NORMAL — Illinois State women's basketball coach Kristen Gillespie's first recruit hails from a powerhouse junior college program, and Gillespie believes she will add power to the Redbirds.
Simone Goods, a 6-foot-2 forward who helped Kirkwood Community College to the junior college Division II national championship last season, has signed a grant in aid agreement to join the ISU program.
"We're thrilled," Gillespie said Friday. "Kirkwood is one of the programs you keep on your radar because they are always going to have good kids. It was one of my first calls when I got the job, and Simone was still available. She really took her time with the recruiting process."
Goods averaged 16.2 points and 8.2 rebounds for Kirkwood, which steamrolled through its schedule with a 37-0 record and claimed the Division II national championship. Goods played just 20 minutes per game as Kirkwood won by nearly 31 points per contest.
"Simone is a proven winner. I really believe she can help us immediately," said Gillespie. "She's a back to the basket player, but she does have a good mid-range, face-up game. Simone will give us leadership on and off the court and based on her ability to score, she should be an outstanding player in the (Missouri) Valley (Conference).”
Goods shot a national-best 67.9 percent from the field and 75.4 percent at the free throw line in her one season at Kirkwood. She will have two years of eligibility at ISU.
Goods is a graduate of Benson High School in Omaha, Neb., who averaged 12.3 points and 8.1 rebounds as a senior for a team that enjoyed an undefeated regular season.
Joining incoming freshman Ajai Simmons of Studio City, Calif., in ISU's recruiting class, Goods spent her freshman season at Western Kentucky where she averaged 2.6 points and 2.3 rebounds.
Gillespie has three open scholarships and said she may fill one of those before the start of next season.
"Things are going well with the 2018 class. It's moving along nicely," Gillespie said. "It's exciting. We're working hard and having a great response."