Geno Auriemma is losing one of his players to the University of Wisconsin.
The UConn men's team lost five players this spring: two to the NBA (Jeremy Lamb and Andre Drummond) and three to transfers (Alex Oriakhi, Roscoe Smith and Michael Bradley). The women, however, continue to do what they do: compete in Final Fours and annually have one of the nation's best recruiting classes without much attrition through player transfers.
It's a rare occurrence but it does happen. Sophomore Michala Johnson is one such example. Head coach Geno Auriemma originally confirmed the news in April and now it's official: Johnson will transfer to Wisconsin, according to the UWBadgers.com website.
The Huskies have three incoming freshmen all capable of seeing playing time next season, which probably had something to do with Johnson's decision to leave Storrs. In two seasons, she appeared in 56 games and averaged just 5.1 minutes of playing time. She averaged fewer than two points a game over that span but had a career-high eight points against Pitt last February.
"I'm sure Michala looked at the situation and realized it wasn't going to be very easy for her to get playing time," Auriemma said according to the Hartford Courant's John Altavilla back in April. … "I am sure she talked to her high school coach and her mother and she came to her decision, which she informed me of [Tuesday]. Being away from home wasn't very easy for her at times and I know she missed her mom very much."
Johnson, a Chicago native, will have to sit out the 2012-13 season but Badgers coach Bobby Kelsey is excited by the addition.
“The addition of Michala to our program gives us a huge competitive advantage mainly because of the experience she gained while playing two seasons at UConn,” Kelsey said via the team website. “Michala was a highly recruited athlete coming out of high school so to have her now as an official Badger will add depth, size, rebounding and scoring to our interior game.
“She will also have the chance to learn our system while sitting out this coming season. Our expectation is for Michala to be ready to step in and contribute right away once she is officially cleared to play. We are very happy she joined our program here at Wisconsin.”