ST. LOUIS – Saint Louis University head women’s basketball coach Lisa Stone has announced the addition of 5-foot-11 guard Paige Rakers (Carlyle, Ill./Carlyle H.S.) to the Billiken roster. Rakers, who played at the University of Michigan the past two seasons, will sit out the 2015-16 campaign per NCAA transfer rules before beginning her two years of remaining eligibility in the fall of 2016.
“It is my pleasure to welcome Paige Rakers to our Billiken family,” Stone said. “Paige is from nearby Carlyle, Ill., and played for the St. Louis Team Adidas AAU program. She has two years of experience in the Big Ten Conference and will be a great addition to our backcourt. Paige is a great shooter, has a high basketball IQ and can defend very well on the perimeter.”
An injury limited Rakers, who was selected to the Big Ten All-Academic team, to nine games in the recently completed season. However, she played in 32 of Michigan’s 34 contests as a freshman, including two starts, and helped the Wolverines reach the WNIT third round. Rakers averaged 13.9 minutes and tallied 4.4 points per game during her rookie campaign, registering most of her scoring on 32 3-point field goals. She also shot 89 percent (16-of-18) from the foul line.
Rakers’ career highs include 12 points (four 3-pointers) vs. No. 15 LSU and seven rebounds vs. Texas Tech. She enjoyed an 11-point outing (three 3-pointers) vs. Alcorn State and connected three times from beyond the arc vs. Stony Brook in the WNIT first round. Rakers sank at least one 3-pointer in 21 of 32 games.
At Carlyle, Rakers scored 1,952 career points (22 ppg) and earned first-team All-State honors as a senior and second-team All-State accolades as a junior. She twice was named area Player of the Year by the Belleville News-Democrat, garnered All-Conference plaudits all four years and was the Illinois High School Association Three-Point Queen of the Hill in 2012.A three-sport standout, Rakers was awarded 12 Carlyle varsity letters. She was a four-time All-Area and All-Conference softball player and a two-time All-Conference volleyball performer. Rakers graduated third in her class.