Over the weekend, Sue Bird talked up incoming Huskies freshman Kia Nurse, who also plays for the Canadian National Team. Now it's Dawn Staley's turn to talk about future Husky, 2015 commitment Napheesa Collier, who played with Staley, the South Carolina coach and national team assistant, on the United States' U-18 squad that won gold at the FIBA Americas tournament this summer.
“Napheesa was great,” Staley told SNY.com's Carl Adamec. “She’s relentless. She plays hard all of the time, and it doesn’t matter if it’s a game or if it’s practice. She sets the tone for how the game should be played. She sets a great example for others.”
Collier averaged 14 points a game as the US went 5-0. At 6-1, her versatility is what sets her apart. She averaged 8.6 rebounds while shooting 56 percent from behind the arc.
“She’s probably one of the most efficient players on both of the sides of the ball,” Staley said. “She made stuff happen. She’s a magnet for the ball, a great offensive rebounder that can knock down open shots from inside and outside the 3-point line. She picked up things well and was a pleasure to work with.”
The scary news for UConn opponents is that the 2015-16 Huskies could be better than this year's version, which is loaded. The 2015 recruiting class includes the nation's best player in Katie Lou Samuelson, and Collier and De’Janae Boykin are both top-10 players. There's also Nurse and Georgetown transfer (and 2013-14 Big East freshman of the year) Natalie Butler.