Five of the seven players in the 2023-24 women’s basketball recruiting class have decommitted, as first reported by The Buffalo News.
The recruits were members of head coach Becky Burke’s first full recruiting class. Burke was hired prior to last season, leading the Bulls to a 12-16 (7-11 MAC) record in her first year.
The five players are Paige Kohler of Olmstead Falls High School, Madison Heiss of Bishop Lynch High School, Timberlynn Yeast of West Virginia (WV) Thunder 17U, Ella Weaver of WV Thunder 17U, JaKayla Thompson of Kentucky Premier 17U. A UB Athletics spokesperson confirmed that all five players were released from their letters of intent on Friday.
Kohler and Heiss announced via Twitter that they were released from their letters of intent. Both players cited “unforeseen circumstances.”
Yeast’s and Weavers’ decommitments were posted on Twitter by WV Thunder coach Scott Johnson.
The Buffalo News also reported that Thompson confirmed her release from her letter of intent; she is “exploring new options.” Its coverage did not include explanations from any players as to why they left UB.
The moves come after UB lost all three of its assistant coaches from last season, including recruiting coordinator and assistant coach Wyatt Foust.
Burke declined to comment to The Spectrum, per a UB Athletics spokesperson.
“Former assistant coach Wyatt Foust left the program for another coaching opportunity,” a UB Athletics spokesperson said. “He was a primary contact for those student-athletes during their recruiting process and with his departure they had [a] change of heart and requested their release which was granted.”
The spokesperson said that UB would not comment further.
The November UB press release of the 2023-24 recruiting class has since been updated to reflect the changes. Only two incoming freshmen are listed. The original version of the release can be seen here.
This roster shakeup comes less than one week after the team announced the addition of four transfer players. Eleven players are currently listed on the team’s online roster for next season.
Ryan Tantalo is the senior sports editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org