Sherwood, Robinson decide to transfer
STORRS, Conn. -- Two freshmen on Connecticut's national championship team have decided to transfer, leaving coach Geno Auriemma's powerhouse program without a senior class in 2007.
Liz Sherwood, a 6-foot-4 center from Castle Rock, Colo., is considering programs closer to home at Colorado and Colorado State. She also has expressed interest in Vanderbilt and Fresno State, team officials said.
Kiana Robinson, a 5-8 guard from Brandon, Fla., is considering enrolling at Florida State, Alabama, Louisiana Tech and Texas.
Sherwood and Robinson were part of a three-player recruiting class that included 5-7 guard Kia Wright from Amityville, N.Y., but Wright left UConn last summer before starting her freshman year.
Auriemma had no senior class last year after Kennitra Johnson -- his only recruit for the class of 2003 -- transferred to a Division II school in Indiana after her sophomore season, but he's never had an exodus this big this before.
"This is a unique situation, the first time since I've been here at Connecticut," Auriemma said. "Sometimes you just make mistakes and it's best that you just fix them and move on."
The Huskies have won five national titles since 1995 and capped their third straight last month with a win over archrival Tennessee. Sherwood and Robinson played behind a talented group of sophomores Ann Strother, Barbara Turner and Wilnett Crockett. Strother and Turner are starters and Crockett is a solid contributor in the post.
The Huskies also lost senior All-American Diana Taurasi. Next season's senior class includes Ashley Battle, a speedy guard known for her defensive play, and 6-3 post player Jessica Moore, who tore a knee ligament in the NCAA title game but is expected to recover in time for the season.
Auriemma rebuilds next season with three highly touted recruits, including 6-1 forward Charde Houston of San Diego, the California state girls' scoring leader.
In 25 games last season, Sherwood averaged 4.3 points and 1.8 rebounds in 8.5 minutes a game. She did not play in the Huskies' final four NCAA tournament games.
"The expectations that we as coaches had for Liz and what Liz had in mind were two different things," Auriemma said. "So it was obvious it was not going to work for either of us. We wish her the best."
Robinson averaged 5.1 minutes over 18 games, all in a reserve role.
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press