Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Belton commits to Duke

UConn recrruiting target Lynee' Belton has committed to Duke according to a tweet by her AAU team Team Takeover.

Belton, a 6-foot-2 forward from Clinton, Md., is the second player on UConn's recruiting radar to commit to Duke in the last week but this is a bigger blow for the Huskies than Sierra Calhoun's decision to head to Duke.

UConn's goal was to sign at least two frontcourt players and what I've been hearing is that Belton was been rising up the Huskies' wish list in recent weeks and months.

Obviously the UConn coaches were on the road during the July viewing period so perhaps another post player or two from the Class of 2014 caught the eyes of the Connecticut coaching staff but if that isn't the case, the Huskies are left with A'ja Wilson, Kathryn Westbeld and Taylor Rooks as possible frontcourt players. Wilson, fresh off a brilliant performance in the FIBA U-19 World Championships, is also being recruited heavily by her home state school South Carolina and Ohio State is making a major push for Westbeld, a star on the Ohio Division I state championship team.


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6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

UConn landed KML and Stewart, then won their 8th national championship. But for the 2nd time in 5 years, UConn only has 1 recruit. No one to replace Dolson so far. The list of other top recruits that UConn "lost" in the last 3 is surprising long.

I see 3 main causes. First, top recruits seem to want to write their own history, instead of adding to Auriemma's legacy. Such is the case with North Carolina's monster class.

Second, UConn's new conference is a joke at best. Third, even though the uniform says Connecticut or UConn, recruits come to play for Auriemma. He will not be coaching forever.

Jim, if Auriemma "loses" Wilson, what is plan B for future post players? Will Auriemma end up with a team full of Englens, Johnsons, Bucks, and Kerns in his last 2 seasons at UConn?

5:24 AM 
Anonymous NYC Husky said...

I find the comment above laughable.

Last year, UConn landed the first, second, and sixth ranked recruits in the country. This may have been one of the best recruiting classes of all time. It is hardly a surprise that UConn was only able to recruit one player the year following such a recruiting class. The year before, UConn recruited the first, twenty-fourth and forty-second ranked recruits in the country.

The writer of the comment not only ignores these facts but also negelects to mention that UConn won the national championship 3 times during the same 5years in which it twice was able to attact only 1 recruit. Likewise, the writer neglects to mention that UConn has managed to attract the number 1 recruit in the country for 5 of the last 8 years. This hardly suggests that UConn will "end up with a team of Englens, Johnsons, Bucks and Kerns in [Geno's] last 2 seasons at UConn." And by the way, where on earth is there a guarantee that this is necessarily Geno's last contract?

I believe the reason all those number 1 recruits came to UConn will continue to draw additional top-level recruits to UConn until the coaches at North Carolina and Duke demonstrate they are able to draw the level of performance from their players that Geno Auriemma has been able to obtain from his players over the last 20 years.

11:09 AM 
Blogger JC said...

I don't see what Geno's future has to do with this year's recruiting misses. Geno just signed a new 5-year contract so the 2014 class should feel confident that Geno will be the coach for their years at UConn. Future classes are a different story, however.

The new conference may be more of a factor than I thought. Rival coaches and AAU coaches seem to be mentioning it a lot and the recruits seem to be listening. Ironic that the fans of the UConn men's team fret the most about the new conference yet its the competition for the women that is much, much weaker.

I don't know a lot about the UConn coaches' recruiting strategy coming in to this summer but there seems to be a lot of time spent on Wilson who many think is a longshot. UConn sent two coaches to Lituania while other programs (Duke, ND, UNC, Tenn) sent assistants only. So Geno is in Lithuania while other head coaches are watching recruits (Calhoun) play in AAU events. Did recruits and parents notice? I understand Geno knows that there is a select group of recruits that can lead teams to championships but it also seems that he ought to realize when a recruit is a longshot and focus on those he might actually get. Also, the coaches got in late on Belton and a little late on Westbeld and on Rooks. Maybe the coaches need to focus on kids at an earlier age. Just some thoughts.

11:29 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Geno has gone through recruiting droughts before. After getting Diana Taurasi, it was about four years before the next great talent- Tina Charles- showed up.

Not sure why, but a lot of great talents do pass UConn by. This fall we'll have just nine kids on the roster.

Really, REALLY hope they get Aja Wilson. She was tremendous in the U-19 Worlds. She would be great for two years with Breanna Stewart and Chong. But UConn really needs a great center to replace Stephanie next year!

2:44 PM 
Blogger JC said...

It's quite possible that UConn goes 2 consecutive recruiting classes without a post player. How does that happen to the top program in the country? It would be stunning. It would be hard to fathom ...and explain.

4:23 PM 
Blogger James Kerwin said...

What a lot of "insightful" comments.
Geno won't retire for the next 10 or more years--he loves what he's doing.
High talent recruits want to play right away with a national contender. With KML, Tuck, Stewie, Banks, etc the door isn't open for them to get much playing time.
Those that you mentioned Kerns, Buck, Englen, Johnson (when healthy) would have played many minutes on most college teams--not as stars but as players.
North Caroline has reloaded a dozen times in the last 10 years an yet Geno keeps beating them--Lhata(?) was their last great player who actually beat Uconn.
Geno and Shea went to Europe to see Wilson--their most desired target. Why chase Calhouns when you have a shot at Wilson??? Duke was loaded with talent these last 2 years and Geno beat them soundly.
Geno has scheduled 14 or more big time colleges to play--the AAC maybe a flop, but that means nothing when you are playing Stanford, Baylor, Texas, Duke, Okla, NC, and other top WBB schools. Wake up and smell the start of UConn BB--Chong isn't chopped liver either nor are the 2014 recruits..

7:52 PM 

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