Several reasons. One being the American Conference no high school top prospect dreams of playing Tulsa, ECU, etc. Second UCONN's perception despite its success is not very good nationally. Perception matters more than reality in most circumstances. Lastly, recruits want to be fawned over and appreciated meaning guaranteed starter minutes, playing style, etc which UCONN does not do with recruiting for the most part. I agree with you its very difficult to watch us swing and miss with so many of our top targets several years in a row with the success we have had. We should not be losing recruits to VCU and UNLV. We need to do w/e is possible to get in a P5 conference ASAP or staying relevant will be hard to maintain over the long run without Final Four Runs every couple of years.
UConn's perception is very good nationally. When I wear UConn garb anywhere in the country it gets tons of comments. However, the brand is not quite where it should be based on results. That probably has more to do with our marketing department than our basketball program. It also has s lot to do with football. Many casual basketball fans are hard core football fans. We need a visible and decent football program to help build market appeal outside of basketball season.
UConn is not getting pimped nationally like UK, Duke and UNC by the brain trust at ESPN. UConn isn't offering anything sketchy that we know of. We aren't hiring parents all over campus, we don't have imaginary classes and we don't treat basketball players like the Pitt/Jolie family when staying at the Ritz (UK).
We don't offer the weather of Arizona or Florida.
What we offer is a legacy of excellence built on hard work and extra effort. Ultimately, young men don't usually appreciate those things until after they've experienced it. Someday, we'll get a great closer on staff and elevate the recruiting from 4* to 5*. Until then, we need to appreciate our coaches' ability to reach 5* results with 4* talent. As long as they keep producing titles, we can't argue that the status quo isn't working. My one big issue with blaming it on the AAC is that We've been in the AAC for two years and won a title in year two. It is kind of hard to really know what it is doing to our recruiting when we brought in some serious talent in recently and our roster is loaded with everything but a pure shooter. We don't look like we have much playing time available on paper. Hamilton and Adams are mega recruits and Stone is still lurking. There are always other guys we aren't aware of that commit out of the blue as well.
I'd stick with my standard answer on this. We need a serious closer on staff and we need to keep winning a lot of games until our call up comes. Those two things will keep UConn in the hunt. I don't think we are seeing the AAC cause us too much trouble just yet. If we have a really rough year or two, it could suddenly become a big issue. For now, we have the horses to fight on and hope that a new conference comes calling.