Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.
LAS CRUCES, N.M. - New Mexico State women's basketball head coach Mark Trakh announced the final two additions to his coaching staff Tuesday with the hiring of Tamara Inoue and Aarika Hughes.
Inoue joins the Aggie coaching staff after three seasons as an assistant coach at Santa Clara University. She joined the Broncos' women's basketball program in 2008. Inoue's primary responsibilities at Santa Clara involved recruiting, film exchange, scouting and working with the Bronco guards.
After six years of playing and coaching in Australia, Inoue joined the staff in Santa Clara.
Inoue's playing days in Australia were cut short due to injury. After rehabilitation in the United States, she returned to coach in Australia's Victorian Basketball League (VBL).
The new NM State assistant earned VBL Coach of the Year honors in 2006-07 with the Nunawading Spectres. She also coached the Knox Raiders to a national championship the following season with a 27-1 record. The Raiders avenged their lone loss in the title game. In addition to her head coaching duties, she also helped run the Melbourne Roos club team. With the Roos, she assisted in developing several NCAA Division I athletes that went on to play in the U.S.
As a student-athlete Inoue played three seasons at Long Beach State, ending her career in 2002, after transferring from University of California at Berkeley. She was a two-time All-Big West honorable mention selection with the 49ers.
As a senior, Inoue led the Big West in assists, averaging 5.9 per game. In her junior year she finished second in the league in assists (4.6 per game), while averaging 9.6 points per game. Inoue also shot 45 percent from the field and 35 percent from beyond the arc as the 49ers advanced to the Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT).
Inoue was a USA Today honorable mention All-American as a senior at Laguna Hills (Calif.) High School in 1997. She averaged 14.0 points per game that season. A two-time league MVP, she set single-game school records for points (30), assists (12) and steals (12).
In 2002, Inoue earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Long Beach State.
"Tamara brings a lot of experience to our staff," Trakh said. "She has cultivated many contacts on the west coast as well as in Australia where she coached and played for several years. She's very knowledgeable about the game and she is a great recruiter. It also helps that she was a great guard at Long Beach State and Cal. She brings a lot to the table and is a great addition to our staff."
Trakh is very familiar with Hughes after recruiting her to play for him at the University of Southern California. They spent three seasons together in Los Angeles from 2007-09. Hughes graduated in 2010 with a degree in psychology.
Hughes spent much of the past year in her home state of Oregon coaching an Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) squad named Team Concept, based in Portland.
The 6-2 guard/forward was a proven 3-point threat for the Women of Troy who could also play in the post and crash the boards. Hughes finished her career with the fifth-best single-season 3-point field goal percentage of 40.9 when she drained 18-of-44 from beyond the arc in 2007-08 under Trakh.
During her 2009-10 senior campaign at USC, Hughes started 30 of 31 games for the Women of Troy, averaging 26.4 minutes per game. Hughes averaged 7.0 points and 5.1 rebounds per game in her final season. She was second on the team in rebounds, third in points scored and third in 3-point field goals made as a senior. The four-year letterwinner led the team in scoring twice and was the leading rebounder on nine occasions.
Hughes was a team captain as a junior and appeared in all 32 games with 18 starts.
She led the team in defensive rebounds with 3.8 per game while averaging 4.1 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 0.9 steals per game. Hughes opened the season with back-to-back, double-digit rebounding efforts with 11 and 13 vs. Charlotte and Milwaukee, and was named to the Wolfpack Invitational All-Tournament Team for her efforts. She led team in rebounding in seven games.
As a sophomore, Hughes battled a foot injury while appearing in 18 games. She averaged 5.8 points and 3.9 rebounds per game and led the team in 3-point shooting percentage, going 18-of-44 (.409) to lead the team. During her freshman season, Hughes started once and played in 18 games as a true freshman but was sidelined for 12 games with a stress fracture in her foot, returning on Jan. 18. Hughes averaged 2.6 points and 1.4 rebounds per game and played 13.2 minutes per game in her first season at USC.
At Southridge High School in Beaverton, Ore., Hughes lost only five games in three years. She averaged 10 ppg, 6.4 rpg and 2.9 spg as a senior to help Southridge win the 4A state title and finish the season ranked No. 6 in the nation by USA Today. As a junior, Hughes averaged 12.9 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 2.9 spg and 2.4 apg, when Southridge went 29-0, won the state title and finished ranked No. 22 in the nation.
Hughes was named to the All-Oregon 4A first team by the Portland Oregonian and recognized with All-Oregon 4A State Tournament first team honors in 2006. She also received All-State first team honors in 2005 and second team honors in 2004. Additionally, Hughes was invited to the U.S. Under-20 National Team Trials while at Southridge.
"Aarika played for me at USC," Trakh said. "She is very competitive and has vast experience as a starter at the Division I level. I think because of her young age, she'll be able to relate to our players fairly easily. She'll be on the floor coaching with the players a lot and will assist with the organizational needs of our staff off the court."
Inoue and Hughes join Jamie Shadian, hired a few weeks ago, on head coach Mark Trakh's staff.