Signing Day Roundup: Azzi Fudd joins already stellar UConn class

Mike Anthony: Paige Bueckers and Geno Auriemma are chuckling through the early stages of their UConn basketball relationship

From left, Amari DeBerry, Paige Bueckers, Azzi Fudd and Caroline Ducharme all plan to suit up for the UConn Huskies in the near future. | Brad Horrigan/Hartford Courant/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Azzi Fudd ended the suspense by announcing her commitment to UConn. Caroline Ducharme, Amari DeBerry and Saylor Poffenbarger followed suit, making a stacked Huskies class. But North Carolina isn’t too far behind — four Top 20 prospects signed with the Tar Heels on Wednesday.

No. 1 Hoop Gurlz recruit Azzi Fudd of Washington, D.C., committed to the UConn Huskies on ESPN Instagram Live on Wednesday.

Fudd was one of the few 2021 recruits who remained undecided until national signing day.

Not only does UConn now have the No. 1 recruit from 2020 in Paige Bueckers and 2021 in Fudd, the Huskies also added 2021’s No. 5 recruit Caroline Ducharme, a 5-foot-10 guard. Combined with 5-foot-11 guards Bueckers and Fudd, the Huskies have a pretty solid future backcourt.

To round out its 2021 signing class, UConn also signed No. 15 recruit Amari DeBerry, a 6-foot-5 forward, and No. 30 recruit Saylor Poffenbarger, a 6-foot-2 guard.

The North Carolina Tar Heels brought in highly-ranked recruit Deja Kelly for the 2020-21 season and on Wednesday signed four of the Top 20 prospects from the Class of 2021: 6-foot-3 wing Teonni Key (No. 9), 5-foot-7 point guard Kayla McPherson (No. 17), 6-foot-0 guard Morasha Wiggins (No. 18) and 6-foot-3 wing Destiny Adams (No. 20).

Key remains in her home state of North Carolina but the Heels did a great job of drawing players from around the nation: McPherson from Georgia, Wiggins from Michigan and Adams from New Jersey.

The USC Trojans, who have the No. 7 recruiting class in the nation, were happy to announce the signings of No. 21 and No. 27 recruits Clarice Akunwafo and Rayah Marshall, respectively. Akunwafo is a 6-foot-5 post and the second-best in her class. Marshall is a 6-foot-3 guard and both she and Akunwafo are from California.

Maryland was one of the final four teams that Fudd considered, demonstrating that the Terrapins are still on the radar of the top players in the nation. While Fudd ultimately chose UConn, the Terps still welcome No. 22 recruit Shyanne Sellers, a 6-foot guard from Ohio. On Wednesday they also signed Emma Chardon, a 6-foot-3 wing from Switzerland who has quite a bit of professional basketball experience.

Another perennial power, the NC State Wolfpack, welcome No. 36 recruit Aziaha James, a 5-foot-9 guard from Virginia. They also signed Sophie Hart of Minnesota, the No. 5 post player in the class.

Joining a rising Arizona Wildcats program are No. 71 recruit and home-state star Madison Conner and No. 100 recruit Aaronette Vonleh from Oregon.

Elsewhere, head coach Kim Mulkey has been working her magic in Waco. New Lady Bear Maryam Dauda will be following a long line of successful posts at Baylor. The 6-foot-4 Dauda is the No. 13 overall recruit and the No. 1 post player in the nation.

The Mississippi State Bulldogs, meanwhile, welcome a pair of guards to their program as they look to build in the recently-started Nikki McCray-Penson era. KN’isha Godfrey, the No. 40 prospect and No. 8 point guard, is heading to “StarkVegas” from Florida, while guard Jasmine Shavers, the No. 55 recruit, will be arriving from Texas. Mississippi State also signed guard Mia Moore on Wednesday.

The Iowa Hawkeyes snagged Caitlin Clark, the No. 4 recruit for 2020, and on Wednesday signed 2021’s No. 39 recruit AJ Ediger, a 6-foot-2 forward from Michigan, and No. 92 recruit Addison O’Grady, a 6-foot-3 post from Colorado. The Hawkeyes also added Sydney Affolter, a 5-foot-11 guard from Chicago.

The Tennessee Lady Volunteers are hoping to make a huge jump in head coach Kellie Harper’s second year. Prospect No. 43 Sara Puckett and No. 62 Kaiya Wynn were signed today, as was Brooklynn Miles.