All Things Paige Bueckers Recruitment Thread - Videos, Analysis, Tid-Bits, Articles

Ignatius L Hoops

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Sep 9, 2015
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StarTrib: Bueckers has the Attention of Top Tier Programs

Geno Auriemma has become a familiar face at Hopkins High School’s Lindbergh Center, having stopped by three times in recent months, most recently on the first official day of girls’ basketball practices.

The reason the legendary UConn coach has beaten a path to Hopkins door is a 6-foot tall point guard who’s a bit on the slender side, walks with a bounce in her step, handles a basketball like a yo-yo, slides effortlessly through traffic and is magic from outside the three-point line.

It’s all about sophomore guard Paige Bueckers, who is likely, when her high school career wraps up in 2020, to be one of the best girls’ basketball players Minnesota has produced.

“The best player I’ve ever seen was Tayler Hill,” said Hopkins coach Brian Cosgriff, referring to the former Minneapolis South star. “I never saw Geno here for Tayler. That’s when I started thinking I had something special here.”...

Auriemma has told Cosgriff “she’s ahead of Diana Taurasi at the same point in time in her career.” Yet, for the next few months, Bueckers’ dazzling future will take a back seat to trying to help her home school get over its recent state championship game mountain.

So the gophers should give up now it sounds? not a single other school listed. Does anyone believe She would pick gophers over UConn?

I suppose this is the time to post this thought from Suzy Merchant:

They learned they aren’t UConn. They knew that already. Merchant was reminded of it watching Uconn guard Kia Nurse, who’d she’d known since Nurse was 7. She’d recruited her forever. Thought she had her. Then, on the last day of the July recruiting period, a UConn assistant happened to see her.

“In an eight-day span, it’s over,” Merchant said. “That’s what you’re up against a little bit from a recruiting standpoint. There’s just not enough parity in the women’s game.”

Good story from Suzy. IMO, she's spot on, especially when she notes that there's just not enough parity in the women's game. And we seem to have been stuck in that mode for quite a while now. I don't think Bueckers will be playing for our Gophers...but can't blame her and can't blame the Gophers for that. The Gophers started recruiting her plenty early. How about we offer her walk-on status with an update to a full scholarship after the first year? (tongue in cheek)

Yes, until UConn is not winning the Natty almost every year this trend will continue. Dawn Staley @SC, Tara Vanderveer @ Stanford and Muffet McGraw @ ND get top recruits but not with the # and consistency that Geno does. I hope it changes in the next few years but it will probably take longer.

“I’m always thinking about basketball,” Bueckers said. “I’ll scout other teams. When I’m at home, I’m watching it – high school, college, pros – whenever I can.”

Sounds a little too dedicated to want to be a Gopher.

“When I was with [Team] USA, I was gone for three-and-a-half weeks, so I missed home a little,” she said.

Yeah, baby! Stollings needs to work this angle. Just like Paige is desperate to bring Hopkins a championship, she should also want to bring her home state to prominence. Let's do this, Stollings!

I give the U about a 10% chance of landing Paige. And that's just because it's the hometown school.

At this point, we'd be remiss not inserting a reminder as to what Bueckers said last January:

Bueckers' father said it's too soon for her to be taking unofficial visits to colleges, although that may happen this summer.

Paige, who is interested in studying criminal justice, said she "loves" the University of Minnesota program but will visit out-of-state schools eventually so she can gauge what they have to offer.

Get a new quality coach next year and go after her day/ night ! Still a long shot but no harm in dreaming.

The hype machine has been humming just about five years now. National outlets, local media, bloggers and recruiting wonks. Big name college coaches coming to watch her play.

While everyone else is trying to fast-forward her career, projecting how good she’ll be or where she’ll rank among the best players in Minnesota history or what college she’ll attend, Paige Bueckers is slowing down.

What’s the rush? There’s no hurry. Still just a sophomore, Hopkins’ wunderkind guard knows she still has a long way to go and a lot yet to learn. She’s going to do it her way.

The reason is simple.

“I’m not where I want to be,” Bueckers said. “If I stay as good as I am now, I’m not going to be good in the future. I have to keep working.”

A once-in-a-generation talent, what Bueckers could become is the subject of much speculation. What she is now is the 2018 Star Tribune Metro Player of the Year, the first sophomore to be chosen in the 34 years of the honor...

...As good as her overall season was, however, the most important stretch may have been a five-game span from late January through early February when she was on the bench with an ankle injury. Always a student of the game, she used that downtime to improve her mental game.

“It opened my eyes to all the little things that do and don’t happen on the court,” she said. “Something as small as one little cut can lose a game. I saw everything new, like how the coaches see things.”

It’s all part of the process of becoming the player she someday wants to be. Every opportunity to improve is welcomed; shortcuts are never considered

per Chip:

“This is a great hire,” said Hopkins girls coach Brian Cosgriff, winner of six state championships. “It’s going to put Minnesota basketball back in prominence. You’re hiring a Hall of Fame player. She’s won at the WNBA level, she’s won at the college level, she’s an Olympian. How do you do better than that?”

Hopkins sophomore guard Paige Bueckers is one of the top players in the country. She is being recruited by every major program, including UConn. Bueckers has a signed Whalen jersey hanging in her room and a pair of Whalen’s game-used shoes that Whalen gave her a few years ago.

The Gophers had zero chance of signing Bueckers before Whalen’s announcement. Bueckers’ father, Bob, was asked if his daughter will look at the Gophers differently now.

“Absolutely,” he said.

That doesn’t mean Whalen will be successful in signing Bueckers, but she brings instant credibility with recruits. That cannot be stressed enough since recruiting remains the lifeblood of college sports.

“I remember how exciting it was when Whalen was playing in the Barn and how it energized everybody — the city, the state, girls’ basketball,” Bob Bueckers said. “It was incredible. That’s something that everybody wants to see come back, but it doesn’t happen overnight.”

Go Gophers!!

Whalen is a connection to the Gophers' final four and a credible salesperson of what this program can accomplish. That's the recruiting pitch. Seriously, there's nothing they can't accomplish with Bell, Pitts and another top recruit.

Bueckers has a great shot for the same type of success as Whalen. She doesn't have to leave MN for that. In fact, she can personally become a legend in her own right in her home state. All she has to do is verbal to MN and make a statement about the direction MN is going. Her early verbal will help draw in other top elite national talent and immediately put this team in play as an upcoming national power and make the U a "platform" for a national title. With the verbal she can then text a couple of her USA team friends and everything changes. It's her and her family's choice, but is there anything better than being the hometown star? and taking the local team to national prominence? In terms of women's basketball, I can't see how there can be. Legend status is hers for the taking. Hope she grabs it.

If there there is anyone that has a chance to surpass Lindsay Whalen's records, it can be Paige Bueckers if she wants to stay home.

Hopefully, she verbals early if she truly wants to be a Gopher.

Talk show hosts have instantly become Bueckers experts even if they can't pronounce her name.:rolleyes:

Would be tough for someone with a signed Whalen jersey hanging and Whalen herself asking her to come play with her at the U of M.

I wonder when Whalen can contact Paige Brueckers. That in my mind would be the first order of business to establish a relationship.

I wonder when Whalen can contact Paige Brueckers. That in my mind would be the first order of business to establish a relationship.

This was my very first thought as well. The minute she can legally contact here I would be on the phone with her.....and she would know that she was the first person I contacted. She could play for titles as one of a thousand at UConn or make a legacy in her home state.

If it's me or my kid I would say that the U of MN is where my vote goes.

This was my very first thought as well. The minute she can legally contact here I would be on the phone with her.....and she would know that she was the first person I contacted. She could play for titles as one of a thousand at UConn or make a legacy in her home state.

If it's me or my kid I would say that the U of MN is where my vote goes.

Coaches will go thru intermediary channels to talk to players before the legal contact period. I’m sure she’s already called the Hopkins coach, given him her cell phone and told him to have her call. The kid can call and coach can answer, coach just can’t call back if call is missed.

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per Shama:

Paige Bueckers, the sophomore point guard from Hopkins High School who is among the most coveted prep basketball players nationally in the class of 2020, has a Lindsay Whalen jersey and autographed Whalen shoes in her bedroom.

Whalen, the Lynx WNBA champion point guard and former Gold Medal Olympics winner, was named University of Minnesota women’s basketball coach last week. “She (Paige) is excited for Lindsay. She has been a big fan growing up,” Hopkins coach Brian Cosgriff told Sports Headliners.

At this time of year, per NCAA policy, coaches like Whalen can’t contact high school sophomores. That doesn’t mean, though, Paige won’t be following the 35-year-old Whalen who not only will be in the news as Gophers coach but also while continuing her career this spring and summer for the Lynx as the team attempts to repeat as WNBA champs. “She is interested to see where Lindsay is taking the program,” Cosgriff said.

Bueckers frequently attends Gophers games so she is already familiar with the team and Williams Arena. But Cosgriff said don’t mark her down as a future Gopher yet because his all-state player is sorting through college options for now.

Those options include an offer from Connecticut’s storied program and legendary coach Geno Auriemma. He has been to Minnesota multiple times to watch Bueckers. “He’s a huge fan (of Bueckers),” Cosgriff said.

Count Notre Dame, Stanford and much of the Big Ten as schools wanting Bueckers who has been on the Hopkins varsity since eighth grade and starting at point guard for the last two seasons.

The 5-11, 150-pound Bueckers averaged 23.5 points per game for the Royals last season who finished second in the Class 4A state tournament despite her 37 points. Last season she made 54 percent of her field goals, 52 percent of her threes and 90 percent of her free throws.

Some games she scored more than 20 points by halftime. But Cosgriff said his wunderkind (she had a six to one assist to turnovers ratio) would “rather pass than shoot,” and when sitting on the bench is the Royals’ biggest cheerleader for teammates.

undamentally advanced for her age, and so versatile Cosgriff will even play her at center, Bueckers prompts raves when people talk about her. That starts with her coach who has been at Hopkins for almost 20 seasons, winning titles and building the Royals into a power. “She is the best I’ve had, and I’ve had some good ones,” Cosgriff said.

The roll call of great players in state history includes Nia Coffey who was terrific at Hopkins and now plays in the WNBA. Mention any legendary names to former Gopher guard and assistant coach Al Nuness and that won’t deter him from offering the highest praise to Bueckers.

“I think she will be the best women’s basketball player ever to come out of the state of Minnesota,” said Nuness who works at Hopkins as a paraprofessional.

Nuness has watched Bueckers practice and refers to her as “phenomenal”—yet he sees a player who will continue to improve. “I don’t think she is even close to reaching her potential,” he said.

Nuness predicted there will be a domino effect if Bueckers chooses Minnesota. “This is almost a must for us at Minnesota (to get her),” the former Gopher men’s captain said. “This girl is going to bring other (talented) girls.”

Go Gophers!!


Can you say UGH? I knew you could.

Don’t know if it helps but ND already has a commitment from the #1 PG for the 2019 class.

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