Women’s Basketball Finalizes Four-Player Signing Class



    Storrs, Conn., December 3, 2007 - The following is a list of the University of Connecticut's Women's Basketball Letter of Intent signees, as of Monday, Dec. 3.

    UConn head coach Geno Auriemma on This Year’s Signing Class:
    "What I do know is the players we've signed are going to be able to come in next year and have a tremendous impact for a couple of reasons," Auriemma said. "We're losing four players [Mel Thomas, Charde Houston, Keita Swanier, Brittany Hunter] who have played a lot of minutes and been very productive. And we're bringing in four who, when we look back at it in four years, I feel will have been very productive and made a huge impact.

    "In what way, remains to be seen. But there is likely some attribute that each of these kids has individually that we have no idea about yet. All I can go on is what I've seen, what I know about them. They could be productive in college right now as high school seniors and none of them comes in here with any issues to overcome. These are solid players, competitive, and they are used to winning."

    Heather Buck, 6-3, Center/Forward, Pawcatuck, Conn. (Stonington H.S.): Named as the 2007 Gatorade Connecticut State Player of the Year…first Connecticut state player of the year to sign with UConn since Maria Conlon (1999)… 2007 Hartford Courant Player of the Year…2007 First Team All-State…2007 Connecticut High School Coaches Association Player of the Year…2006 First Team All-State…2006 New London Day Player of the Year…2006 New Haven Register Player of the Year…2006 Class M State Tournament MVP…2006 Connecticut High School Coaches Association All-State first team choice…2005 Connecticut High School Coaches Association All-State first team choice…2005, 2006 Norwich Bulletin All-Area First Team…2005 Hartford Courant All-State Honorable Mention…2005 New Haven Register All-State second team…ranked as No. 31 senior by HoopGurlz.com.

    UConn head coach Geno Auriemma on Heather Buck:
    "I remember Jamelle Elliott [UConn assistant] coming back from one tournament when Heather was a freshman and saying she was the best center in the country in her class. So we always felt it was a kid we wanted in the program."

    Elena Delle Donne, 6-4, Forward/Guard, Wilmington, Del. (Ursuline Academy): Ranked as the nation’s top senior…has scored 2,382 career points entering senior prep season, 33 shy of becoming the all-time leader in Delaware high school history…was named co-Delaware State Player of the Year following junior season…led Ursuline to three Delaware State Championships (2004, 2005, 2006) before falling in state finals in 2007…2007 Parade First Team All-American…2005 & 2006 Gatorade Delaware State Player of the Year…has played on Ursuline H.S. varsity squad since eighth grade…2006 Slam Magazine First Team All-America…2006 Sports Illustrated Second Team All-America…2006 USA Today Third Team All-America…2004, 2005, 2006 All-Delaware First Team…2005, 2006 EA Sports All-America…2004 USA Today Freshman All-America……2005 Street & Smith All-America Third Team…2004 Street & Smith All-America Honorable Mention…set national high school record by making 80 consecutive free throws in 2005-06…ranked as No. 1 senior by HoopGurlz.com.

    UConn head coach Geno Auriemma on Elena Delle Donne:
    "I think Elena is the best basketball player in America — skill wise. I don't think there is anyone in the country that can do what she does at her size [6-4 guard]. I don't necessarily think she's the quickest, fastest, meanest kid on the block, however. So now you wait to see how she'll handle the challenge when she confronts opponents who are."

    Caroline Doty, 5-10, Guard, Fort Washington, Pa. (Germantown Academy): Averaged 16.2 points, 8.2 rebounds and 3.0 assists during junior season at Germantown Academy…named a 2007 Parade Magazine second-team All-American… 2007 Boo Williams All-Tournament Team…2006 Nike Girls Skills Academy…2006 AAU All-American…2006 2A First Team All-State…2006 Second Team All-Southeastern Pennsylvania…2006 Philadelphia All-Area…2005 Street & Smith Honorable Mention All-America… Starting point guard on the 2005 15 and Under Division 1 National AAU Champions-Fencor (Pa.)…ranked as No. 10 senior by HoopGurlz.com.

    UConn head coach Geno Auriemma on Caroline Doty:
    "Caroline can shoot, pass and is a true leader on the floor. She's similar to Jen [Rizzotti] because she has the same mind-set Jen did. Mentally, she is fearless, which is what separated Jen from everyone else. They grew up in the same environment with older brothers who beat up on them every day in the backyard."

    Tiffany Hayes, 5-10, Guard, Winter Haven, Fla. (Winter Haven Senior H.S.): Averaged 18.6 points, 10.2 rebounds, 4.6 steals and 2.3 assists during junior season at Winter Haven Senior H.S…helped lead club team Essence to the 2007 AAU National Championship… 2007 first team 5A All-State selection…2007 HoopGurlz.com Player of the Summer…2007 Basketball on the Bayou MVP…2007 Nike Nationals MVP…2006 Junior Phenom Showcase All-Star…named a 2006 Adidas Top Ten Underclass All-Star…2006 second team 5A All-State choice…played on the varsity squad at Winter Haven Senior H.S. since freshman year… ranked as No. 11 senior by HoopGurlz.com.

    UConn head coach Geno Auriemma on Tiffany Hayes:
    "I think Tiffany is the best two-guard in the country and maybe she's even more than that; maybe she's a two-guard, point guard, small forward [combination]. She's just as good a player as I've seen at that position in a long time.