June 29, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Whitney Bays, a redshirt freshman from Maryland will transfer to Purdue, head women's basketball coach Sharon Versyp announced on Thursday. The 6-foot-2 forward from Huntington, W.V., will sit out the upcoming season due to NCAA transfer rules, but will have two years of eligibility, starting in 2013-14.
"Whitney was one of the best players in the country coming out of high school and she has an impressive skill set, including the intangibles that you can't necessarily teach," Versyp said. "She is a dynamic player who is a scorer, with good handles (ballhandling) and will go hard after the boards. She is a competitor, very determined with a great work ethic and has the strong personal character that is important to us. Whitney is mentally tough and mature. The nice thing is she will have a year to get 100% healthy and learn our system, while competing against talent in practice. Whitney's experience and knowledge of the game will enhance our team."
In her first year at Maryland in 2010-11, Bays was not on the active roster in order to recover from an ACL injury she suffered the summer before her senior year at Huntington H.S. In 2011-12, as a redshirt freshman, Bays saw action in 26 games and averaged 2.3 points and 2.7 rebounds in 10.1 minutes per game.
Despite missing her senior year due to ACL surgery, Bays surpassed the 1,000 point plateau in high school. As a junior, she average 24.4 points and 11.1 rebounds and was named the 2009 West Virginia Player of the Year. She was a three-time first team All-State selection, a two-time Gatorade Player of the Year and led her team to three-straight state finals. Coming out of high school, she was rated the No. 13 player in her class by ESPN, including the No. 3 forward.
Bays is the third Maryland student-athlete to transfer during Versyp's tenure as head coach. Drey Mingo came to Purdue in the summer of 2009 and will be on the court this season after being granted a sixth year by the NCAA in the spring. Kalika France was the first, arriving in West Lafayette, in Dec. 2006. France had earned a bachelor's degree in accounting from Maryland and under the NCAA legislation at the time, was immediately eligible.
Bays joins incoming freshmen Hayden Hamby, a 5-foot-7 guard from Trinity, Ala., (West Morgan H.S.), Taylor Manuel, a 6-foot-2 forward/center from St. Louis, Mo., (Incarnate Word Academy), Joslyn Massey, a 6-foot forward from Detroit, Mich., (John Glenn H.S.) and April Wilson, a 5-foot-7 guard from Louisville, Ky., (Manual H.S.) who signed with the Boilermakers last fall. Before the addition of Bays, the signing class was ranked No. 13 nationally.
Bays is expected to arrive on campus July 7.