to host Wichita State at 7 p.m. For ticket information, visit www.kstatesports.com or call 800-221-CATS.