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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Mixed results for UConn recruits

While UConn commitment Courtney Ekmark had 14 points to lead her St. Mary's team to the Arizona Division I title, fellow Class of 2014 recruiting target A'ja Wilson's Heathwood Hall team fell in the state championship game on Saturday.

Ekmark was the only player in double figures despite playing with a broken nose suffered in an earlier tournament game as St. Mary's defeated fellow Phoenix school Pinnacle 49-37. Pinnacle is the last Arizona team to beat St. Mary's back during the 2011 state tournament. Ekmark had 10 points after Pinnacle took a 28-25 lead late in the third quarter.

Heathwood Hall lost to two-time defending Pinewood Prep in the South Carolina Independent School Association Class AAA championship game despite 30 points from the 6-foot-5 Wilson. Wilson also had 10 rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocked shots as she finished with 20 double-doubles in 21 games. She ended up averaging 28.7 points (while shooting 69 percent from the field), 14.1 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 3.2 steals and 5.3 blocks per game. She had 12 30-point games with a high of 48 in a Jan. 15 win over Hammond.

Auriemma apparently had some traveling issues when he went to see Wilson play in Friday's semifinals. He was not able to fly into Columbia, S.C. so he had to fly in and out of North Carolina and what I am hearing is he had to drive three hours after flying down there to make it in time for the game.

Another UConn Class of 2014 recruiting target extended her season as Kathryn Westbeld had 12 points in Fairmont's 58-21 win over Sidney in the Ohio Division I Harrison District tournament. Fairmont awaits the winner of the Cincinnati Ursuline/Cincinnati Mother of Mercy game in the Mar. 2 district final.

Closer to home, former Mercy High star Sadie Edwards was in attendance at today's game against Seton Hall.

Edwards, who grew up in Meriden, left Mercy to play for New York powerhouse Nazareth (where she earned third class Class AA all-state honors highlighted by a 28-point game against Christ the King) before transferring to Blair Academy in New Jersey over the summer. Edwards is a 5-foot-10 junior guard who has made the transition from being more of a wing player earlier in her career to playing point guard. I don't have official stats on her but she had some pretty big games for Blair Academy including a triple-double (20 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists) in 70-53 win over Lawrenceville in the Mid-Atlantic Prep School championship game earlier this month. She also had 24 points and 11 assists in a regular-season win over Gill St. Bernard's.

Edwards led Blair Academy to a 21-3 record and the Prep School Class A title where she scored 12 points in the championship game.

Edwards was named a first team All-MAPL selection, named to the all-conference defensive team and was named the newcomer of the year. I was able to find scoring stats from 22 of the 24 games Blair Academy played in (missing both games against The Hill School) and she scored in double figures in 20 of them including seven 20-point games with a scoring average of 17.2 points per game. She also had at least four games with 10 or more assists. I saw a tweet from @weworkhoops which reported that coaches from UConn and Kentucky were in to see Edwards on Tuesday.

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Blogger James Kerwin said...

Geno better stay in the game of getting Wilson for UConn. Edwards-why did she transfer so much? Will she be a scholastic issues recruit? Geno may pass her by for that. If she was opting for better competition, good. Erkmark looks solid as a player, maybe a Kelly Faris who scores in her first year.
Jim good informational articles, thanks.

3:24 PM 
Blogger Jim Fuller said...

Edwards left Mercy to play for Apache Paschall both at Nazareth and AAU. However, Paschall died in January of 2012. I can't speak to the details of her leaving Nazareth but perhaps the loss of Paschall played a role in her decision to head to Blair Academy but she changed both her high school and AAU team.

10:33 PM 
Anonymous Holly Tyler said...

James Kerwin beat me to the punch. Thanks Jim for the information. Always appreciate your responses to readers questions.

My initial thought was Edwards was looking for a team to be the star on. Bad judgment on my part.

When Dolson leaves, UConn will either have no center, or will once again throw a freshman center into the fire. Would be great to recruit true centers every 2 or 3 years instead of 4 or more.

The game has become much taller and more athletic. Not sure Taurasi could have won a national championship in 2011-13 with her 2002-03 or 2003-04 teams.

Not every player likes UConn. Not every player wants to play for Geno and CD. But you have to wonder about all the recent bigs that signed elsewhere. Did they avoid UConn, where a 3 or 4 guard offense is historically favored, while bigs sit?

5:44 AM 
Blogger Jim Fuller said...

When Dolson graduates UConn's frontcourt will consist of Breanna Stewart, Morgan Tuck and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis which makes me think the Huskies might be OK.

True centers don't grow on trees, how many are there among the top Division I teams right now? I haven't see A'ja Wilson play but she has gone on the record as saying she views herself as a wing and not a center so even if she comes, it's not like she is going to be asked to do all the things Dolson does because she is a different player.

11:11 AM 
Anonymous Ted Breg said...

Kia Stokes could be a starting center. Just remember Tina Charles didn't shine untill a junior. I would not give up on her. I think Geno is wrong here.

4:15 PM 
Blogger James Kerwin said...

Jim Fuller--I alway read your blogs/articles. You have information that is far ahead of the Courant or I never see there, like this one
With the 3 you indicate KML etc Uconn will have the nucleus of a good team, but they need 4 more. If you look at the top 10 to 15 teams they are loading up with 4 or 5 over 6 footer, up to 6 ft 7 inches (yes Baylor again).
So Geno and UConn need to follow the trend. Short guard won't beat 4 or 5 6'2inch or taller wings/centers/guards.

7:50 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe some of the best taller players are staying away from UConn because they see what happened with Stokes and Buck. Two posts who have no idea what to do on offense other than roam around outside trying to set a screen.

Why would any talented high school post only want to set screens in the limited minutes they get? Don't know what goes on in UConn practices but something ain't right.

Continue building short teams in love with 3s and continue losing close battles to the very best teams because you don't get to the free throw line.

Many fans made fun of Tiff for always falling down, playing out of control, and not showing up in big games. But at least she drove to the basket consistently.

6:30 AM 

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