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

Ignatius L Hoops

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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.


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

Ignatius L Hoops

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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.”


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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)


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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.


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“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!

Ignatius L Hoops

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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.

Ignatius L Hoops

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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!!

Bad Gopher

A Loner, A Rebel
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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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