Less than a month after the University of Connecticut women's basketball team lost recruit Charli Collier to Texas, the Huskies will try to rebound by having two of the top seniors in the country -- including a top post player -- make official visits this coming weekend.
Christyn Williams -- a 5-foot-11 guard from Little Rock, Arkansas -- will make UConn her fifth and final official visit. Rated the No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2018 by ESPNHoopgurlz, she is also considering South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and UCLA.
She'll be joined in Storrs by Olivia Nelson-Ododa, a 6-foot-4 center from Winder, Georgia. Rated the No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2018 by the Blue Star Index and No. 5 by ESPNHoopgurlz, she is also considering Duke, Florida State, Georgia, Stanford, and South Carolina. She was in Tallahassee for her official visit with the Seminoles this past weekend.
Nelson-Ododa will be entering her fourth season as a starter at Winder-Barrow High and has been an All-State first-team selection the last two years. She suffered a knee injury last Jan. 31 that ended her junior season and cost her a chance to try out for the United States U-19 national team.
She was a teammate of Williams with the 2016 U-17 national team that won a bronze medal at the FIBA world championships in Zaragoza, Spain, averaging a team-high 12.0 points on 56 percent shooting from the floor and ranking second in rebounds (9.4) and blocked shots (1.7). She had a double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds in Team USA's semifinal loss to eventual champion Australia and nine points and 10 rebounds in the bronze-medal game victory over China.
In her USA Basketball bio last year, she listed former UConn star and fellow Georgia native Maya Moore as her favorite player. She is a member of her school's National Honor Society and hopes to become a doctor.
Williams, who made an unofficial visit to UConn in January of 2016, averaged 26.6 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 2.4 steals as a junior in leading Central Arkansas Christian School to a 29-5 record and the Class 4A state tournament quarterfinals. She was named Arkansas' Gatorade Player of the Year for the second straight season and was also a Naismith and MaxPreps All-America third-team selection.
This summer, Williams was the youngest player on the United States U-19 national team that traveled to Italy and took part in the FIBA U-19 World Cup. She played in six of seven games and averaged 3.2 points and 1.7 rebounds in 8.3 minutes off the bench. Team USA -- which included UConn sophomore Crystal Dangerfield and freshman Megan Walker -- won the silver medal, finishing 6-1 following a loss to Russia in the championship game.
Also in July, she teamed with University of North Carolina freshman Janelle Bailey, University of Texas freshman Destiny Littleton, and Top 10 Class of 2018 recruit Aquira DeCosta to win the gold medal at the FIBA 3x3 U-18 World Cup in China.
She said in an ESPNW article last week that she will be ready to pick a final two about one week after her UConn visit and will announce her choice on Nov. 10 in her school's auditorium.
The first day of the fall signing period is Nov. 8.
With Collier's change of heart, the Huskies have at least five scholarships available for the Class of 2019 with post players a need. UConn will lose All-American Gabby Williams to graduation in May, while junior All-American Napheesa Collier and redshirt junior Azura Stevens are eligible for the 2018 WNBA Draft. Stevens has not stated publicly whether she is considering giving up her final year of eligibility. Collier said at the NCAA Final Four in March she had no intention of entering the draft next year and the Huskies have scheduled a homecoming game for her against Saint Louis University in the 2018-19 season.
UConn is hopeful of putting together an official visit for 18-year-old Australian Eziyoda Magbegor during the season. A 6-foot-4 forward, she is in her first season playing for the Canberra Capitals of Australia's Women's National Basketball League.
Magbegor was the top scorer (16.1 points on 53 percent shooting from the floor) and second-leading rebounder (8.1) while averaging team-highs of 2.0 steals and 1.6 blocked shots as Australia finished sixth in the FIBA U-19 World Cup. She had nine points and 10 rebounds in 18 minutes before fouling out in a quarterfinal loss to eventual gold medalist Russia.
In 2016, she was the Most Valuable Player as she led Australia to the gold medal at the FIBA U-17 world championships by averaging 12.5 points on 55 percent shooting from the floor, 8.0 rebounds, and 2.9 blocked shots. Magbegor had 10 points, 10 rebounds, and four blocks in the semifinal win over Team USA, and 13 points, nine rebounds, and three blocked shots in the gold-medal victory over Italy.
UConn did show interest in Australian wing Chantel Horvat a year ago. But Horvat never visited and she is about to start her freshman year at UCLA. The Huskies face the Bruins Nov. 21 at Pauley Pavilion.
The Huskies will open practice at the Werth Family Champions Center Thursday and will practice each day through Sunday. A week from today, UConn coach Geno Auriemma and select players will be in Philadelphia for the annual American Athletic Conference media day.