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CN's Goodall commits to Florida Gulf Coast University
March 20, 2013Columbus North High School
Tayler Goodall is using her Spring Break for more than just a beach vacaction.
The Columbus North (Ind.) High School basketball player took advantage of a trip to Florida to deliver an in-person message to Karl Smesko, women's basketball coach at Florida Gulf Coast University.
Goodall, who averaged 13.8 points and team highs of 6.2 rebounds and 3.4 steals for the 25-1 Bull Dogs during her recently completed junior season, announced Wednesday (March 20) that she has made an oral commitment to accept a scholarship to FGCU, an NCAA Division I program based in Fort Myers that won the regular-season championship of the Atlantic Sun Conference.
A member of the high school class of 2014, Goodall expects to sign a national letter-of-intent to finalize her commitment in November. She will join Smesko's program as a freshman for the 2014-15 season.
"I'm really excited about my decision," said Goodall, a 5-9 guard who has helped Columbus North to a 67-12 record over three seasons, including an Indiana Class 4A state runner-up finish in 2012 and two sectional championships. "There is something special going on here, something I want to be a part of.
"It's a hard-working team, and they play a style that is suited to my game. The basketball program and the school both are a good fit for me."
Smesko is unable to comment on Goodall's decision because NCAA rules prohibit him from talking about a prospect until after a player signs a national letter of intent.
Goodall -- who earlier this month was named a core member of the 2013 Indiana Junior All-Stars and first-team Underclass All-State by the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association -- will become a part an FGCU program that stands 27-6 this season and went 18-0 in the Atlantic Sun regular season. The Eagles will host Winthrop in the first round of the Postseason WNIT at 7 p.m. Thursday (March 21).
In six seasons of Division I play, FGCU has won four Atlantic Sun regular-season titles (2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013), captured the 2012 A-Sun Conference Tournament and participated in the 2012 NCAA Tournament. The Eagles are in the Postseason WNIT for the fifth time, joining previous appearances in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011.
Smesko, 288-55 in 11 seasons with the Eagles, was chosen 2013 A-Sun Coach of the Year, receiving that honor for the third season in a row and the fourth time in five years. Smesko, formerly the coach at IPFW in Fort Wayne, Ind., is 349-82 in 14 seasons as a college head coach.
Goodall informed Smesko in person of her decision Tuesday evening (March 19) after attending an FGCU practice with Columbus North teammates Hanna Ballard and Jessica Wagers. After practice, Goodall, her parents, her two CNHS teammates and their parents met with Smesko and other FGCU coaches. During that meeting, Goodall informed Smesko that she was committing to the Eagles.
"When I told Coach Smesko, he smiled and his eyes got big," Goodall said. "He told me he was really excited and that he expected me to be ready to play (at FGCU) as a freshman. He said it is up to me and how hard I work."
Goodall spent the early part of Wednesday calling coaches from other colleges to inform them of her decision. Other programs that had offered Goodall included Ball State, Bowling Green, Illinois State, Miami (Ohio) and Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She also made sure news of her commitment was delivered to a number of other colleges that had expressed interest. Those schools included Butler, Delaware, Evansville, Florida Atlantic, Indiana, Indiana State, IUPUI, Missouri State, St. Bonaventure, Stetson and Western Kentucky.
Through 79 high school contests, Goodall's well-rounded game has helped Columbus North to three winning seasons. She has produced 866 points, 430 rebounds, 139 assists and 174 steals in high school, making for career averages of 11.0 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 2.2 steals. She also has 71 career 3-pointers, including 42 treys as a junior.
Goodall stands ninth on CN's career scoring list, 10th on CN's career rebounding list, eighth on CN's career steals list and fifth on CN's career list for 3-pointers made.
The two-time all-Conference Indiana selection also stands third on CN's single-season list for steals (89 as a junior), third on CN's list for 3-pointers made (42 as a junior) and seventh on CN's single-season free throw accuracy list (.791 as a sophomore). Her .861 free throw shooting as a junior (62-of-72) was three attempts shy of qualifying for the school's single-season records list; that accuracy would have placed her second on the CN season list.
Also, Goodall tied single-game school records as a junior with six 3-pointers in a 40-37 victory over Roncalli and 10 steals in a 60-38 triumph at Columbus East. Other 2012-13 season highlights included Goodall being named MVP of the four-team City Securities Hall of Fame Classic and all-tournament at the eight-team Subway/Columbus North Invitational.
Columbus North will open its 2013-14 season on Nov. 15 at home against Martinsville.