The nature of college recruiting is that sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. And the reason a program loses out on a top prospect varies from situation to situation.
Sometimes, a player may feel that the opportunity to excel is not as great on a program that appears loaded with other prospects.
Perhaps that’s why two of UConn’s major targets for 2013, 6-3 forward Taya Reimer and 6-2 guard Diamond DeShields, have said no to the Huskies over the last 10 days.
After landing the nation’s top recruiting class for 2012, led by national player of the year Breanna Stewart, the UConn women took a big hit Saturday when DeShields, its No. 1 target for 2013, said she will attend North Carolina. Her decision was first reported by HoopGurlz.com.
DeShields, a 6-2 guard and former USA Basketball teammate of many current Huskies, is the daughter of former MLB infielder Delino DeShields and is ranked either the first- or second-ranked prospect on just about every high school recruiting website.
She is also the second top UConn recruit to choose North Carolina over the Huskies, joining Xylina McDaniel, a forward UConn hoped would join the Class of 2012. Duke, Maryland and Tennessee were also in the running for DeShields.
“I felt at North Carolina I can be myself on and off the court,” DeShields told HoopGurlz. “Coach (Sylvia) Hatchell develops players in to young women. I feel like once you get that feeling, you should do it. I have had this feeling about some of the other schools, but never for this long.”
Last week, Reimer chose Notre Dame over the Huskies.
The Huskies will now focus on many other prospects, including guard Saniya Chong of Ossining, N.Y., forward Erica McCall of Bakersfield, Ca., and guard Karlie Samuelson of Huntington Beach, Ca.
North Carolina is coming off a 20-11 season which did not include an NCAA bid. But veteran coach Sylvia Hatchell is scoring big with recruiting. She has five freshmen coming in this season, led by McDaniel, and six players already verbally committed for 2013-14.