October UConn Recruiting Thread

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Sluconn:

I just finished posting about this on McGraw's Bench with appropriate Irish prospects and wrote up both the player's ranking and their rating. What's amazing is that if you look at the top ranked prospect, Fudd, she has a 99 while the 16th and 17th ranked players come in at 96.

Yes, the rankings get headlines but I think that the ratings sometimes help explain why coaches might look at prospects "way below other ranked players," when, in fact, their ratings are pretty close. Lots of good talent in this class...and the race for the remaining 2020 prospects is winding down.

It seems to be a strong class. He really has Fudd on her own level though because while she gets a 99, Olivia Miles gets the only 98, and then there are just 3 players with 97's. He separates the top-5 from the rest and even then Fudd is a step or two above the other four.

I wonder where Awak Kuier would be ranked because she strikes me as even more impact than Fudd.
 
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Is there interest from UConn with Awak Kuier? I have heard her mentioned a few times but not sure if she has an offer from UConn or if she even has interest in UConn?
 

UcMiami

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Sluconn:

I just finished posting about this on McGraw's Bench with appropriate Irish prospects and wrote up both the player's ranking and their rating. What's amazing is that if you look at the top ranked prospect, Fudd, she has a 99 while the 16th and 17th ranked players come in at 96.

Yes, the rankings get headlines but I think that the ratings sometimes help explain why coaches might look at prospects "way below other ranked players," when, in fact, their ratings are pretty close. Lots of good talent in this class...and the race for the remaining 2020 prospects is winding down.
Nice point. The grading/ratings as opposed to rankings for players is certainly worthy of looking at and with the difficulty of comparison in such a wide field of HS basketball players ranking the non-superstars is very subjective - what really distinguishes a 10 ranking from a 25 ranking? They are both flawed players and you are guessing at how a 17 year old will develop over her next 5 years for the seniors and for longer for juniors/sophomores - putting those players in any order is really a guessing game.

Gradings on the other hand are more in tune with grading a gymnastic performance where you are marking down from perfect and may hand out lots of 9 grades but very few 10s. With basketball gradings 100 is theoretical, 99 is used only in a few years, 98 in good years might be given to a couple of players and occasionally none, and 97 is for some of your top10. 96 becomes the grade for those you wish had just a little more of something.

NB Having written that, I just checked the ESPN ratings for 2020 for the first time in a long while and they have had an incredible inflation in their rating system - they have 53 players with a 5 * rating, all graded at 96 points or higher, the first 22 receive a grade of 98, and the next 20 are 97 leaving only a rare 11 graded at 96 - the opposite of a bell curve and completely meaningless in my view. They did the same for 2019 with 98 assigned to 23, 97 to 20, and 9 graded at 96. With that inflation the only distinguishing grade you can make is a 99 for an exceptional player and the only meaningful value at the top end of the class really is their ranking.
 

CocoHusky

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Nice point. The grading/ratings as opposed to rankings for players is certainly worthy of looking at and with the difficulty of comparison in such a wide field of HS basketball players ranking the non-superstars is very subjective - what really distinguishes a 10 ranking from a 25 ranking? They are both flawed players and you are guessing at how a 17 year old will develop over her next 5 years for the seniors and for longer for juniors/sophomores - putting those players in any order is really a guessing game.

Gradings on the other hand are more in tune with grading a gymnastic performance where you are marking down from perfect and may hand out lots of 9 grades but very few 10s. With basketball gradings 100 is theoretical, 99 is used only in a few years, 98 in good years might be given to a couple of players and occasionally none, and 97 is for some of your top10. 96 becomes the grade for those you wish had just a little more of something.

NB Having written that, I just checked the ESPN ratings for 2020 for the first time in a long while and they have had an incredible inflation in their rating system - they have 53 players with a 5 * rating, all graded at 96 points or higher, the first 22 receive a grade of 98, and the next 20 are 97 leaving only a rare 11 graded at 96 - the opposite of a bell curve and completely meaningless in my view. They did the same for 2019 with 98 assigned to 23, 97 to 20, and 9 graded at 96. With that inflation the only distinguishing grade you can make is a 99 for an exceptional player and the only meaningful value at the top end of the class really is their ranking.
The ESPN rating have been consistently inflated since about 2014 with ~ the top 20 kids in the class achieving a grade of 98. I once corresponded with ESPN about this and the response I got back said precisely what you stated- the real differentiation is in with the rankings.
 
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Nice point. The grading/ratings as opposed to rankings for players is certainly worthy of looking at and with the difficulty of comparison in such a wide field of HS basketball players ranking the non-superstars is very subjective - what really distinguishes a 10 ranking from a 25 ranking? They are both flawed players and you are guessing at how a 17 year old will develop over her next 5 years for the seniors and for longer for juniors/sophomores - putting those players in any order is really a guessing game.

Gradings on the other hand are more in tune with grading a gymnastic performance where you are marking down from perfect and may hand out lots of 9 grades but very few 10s. With basketball gradings 100 is theoretical, 99 is used only in a few years, 98 in good years might be given to a couple of players and occasionally none, and 97 is for some of your top10. 96 becomes the grade for those you wish had just a little more of something.

NB Having written that, I just checked the ESPN ratings for 2020 for the first time in a long while and they have had an incredible inflation in their rating system - they have 53 players with a 5 * rating, all graded at 96 points or higher, the first 22 receive a grade of 98, and the next 20 are 97 leaving only a rare 11 graded at 96 - the opposite of a bell curve and completely meaningless in my view. They did the same for 2019 with 98 assigned to 23, 97 to 20, and 9 graded at 96. With that inflation the only distinguishing grade you can make is a 99 for an exceptional player and the only meaningful value at the top end of the class really is their ranking.
I cannot stand having 53 5-star players in a class. It’s simply unrealistic to have 53 players thinking they are a 5-star recruit.
 
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This is from Clay Kallam:

I've had some discussions about elite players as we get ready for our preseason articles, and there's a sense that Van Lith and Andrews might be slightly overrated at this point. Obviously still very good but maybe not quite at that level.



 

oldude

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The ESPN rating have been consistently inflated since about 2014 with ~ the top 20 kids in the class achieving a grade of 98. I once corresponded with ESPN about this and the response I got back said precisely what you stated- the real differentiation is in with the rankings.
Coco, while you’re at it, can you write a letter to the Michelin Guide? There can’t be 133 three star restaurants. :rolleyes:
 
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I cannot stand having 53 5-star players in a class. It’s simply unrealistic to have 53 players thinking they are a 5-star recruit.
I agree completely. I've said for a long time that these ratings shouldn't be taken seriously. IMO, they're only hype jobs to generate clicks and subscriptions for websites. As a rater, I'd be embarrassed to be rating a kid as a 5 star and then watch them struggle to do anything against a bunch of 5-8 kids from someplace like Puerto Rico in these summer tournaments. Ranking this many kids from 96-98 or whatever is useless and completely subjective.
 
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Ranking this many kids from 96-98 or whatever is useless and completely subjective.
Aren't all ratings subjective though? It's not like women's basketball is the only sport that does this. Been a staple of football and men's basketball, and is basically the same method used to rank prospects for baseball and hockey drafts.
 
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Aren't all ratings subjective though? It's not like women's basketball is the only sport that does this. Been a staple of football and men's basketball, and is basically the same method used to rank prospects for baseball and hockey drafts.
Oh yes I agree there’s a lot of subjectivity in all of them. I’d say the skill sets and methods for rating them in the other sports may differ from HS girls BB so I wouldn’t compare them. But from my years of experience with girls BB I just question the judgment of some of these raters. They’re entitled to their opinions but to me they’re just not expert ones and that’s fine. And that’s why the coaches get out and form their own and IMO don’t pay much attention to these ratings. But good for them if they can make some money off them.
 
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And that’s why the coaches get out and form their own and IMO don’t pay much attention to these ratings. But good for them if they can make some money off them.
I don't know how much coaches pay attention to the ratings, but it could be noted that nearly all the players UConn is known to be in on in future classes are top-30 on these lists. You'll occasionally get a Piath Gabriel or Kyla Irwin who are off the lists or deep in them, but for the most part players who are on these lists all get recruited by the major D-1 programs. IOW, I don't think the opinions of the recruiting outlets and the coaches vary all that much.
 

CocoHusky

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While we are on the subject of ratings/rankings might as well talk about this since it comes up every year. Each year there is a vast disparity in rankings or ratings between the services for a few players.
Examples from the past:
2019 Kennedy Brown #20 in ESPN: #100 by Prospectsnation
2018 Tatum Veitenheimer #24 in ProspectsNation: Outside the top 100 for ESPN
2017 Sidney Cooks #5 in ESPN: #69 in ProspectsNation
Diamond Johnson #6 in ESPN: Outside the top 100 in Prospectsnation
What accounts for these seemingly vast discrepancies?
  1. IDK but that won’t stop me from guessing.
  2. The rating/ranking philosophes e.g. some rating/rankings are based on projected college positions while others lean more towards how they play against current competition.
  3. AAU politics/affiliation e.g. EYBL (Nike) vs Adidas vs UnderArmour circuits
  4. Rating services affiliations e.g. (Blue Star=Belles) and ProspectsNation = Check me out show case events
  5. Timing e.g. one rater saw her play on her best day and the other was there on a not so good day
@CamrnCrz1974 and @HuskyNan please chime in based on your past experiences.
 
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While we are on the subject of ratings/rankings might as well talk about this since it comes up every year. Each year there is a vast disparity in rankings or ratings between the services for a few players.
Examples from the past:
2019 Kennedy Brown #20 in ESPN: #100 by Prospectsnation
2018 Tatum Veitenheimer #24 in ProspectsNation: Outside the top 100 for ESPN
2017 Sidney Cooks #5 in ESPN: #69 in ProspectsNation
Diamond Johnson #6 in ESPN: Outside the top 100 in Prospectsnation
What accounts for these seemingly vast discrepancies?
  1. IDK but that won’t stop me from guessing.
  2. The rating/ranking philosophes e.g. some rating/rankings are based on projected college positions while others lean more towards how they play against current competition.
  3. AAU politics/affiliation e.g. EYBL (Nike) vs Adidas vs UnderArmour circuits
  4. Rating services affiliations e.g. (Blue Star=Belles) and ProspectsNation = Check me out show case events
  5. Timing e.g. one rater saw her play on her best day and the other was there on a not so good day
@CamrnCrz1974 and @HuskyNan please chime in based on your past experiences.
— Aubrey Griffin #21 in ESPN; #90 in Prospects Nation
— DeYona’ Gaston #95 in ESPN; #18 in ProspectsNation

I don’t think ProspectsNation had updated their 2019 list in a ridiculously long time, so there are some names that were once very high on both lists, but fell drastically on HoopGurlz, and PN never adjusted.
 
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While we are on the subject of ratings/rankings might as well talk about this since it comes up every year. Each year there is a vast disparity in rankings or ratings between the services for a few players.
Examples from the past:
2019 Kennedy Brown #20 in ESPN: #100 by Prospectsnation
2018 Tatum Veitenheimer #24 in ProspectsNation: Outside the top 100 for ESPN
2017 Sidney Cooks #5 in ESPN: #69 in ProspectsNation
Diamond Johnson #6 in ESPN: Outside the top 100 in Prospectsnation
What accounts for these seemingly vast discrepancies?
  1. IDK but that won’t stop me from guessing.
  2. The rating/ranking philosophes e.g. some rating/rankings are based on projected college positions while others lean more towards how they play against current competition.
  3. AAU politics/affiliation e.g. EYBL (Nike) vs Adidas vs UnderArmour circuits
  4. Rating services affiliations e.g. (Blue Star=Belles) and ProspectsNation = Check me out show case events
  5. Timing e.g. one rater saw her play on her best day and the other was there on a not so good day
@CamrnCrz1974 and @HuskyNan please chime in based on your past experiences.
Very good question. IMO #3 and #4 must have a big impact. This summer’s World Cup tourney was an example of my skepticism. Bueckers and Clark are both 98 grade 5 stars according to ESPN. Against the same competition, Bueckers controls the game and Clark has no impact. How can they be equal? Brink can’t get off the bench except for mop up time and is out of her element and she’s the highest rated F with a 98 grade and a 5 star? Why do they jam these grades so closely? If Bueckers is an undisputed 5 star, which I believe she is, then the other two are not. It’s not that complicated to me.
 

Bama fan

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What a great factoid. But looks like Dracula to me. :)
You may have dyslexia! BTW, factoid is an awful sounding word. And you should avoid Transylvania in the future. I mean, you would not be able to read the signs, eh! :p
 
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Very good question. IMO #3 and #4 must have a big impact. This summer’s World Cup tourney was an example of my skepticism. Bueckers and Clark are both 98 grade 5 stars according to ESPN. Against the same competition, Bueckers controls the game and Clark has no impact. How can they be equal? Brink can’t get off the bench except for mop up time and is out of her element and she’s the highest rated F with a 98 grade and a 5 star? Why do they jam these grades so closely? If Bueckers is an undisputed 5 star, which I believe she is, then the other two are not. It’s not that complicated to me.
It's similar to team rankings. Teams are neatly spaced out as 1,2,3,4.... when if you looked at the actual figures you'd see that UConn in several years was 1 and there was no one at 2,3 or 4. The gap between UConn and the next team was sometimes 4 times the gap between 2 & 3. And if the actual numbers were plotted on a graph the line formed would look like a steep ski jump, very steep at the top and flattened out near the bottom.
 
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It's rare that a freshman at UConn looks like the best player on the court. I can only think of 3. And I think we have a 4th.
For all those filled with angst over recruiting I can assure you that whomever lands Cardoso, DeBerry, and any other post will be most willing to trade them to UConn for Bueckers.
I worked with an Italian who used the English translation of many Italian colloquialisms. Since it was a gambling parlor the complaints were constant and often came from winners who felt they should have won more. When it was someone he knew he would say "You are crying hunger with a loaf of bread under your arm".

UConn has hit the basketball version of a Power Ball jackpot and some are complaining that they missed the daily number. Those who need overwhelming superiority (3-4 posts 6'3"-6'7" & the 3 top guards in the country) to feel confident must be miserable most years.
 

CocoHusky

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It's rare that a freshman at UConn looks like the best player on the court. I can only think of 3. And I think we have a 4th.
For all those filled with angst over recruiting I can assure you that whomever lands Cardoso, DeBerry, and any other post will be most willing to trade them to UConn for Bueckers.
I worked with an Italian who used the English translation of many Italian colloquialisms. Since it was a gambling parlor the complaints were constant and often came from winners who felt they should have won more. When it was someone he knew he would say "You are crying hunger with a loaf of bread under your arm".
UConn has hit the basketball version of a Power Ball jackpot and some are complaining that they missed the daily number. Those who need overwhelming superiority (3-4 posts 6'3"-6'7" & the 3 top guards in the country) to feel confident must be miserable most years.
I can definitely relate to that quote and perhaps you can relate to this one:

"It takes two to make a thing go right"
----MC Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock

Paige has the potential to be tremendous talent but the idea of trading her for a post player is a very weak premise. It takes both ingredients (post & guard play) to win championships. In the UCONN championship seasons more often than not the norm has been AA capable play from MULTIPLE UCONN post players.

1995-Lobo & Wolters
2000- Asjha Jones, Tamika Williams, Kelly Schumacher
2001-Tamika Williams, Swin Cash, Asjha Jones
2002 Willnett Crockett, Barbara Turner, Jessica Moore
2003 Willnett Crockett, Barbara Turner, Jessica Moore
2009 Maya, Tina,
2010 Maya, Tina
2013 Tuck, Dolson, Stewie
2014 Tuck, Dolson, Stewie
2015 Tuck, Stewie
2016 Tuck, Stewie

Notice I said "capable of AA play" and intentionally included Kelly Schumacher on the list of player. Schumacher averaged 5.5 PPG for her UCONN career. ONO like Paige also has shown great potential, but IMO she will need a sidekick/backup in the post. Could Paith be that side kick? She may have to be.
 
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2001-Tamika Williams, Swin Cash, Asjha Jones
2002 Willnett Crockett, Barbara Turner, Jessica Moore
2003 Willnett Crockett, Barbara Turner, Jessica Moore
Williams - 6'2"
Cash - 6'1"
Jones - 6'2
Crockett - 6'2"
Turner - 6' 0"
Moore - 6'3"

Here is UConn's "BIGS" over a 4 year span(01-04) . Kind of says that size is nice but is in no way a necessity in winning a title.
It sure is nice to have a couple of beasts in the paint but it is hardly a requirement.
And I don't want to hear about it being a different era. These teams followed both Walters (6'7") and Schumacher (6'6"?)

It is clear that after winning 2 titles in 6 years with towers in the post UConn downsized and won 3 of the next 4 with the six above named players sharing the post duties. And it was Turner, listed as a G/F, who was the best rebounder in the group at 6' even.
 

CamrnCrz1974

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What accounts for these seemingly vast discrepancies?
  1. IDK but that won’t stop me from guessing.
  2. The rating/ranking philosophes e.g. some rating/rankings are based on projected college positions while others lean more towards how they play against current competition.
  3. AAU politics/affiliation e.g. EYBL (Nike) vs Adidas vs UnderArmour circuits
  4. Rating services affiliations e.g. (Blue Star=Belles) and ProspectsNation = Check me out show case events
  5. Timing e.g. one rater saw her play on her best day and the other was there on a not so good day
@CamrnCrz1974 and @HuskyNan please chime in based on your past experiences.
@CocoHusky , I wholeheartedly agree with your post.

Earlier this year, I posted a few times in a thread about recruiting services and the factors that go into their rankings (and had a discussion with @WBBfolllwer about the topic). Here are the links to those posts (with apologies, as the posts are extremely long and detailed:

2020/21 UConn Recruiting

New Bluestar rankings

Here is a summary of these posts and my thoughts on the matter:

--- Certain recruiting services taken into account “projected collegiate performance” or “projected development” when evaluating players. Others rank the players were they are as of the dates of the players’ respective evaluations.

--- It impossible to predict how well a player will develop under and perform for one head coach, as opposed to how she might do so under a different coach.

--- Rankings inevitably vary based on player performance, number of times seen/evaluated by the recruiter, whether evaluations were with the high school team at major tournaments (including state championships) or AAU events, etc.

--- Certain recruiting services may also consider certain factors in ranking players that other services do not include (e.g., a player's on-court demeanor, ability to be coached, interactions with teammates, etc.).

--- A few years ago, I commented about sneaker companies and two recruiting services.
  • Blue Star is based in the Northeast, is sponsored by Nike, and is run by individuals with strong ties to the old Big East. Blue Star's rankings were (and still are) handled by Mike Flynn, who tended to bump up the rankings for players from the Northeast, players who attended Nike camps, and/or players who give verbal commitments to one of the old Big East schools.
  • ASGR is based in the Southeast, is sponsored by adidas, and is run by individuals with strong ties to the ACC. ASGR’s rankings were handled by Mike White (White now works with Bret McCormick and others), who tended to bump the rankings for players who gave verbal commitments to ACC schools.
In any event, because there is not nearly as much money in women’s basketball recruiting as there is in men’s recruiting, players are not seen as frequently (or against other similar levels of competition) as their male counterparts. As a result, there may be some disparity in rankings from one service to another, especially if a player had subpar performances in the games that one evaluator saw, but was stellar in front of other raters.

All recruiting/rating services have had issues (not just Blue Star) in terms of having "missed" on good players. What I do not like, however, is when a few people go back to disparate a high school ranking many years later and using a player’s college performance as support for their positions. Evaluations are largely based on present performances, with subjective analysis component (and in some cases, factoring in upside/potential). But the evaluators are not supposed to be The Amazing Kreskin; they cannot make predictions the future as to how a player may develop years into the future (based on evaluations that largely occurred before players’ senior seasons).

Now, if a player comes to college (or even the summer before, with USA Basketball) and dominates from the first game and is giving immediate All-Conference and All-American performances, then a recruiting service's player ranking might have been too low (e.g., Blue Star Report and Alana Beard). But going back after four years of college and claiming that a ranking was somehow “wrong”, in my opinion, misses the point of recruiting rankings and the dozens of factors involved with a player’s collegiate development.

Finally, I believe @HuskyNan can shed light on the years she was part of a team of evaluators for Scout (2006 for sure; not sure about other years), in terms of how talent evaluators/assessors consider some of these things. As I recall, Epiphanny Prince was widely regarded as a very talented and elite recruit with a good amount of upside, but received a slightly lower ranking/rating (#10 overall) from that Scout rating team, as a result of things like on-court attitude, ability to play team basketball, interactions with teammates/coaches, etc.


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