When Geno Auriemma and his staff set out to recruit UConn women’s basketball’s 2021 recruiting class, they wanted versatile players that could move around — something the program had lacked in recent years.
With the Huskies’ 2022 class, the coaches had a different target in mind: To build the front court of the future. With wing Ayanna Patterson (the No. 4 player in the class according to ESPN) and post Isuneh “Ice” Brady (No. 5) both signing their national letters of intent to UConn on Wednesday, Auriemma accomplished that goal.
“During the recruiting period for this class, we set out to find a couple bigs who could play multiple positions,” Auriemma said in a release. “I think we found the two best in the country in Ayanna and Ice. As a tandem, I think they’re going to give us exactly what we were looking for.”
Brady committed during her sophomore season — becoming one of the earliest 2022 prospects to make her decision. A native of San Diego, California, she’s listed at 6-foot-3 and is a prototypical post player for the Huskies.
“With Ice, you have the classic power player who can step out and make a perimeter shot,” Auriemma said. “She can handle the ball at the high post and is a very good passer.”
As a junior, Brady was named the 2020-21 San Diego Sports Association CIF Player of the Year after averaging 16.3 points, 12.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 23 games at Cathedral Catholic High School. She also made the watch list for the Naismith High School Girls’ Basketball Award on Wednesday.
Isuneh Brady has signed her letter of intent and is officially a Husky pic.twitter.com/bGmgjP3Ef4— Daniel Connolly (@DanielVConnolly) November 10, 2021
Meanwhile, Patterson chose UConn this past March over Indiana, Louisville, Notre Dame, and UCLA. At 6-foot-2 from Fort Wayne, Indiana, Patterson is as athletic as any prospect the Huskies have ever landed. Clips routinely surface on social media of her dunking with two hands and can play above the rim like few players in the women’s game.
“What’s most impressive about Ayanna is her incredible athletic ability and the places she can get to on the court,” he said. “Offensively and defensively, I think she’s going to have a huge impact right away because those were two things we needed to address.”
Here’s UConn commit Ayanna Patterson casually throwing down a two-handed dunk.— Daniel Connolly (@DanielVConnolly) June 11, 2021
Yes, you read that rightpic.twitter.com/lXJnJBduSf
Over the summer, Patterson helped Team USA win gold at the U18 3x3 World Cup in Hungary, where she showed off her strength and athleticism first-hand. Patterson is rated as the top wing in the class of 2022 and also made the watch list for the Naismith High School Girls’ Basketball Award.
With Brady and Patterson set to join the team next year, UConn projects to have 12 players on its 2022-23 roster.