Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

UConn is high on Xylina McDaniel's list

UConn not only has made the top four in the list of schools in contention for South Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year Xylina McDaniel, but her AAU coach Roger Wiley said that Connecticut and South Carolina are the schools she mentions as her top choices in the conversations he has had with the versatile 6-foot-1 forward.

McDaniel narrowed her list to UConn, South Carolina, North Carolina and Providence although Wiley said he was not sure of the exact dates she will be visiting those schools. But there is no mistaking where her heart lies.

"She mentions South Carolina and Connecticut pretty often," said Wiley, who coaches McDaniel on the South Carolina 76ers AAU program. "They would have to be considered her favorites.

"Connecticut is a pretty impressive school while South Carolina is close to home."

Wiley said Providence, the most surprising school on her list of finalists, has been involved with McDaniel for quite some time and she has developed a bond with the coaches at that school. He also said she doesn't plan to expand her list and she has communicated to other school that those are her four finalists. DePaul, Rutgers and Oklahoma are among those schools that Wiley said had aggressively been pursuing the daughter of former NBA star Xavier McDaniel.

Wiley said the intention is for McDaniel to take all four visits before making her college choice although he admitted he has seen players fall in love with a school and commit before taking all the scheduled visits.

I would imagine that if UConn had its way, McDaniel would come up to visit in mid-October so she could be on hand for the First Night festivities as well as UConn's first official practice. Moriah Jefferson and Morgan Tuck were among the recruits who were in attendance for those activities last year and both have committed to UConn. If UConn were to get McDaniel, it would put the capper on what is already an impressive list of commitments as Breanna Stewart, Jefferson and Tuck are considered to be among the top prospects in the Class of 2012.

When I spoke to Tuck at the U-19 training camp, she said she plans on being at Gampel Pavilion the weekend of Oct. 15-17 and Stewart said if it fits into her school, she would be there as well. Considering that Tuck, Jefferson, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Kiah Stokes and Brianna Banks were all up at UConn for First Night and the opening practice in 2010 and all committed to UConn (although Mosqueda-Lewis had already committed), obviously that is a key recruiting weekend for the Huskies. It could be even more of a big deal this year since I would imagine the UConn men's program will pay tribute to the national championship the Huskies won. Diamond DeShields, one of the top recruiting targets in the Class of 2013, was also on hand last year and it would not be a surprise to see her make the trip up from Georgia in mid-October as well nor would it be a stunner if fellow Class of 2013 recruiting targets Stephanie Mavunga, Taya Reimer, Karli Samuelson and Jannah Tucker are in the stands on Oct. 15 and 16.

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