February 7, 2018 12:13:23 AM
Vic Schaefer's ability to land big-time transfers continued Tuesday when former Connecticut guard Andra Espinoza-Hunter tweeted she will transfer to Mississippi State.
Espinoza-Hunter, a 5-foot-10 guard from Ossining, New York, tweeted from her handle DraHunter2 at 6:56 p.m. Tuesday, "I look good in maroon don't I? #HailState #GoDawgs. Espinoza-Hunter was pictured with Schaefer wearing a MSU No. 23 uniform. Former MSU guard Kayla Nevitt wore No. 23. She transferred to Jacksonville with LaKaris Salter following the 2015-16 season. Bre'Amber Scott wears No. 23 on this year's team.
It is unclear if Espinoza-Hunter's picture with No. 23 means she will wear the number when she becomes eligible or if it says anything about Scott's status at MSU or if she will wear a different number next season.
Espinoza-Hunter attended No. 2 MSU's 67-53 victory against No. 7 South Carolina on Monday night at Humphrey Coliseum. She was seen walking across the Humphrey Coliseum court with Schaefer after the arena had been cleared.
Espinoza-Hunter scored 14 points in seven games this season at Connecticut. She was part of UConn's top-ranked 2017 recruiting class. ESPNHoopGurlz's Dan Olson rated Espinoza-Hunter the 16th-best prospect in the nation. She also was the 2017 Gatorade Player of the Year from the state of New York.
Espinoza-Hunter, who committed to UConn as a sophomore in high school, averaged 36.9 points, 6.7 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 3.0 steals. She scored 995 points as a senior to break the New York State Public High School Athletic Association record.
Espinoza-Hunter could fill a valuable need for MSU, which loses senior guards Victoria Vivians, Morgan William, Blair Schaefer, and Roshunda Johnson after this season. However, Espinoza-Hunter will have to sit out a year due to NCAA transfer rules.
Espinoza-Hunter is the third guard to transfer to MSU in the last three seasons. Johnson was a standout for two seasons at Oklahoma State before transferring to MSU and sitting out the 2015-16 season. Jordan Danberry also transferred from Arkansas and joined MSU's active roster after the first semester.
Espinoza-Hunter was a member of the 2015 Under-16 United States National Team and averaged 10.0 points and 3.8 rebounds to help Team USA win a bronze medal at the FIBA Americas Championship.
After Espinoza-Hunter announced her decision to transfer from UConn, her high school basketball coach, Dan Ricci, announced on Twitter she was considering Duke, Louisville, Michigan, MSU, Ohio State, and USC.
Espinoza-Hunter joins MSU's 2018 recruiting class that includes Daphane White, the No. 48 player in ESPN's rankings, Jessika Carter, the No. 49 player, and Xaria Wiggins, the No. 54 player.
Follow Dispatch sports editor Adam Minichino on Twitter @ctsportseditor
Adam Minichino is the Sports Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.
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