UConn women’s basketball’s 11 current players will likely be the same 11 the team goes into the 2022-23 season with. On Thursday, Geno Auriemma called the possibility of adding another player out of the transfer portal or a walk-on “remote”.
“If it’s a walk-on it doesn’t significantly change anything,” he said on Thursday. “All it does is just add another person to our travel party that we have to pay for. So whether there’s going to be a walk-on or not probably won’t be known until September when kids show up to school and say, ‘I want to play basketball.’
“As far as the transfer portal is concerned, it’s a little late in the game for that and I really haven’t seen anybody that would significantly improve our program. So that’s also another remote possibility that I don’t see happening.”
As it stands, the Huskies will add Fairfield transfer Lou Lopez Sénéchal as well as freshmen Ice Brady and Ayanna Patterson to a roster that lost Olivia Nelson-Ododa, Evina Westbrook and Christyn Williams to graduation along with Piath Gabriel to the transfer portal.
All three players fill needs, too. Lopez Sénéchal will join a talented backcourt that features Paige Bueckers, Caroline Ducharme, Azzi Fudd and Nika Mühl but needed some depth while Brady and Patterson should provide young reinforcements for the frontcourt.
While UConn could’ve used an experienced big as well as another guard, Auriemma is selective about who the team goes after in the transfer portal.
“The transfer portal for us is, generally speaking, something that happens where kids graduate, which in Lou’s case, Dorka (Juhász)’s case and they’re looking for another opportunity to go do something different,” Auriemma said. “Some kid that’s just leaving after one year or two years because they’re just dissatisfied with their situation, I’m always a little bit leery about that.”
So even though the number of transfers have exploded in recent years with the introduction of the one-time transfer rule and the bonus COVID year for players during the 2020-21 season, the Huskies will likely remain bit players in the market.
“To our detriment, probably, we’re not one of those schools that has one assistant coach dedicated to the portal and calling AAU coaches around the country saying, ‘Hey, is your kid happy, do they want to transfer?’ We’re not in that world. We don’t operate like that,” Auriemma said.