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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Boykin commits to UConn

Since De'Janae Boykin returned from her official visit to UConn she had a pretty good idea where she wanted to play her college basketball but she wasn't quite sure when she wanted to reveal her decision. Then she figured what better way is there to celebrate her 17th birthday than by committing to play for the Huskies.

"I wanted to commit over the summer but I didn't know when," said the 6-foot-2 forward from Springdale, Md. "Then I thought maybe my birthday would be the best time."

So on Sunday she made her intentions clear before calling not only UConn coach Geno Auriemma but also coaches from North Carolina, Penn State, Virginia and Tennessee.

Boykin visited UConn twice in recent months. The first time she sat in the stands next to UConn commits Courtney Ekmark and Gabby Williams during an unofficial visit. More recently she was on campus along with other highly-touted high school juniors Napheesa Collier (who committed to UConn before returning home to Missouri), Haley Gorecki (who committed to Duke) and Katie Lou Samuelson, who is still undecided.

"It was fun just or all of us to be together, where we were throughout the process and we were able to talk about the recruiting process," Boykin said.

She will see Samuelson and Collier again later this month for the junior national team trials as Boykin and Samuelson will try out for the U-17 squad and Collier for the U-18. The two UConn commits will stay on after the trials and play together on a team competing in the U.S. 3x3 U18 National Championship in Colorado Springs.

"I am excited but also excited that we get to play on the 3x3 team together," Boykin said.

Boykin averaged 21.1 points and 16.7 rebounds as a junior at Flowers High School while shooting 64 percent from field and posting six games with more than one 3-pointer. Boykin had four games with 20 points and 20 rebounds including three in a four-game span.

Now she is part of the future at UConn.

After the Huskies signed five perimeter players in the last two classes, UConn has two of the top 10 prospects in the class in the 6-foot-2 Boykin and 6-1 Collier. The timing couldn't be better as the Huskies lost All-American center Stefanie Dolson to graduation and Kiah Stokes will graduate before either Boykin or Collier suit up for the Huskies.

"Anywhere I went I felt like I could help any program but being able to help UConn would be the biggest one because they are losing Stefanie and they will be losing Kiah," Boykin said. I think it was the best place for me to go in there learn and develop as a player."

It also helped that she bonded so well with the UConn coaches and players.

"Everybody feels like they are so different but they are actually pretty cool," Boykin said. "It surprised me and my family. I feel in love with the coaches and the players."

She will take part in the U.S.U-17 national team trials later this month. She was a member of the U.S. U-16 team last summer as she was the team's second-leading rebounder (averaging 7.6 per game) and was the fifth-leading scorer at 8.4 points per game as the U.S. won all five of its games during the FIBA Americas U16 tournament.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Always nice to get good recruiting news, especially on a Monday in the NCAA off season.

6'1" and 6'2" are not exactly post players in this era, like 6'5" Dolson. But cannot complain about two Top 10 ranked HS player verbals.

If the 6'5" potential transfer does play 3 years for UConn, it might signal that Auriemma does not have a good feel for signing 2015 or 2016 HS post targets.

If UConn does sign the 2 verbals from 2015 and possibly signs 2 more, the Huskies would have a great core on paper for life after Stewart. That time will be here before we know it.

I find it interesting that several Top 10-20 HS players are still willing to sign with UConn, given Auriemma's history of tightening the rotation to 7 by conference tournament and 6 by the Elite Eight.

After a full season of UConn practices and games under the watchful eye of the best WCBB coaching staff, it is puzzling that year after year the bench players are allegedly not good enough to earn Auriemma's trust for 1 or 2 minutes of relief time per half.

2:39 PM 

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