UConn was a winner Wednesday in a different kind of Final Four, one that could help the Huskies stay in contention for the real thing in the coming years.
Nicole Wolff, the 5-foot-11 guard from Malden, Mass., gave UConn an oral commitment Wednesday night, becoming the first of the four remaining top recruits on UConn's list to make a commitment.
``I just felt like I'd be happiest at UConn,'' said Wolff, who is ranked the No.4 high school senior in the nation by the Blue Star recruiting service. ``I'm just excited, and I think I'm ready to handle it.''
Wolff, who made an official visit to Storrs two weeks ago, said no one factor swayed her decision.
``I wouldn't say it was one thing,'' said Wolff, who averaged 23 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and six steals for Walpole High School as a junior. ``I just thought about everything to consider.''
Wolff's announcement could cause a domino effect in UConn's favor with the three remaining recruits. In particular, Ann Strother, the Castle Rock, Colo., guard ranked No.1 by Blue Star, could be swayed to join Wolff. The two made their official visits to UConn together during the weekend of Oct. 27-29.
``We have known each other for a while, not a long time, but we are good friends,'' Strother said during the visit. ``It's nice to see her this week on this visit too.''
Strother has not set a timetable for her decision. The other two recruits, 6-0 forward Barbara Turner of Cleveland and Wilnett Crockett, a 6-3 forward in Harbor City, Calif., have said they will announce their decisions in press conferences Nov. 14. The official signing period is Nov. 14-20.
Wolff is the second player to give UConn an oral commitment. Gillian Goring, a 6-7 center from Trinidad living in Waterloo, Iowa, committed on Oct. 22.
Wolff, the daughter of former UConn player and current Boston University men's basketball coach Dennis Wolff, had also been considering Duke and Vanderbilt.
``I've been thinking about it for months and it's been really hard,'' Wolff said. ``It's probably been the hardest thing I've had to do. I'm just excited and relieved to have chosen a school. Now I can just enjoy my senior year.''