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UConn women’s basketball’s 2024 signees named McDonald’s All-Americans

The Huskies’ two incoming players earn the most prestigious high school honor.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

UConn women’s basketball’s two 2024 signees were named McDonald’s All-Americans on Tuesday. Allie Ziebell and Morgan Cheli were both selected to the west squad for the exhibition, which will take place on April 2 at the Toyota Center in Houston.

Those two are the Huskies’ only incoming players next year — for now. Fellow McDonald’s All-American Sarah Strong, the No. 1 player in the class according to ESPN, is considering UConn as well. Ziebell is the No. 4 player in the class while Cheli comes in at No. 18.

Ziebell is a native of Neenah, Wisconsin who can put the ball in the basket as well as anyone.

“She’s a scorer,” Geno Auriemma said after she signed. “She scores points.”

Ziebell isn’t just a volume scorer, either. She has a sense of when to step up.

“I don’t know that during the summer season I’ve seen a lot of kids just take over games single-handedly and win games. And I don’t mean against the bad players. I’m talking about the best players,” Auriemma said.

Meanwhile, Cheli is a classic big guard for the Huskies. She plays point guard for her high school team, but she’ll likely end up in a handful of different spots once she arrives in Storrs. Cheli could especially help on the glass.

“How many 6-2 guards do we have? Zero. So Morgan fits a tremendous need that we have,” Auriemma said. “Morgan, more than anything else, I think she’s a fearless rebounder — for whatever reason, because she don’t look like one, but she is. She doesn’t necessarily need to score any points to impact the game.”

In December, Cheli helped Archbishop Mitty win the Nike Tournament of Champions behind a 17-point performance — including the game-winning free throws in the final moments.

UConn currently has seven All-Americans on its roster: Paige Bueckers (2020), Azzi Fudd (2021), Amari DeBerry (2021), Ice Brady (2022), Ayanna Patterson (2022), KK Arnold (2023) and Ashlynn Shade (2023).

Current honors

Also on Tuesday, Paige Bueckers earned a spot on the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award Top 10, which will eventually go to the top shooting guard in the nation. As a freshman, Bueckers won the Nancy Lieberman Award as the country’s best point guard.

In her first year back from a torn ACL, the redshirt junior has dominated. She’s averaging 19.8 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 2.3 steals and 1.1 block per game while shooting 56.5 percent from the field and 47.6 percent from three.

Christyn Williams is the only other UConn player to win the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award, doing so in 2022.

In March, the list will be cut to five players before the winner is announced at a later date, which has not yet been revealed.