UConn picks up first 2009 commitment

Kelly Faris (left) has led Heritage Christian to three straight Indiana 2A championships. AP Photo/Tom Strattman

Heritage Christian (Indianapolis, Ind.) star Kelly Faris has verbally committed to Connecticut, its first verbal commitment in the 2009 class. The commitment came in the middle of the Huskies' run in the NCAA Tournament.

Faris is a well decorated student athlete with the honor of a USA Basketball Youth Developmental Festival invitation last summer. She has been selected Indianapolis Player of the Year twice and has been selected to the All-City team her entire high school career. She is also the No. 54 ranked player in the ESPN HoopGurlz 2009 Super Sixty.

Faris chose Connecticut over finalist Notre Dame and also considered Duke, Florida State, Purdue and Stanford. Faris will complement the other swing players UConn signed in the 2008 class with Caroline Doty (coming off an ACL tear) and Tiffany Hayes. With graduation set to deplete the Huskies backcourt, the combination of Faris and the 2008 class should maintain the talent level Geno Auriemma and Co. have enjoyed.

Faris brings a great basketball IQ and court vision along with strong and athleticism to the Connecticut backcourt. At 5-foot-11 she can probably swing over and play some small forward as well as her natural shooting guard position in the Big East. The common theme in all the guards recently recruited by the Huskies is versatility. Doty can play the point and shooting guard positions and Hayes can play all three of the perimeter positions with her blazing speed. Faris is no exception and should allow UConn to find and utilize mismatches and flex lineups often.

Despite a world of talent very few would characterize Faris as a selfish player. She's the type who will rebound her position, pass, set screens and knock down open shots if needed rather than finding her own shot. With the amount of talent the Huskies have recruited in the past three recruiting classes, a do-it-all, team-first player like Faris is a great fit.