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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Geno Auriemma happy with UConn's early signees

Although he could not comment on the most recent player to commit, Canadian national team guard Kia Nurse until the UConn compliance department looks over the letter she signed today, UConn coach Geno Auriemma did speak on the record about the trio of guard recruits who signed with the Huskies on the first day of the early signing period.

While he still has a chance to add the No. 1 recruit in the country, 6-5 A'ja Wilson in the late signing period, adding some quality players on the perimeter was a priority for Auriemma and his staff in this recruiting class.

Courtney Ekmark, a sweet-shooting 6-foot wing out of Phoenix, the incredibly athletic Gabby Williams, a 5-11 wing from Sparks, Nev., and guard Sadie Edwards, who is originally from Meriden but currently a senior at Blair Academy, fit that bill.

"When you are trying to put together a recruiting class you are looking for things you are going to need that are going to help you sustain for a four year period so you are always thinking ahead four years," Auriemma said. "We are pretty fully aware that Caroline (Doty), Kelly (Faris), Bria (Hartley), Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis) and Brianna Banks and in a three-year period that is five guards who are no longer going to be playing at Connecticut so I think getting the players we got is perfect for us because it addresses an immediate need that we have among others, there are other needs. The way they play complements what we do and complements each other. Not one of those players is identical to the other which we try to stay away from, we try to stay away from recruiting players who are similar, that is when you run into a program.

"When we played last year I think we played with Kelly, Kaleena and Stefanie, I don't know that (Faris and Mosqueda-Lewis) come out of (high school) as anything but guards. The fact that Courtney is 6-feet tall, Gabby is 6-feet tall or close to it, that is two out of the three - Sadie being a little bit smaller - that there is no reason that they can't do for us exactly what Kelly did for us and what Kaleena is doing. The way we put our players out there, there might be mismatch but I always like that mismatch in our favor."

Auriemma loves the blue-collar aspect of all three of the recent signees.

"They love basketball, they love to play, they study a lot, they are in the gym a lot so that is a huge (bonus) for us," Auriemma said. "I think to be really good here you have to love the game. I think Gabby can play a lot of different positions, I think Courtney shoots the ball and knows the game about as well as anybody we have ever recruited and I think Sadie with her ability to penetrate and get into the lane, her basketball smarts she is going to get better and better all the time. I think we get a little bit of everything in these three."

Ideally Auriemma would have liked to landed one or two post players and if he misses out on Wilson, he won't have any players taller than 6-feet in this class. There were post players on the Huskies wish list but they went elsewhere.

"We never go in saying we are going to recruit one player in this class, that makes no sense," Auriemma said. "The reason sometimes that happens and I think what happens is players that you want, maybe they told you one thing and it turned out to be something different, maybe something came up that you didn't anticipate or maybe somebody else just did a better job of recruiting. If we got every player we recruited, who would be play against. These people who think that just because we makes a phone call, they are coming to Connecticut they are out of their freaking minds. We recruit five other players and we get four out of those five and for whatever reason it just kind of falls apart and what are you supposed to do, run out and go 'there are three other kids' they suck, they can't play here but at least we will have a four-person recruiting class or they will get a lot better by the time they are junior and they might help us. Really? By the time they are junior, four other kids have come in to play their position that are better than them."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

UConn won 2002 NC with 5 WNBA guards/wings and no center.

UConn won 2 NC with a true center in Tina Charles.

Not sure that UConn can win another NC without a true center or without 5 WNBA guards/wings.

Whether or not UConn will have 5 WNBA guards/wings in the 2015-16 season is yet to be seen.

That will be Stewart's senior season, assuming no unfortunate red shirt seasons.

Aja Wilson is not a true center but you cannot teach 6'5" and UConn will need players above 6'0".

7:04 PM 

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