Samuelson heading to Stanford
Bonnie Samuelson, who like her younger sister was pursued by the Huskies before opting to remain in California and enroll at Stanford, tweeted that "Karlie just committed to Stanford !!!!!!!!. I'm super stoked and can't wait to play with my sister again!!! #sisteract"
Samuelson becomes the third member of the Class of 2013 who is being recruited by UConn to opt to pledge elsewhere. While UConn's track record of convincing West Coast and Southwestern players to pick the Huskies over Stanford isn't very good and Samuelson had the added bonus of playing alongside her sister, still this one surprises me even more than Diamond DeShields choosing North Carolina and Taya Reimer selecting Notre Dame. Everything I have heard about Samuelson was that she loved UConn and if I were asked to pick one player from the Class of 2013 to land at UConn I would have gone with Samuelson.
One thing that does not surprise me is that UConn appears destined to sign a very small class. History has a way of repeating itself. When the Huskies signed five top players including Olympians Sue Bird, Swin Cash and Asjha Jones, the following year Connecticut signed just one player. When Tiffany Hayes, Caroline Doty and Elena Delle Donne highlighted a glorious recruiting class more recently, the next year Kelly Faris was the only player to commit to UConn.
Now the Huskies' list of prospects in the next recruiting class is getting smaller by the day. Will the Huskies be able to convince another California prospect (Bakersfield's Erica McCall) to pick UConn over Stanford? Will Saniya Chong be the next hot shot from New York to come to UConn? Will Linnae Harper and Jannah Tucker go from being long shots to become part of the next UConn class of recruits? Will other soon to be high school seniors catch the eye of the UConn coaches?
The good news is that this isn't the first time Geno Auriemma and his staff has been down this road. When they missed out on players after the signing of "TAASK" in the late 1990s, they landed the dynamic Diana Taurasi the following year. The year after Faris committed the Huskies were able to secure commitments from Bria Hartley and Stefanie Dolson who have become key players on a pair of Final Four teams. The fact is that the players know the deal and it is extremely hard to follow up a class like the Breanna Stewart, Moriah Jefferson and Morgan Tuck with another top notch group. A year from now something tells me that the Huskies will be having a lot more positive news on the recruiting front than they have been having in the last month or so.