Maria Conlon, a 5-foot-8 guard from Derby who is widely regarded as the best high school girls basketball player in the state, announced Thursday she will attend UConn.
``It just felt right,'' Conlon said. ``The coaching staff was nice and it was close to home.''
Conlon has led Seymour to a 74-2 record and two state titles in the past three years. As a junior last season, she averaged 18.6 points, 6.5 assists, 5 rebounds and 5 steals.
A two-time All-State player, Conlon was named a 16-and-under All- American at the AAU national championships in Kingsport, Tenn., in June.
According to Full Court, a women's basketball magazine that covered the AAU tournament, Conlon is ``a strong point guard who can shoot from the perimeter or drive the lane with authority.''
UConn coach Geno Auriemma is prohibited from commenting on recruits.
Conlon said she visited UConn several times before making her decision.
``It was a process,'' Conlon said. ``Other schools just didn't feel right and at UConn it felt right from the first time I was there.''
Conlon's last visit was Tuesday. After that, she discussed it with her family.
``We talked about it a lot and then they left it up to me,'' Conlon said.
Conlon has met the SAT requirements of the NCAA. She said she has not decided on a major.
``I'm going to wait until I get there,'' Conlon said. ``The academics are good and that and basketball is what mattered to me.''
The commitments from Valley and Conlon leave UConn with three scholarships in what is a critical recruiting year. Auriemma has said he may use all five scholarships.
UConn will lose Paige Sauer and Stacy Hansmeyer at the end of next season. With Shea Ralph and Svetlana Abrosimova among those with two years of eligibility remaining, UConn stands to lose much of its size and scoring in the next two years.
Valley and Conlon could help with scoring and outside shooting, which was erratic for UConn last season. Both shot better than 40 percent from three-point range as juniors.
Valley has played primarily as a shooting guard at Rice Memorial, a small, private school in Vermont, but she is big enough to play small forward.
Conlon has played almost exclusively at point guard, but shoots well enough to play shooting guard.
Conlon Commits To UConn
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