By Chad Courrier
---- — MANKATO — Whatever Minnesota State women's basketball coach Emilee Thiesse is selling, the recruits are buying.
Thiesse received her fourth and fifth verbal commitments for the 2014 class, a couple of weeks before the 2013 class arrives on campus. Shooting guard Madison Lee of Maranatha Academy and forward Claire Jordan of Howard, Wis., both said that they want to be Mavericks when their high-school career is finished.
"It's the best of both worlds," Lee said. "It's run like a Division I program, but it still has the feel of D2. It's close to home, and they're usually good."
Lee and Jordan join the upcoming recruiting class, which already includes Claire Ziegler, a power forward from Mankato East; Madison Agey, a point guard from West Des Moines, Iowa; and Morgan Neuendorf, a combo guard from Waverly-Shell Rock, Iowa. These five are eligible to sign a letter of intent in November; Thiesse can't comment on prospective recruits until she receives a signed letter of intent.
Lee, who has played in the last four state tournaments and been a starter on championship teams in 2011 and 2012, visited campus last week, committing soon after that.
"I like it that they win," Lee said. "The campus is really pretty, and I really like the coaches. I wanted to do this early and get it over with. It's a good school and a good fit."
Lee, a 5-foot-8 shooter, averaged 14.5 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3 assists. She had heard from a lot of other colleges but hadn't received any offers.
Jordan is a 5-11 forward who played at Bayport High School in Green Bay. She averaged 13 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals, earning second-team all-conference honors. She shot 50 percent from the field and 80 percent at the free-throw line.
"I really like the coaches (at Minnesota State), and they play a style that I like to play," Jordan said. "It was the perfect fit."
Jordan, who also considered Lake Superior State and St. Norbert's, said she didn't know much about Minnesota State before this summer, though she knew the Mavericks won a national championship in 2009, and she visited campus two weeks ago. She is considering a pre-med major.
"I want to get this done and out of the way," she said. "It just seemed right."
The Mavericks were 26-6 last season, the second-most victories in program history, and advanced to the region semifinal game.