WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue women's basketball head coach Sharon Versyp announced the addition of three players to the Boilermaker family Wednesday, inking Nyagoa Gony, Cassidy Hardin and Kayana Traylor to national letters of intent. The trio boasts an impressive list of credentials, features a pair of Indiana natives and will join the Boilermakers in the fall of 2018.
"This class brings us another huge addition of talent and potential to continue improving on some of the great things we're doing here at Purdue," said Versyp. "Our ability to keep Indiana's best kids at home and go steal another great player out of the state of Nebraska speaks volumes about the work that our staff is putting in and the team and culture we've built."
Hardin and Traylor will bolster the Boilermaker backcourt, playing shooting guard and point guard, respectively, while Gony is a budding, 6-foot-2 post player with intentions to make an impact down low for the Old Gold & Black.
Gony is the second player in program history to hail from Nebraska, following Boilermaker standout KK Houser. A two-year letterwinner at Lincoln High School, she was the state's leading rebounder in 2015-16, and offers the Boilermakers' a wealth of potential in the post. A long and agile post defender, Gony has drawn comparisons to 2008 All-Big Ten Defensive Team honoree Danielle Campbell and can change the game with her length around the bucket. Offensively she's comfortable with a face-up game, back to the basket or running in transition, and brings a versatile defensive skill set that allows her to defend at the top of a press or anchor a half-court set near the basket.
"Nyagoa's work ethic, determination and dedication are unwavering," said Versyp. "She has the potential to be a game-changer for us and is capable of becoming double-trouble for opponents on each end of the floor."
Two-year varsity letterwinner at Lincoln High School
Averaged 8.7 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.9 blocked shots per game in 2016-17
Led Nebraska High School Class A in rebounding as a sophomore, grabbing 254 total boards, 10.6 per game
Added 7.3 points and 2.5 blocks per game in 2015-16
Three-year honor roll student
Tabbed a three-star recruit with an 88 overall grade in the 2018 ESPN Hoopgurlz Recruiting Rankings
Honorable Mention All-State honoree
Played in 2017 Under Armor All-American Games
Member of Cornhusker Shooting Stars and Bison Elite AAU programs
Full name: Nyagoa W. Gony
Intended Major: Business Administration or Political Science
Birthday: March 22, 2000
City Born: Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Parents: John Wigual Ruach and Elizabeth Riek
Siblings: Sisters: Nyayongah, Sarah and Nyapech, and Brother, Ruach
The Boilermakers' 3-point records are officially on watch with the addition of Hardin, who will make the short trip from Bargersville, Indiana to West Lafayette. One of the nation's best shooters from downtown, she has exceptionally deep range and does a great job with both catch-and-shoot or coming off the dribble. Hardin has a very high basketball IQ and has added a variety of 1-on-1 moves and a sweet mid-range game, making her a threat from every position. At 5-foot-10, she has solid size for a guard and can post up a smaller matchup as well.
"We're thrilled about Cassidy's technique and keen eye for shooting," said Versyp. "We think we got the best shooter in the country in this class, but she can do everything else. She's really an exceptional passer, which is an incredible addition to a player who can knock it down the way she can."
Three-year varsity letterwinner in basketball and tennis at Center Grove High School
Has led her team to a pair of county (2015, 2017) and sectional (2015, 2016) championships
Averaged 14.0 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.7 steals, while hitting 2.4 3-pointers per game to lead her team to a 14-9 record in 2016-17
Averaged 13.4 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game, knocking down 2.6 3's per game as a sophomore
Won the 2017 Indiana State Doubles Championship in tennis
Played on back-to-back state team runner-up tennis teams in 2016 and 2017, earning all-state honors both seasons
Member of the National Honor Society and owns a cumulative grade point average of 4.4
Three-time Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference Academic All-Conference pick
Coached by Kevin Stuckmeyer (basketball) and Debby Burton (tennis)
Ranked as a three-star prospect and 90 overall rating by ESPNW Hoop Gurlz, and the No. 28 overall guard in the country
Rated a four-star prospect by Prospects Nation
Tabbed a four-star prospect by Jump Off Plus
Two-time (2016, 2017) All-Indy Area Super Team
Back-to-back All-Johnson County selection
2017 First Team All-Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference
Two-time (2016, 2017) Hoosier Basketball Magazine All-State honoree
Ten-time USJN Tournament All-Star selection
Logged two games with 11 3-pointers, six with 10+ and 5+ on 102 occasions
Selected as an Indiana Junior All-Star, competing with fellow signee Kayana Traylor against Boilermaker teammate Karissa McLaughlin in the summer of 2017
Played for Indiana Flight Thunder AAU program under Tony Marlin
Full name: Cassidy Nicole Hardin
Intended Major: Biology
Birthday: July 6, 2000
City Born: Indianapolis, Indiana
Parents: Greg and Kelly Hardin
Siblings: Sisters, Courtney and Carleigh, Brother, Cameron
Traylor is an explosive, quick, dynamic point guard who will be a fun one to watch for Boilermaker fans. A lefty with a blazing first step, she presents a variety of problems for opponents: blowing by them to the bucket, stopping on a dime for a pull-up jumper or stepping back behind the arc to rain down 3's. Despite an offensive prowess that has her averaging close to 30 points per game, it's Traylor's defensive game that will truly excite Boilermaker fans. She has incredible focus on a defensive gameplan and that coupled with her quickness and athleticism makes her a terror for opponents.
"Kayana has been a player we're excited about joining us for a long time," said Versyp. "She'll be able to follow in an outstanding line of defensive point guards that have suited up for Purdue, and wreak havoc in opposing backcourts."
Three-year varsity letterwinner and team most valuable player at Martinsville High School
Led her team to back-to-back conference and sectional championships in 2016 and 2017
Averaged 22.7 points, 5.1 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game in her junior season
Posted 23.7 points, 6.9 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game as a sophomore
Tallied freshman averages of 18.3 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game
Three-time Martinsville Honor Roll award recipient
Coached by Vince Carbone
Rated the nation's No. 42 overall recruit with five stars and a 96 overall grade in the 2018 ESPN Hoolgurlz recruiting rankings
Ranked 31st in the country by Blue Star Report
Tabbed the nation's No. 39 recruit by Collegiate Girls Report
McDonald's All-America nominee
2016 and 2017 Indiana Basketball Coaches Association Underclass Supreme 15
Named an Indiana Junior core all-star in 2017
Selected as an Indiana Junior All-Star, competing with fellow signee Cassidy Hardin against Boilermaker teammate Karissa McLaughlin in the summer of 2017
Played for Indiana Flight Thunder AAU
Mother, Danielle, played college basketball at LSU
Full name: Arnezia Kayana Danielle Traylor
Intended Major: Psychology
Birthday: Sept. 27, 1999
City Born: Martinsville, Indiana
Parents: Jeff Walker and Danielle Traylor
Siblings: Sisters: Pashence, Ashlyn and Adelyn