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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Couple other UConn recruiting targets worth mentioning

At times during my time at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs it seems like it might be quicker to name the players not on UConn's recruiting radar than the ones who are. Certainly when the U-17 national team is announced tomorrow morning (likely around 10 a.m. back in Connecticut), there should be plenty of players being pursued by the Huskies on the list.

In addition to commits De'Janae Boykin and Katie Lou Samuelson, UConn recruiting targets Erin Boley, Lauren Cox, Asia Durr, Sabrina Ionescu, Tori McCoy and Arike Ogunbowale all spoke to me about the recruiting process. Today I added a couple names to the list in Crystal Dangerfield and Jaelyn Brown.

Dangerfield had a pretty busy day as she took part in both sessions with the U-17 squad before moving over and practicing with the U-18s in the session which just ended. The 5-foot-6 Dangerfield idolizes UConn's Moriah Jefferson which is worthy of mention as is the fact that she lives in Tennessee. Is that even allowed to have a Tennessee kid commit to UConn if Dangerfield were to consider doing that.

As she played along with my line of questioning all I could do was think back to the back and forth between the Bill Murray character and the one playing the mayor of New York in the 1984 Ghostbusters movies as Dr. Peter Venkman and his fellow ghostbusters tried to explain what could be happening in the city down the road. Here's a snippet of that conversation courtesy of the Internet Movie Database site.

Dr. Peter Venkman: This city is headed for a disaster of biblical proportions.
Mayor: What do you mean, "biblical"?
Dr Ray Stantz: What he means is Old Testament, Mr. Mayor, real wrath of God type stuff.
Dr. Peter Venkman: Exactly.
Dr Ray Stantz: Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling!
Dr. Egon Spengler: Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes...
Winston Zeddemore: The dead rising from the grave!
Dr. Peter Venkman: Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!
Mayor: All right, all right! I get the point!

Seriously though, Dangerfield certainly sounds interested in UConn and what I'm hearing is that the feeling is mutual.

"They are (interested)," said Dangerfield, a rising junior guard at Blackman High in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. "My high school coach is telling me that they want me to call and I talked to Geno, we had a conversation. Three minutes into it my hands were sweating, I was star struck. It was a fun sit down, it was my first time sitting down to talk to a college coach so that was fun. It was just him and the type of superstar he is just saying that to me."

What about the prospects of a Tennessee kid committing to UConn?

"I think I would be the first," Dangerfield said with a laugh. "After the phone call my parents talked to me and said I would be the first and I would probably be hounded about it.

"I watch 1000 videos of it (the classic UConn/Tennessee games), I love it and it is fun. I get things like 'don't go to UConn go to Tennessee, don't go to Tennessee, go to UConn.' It is just what it is."

Since Dangerfield even started her junior year of high school yet, she has plenty of time to figure out this recruiting thing. She does know that she would like to be committed to a school by May 11 of next year, her 17th birthday.

Dangerfield's interest in UConn has been reported before but thanks to a message from Brown's AAU coach today just a few minutes before the final interview session of the day with the U-17 squad, I was able to add Brown's name to the list of UConn recruiting targets. Here's what Elbert Kinnebrew of the powerhouse Cal Sparks AAU program had to say.

Hey Jim, my Girl Jaelyn Brown at USA17 will be a legit UCONN recruit. Geno Likes her and she Likes UCONN. Will Visit in the Fall.

Brown, like Dangerfield, is a 2016 prospect. She is a 6-foot forward out of Murrietta, California.

"I talked to him a few times," Brown said. "I am excited. I want to visit the campus and see how they are doing, see how the facility is.

"I was very surprised (when she heard that UConn was interested). They are No. 1 in the country so I am honored. I watched all the games, I watch the NCAA all the time, their style of play is amazing they run up and down the floor all the time, even the bigs, you see them passing the ball out to the bigs all the time and they are scoring."

As for her recruiting timeline, "I am going to wait until the end of my junior year to see my options."

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