Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Auriemma not worried about small numbers

Commitments of top high school seniors are starting to roll in and yet UConn has yet to receive a pledge from one member of the Class of 2013.

UConn recruited Diamond DeShields and Taya Reimer hard but they opted to commit to North Carolina and Notre Dame respectively. The Huskies are known to be recruiting guards Saniya Chong and Linnae Harper and forward Erica McCall.

If UConn doesn't get any commitments that would leave the Huskies with eight players on the team next season. Certainly it would be a special eight players but it would also put the Huskies in the position of having to close out easy victories with at least two starters on the court which could result in a key player getting hurt at the end of a 50-point victory. That is not something the Huskies want to have to deal with.\

When I sat down with Geno Auriemma yesterday (before he headed out on recruiting trips to Chicago and then Atlanta) I asked him if he'd be more open accepting walk ons next season in order to avoid using starters during garbage time and he said he would be but also that they are still working to get to an ideal 12-player roster. That could mean that he knows of a Jacquie Fernandes type of player or players who could join the team next season either on scholarship or as a non-scholarship player (with 11 players on this year's team there are no such concerns).

Auriemma isn't allowed to comment on an specific recruit until they sign letters of intent but looking at the three members of the Class of 2013 on UConn's recruiting radar it is looking more and more like Harper is the longest of long shots to land at UConn. Although attempts to reach her high school coach have been unsuccessful, I've heard that UCLA and Miami are among the teams she is planning to visit. I'm not even sure if Harper will end up visiting UConn and if that is the case she certainly won't be coming to UConn. 

McCall is interesting because she is a California kid who has been accepted at Stanford but UConn is still going after her hard enough to lead me to believe that they like their chances of getting her. Saniya Chong, a New York guard, would be a natural fit both basketball wise and geographically at UConn but don't discount Louisville or even Ohio State in the pursuit of the Ossining High star. The good news is that McCall and Chong are both expected to be in attendance the weekend of Oct. 12-13 when the Huskies host their First Night on Friday night and their first official practice the next morning (with a possible appearance at the UConn/Temple football game). UConn's track record of closing the deal when recruits come to First Night is pretty impressive.

The good news is that this is not the first rodeo for the UConn coaching staff. They knew pretty much from the time they signed the class of Breanna Stewart, Morgan Tuck and Moriah Jefferson that it would be difficult to follow up with a dynamic class the following year. However, while their rivals have been going hard after top Class of 2013 targets, the UConn coaches have been spending quite a bit of time getting a jump recruiting in the Class of 2014. UConn already has a commitment from Arizona guard Courtney Ekmark and have been out to see Brianna Turner, Recee' Caldwell, A'ja Wilson while Sierra Calhoun and LaJahna Drummer are also in the mix with the Huskies so the feeling is that UConn could end up with a strong class in the Class of 2014 even if the haul from the current recruiting class isn't as large as some people may like.

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Blogger JC said...

Geno and staff are also working on the 2015 class. CD was reportedly at Mater Dei HS in CA (KML's HS) yesterday and undoubtedly looking at Katie Lou Samuelson. Katie (and sister Karlie) transferred to Mater Dei over the summer. Katie Lou is considered (by far) the best of the Samuelson sisters. Geno is supposed to visit CA soon as well.

3:21 PM 
Blogger JC said...

Hearing chatter that Harper has a final list and UConn is not on it. If true, this is a head-scratcher. Why does a kid choose to visit a program like UCLA but not UConn? Oh well, time to move on. I bet Geno and CD are looking forward to being done with this '13 class...sounds like they're close to being done already!

Coaches from Stanford and UCLA are over in Spain watching McCall on the 3x3 team. I guess plan of action is to follow these kids all over the world.

10:35 AM 
Blogger JC said...

Still haven't seen any confirmation on Harper's final list of schools, if such a list occurs. She's allowed 5 official visits and it appears she's already been to Miami, is reportedly scheduled to travel to UCLA, Ohio State and Tenn. Kentucky is also high on her list and it may be that she'll go there for midnight madness rather than Storrs. None of this is confirmed but that's how it's looking. Geno and Shea were in Texas over the weekend watching Recee Caldwell, among others I'm sure.

7:29 PM 
Blogger Jim Fuller said...

Marisa Moseley was also in Spain for the 3x3 tournament. Brianna Turner's dad thanked the schools who were in Spain including UConn.

10:08 PM 

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