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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Thoughts on the three UConn commits

Now that I've had a couple of days to unwind after spending a few days in Colorado Springs, I am finally getting around to giving my thoughts on what I have seen from the three UConn commits.

Let's start with Katie Lou Samuelson, the No. 1 rated player in the Class of 2015. When I saw her play at the HoopHall Classic in Springfield back in January, I thought every shot she was taking was going in. I came away with the same feeling. She has a picturesque shot with an incredibly quick release and at 6-3, I can't see her getting a perimeter shot blocked. She has been working hard on diversifying her game and that was evident during the three days of practices I was able to see. She went inside early and often. She not only scored in the lane but grabbed tough rebounds in traffic. Many of the people there like to use Elena Delle Donne as a comparable player. I saw Delle Donne during U.S. junior national team trials at a similar point in her career and Samuelson's ability to score inside and outside is comparable to Delle Donne's skill set but at the same age Delle Donne was physically stronger than Samuelson.

De'Janae Boykin was not happy with how she played offensively during the trials but what struck me was how she was one of the rare players to set screens and draw charges which I am sure helped her make the U-17 team. I see some of the intangibles I saw when Kelly Faris made the junior national teams due to her scrappy team-first approach. The first day I was there Boykin was hitting with ease from the 3-point line and she showed the ability to get inside and an an outstanding rebounder. Much like Morgan Tuck is the perfect foil to Breanna Stewart, I think Boykin will complement Samuelson very well during their time in Storrs.

I didn't see anywhere near as much of the U-18 practices as I did the U-17 ones so it was harder to give a total scouting report on Napheesa Collier but the first thing I was struck by is how offensive rebounds just seem to find her. As I tweeted during by time there, Collier plays hard on every possession. She is a multi-faceted player who can play on the perimeter or in the paint. Much like Boykin, she does the little things like setting screens, diving for loose balls that make any team better. She did not make as many 3-pointers as a high school player as either Boykin or Samuelson, she did drain a couple of 3-pointers during the trials. She is at her best in the open court and should thrive in the system utilized by UConn Hall of Fame coach Geno Auriemma.

We'll have to see if they get another other players in the class but even if they don't, I was extremely impressed with what I saw from the three of them.

There were plenty of people affiliated with recruiting sites at the trials observing and a few of them have tied to the Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia metro areas. I received multiple positive reports on Natalie Butler, who is coming to UConn as a transfer after an outstanding freshman season at Georgetown.

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