The latest name to emerge as a Class of 2014 recruiting target for UConn is a pretty familiar one.
Sadie Edwards, who grew up in Meriden, played at Mercy as a freshman and helped the Tigers reach the 2011 Class LL championship game where they lost to Career 39-37. She transferred to play for the legendary Apache Paschall at Nazareth in Brooklyn, N.Y.
"It’s a great opportunity,” Edwards said when news broke of her transfer. “It’s not something that comes around
often. I’m thankful for that. I get to play with multiple Division I players.
It’s an environment where I can get a lot better. It’s exciting.”
However, Edwards' time playing for Paschall was limited as he died in January of 2012. At season's end, in which she earned New York Class AA third-team All-State honors, she made the decision to leave Nazareth and landed at Blair Academy in Blairtown, N.J.
Could she be returning to play basketball in Connecticut?
It's too early to tell. I spoke her Sadie's mother Lisa before I headed up to Hartford for yesterday's UConn/Pittsburgh game and she confirmed what I have been hearing and that is that the 5-foot-10 rising senior does not have a scholarship offer yet. What my recruiting sources are telling me is that UConn likes Edwards, a player who had seven 20-point games and four contests with at least 10 assists during Blair's run to the New England Prep School "A" title but they want to see her play this spring on the AAU circuit.
"Right now she is right at the beginning, right now she has no idea," Lisa Edwards said.
UConn visited with Sadie a week ago and then she took an unofficial visit to take in Saturday's game against Seton Hall. Lisa Edwards said it was an enjoyable trip for her daughter who got to meet the UConn coaches and players. Since I hadn't heard much about UConn being involved in the recruitment of Edwards, I asked her mom what the level of interest has been.
"Just casual stuff, a birthday card, have a good season," Lisa Edwards said. "With a visit (to UConn) and (UConn) coming in to meet her I would think the interest is there."
Lisa Edwards believes her daughter's experiences the last couple of seasons has helped her on and off the court.
"Everybody likes to say they have grown but she really has come into her own game now," Lisa Edwards said. "Her offense, when you are young offense is important but she is just as happy with 14 assists."
My recruiting sources have told me that UConn would like to sign three perimeter players and two frontcourt ones in the next class. With Saniya Chong the only incoming freshman to sign with UConn, it's pretty obvious that this is a pivotal recruiting class for the Huskies. It is evident by the number of players the Huskies are linked with that they are going to be looking at more kids this year than they often do because they simply can't afford to just recruit four or five kids and land just one or two of them. As it is the Huskies could be playing with fire with just nine scholarship players on the roster for next season. A transfer here, an injury there and things could get a tad bit tricky.
I don't think it's earth-shattering news if I were to state the A'ja Wilson, a versatile 6-foot-5 forward at Heathwood Hall in Columbia, S.C. is at the top of UConn's recruiting wish list. The Huskies have also offered another forward, Kathryn Westbeld out of Fairmont High in Kettering, Ohio. Of course the Huskies already have a commitment from 6-foot wing Courtney Ekmark out of St. Mary's in Phoenix.
Christ the King guard Sierra Calhoun, whose brother Omar is a standout freshman on UConn's men's basketball team, is another top prospect UConn is involved with. While I previously reported that the interest in highly-touted Texas forward Brianna Turner and speedy Los Angeles guard Jordin Canada appears to have waned a bit, what I am hearing is the Huskies continue to consider them to be recruiting targets. Then there is one of most intriguing prospects in the class in Nevada guard Gabby Williams. Williams is one of the nation's top high jump prospects who finished fifth in the U.S. Olympic trials and UConn assistant coach Shea Ralph went out to Nevada to see her play in a game early this season. Unfortunately, Williams injured her knee the next next day. She had surgery to repair the torn ACL and meniscus earlier this month. Williams has gone on the record as saying that she wants to do both sports in college and her plan is to redshirt in 2016 so she can focus solely on making the Olympic team.
I wouldn't anticipate seeing any commitments coming soon especially considering that four of the seven uncommitted players I mentioned above have yet to visit UConn. It's also possible and even likely that more names could emerge in the coming weeks and months.
Labels: A'ja Wilson, Brianna Turner, Courtney Ekmark, Gabby Williams, Jordin Canada, Kathryn Westbeld, Sadie Edwards, Sierra Calhoun