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NORMAL — Kristen Gillespie's first full recruiting class as Illinois State women's basketball coach has swelled to four.

Two guards and two post players have declared their intention to sign a national letter of intent with the Redbirds in November.

Committing to ISU have been 6-foot-2 Lexy Koudelka of Nevada, Iowa; 6-2 Anya Brooks of Plainfield South; 5-8 Ally Gietzel of Fond du Lac, Wis.; and 5-8 Mary Crompton of Iowa City, Iowa.

"I really believe our staff has done a great job building relationships with a lot of the Midwest AAU programs," said Gillespie, who is prohibited by NCAA rules from commenting on specific recruits until a national letter of intent is signed.

"Once we get prospective recruits on campus, I think our campus sells itself. It's clear there is a great commitment to athletics and women's basketball at Illinois State."

Crompton and Koudelka both play for All Iowa Attack, an elite AAU program that finished second recently in a national tournament.

Koudelka is ranked as the No. 57 player overall in the class of 2018 and the No. 10 post player. The reigning Ames Tribune Player of the Year, Koudelka averaged 19.4 points, 13.3 rebounds and 3.8 blocks for a 22-2 team as a junior.

"I look forward to being a player for the new coaching staff and playing a role in turning the program around," Koudelka said. "I am a strong player inside, but I can also step outside to shoot or handle the ball. I take pride in being a good teammate and a good leader."

An All-Stater like Koudelka, Crompton averaged 18.0 points for an Iowa City Regina squad that was 26-1 last season and advanced to the state Class 2A semifinals.

Crompton shot 47.2 percent from 3-point range as a junior. For reference, ISU shot 26.2 percent from 3-point range as a team last season and no individual player sank 32 percent or higher.

"Definitely the most noticed of my talents is my shooting ability," said Crompton. "I'm not the biggest person out there, but I control whatever I can control. Shooting has always been something I can control.

"Since third grade I've been shooting with my dad almost every night. Through the years, I've really fallen in love with the process."

Brooks averaged 10 points and 10 rebounds last season at Plainfield South.

"I chose ISU because they showed me the most love. It's hard to find such honest and loving coaches that will put their everything in their players," Brooks said. "I consider my strength that mental toughness and knowing when to bring that animal out in me.

"I play all four quarters with my all (on) defense and offense and push through and be a leader on the court as well as off the court."

A three-star recruit according to ESPN, Gietzel shot 44 percent from the field and 82 percent at the free throw line as a junior while averaging 19.8 points and 6.1 rebounds.

"Some of my reasons for choosing ISU are the passion the coaches have for turning this program around, the fun atmosphere of the campus and the academic reputation of the school," Gietzel said.

Gietzel listed her best assets as "my athleticism, basketball IQ and my ability to play multiple positions."

When asked if she is finished recruiting for the class of 2018, Gillespie replied, "Could there be more? Possibly."

Follow Randy Reinhardt on Twitter: @Pg_Reinhardt



Reporter for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

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