UConn became the latest women's basketball program to add a 2021 signee to this season's roster, as 6-foot-2 guard Saylor Poffenbarger has enrolled in classes and will join the team. She will be eligible to practice and play after completing a 10-day medical quarantine.
Poffenbarger was the No. 30 recruit in her class by ESPN's HoopGurlz Rankings, and was the 13th-ranked guard.
Because of the NCAA's eligibility waiver for this season, Poffenbarger would still have four seasons of eligibility left. The native of Middletown, Maryland, graduated from high school early and her prep season's start has been delayed because of COVID-19. So she decided to come to UConn early.
"I know Saylor's really excited. This is an unprecedented event for us for a lot of reasons, but this is an unprecedented year," coach Geno Auriemma said. "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."
There were already six freshmen on the Huskies' roster. But with the team shooting 34.1 percent from behind the arc (43 of 126), Poffenbarger may be able to contribute.
At least three other top 25 teams have added 2021 recruits at midseason: UCLA with guard Dominique Darius (ranked No. 26 by HoopGurlz), Mississippi State with guard KN'isha Godfrey (ranked No. 40) and Arizona with guard Madison Conner (ranked No. 71). Darius has competed in two games, Godfrey has yet to play and Conner is joining the Wildcats this weekend. In all, at least nine prep players have joined women's teams in the Power Five leagues and the Big East.
In other news, No. 4 UConn's game against Providence on Jan. 26 has been postponed as the Friars have extended their COVID-19 pause.