Women’s Basketball: A look into this year’s recruiting class, part two 


Last week, we took a look at UConn women’s basketball’s exciting guard tandem that headlines their class of 2023. That was the first installment of the Daily Campus’ dive into this upcoming year’s recruiting class, but now, we shift our focus onto the frontcourt. This portion of the class aren’t All-Americans, but they do have a number of accolades in their own right and will play a role down the road, if not immediately. Who’s included here? Let’s discuss.  

Qadence Samuels, 6-foot-2 Wing, No. 41 on ESPN 

Scouting Report: A pure wing, Samuels is the type of player who can make an impact in a vast number of areas on the floor. She has a long frame and a great wingspan, which helps her on defense. With the combination of agility and size, there’s potential that the Maryland native could guard all five positions. To go up against a center she might have to put on some muscle, but even now she’s great on the glass, can block shots and get into the passing lanes.  

On offense, Samuels has really made nice strides. She displayed a solid finishing game early in high school, but what really stands out is her ability to now hit threes. She’s developed into someone who can really hurt opposing teams from beyond the arc, especially in transition or when open. She doesn’t have a particularly flashy or exciting offensive game, but she makes a positive impact nonetheless and puts the ball in the hoop.  

Storrs Impact: Put simply, it’ll be an uphill battle for Samuels to find a lot of playing time early as a Husky. She’ll be playing directly behind Aubrey Griffin, the do-it-all wing who will command well over 20 minutes per game. Then she has to fight for minutes with All-American Aaliyah Edwards at the power forward spot. Every position Samuels could qualify for this year has someone coming back who will make it tough to get playing time. Although her run will be slim without injuries this year, down the line she could develop into a player similar to Griffin, but maybe with a more developed offensive game. Her defense is solid and will develop with practice, while she has a sweet shot that should improve over time. It might take a year or two, but Samuels has all the potential in the world and will make an impact down the road.  

GENO’S THOUGHTS: “Qadence addresses our desire to get more athletic, to get longer. She’s one of those kids that is deceptively competitive. When you look at her on the court, you just think it’s smooth and skillful. But she has this edge to her that’s really dynamic. I think she’s one of the better shooters coming out of this class. She’s a really impressive shooter and she’s not adverse to mixing it up and she wants to take big shots. Qadence is a tremendous teammate and comes from a family with a lot of players who have competed at the college level. She understands exactly what this is all about.” 

Jana El Alfy, 6-foot-4 Center, N/A on ESPN 

Scouting Report: El Alfy is UConn’s first ever player from Egypt and enrolled in school early in the spring semester. Looking at her game, El Alfy is a raw talent with an incredibly high ceiling. She has the size to compete at the division one level, but there are any number of things to develop and hone. The Egyptian will benefit immensely from her added time and ability to work on conditioning and athleticism, as she’s currently a touch flat footed. She has a 3-point shot, but it’s not at the level it could be at yet. She can score on the inside too, but as she becomes more athletic, that’ll improve. 

These areas of opportunity aren’t to take away anything from El Alfy’s game–because she’s a great player in her own right–but it is important to discuss that there are strides for her to make to have an impact. The pieces are there for the young center, and she has plenty of time to put everything together.  

Storrs Impact: With Dorka Juhasz gone, one of the biggest question marks for the Huskies is their center position. It’s the one spot that doesn’t have a lot of clarity. Edwards can play the five, but has proven that she’s a better power forward, especially as she’s improved her jumper. In the short term, it’s likely UConn runs a smaller lineup with Edwards in the middle, but looking at the true centers on the roster, the Huskies have Amari DeBerry, a taller junior benchwarmer, Ice Brady, a highly touted redshirt first-year who was out with injury last year, and El Alfy. If El Alfy has a great summer, she could be the first-year with the most minutes. It’s hard to predict how much she’ll develop in the offseason, but she’s young and has basketball in her blood, so fans could see a lot of her early on if all goes well. 

GENO’S THOUGHTS: “I think the skills Jana has are skills that translate well into the way basketball is played today. She’s a big kid who’s athletic and can play on the perimeter. She can score, she can rebound. She’s played a lot of basketball growing up. Her father is the national team coach, so she really understands the game. There’s an understanding from everyone of where Jana wants to go and what Jana wants to be. She wants to set an example for all the young girls not just in Egypt but in all of Africa.” 


  1. Wonderful and decidedly fair assessments. Leaves UCONN fans eager to see them play. And optimistic. Every team in the country keeps getting a larger pool of more talented players to draw upon, so we are going to need our fair share of “ the very best.” And then we have to get lucky. And stay lucky.

Leave a Reply