UConn women’s basketball freshman guard Saylor Poffenbarger to transfer

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UConn women’s basketball freshman Saylor Poffenbarger is transferring, the school announced Monday.

“Saylor is a great person who has a lot of potential. Wherever she goes, she’ll be able to reach her goals and benefit her future home,” UConn women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma said in a statement. “We wish Saylor and her family the best as she continues her career.”

The news was first reported by Russell Steinberg of The Next.

“After talking to my family, I decided it’s in my best interest to enter my name into the transfer portal,” Poffenbarger said in the release. “I’m grateful for my teammates, coaches, support staff and the fans for welcoming me to Storrs, and I wish them the best.”

Poffenbarger, initially the first player of the Huskies’ 2021 recruiting class to commit in July 2019, enrolled at UConn this past January after graduating early from high school. The 6-foot-2 guard was ranked the No. 30 recruit in the country by espnW, and Auriemma touted her versatility as someone who could play multiple places on the floor.

“A kid like Saylor, we needed somebody that could play a lot of different positions and had a feel for the game that we really needed to get in here,” he said the day she signed her letter of intent.

The Middletown, Maryland product appeared in 12 games last season, totaling six points (1-for-11 shooting on 3s) and four rebounds in 32 minutes. She dealt with injuries for the majority of her short-lived UConn career, first back problems last season and recently a shin issue, per Auriemma, that kept her out of the Huskies’ exhibition and Sunday’s season opener against Arkansas.

The NCAA’s recently adopted immediate eligibility rules don’t apply to Poffenbarger, as there was a July 1 deadline for transfers to enter the portal to be eligible for the 2021-22 season. She will not be able to take the court again with her new school until the fall of 2022.

When she was initially being recruited, Poffenbarger’s top six schools included Oregon, Maryland, Missouri, Tennessee and Oklahoma, per The Frederick News Post. Her mother played at Missouri. Oklahoma has a new coaching staff following the retirement of Sherri Coale.

The Huskies’ roster now sits at 13 players, including three freshmen.

Alexa Philippou can be reached at aphilippou@courant.com