Small UConn Classes Usually Followed By Big Ones

by Categorized: Big East women's basketball, Courtney Ekmark, Geno Auriemma, Kelly Faris, saniya chong, UConn women's basketball Date:

When senior Kelly Faris came to UConn in 2009 she was the only freshman in her recruiting class.

And now when she leaves after this season, she will be replaced on the Huskies’ roster by another one-player class, guard Saniya Chong of Ossining (N.Y.) High.

The Huskies received Chong’s verbal agreement on Oct. 14, the morning of their first practice. And her official Letter of Intent rolled into the basketball office on Wednesday.

So ends the recruiting season for the No. 2 Huskies. As usual, they pursued many of the nation’s top seniors, but were turned away by players like guard Diamond DeShields (North Carolina), forward Taya Reimer (Notre Dame) and forward Erica McCall (Stanford).

Chong is ranked No. 75 in the class by ESPN’s Hoop Gurlz. DeShields (No. 3), Reimer (No. 4) and McCall (No. 11) are all highly regarded in the rankings.

As often happens in recruiting, cycles ebb and flow. And coming off one of the most successful recruiting classes in program history – center Breanna Stewart, forward Morgan Tuck and guard Moriah Jefferson – UConn’s roster now features six players who are either freshmen and sophomores.

The log jam that creates for playing time is often foremost in the minds of recruits.

What’s also clear is that small UConn classes are usually followed by big ones.

The year after Faris arrived, UConn brought in five players – Stefanie Dolson, Bria Hartley, Samarie Walker, Lauren Engeln and Michala Johnson – to help compensate for the loss of Tina Charles, Kalana Greene, Kaili McLaren, Jacquie Fernandes and Meghan Gardler.

Now the focus turns to what’s considered an exception Class of 2014, which step in when Dolson and Hartley graduate. Walker, Engeln and Johnson all transferred before this season.

The Huskies already have a verbal commitment from Arizona guard Courtney Ekmark and are highly involved with many other Top 20 recruits like forwards Sierra Calhoun of Christ the King (sister of UConn men freshman Omar Calhoun), guards Jordin Canada of California and Recee’ Caldwell of Texas and center Aj’a Wilson of South Carolina.


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6 thoughts on “Small UConn Classes Usually Followed By Big Ones

  1. Fishpaw31

    The ad, from SNY for the Nov. 22nd game, located above your handsome photo(and appears elsewhere on this website), is wrong, I believe. UCONN’s website states the UConn women’s bball game vs. Wake Forest on Thanksgiving Day is at 6PM (presumably while turkey ‘n stuffing are disgesting); this SNY ad states game is at 1PM. I’d tend to believe the Huskies website is correct. Perhaps you could investigate this confusion.

  2. Genosguy

    Uconn hasn’t usually struck pay dirt on the big after small recruiting classes. As JA points out one was with Dolson and Hartley (the jewels in the crown) and three failures. None were of Geno’s standards. Smarie is a perfect fit for KY–undisciplined helter skelter shots and rebounding–the idiots put Walker on Griner, who had a field day with that match up. No help defense from KU.
    So Even with Chong (maybe) the only one this year. That does not mean an outstanding class in 14.

  3. JR

    Hadn’t heard that UConn was in on Canada. I’d have to believe it would be one or the other between her and Caldwell with Hartley, Banks, and Jefferson already on the roster. I’m wondering if the omission of Brianna Turner is intentional or coincidental.

  4. Baylor Lost By 2 Without Sims

    Geno has been on record for 10 years saying he does not want 10 high school all americans on his UConn teams. Geno prefers a 7 player rotation. It gives his HS AA enough minutes and enough shots. Geno was not about to upset KML and Stewart by bringing in one of the top 3 recruiting classes for 2013. UConn will be stuck with a freshman center in 2014-15, assuming they actually recruit one next year.

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