Saylor Poffenbarger was the first recruit from the Class of 2021 to commit to play for the UConn women’s basketball team.
She’ll also be the first member of the class to wear a Huskies uniform.
Poffenbarger - a 6-foot-2 guard from Middletown, Maryland and rated No. 30 in the Class of 2021 by ESPNW - will enroll at UConn for the spring semester and will be eligible to participate in team activities and play this season after completing a 10-day medical quarantine. She is expected on campus this weekend. Her addition puts the Huskies’ roster at 12.
“I know Saylor’s really excited,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said in a statement Friday. “This is an unprecedented event for us for a lot of reasons, but this is an unprecedented year. Opportunities have presented themselves that weren’t available for the past. I’m excited for Saylor and her family that they wanted to take advantage of this opportunity and I can’t wait to coach her in practice and have her as part of the team.”
The news of Poffenbarger’s graduation from Middletown High and her decision to come to UConn a semester early was first reported by the Frederick (Maryland) News-Post.
Poffenbarger was one of two top-30 recruits (by ESPNW) to make pubic their decisions to graduate high school early and move on to college Friday. Talia von Oelhoffen, rated No. 25, will join Oregon State this season, the school said.
High school players who enroll early, will retain four years of eligibility starting with the 2021-22 season thanks to the NCAA’s decision last fall to grant a blanket waiver to players competing in 2020-21.
Poffenbarger completes her three-year career at Middletown High with more than 1,700 points and 900 rebounds.
She averaged 21.5 points, 12.7 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 2.2 steals, and 2.8 blocked shots as a junior in leading Middletown to a 25-1 record and the Maryland 2A state tournament semifinals before play was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The two-time All-State selection was at her best in the postseason.
In the Central Maryland Conference final against Frederick, Poffenbarger had a career-high 42 points along with 19 rebounds, five assists, six steals and four blocked shots to lead the Knights to a 70-44 win that avenged a season-opening loss. In the Class 2A quarterfinals against Liberty, she recorded a triple-double (32 points, 11 rebounds, 10 steals, 6 assists) as Middletown rallied from an early 10-point deficit to win, 70-46.
She spent a good portion of the offseason recovering from hip surgery she had in the spring.
Poffenbarger was a member of USA Basketball’s 2019 U-16 national team that won the gold medal at the FIBA Americas Championship. She averaged 7.2 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 3.7 assists.
The Big East announced Friday that UConn’s game at Providence scheduled for Jan. 26 has been postponed.
Providence announced it will extend its current pause in team activity due to additional COVID-related issues. The Friars previously halted all team activity last Tuesday.
No make-up date was set. The Huskies also don’t have a make-up date for today’s postponed home game with Villanova.