The University of Connecticut and Tennessee women's basketball teams have had little in common the last decade.
They went their separate ways as far as scheduling in 2007, though they will renew their rivalry in January 2020. Over the last 10 seasons, the Huskies have been to all 10 NCAA Final Fours and won six national championships, passing the Lady Vols for the all-time lead in titles (11-8) and national semifinal berths (19-18), while Tennessee has not been past the Elite Eight since winning it all in 2008. The programs actually have not recruited many of the same players over the past decade.
Jordan Horston is an exception. The 6-foot guard from Columbus, Ohio, is the No. 2-rated player in the Class of 2019 by ESPNHoopgurlz and was the Most Valuable Player of the 2018 FIBA U-17 World Cup in July. UConn and Tennessee were among seven on schools on her list.
Score one for the Lady Vols.
Horston announced Wednesday her commitment to Tennessee and will sign a letter of intent next month. The other five schools on her list were Louisville, North Carolina, Ohio State, South Carolina, and UCLA.
She had made an official visit to UConn Sept. 21-23 along with Ossining (New York) High senior Aubrey Griffin, who announced she would attend UConn last Thursday.
Horston averaged 18.1 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 5.1 steals as a junior in leading Columbus Africentric High to a 27-3 record and the Ohio Division III state championship.
She represented her country for the second consecutive year this summer and was named the U-17 World Cup MVP as she led Team USA to the gold medal. She was third on the team in scoring at 10.1 points, was second in rebounds at 7.0. and led the squad in 5.1 assists and 3.4 steals. She shot 50.0 percent from the floor and had an assist-to-turnover ration of 2.8.
When asked about her college decision in May, she said, "I have to do what's best for me, at the end of the day. I want a school that will make me a better player and person, I want to win, and I want to get a good education."
And she's decided what is best for her is Tennessee.
Tennessee was 25-8 a year ago and lost in the NCAA Tournament second round to Oregon State, which snapped the Lady Vols' 57-game tournament home winning streak. Tennessee has not reached the NCAA Sweet 16 in back-to-back seasons after failing to do so just once in 31 tournament appearances under its late Hall of Fame coach Pat Summitt and the first four years under her successor Holly Warlick.
Warlick, though, has had no issues in recruiting having signed seven McDonald's All-Americans the past two years including three freshmen on the 2018-19 roster.
UConn will now turn its attention to two of Horston's U-17 teammates who are among the top three recruits in the class according to ESPNHoopgurlz.
Top-ranked Haley Jones (6-1 guard/forward, Santa Cruz, California) averaged 21.9 points, 10.0 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and 2.6 blocked shots to lead Archbishop Mitty of San Jose to a 29-1 record and the Central Coast Section Open title. She was California's Gatorade Player of the Year. She made her first USA team in May after being cut three times and was named to the U-17 World Cup all-tournament team after averaging 10.9 points on 56.1 percent shooting, 4.3 rebounds, and 3.1 assists.
Aliyah Boston (6-4 center/forward, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands) is ranked No. 3 and led Worcester Academy to its first New England Prep School Class AA title as a junior. She averaged 21.2 points, 14.0 rebounds, and 6.2 blocked shots and had four triple-doubles and 19 double-doubles in 24 games. She was named Massachusetts' Gatorade Player of the Year for a second consecutive season. With the U-17 team, she averaged team-highs of 11.3 points on 65.4 percent shooting, 7.1 rebounds, and 1.3 blocked shots and was named to the all-tournament team. She was the MVP of the FIBA Americas U-16 Championships in 2017 and will take part in the 2018 Youth Olympic Games, which will be held Oct. 6-18 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The pair will be in Storrs for their official visits the weekend of Nov. 2-4. Jones is also considering Notre Dame, Oregon, South Carolina, and Stanford. Boston's list is at four and includes Notre Dame, Ohio State, and South Carolina.