St. John’s senior guard Mooriah Rowser and the University of Memphis women’s basketball program did not become acquainted until this summer, when Rowser gave a head-turning performance at a Georgia tournament and began to attract more schools from that part of the country.
One trip to a city she had never visited was all it took for the All-Met to commit to the Tigers. She was so taken with fourth-year Coach Melissa McFerrin and the team’s up-and-down style of play that she canceled planned visits to George Mason and UNC-Charlotte.
Rowser even learned that she has some relatives she has never met living in the Memphis area.
“The coaches talking about me and what they expect of me and what they see me doing kind of sold me,” said Rowser, who averaged 16 points, 7 rebounds and 3 steals last season for the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference and City Title champions. “I like the level of respect the coaches have for each one of the players and how passionate the coaches are about their program.”
Memphis has posted back-to-back 20-win seasons after not having done so since 1999-2000 and 2000-01. This past season the Tigers reached the Conference USA semifinals for the first time since 1997-98 and also played in the WNIT. Episcopal graduate Danielle O’Banion, a former All-Met, is an assistant with the program.
“I think Conference USA got a steal,” St. John’s Coach Jonathan Scribner said. “I think Mooriah Rowser is one of the most undervalued players in the class as far as coaches really realizing how good she is. She scores the basketball with amazing efficiency, has the knack for being in the right place at the right time and led our team in rebounding for the last two years from the guard position. Hard worker, good kid, great attitude.”
Rowser is the third St. John’s senior and the eighth WCAC girls’ basketball player in the class of 2012 to commit to a college. Two teammates, guard Kazzidy Stewart (Northeastern) and Jade Clark (Delaware), have made their choices, as have Holy Cross post players Lanay Montgomery (West Virginia) and Pandora Wilson (Drexel) and Tartans guard Jazmine Missouri (Delaware).