Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Milestone awaits for UConn's Samuelson

The next 3-pointer Katie Lou Samuelson hits will be the 100th of her career.

The sweet-shooting sophomore from Huntington Beach, California won't be the first Husky to reach that milestone but she will get there faster than nearly any other player.

Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis owns the mark for fewest games needed to reach 100 3-pointers as it took her only 40. Diana Taurasi is next with 43 and if Samuelson had drained one more 3-pointer against DePaul she would have tied Taurasi for second place in that category. Next up on the list is Maya Moore, who needed 54 games to get there so it seems like a safe assumption that Samuelson will be No. 3 on that list.

If Samuelson hits one of her next three 3-point attempts, she will get to 100 needing fewer shots than any Husky other than Sue Bird.

Here's the list (I don't have play by play for all the games of the players on this list which is why the number of 3-pointers may be more than 100 on the list)

Player                                   Games    3PT-Att Milestone reached 
Sue Bird                              60            101-225 Old Dominion Jan. 18, 2001
Diana Taurasi                      43           104-243 Louisiana Tech Jan. 29, 2001
Maya Moore                       54            100-247 DePaul Jan. 13, 2009
Bria Hartley                        55           100-255 North Carolina Jan. 16, 2012
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis  40           100-256 Texas A&M Nov. 18, 2012
Jen Rizzotti                         60           102-256 Auburn Mar. 20, 1994
Mel Thomas                        62           102-257 Georgia Mar. 26, 2006
Ann Strother                        61           102-281 Providence Feb. 25, 2004

Samuelson, set to play in her 44th career game, is 99 for 239 from 3-point range

Friday, December 02, 2016

Magnitude of playing in Jimmy V Classic not lost on UConn players

No basketball program has won more games in the Jimmy V Classic than UConn and even though Sunday's game against Texas at Mohegan Sun Arena will mark the sixth season in a row that the Huskies will be playing in the women's Jimmy V Classic, the meaning of the game and the event is not lost on the UConn players.

"Playing games like the Jimmy V Classic is just phenomenal, to raise awareness and do it by doing something that you love is always something we are fortunate to be a part of," UConn junior guard Kia Nurse said. "There are extended things to it, we got to go the Children's Hospital in Hartford and that was so much fun to hang out with the kids, have dance parties and those kinds of things so to raise awareness, to be able to do it on a big stage and play a great (Texas) team is just a great atmosphere to be a part of."

UConn was a part of the first women's Jimmy V Classic in 2002, winning at North Carolina State (the school where Jim Valvano had a successful run with the men's basketball program). The Huskies lost to North Carolina in the 2004 and 2005 events. Sunday will mark the fifth time the women's Jimmy V Classic will be played in Connecticut. UConn is 6-2 in the Jimmy V Classic, 3-1 in games played in Connecticut.

UConn has also gone 5-0 at the Maggie Dixon Classic, held in honor of the former Army women's basketball coach who died in April of 2006 of what her brother and veteran men's basketball coach Jamie Dixon termed an arrhythmic episode to her heart.

"It is such a fun thing to be a part of," Nurse said. "To be able to help people and raise awareness by simply playing basketball, something that you have done for a long time is truly an honor and truly a blessing. It is great that UConn has always had the opportunity to be on that big stage and be a part of something bigger."

The Jimmy V Classic is sponsored by the V Foundation for Cancer Research which was created by Valvano in 1993 shortly before he lost his battle with cancer. Valvano announced the formation of the foundation during an unforgettable speech at the inaugural ESPY Awards. The foundation has raised more than $150 million for cancer research.

None of the current UConn players were born at the time of the speech but that doesn't mean they haven't heard the speech or seen video of it.
"It is absolutely phenomenal speech, legendary," Nurse said. "It is something that you are always going to see, something that is always going to be relevant. To inspire that many people, to continue to inspire that many people day in and day out every single day of the year is absolutely amazing."

The UConn/Texas game begins at 4 p.m. and will air on ESPN.

KANSAS STATE GAME A SELLOUT
Kansas State announced earlier today that all 12,528 tickets for the Dec. 11 game against UConn have been sold.

The last time UConn played at Maryland there were 15,327 fans in attendance, Nebraska's Pinnacle Bank Arena also has a capacity in excess of 15,000 and perhaps one of the five games remaining at the XL Center will top that mark but certainly it could be one of the largest crowds the Huskies will play in front of during the regular season.

Kansas State has averaged 4,315 fans in its first four home games so obviously bringing in the four-time defending national champions reputation of going a popular draw on the road will only be enhanced after this game.

The Wildcats are off to a 7-0 start and are coming off a win against nationally-ranked Auburn. Barring an upset loss against Nebraska-Omaha on Sunday, I would predict that Kansas State will be ranked at the time of the UConn game.

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Thursday, December 01, 2016

UConn's Nurse rediscovers her shooting touch

This has not been the easiest of stretches for Kia Nurse.

In her final three games at the Olympics she 5 for 34 from the field. It didn't get much better once UConn's season started as she missed her first eight shots and only twice in the first five games did she make consecutive shots from the field.

She made three straight shots in a Nov. 20 win against LSU and had two 3-pointers in a span of 25 seconds in the fourth quarter against Dayton when the Huskies were already up 24. Nurse came into the season with a 46.4 career field-goal percentage at UConn including a 38.8 mark from 3-point range but she was at 30.2 and 32.0 respectively before her breakout game.

Things were difficult enough that after missing all five of her field-goal attempts in a season-opening win at Florida State that Nurse initiated a face to face meeting with UConn coach Geno Auriemma because the pressure of her expanded role was much more trying that she anticipated.

Auriemma predicted that with a week between the Dayton and Chattanooga games that Nurse would return to her confident, shot-making self against the Mocs. That didn't happen and even in the shootaround earlier today, Auriemma watched as Nurse missed shot after shot after shot.

So to see Nurse make her first nine shots of the game and already top her previous career scoring high by halftime was not something Auriemma was expecting when UConn hosted No. 15 DePaul.

"She has been trying to hard to put points on the board that she has been fighting herself more than anything else," Auriemma said after the 91-46 victory. "She got very comfortable and a lot of times that is all it takes is to get comfortable.

"I didn't see it coming, I didn't see the score coming, I didn't see what Kia did today coming. At shootaround she missed five, six, seven in a row, I don't know what it was. I had a great coaching moment I told her you have two choices either make them or stop shooting and then she started making all of them."

Nurse got off and running hitting three fast-break layups in a span of 41 seconds early in the first quarter. By the end of the quarter the Huskies were leading 37-6 and Nurse already had 19 points. If she didn't take another shot, it would have been the third-best scoring total as a Husky. She would end with a career-high 33 points and also hit a career best with six 3-pointers.

"There wasn't a whole lot of thinking in terms of shots or scoring, it was more of what can you do on the defensive end, what can you do to affect the game other ways," Nurse said.

Nurse, who earlier today was the only UConn player named to the Wade Trophy watch list, is known to put plenty of pressure on herself. It has made her into the leading scorer on the Canadian national team at the major competitions in the last couple of years but at times she can be her own worst enemy when things aren't going her way. The latter was true earlier this season leading to her seeking out Auriemma for advice.

"I am stepping into a role that I haven't had to be in for a very long time because of the national team I have been kind of young too so it kind of relieved a little bit of that pressure," Nurse said. "It was a great thing for me but it was still a challenge for get better in the leadership roles."

So what was the best advice Auriemma gave her in her meeting?

"You don't have to be good all the time but there are specific times when you need to be really good," Nurse said.

Nurse wasn't the only UConn player with career best performances. Gabby Williams never had a game at UConn with more than five assists but she finished with 10 against DePaul while Katie Lou Samuelson matched her career high with seven assists.

"It is not about who scores the most now and different people are stepping up every night," Nurse said. "I think for Gabby and Lou to have that many assists between the two of them is awesome. It makes it extremely difficult and that is something that gives us an advantage to have such a large amount of offensive weapons."

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UConn's Dangerfield to play tonight

Freshman guard Crystal Dangerfield, who missed Tuesday's game against Chattanooga with concussion-like symptoms, has been cleared to play in tonight's game against DePaul.

Dangerfield averaged 24.3 minutes per game in the first four games of the season as she averaged 9 points 3.8 rebounds and 2 assists per game.

Dangerfield had 19 points and five assists in a win over Baylor and in her last game she had nine assists and just one turnover in a win over Dayton. It was during that game when Dangerfield was hit in the head resulting in her missing the Chattanooga game.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Sophomores Samuelson, Collier off to blazing starts at UConn

There's plenty of basketball yet to be played and with five of UConn's next seven games against ranked opponents, we should learn plenty of this year's team sooner rather than later.

This much is already known, sophomores Napheesa Collier and Katie Lou Samuelson are just fine taking on larger offensive roles.

I did some checking and going back to last 20 seasons, Samuelson and Collier have combined for 197 points the third highest total for UConn teammates through five games. Also, Samuelson's 106 points is also third on the list during that time. The only UConn classmates to top Samuelson's and Collier's point total at this point of the season since the start of the 1997-98 season were Svetlana Abrosimova and Shea Ralph during their sophomore seasons.

Through the first five games of their freshman season Samuelson had 36 points and Collier had scored 35.

There's plenty of reasons for these numbers starting with impressive play from the two sophomores but also starting guards Kia Nurse and Saniya Chong are combining for just 12.2 shots per game. I would expect that number to rise especially on Nurse's end once she rediscovers her offensive mojo. Gabby Williams had her minutes cut due to foul troubles in the first three games of the season so she certainly figures to average more than the 8.8 field-goal attempts she has had in the first five games. Other than Crystal Dangerfield the Huskies don't have the offensive threats coming off the bench like they have in the past so that is resulting in more shot opportunities for Samuelson and Collier. Collier is shooting 65 percent from the field while Samuelson is shooting 48.6 percent from 3-point range which would rank her fourth on UConn's career single-season list if that's the number she finishes with. It currently is No. 37 in Division I but second among the Samuelson sisters as older sister Karlie is 20th in Division I at 51.4 percent.

POINTS THROUGH 5 GAMES
130 Maya Moore 2010-11
117 Breanna Stewart 2015-16
106 Katie Lou Samuelson 2016-17
103 Diana Taurasi 2003-04
102 Svetlana Abrosimova 1998-99
 98 Maya Moore 2008-09
 97 Shea Ralph 1998-99
 94 Nykesha Sales 1997-98
 93 Maya Moore 2007-08
 93 Maya Moore 2009-10
 92 Shea Ralph 1999-2000
 91 Napheesa Collier 2016-17
 91 Renee Montgomery 2008-09
 91 Breanna Stewart 2013-14

COMBINED POINTS THROUGH FIVE GAMES
208 Maya Moore (130), Tiffany Hayes (78) 2010-11
199 Svetlana Abrosimova (102), Shea Ralph (97) 1998-99
197 Katie Lou Samuelson (106), Napheesa Collier (91) 2016-17
189 Maya Moore (98), Renee Montgomery (91) 2008-09
183 Breanna Stewart (117), Moriah Jefferson (66) 2015-16
182 Maya Moore (93), Tina Charles (89) 2009-10

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4 UConn players on Naismith preseason watch list

UConn's Napheesa Collier, Kia Nurse, Katie Lou Samuelson and Gabby Williams are among 50 players named to the Naismith Trophy Women's College Player of the Year preseason watch list.

The list will be cut to 30 when the midseason list is announced on Feb. 8.

Collier is averaging 18.2 points, had a team-leading 10 blocked shots and is tied for the team lead with 37 rebounds in the first five games of the season.

Nurse leads the second-ranked Huskies with 24 assists and is averaging 9.8 points per game.

Samuelson is UConn's top scorer averaging 21.2 points per game and has 17 of the team's 38 3-pointers.

Williams is averaging 11.8 points per game. She is tied for the team lead in rebounding (7.4 per game) and leads the Huskies with 11 offensive rebounds and nine steals.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Near perfect night for Collier in UConn victory

If there's been on constant in the early portion of this season it is that neither Napheesa Collier nor Gabby Williams miss when they get the ball within the shadow of the basket. So when Collier misfired on an easy shot in the lane in the early stages of the Chattanooga game it took me by surprise.

Collier certainly made up for her early game miss as she made her final 11 shots to finish with a game-high 23 points. If she had made the aforementioned shot in the paint, she would have broken Rebecca Lobo's program record for most consecutive shots in a game without a miss.

Lobo was 11 for 11 in a win over Iona on Dec. 23, 1994. Breanna Stewart threatened the mark when she went 10 for 10 against Creighton two years ago as did Williams (9 for 9 against Temple just nine months ago) and current assistant coach Shea Ralph was also 9 for 9 in a 1999 contest against Old Dominion.

"Let me fix it," Collier said was her initial reaction after her early miss. "It is frustrating especially when it is a shot you usually make so I just tried to adjust. I just feel good so I kept taking it in.
"I think everybody should have that mentality that when they get the ball that they are going to score."
Collier certainly has that belief with three 20-point games in the first five games of the season.
"She is unorthodox in a lot of ways," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "She is able to create space for herself that a lot of other people can't. When she gets the ball anywhere around the basket, she knows where the basket and she has a knack for (scoring). Some players they got it 10 times and five times she will turn the wrong way. She is going to do exactly what she has to do to get the ball up on the rim and score and that is why her shooting percentage is so high when she touches the ball. She has a great feel and it is not anything we've taught her."
UConn finished with 21 assists in the game and 10 of them came on baskets by Collier. All four of Williams' assists came on Collier's baskets while four of Saniya Chong's five assists set up baskets by Collier. Kia Nurse also had two of her four assists resulting in baskets by Collier.

Williams had one assist to Collier that I mentioned to her was Moriah Jefferson like as Williams grabbed an offensive rebound and instead of going up for the basket, she hit a cutting Collier for a basket.

Williams had another strong game with 11 points, 10 rebounds, four steals, four assists, no turnovers and one foul meaning that Williams has committed one foul in the last two games  after being whistled for 10 in the first three games of the season.

It wasn't all about stat stuffing. Chattanooga was 4 for 22 points en route to scoring a total of 39 points in a loss to Maine on Sunday. The Mocs had five 3-pointers and 31 points by halftime leading UConn coach Geno Auriemma to question his team's toughness and focus.

"You have to acquire it," Auriemma said. "A lot of times it comes from inside and you just have it and it needs to come out or somebody needs to whack you in the back of your head like my mother used to do and you find out hat you have that in you. Our guys on our team, forget getting whacked on the back of their head by their mothers, by the way you can't do that anymore. All you know is you show up, when is the game, there is food after, go back to our dorms or our apartments, living large and when is the parade? They don't know any different so they live in a fantasy world and after a while you have to face reality. People forget that Stewie's freshman year that they faced reality a lot, they got their butts kicked and they got tougher, by the time we got to March those guys were tough because they got their butts kicked along the way, they didn't like it. Maybe I am being picky."

There will be more on the toughness issue as well as the string of tough games in my advance for Thursday's DePaul game.

UConn played without freshman guard Crystal Dangerfield because of concussion-like symptoms. Auriemma is hopeful that she can play against DePaul.

"I don't know the ins and outs of how all of that stuff works, I just know that there are four different steps that you've got to go through, she went through two of them today which is really good, one tomorrow and she is good to go and one on Thursday at shootaround and she will be good to go on Thursday night," Auriemma said. "If she gets a thumbs up on Thursday she can play Thursday night, if one of them is a no-go, then she is a no go."

I also noticed that Williams ran off the court, consulted with a trainer and has spent time riding a stationary bike on different occasions. She downplayed any issues she was having.

"We are not quite sure what is going on, just getting a little tightness and cramping but I should be fine," Williams said.

It should be noted she quickly returned the game after experiencing the issue in tonight's game.

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Three UConn commits named preseason All-Americans

UConn commits Megan Walker, Charli Collier and Andra Espinoza-Hunter were named to the Max Preps preseason All-American team.

Walker, a senior forward at Monacan (Va.) High was a first-team selection, Collier, a junior forward at Barbers Hill (Tex.) was a second-team pick and Espinoza-Hunter, a senior guard at Ossining (N.Y.) was named to the third team.

UConn and Tennessee led the way with three commits among the 15 players named to the team.

UConn Class of 2018 recruiting target Christyn Williams, a junior guard at Central Arkansas Christian, and Class of 2019 recruiting target Samantha Brunelle, a sophomore guard at Monroe (Va.) High were second and third team selections.

CONNECTICUT SUN SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED
The WNBA released its 2017 schedule earlier today.

The Connecticut Sun opens at home against Atlanta on May 13 and will get right into the heart of the schedule playing back to back games against Minnesota on May 23 on the road and May 26 at home.

Here's the Connecticut Sun schedule

DATE     OPPONENT         TIME (LOCAL)
May 13 Atlanta 7 p.m.
May 20 at Indiana 7 p.m.
May 23 at Minnesota 7 p.m.
May 26 Minnesota 7 p.m.
May 28 at Chicago 5 p.m.
May 31 at Washington 11:30 a.m.
June 3 at San Antonio 7 p.m.
June 10 Atlanta 7 p.m.
June 14 New York 7 p.m.
June 17 at Minnesota 7 p.m.
June 23 at New York 7:30 p.m.
June 25 at Dallas 3:30 p.m.
June 27 Los Angeles 7 p.m.
June 29 Seattle 8 p.m.
July 1  at Indiana 4 p.m.
July 5  at San Antonio 7 p.m.
July 8  Washington 7 p.m.
July 12 at Seattle noon
July 13 at Los Angeles 7:30 p.m.
July 16 San Antonio 3 p.m.
July 19 at New York 11 a.m.
July 25 Chicago 7 p.m.
July 28 at Washington 7 p.m.
July 30 Indiana 3 p.m.
August 4 Phoenix 7 p.m.
August 8 Seattle 7 p.m.
August 12 Dallas 7 p.m.
August 15 at Atlanta 7 p.m.
August 18 New York 7 p.m.
August 20 Phoenix 3 p.m.
August 23 Dallas 7 p.m.
August 25 Chicago 7 p.m.
September 1 at Phoenix 7 p.m.
September 3 at Los Angeles 2 p.m.

Monday, November 28, 2016

UConn freshmen Bent, Irwin embracing expectations

Time will tell what caliber of players that freshmen Molly Bent and Kyla Irwin will turn out to be but there is no questioning that when it comes to first-year players who "get it" these two would definitely qualify.

Bent and Irwin knew that UConn coach Geno Auriemma didn't win a record 11 national championships by letting his new batch of recruits kick back and learn things at their own rate. He sets certain expectations and it is up to them to meet them and not for him to set the bar lower.

With Bent being coached by her father as an eighth grader through her sophomore season at Barnstable (Mass.) High and Irwin's coach in both volleyball and basketball at State College (Pa.) High being her mother and Branford High School Hall of Famer Bethany (Collins) Irwin, they have a better idea of how coaches go about their business than most college freshmen.

"You can never really prepare too much for that," Bent said with a chuckle about Auriemma's rather blunt coaching style.."I know that everything he tells us is for our best interest so he wants to make us better players and a better team. What he says is right and what you are doing is wrong.

"He wants you to do well and it is up to me to make him trust me and have him trust me so much that he wants to put me in the game and is not just trying to get me minutes and stuff like that. When you
make a mistake and you can see the disappointment, you know you want to do better because you want to get in and want to make him proud and make your teammates trust you."

Those are lessons she learned at a young age from her father.

"It was just knowing that he had my best interest at heart," Bent said. "He was my dad off the court and my coach on the court. Being able to separate those two, I know anything they say on the court, it is not attacking your character, who you are; it is attacking how hard you are working, the decisions you are making and things like that."

Irwin said she couldn't remember the details leading to the first time Auriemma called her out in practice but said it likely had to be with something regarding her defense.

"It got real," Irwin said. "I had to turn something on inside, light a fire, get after it and prove to him that I can do it, I want to compete at this level. It lights a fire underneath you and I feel like that is his plan.

"I think (being coached by her mother) gave me a really solid background of knowledge, I know the game decently enough. I can see where he is coming from, I know he is not just yelling at me to yell at me. He is yelling at me to make me better and that is encouraging."

With fellow freshman Crystal Dangerfield unlikely to play tomorrow against Chattanooga, that could lead to more playing time for Bent and Irwin.

"I know when I get in I have to make the most of my minutes because it could change every game," Irwin said. "Just play as hard as I can, go after every ball, box out, do all the little things that will help my team win.

"You have to break old habits that aren't going to happen at this level, this high intensity level
and the coaches are here to remind you to do that. They are good at that, breaking those old bad
habits. It is best to listen to your coaches and do what they are asking you to do."

There are plenty of tickets available for tomorrow's game, the first of five games being played at the XL Center.

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Dates announced for Geno Auriemma Show on SNY

SNY announced the dates and times that the Geno Auriemma Show will be airing beginning with Thursday after the DePaul game.

Here you go

Thursday, December 1 at 9 p.m. following DePaul at UConn game
Sunday, January 1 at 3:30 p.m. following UConn at UCF post-game
Saturday, January 14 at 6:30 p.m. following UConn at SMU post-game
Tuesday, January 17 at 9:30 p.m. following UConn at Tulsa post-game
Tuesday, January 24 at 9:30 p.m. following UConn at East Carolina post-game
Wednesday, February 1 at 9:30 p.m. following UConn at Temple post-game
Tuesday, February 7 at 9:30 p.m. following UConn at Cincinnati post-game
Saturday, February 18 at 4:30 p.m. following SMU at UConn post-game
Wednesday, February 22 at 9:30 p.m. following Temple at UConn post-game
Wednesday, March 8 at 10 p.m.
Wednesday, March 22 at 10 p.m.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Charli Collier commits to UConn

When Charli Collier took in the sights and sounds during her unofficial visit to UConn last month, she was ready to end her recruiting process.

The highly-touted 6-foot-4 junior out of Barbers Hill High School about 30 miles outside of Houston decided to go home and make sure it was the right move for her.

"I kind of wasn't planning on (committing this early)," Collier said. "I woke up one morning, this morning, and said today is the day. He (UConn coach Geno Auriemma) was excited, the whole coaching staff was excited.

"During my unofficial I committed while I was there. I just wanted to make sure with my family that is what I wanted to do."

So what was the best part of her trip to UConn?

"The team had so much chemistry together and how everybody got along, when I went on my unofficial I just felt that family feeling and knew this was where I want to be," Collier said.

Collier was also impressed by how well the UConn coaching staff develops top post players.

"I am really excited to get down there," Collier said. "I watched Stefanie Dolson, Morgan Tuck. I watched them (Tuck and Breanna Stewart) last year, I see how they develop. It is amazing to see how good they were freshman year and how amazing they were senior year. That progress through the years is amazing, they weren't content at all and improved each year."

Collier is also well aware of the tradition of the UConn women's basketball program highlighted by a record 11 national titles.

"Committing, of course they have 11 national championships," Collier said. "When I get there, I'd like to help them get four more. Committing is a big relief for me, now I can focus on my junior season and my senior season without any worries about what college I am going to. Now I know, I can keep working hard from here and start the next chapter of my life at Connecticut."

Collier already heard from the most recent UConn commit - Monacan (Va.) High senior forward Megan Walker this morning after making her announcement.

"We are excited about playing with each other," Collier said. "It is a great group of girls. I have played with them and against them and I am most excited that we will play together."

Collier averaged 24.6 points, 9.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists. 1.7 steals and 2.3 blocked shots per game as a sophomore. She saved some of her best work in the state playoffs when she averaged 30 points and 14 rebounds per game. She recently had a 41-point game for Barbers Hill.

Collier played on the U.S. team which won the bronze medal at the FIBA U17 World Championships in late June and early July along with fellow UConn Class of 2018 recruiting target Christyn Williams. Collier averaged 5.7 points and 3.6 rebounds in 7.7 minutes per game.

Collier, the first commitment for UConn from the Class of 2018, would be arriving when Napheesa Collier (no relation), Katie Lou Samuelson and Duke transfer Azura' Stevens would be seniors.
With Collier joining the 6-foot-6 Stevens, 6-foot-2 Walker and Batouly Camara, a lack of size will not be an issue when she suits up at UConn.

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Top UConn recruiting target to announce decision on Saturday

Charli Collier, one of the top 10 players in the Class of 2018, announced on Twitter on Friday that she was going to make her college announcement on Saturday.

Collier is a 6-foot-4 forward out of Barbers Hill High (about 30 minutes outside of Houston) who was a member of the U.S. team which won the bronze medal at the FIBA U17 World Championships.

She released a list of her top 12 schools in August which included UConn and took an unofficial visit to UConn last month as she was in attendance at First Night festivities.

I caught up with Collier during the junior national team trials and it was one of the easiest interviews I've conducted with UConn recruiting targets. It was my first time being in contact with her and even during a phone interview she did not hesitate talking about a variety of topics including the death of her father as well as having her mother teach at the same school she is attending.

One way or another UConn will have an idea of where they stand moving forward in the Class of 2018 after Collier's announcement. Although UConn could take up to four players in that class, I'd be surprised if they take that many especially with the coaching staff already pursuing top Class of 2019 prospects Samantha Brunelle, Aliyah Boston, Anaya Peoples and Aubrey Griffin.

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