Connecticut loses a third member of the 2017 recruiting class
Has the infamous transfer portal led to an epidemic of basketball players on the move? The amount of discussion devoted to it certainly makes it appear so. Regardless of whether there’s a real rise in transfers or it’s just a hot topic, the issue affects programs big and small. Connecticut was the latest high-profile program to lose a player to the portal, as Mikayla Coombs‘ imminent departure was announced by the school on Tuesday.
“I would like to thank the UConn community and the coaching staff for everything they have done for me during my time here,” Coombs said in the school’s press release. “I wish everyone at UConn the best, and I am excited for the next chapter.”
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Although Coombs did not play a large role for the Huskies during her first two years, the rising junior was expected to compete for increased playing time next fall. After all, the Huskies were set to have just nine scholarship players for the 2019-20 campaign. Now, they will have just eight unless coach Geno Auriemma can rustle up some transfers of his own.
After suffering an ACL tear in her sophomore year of high school, Coombs came back to be named a McDonald’s All American and the Georgia Gatorade Player of the Year in 2017. The Wesleyan School (GA) product signed with the Huskies as the No. 2 guard and overall No. 13 player in her class according to ESPN HoopGurlz.
Things didn’t go quite as planned when she arrived in Storrs, though. As a freshman, Coombs found her way into 25 games, but only averaged 1.1 points and 0.8 rebounds in just 6.7 minutes per contest. She shot 32.3 percent from the field, including 9.1 percent from beyond the arc.
Things didn’t improve for on the offensive end for Coombs in 2018-19. While her minutes increased to 11.5 per game in 31 games and she was seen as an asset on defense, her scoring fell to 0.9 on 24.3 percent shooting. Her rebounding numbers saw a slight improvement but remained low at 1.6 per game. Her best game came against DePaul on Nov. 28, when she scored six points, pulled down four boards and came away with two steals in 10 minutes on the court.
“We appreciate Mikayla for her effort and for being a great teammate the last two seasons,” Auriemma said, adding that the program wished her and her family well.
Coombs will be the third player from the 2017 recruiting class to transfer from Connecticut.
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