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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Jefferson en route to UConn

Following up on my previous blog entry, I reached out to Corey Hegwood of the DFW Elite AAU program UConn recruiting target Moriah Jefferson plays for and he said the highly-touted junior point guard from Glenn Heights, Tex. is on her way to UConn for a visit.

What's interesting about Jefferson's visit is that she was just in Connecticut when the U.S. national team scrimmaged Australia at the XL Center on Sept. 10. I tend to deal with the black and white in terms of recruiting. I do not say so and so is leaning towards UConn or that this comment means this or she will go to this school simply because my mind reading skills aren't exactly top of the line especially when it comes to what 16 and 17 year old girls are thinking. However, I'd have to say that Jefferson is pretty serious about UConn. Two trips in just over a month is understandable if she was from New York or Pennsylvania but to make the trip from Texas twice in five weeks, that's a highly unusual move.

What I can tell you about Jefferson is what Hegwood said about her style of play and talent.

"She could become the quickest guard to play in the (women's) game," Hegwood said. "She plays with a lot of energy on offense and defense, she has a great handle and is a lockdown defender. I've had boys AAU coaches say that she could start for a boys AAU team."

Jefferson is part of a sensational group of recruits checking out Friday's First Night festivities. I've confirmed six recruits already and blogger Kenny Kallina reported that Bolingbrook (Ill.) High forward Morgan Tuck is also planning to visit UConn this weekend. I don't doubt the validity of that information but I placed a call to Bolingbrook just to see if I could confirm that info. This is my ninth season covering UConn and Huskies might be outdoing themselves with the quantity and quality of recruits coming to campus this weekend.

Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, who has already committed to UConn, is considered by many as the best player in the current high school class. The 6-foot wing is an explosive offensive presence.

Jefferson is vying with fellow UConn recruiting target Breanna Stewart for the honors of being the top prospect among the junior class

Diamond DeShields is being touted as the top high school sophomore in the country

Brianna Banks, who has also committed to UConn, caught the eye of the UConn coaches and like Jefferson, is a cat quick guard who is a defensive dynamo who happens to be soaring up the recruiting rankings similar to the way Tiffany Hayes, who played for the same Essence AAU program as Banks, did shortly after she committed to UConn.

Kiah Stokes is one of the top uncommitted seniors and fills a need for another post player. It also can't hurt that her grandfather lives in New Haven or that there is playing time available in the post if she chooses to come to Connecticut.

Bria Holmes is a two-time All-Stater who led Hillhouse to state titles in both of her years with the Academics is an athletic and versatile 6-foot-1 wing who is considered to be a top 20 recruit nationally

Morgan Tuck was a teammate of Mosqueda-Lewis on the U.S. Under-17 national team and has been a much talked about talent since she was a high school freshman. I spoke to her following a U-17 practice in Oakton, Va. Although I previously posted this quote, I thought I would throw it out there. So here's what she said when I asked her about UConn: "UConn is a great program, they are undefeated two years (in a row) so I don't know who wouldn't want to go there. They are the best team in the country right now."

I reached out to Mosqueda-Lewis' high school coach because UConn has expressed an interest in Mater Dei junior guard Jordan Adams as well. Kevin Kiernan said "As far as I know, both will be playing for Mater Dei in a tournament this weekend here in California." However, Mosqueda-Lewis has been putting entries on her twitter account stating she is en route to Connecticut. She makes no mention of Adams and that combined with what Kiernan said makes me deduce that Adams will not be making the trip.

The one thing I would say to those who were hyperventilating when players on UConn's recruiting radar started passing on UConn is that I view recruiting in two-year cycles. A small class one year merely opens the door to have an impressive haul the following season. Whether or not the Huskies land Stokes, it's pretty clear that they have invested a lot of time to getting in tight with some of the top players in the junior class. While recruiting is an inexact science and a lot of things can happen between now and November of 2011 when these top prospects can sign their national letters of intent, it seems pretty clear that the Huskies have put themselves in position to land a pretty special class next year.

The other thing is that UConn tried and failed to get in late with some kids who opted to go elsewhere and it's pretty evident to me that is simply not going to be the case in the next recruiting cycle since UConn is already in with top juniors like Stewart, Jefferson and Tuck.

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