(WTNH)–The future of UConn women’s basketball is always bright, at least as long as Geno is on the end of the bench.
Last year, the Huskies pulled in the 35th-ranked recruiting class in the country, and signed just one player in the ESPN Top 100. Seriously.
But as Geno Auriemma said himself in this now-viral video clip, it’s not about recruiting rankings, or McDonalds All-Americans, or scoring champions. It’s about landing coachable players who will buy into the team concept.
Of course, it helps to have talent too, and UConn will have plenty of it heading into Storrs next season. (Will they ever lose again)?
Take a look at some of the young women who will be representing UConn next year:
Monacan High School
ESPN Class Rank: No. 1
The Naismith and Gatorade National Player of the Year and consensus No. 1 recruit, Walker led Monacan High School to three straight Virginia state titles, pouring in 35 points in the title game this March.
The 6-1 wing averaged 26 points, 7.6 rebounds, 3.2 steals, 1.2 assists and 1.1 blocks for Monacan, which went 32-0 this season. She isn’t used to losing, as her team has gone a UConn-like 83-5 in its last 88 games.
Walker is the eighth Huskies recruit to have won the Gatorade Player of the Year award, joining Katie Lou Samuelson (2015), Breanna Stewart (2012), Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (2011), Maya Moore (2007), Tina Charles (2006), Ann Strother (2002, and Tamika Williams (1998).
Here’s a video to help you get to know Megan:
GENO’S TAKE: “You can put her anywhere on the floor and she can be successful. It’s just a matter of repetition, repetition, repetition, over and over and over again, and being put in a situation where you’re not the best player on the floor every moment of every day. There’s a reason why everybody in America thought she was the best player, because of the many things that she can do, not the one thing that she can do.
“There’s not a lot that Meg can’t do. I’m looking forward to getting her up here, let’s put it that way.”
Wesleyan High School
ESPN Class Rank: No. 14
Coombs averaged 16.9 points, 7 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 4.1 steals per game for Wesleyan High School, and also helped lead her team to a state title.
Like Walker, the 5-10 guard was also a McDonalds All-American. She was described as an “explosive and acrobatic player with a high ceiling” by ESPNW’s Dan Olson, despite suffering an ACL injury at the beginning of her sophomore year.
Here’s a video on Mikayla:
Fort Worth, TX
L.D. Bell High School
ESPN Class Rank: No. 29
Like many incoming Huskies, Gordon is her high school program’s all-time leading scorer. She averaged 24.7 points and 9.5 boards per game as a senior at L.D. Bell, and showed an ability to shoot the 3 as well, draining 65 threes in 31 games.
Check out some of her highlights from 2015:
Ossining Senior High School (NY)
ESPN Class Rank: No. 37
The New York Gatorade Player of the Year is described as a “deceptively athletic off-guard” who is a consistent mid-range threat and can rebound well. She’s also a prolific scorer, having put up 51 points in a game this season, and surpassing 2,000 for her career at Ossining Senior High.
Here are some of her highlights:
Duke transfer Azura Stevens will also see her first action in a UConn uniform next season. The AP Honorable Mention All-American averaged 18.9 points and 9.6 rebounds per game as a sophomore at Duke in 2015-16. She also led the Blue Devils in blocks (53) and field goal percentage (53.5).
Stevens has international experience as well, having won Gold with the 2015 U.S. under-19 team.
Here’s a video of Stevens with ESPN’s Debbie Antonelli, breaking down her game: