maia caito

Maia Caito

Cranston Herald

The missing element in the University of Wisconsin women’s basketball team’s 2018 recruiting class is a post player.

So it’s likely no coincidence that the Badgers will host one of the better uncommitted post players in the nation this weekend as coach Jonathan Tsipis looks to complete his class.

Maia Caito, a 6-foot-4 center from East High School in Cranston, Rhode Island, is scheduled to make an official visit to UW and attend Saturday’s football game against Maryland, according to recruiting sources.

Prentice Beverly, recruiting analyst for Blue Star Media, said Caito “has a WNBA body.”

“She’s a true center and has a strong presence in the paint at both ends of the court,” Beverly wrote last year. “Caito moves and runs the floor well. She does a good job hitting the boards at both ends.

“On the offense she is an effective low post scorer in the paint. Caito showed the ability to attack off the dribble and knock down the short jumper. Caito needs to further develop her low post and face up game. Definitely a major D-I prospect with a huge upside.”

The Badgers already have received oral commitments from four players, who are expected to sign a National Letter of Intent during the early signing period that begins Nov. 8.

Those commitments are from Imani Lewis, a 6-2 forward from Willingboro, New Jersey and Life Center Academy; Carmen Backes, a 6-1 wing from Lindstrom, Minnesota, and Chisago Lakes High School; Jasmine Hale, a 5-9 guard from Glen Este High School near Cincinnati and Diamond Bragg, a 5-7 guard from Camp Hill, Pennsylvania.

Many of the top recruiting targets for the 2019 class also are scheduled to make unofficial visits. That list includes three of the top in-state players – point guard Sydney Hilliard of Monroe; guard McKenna Warnock of Monona Grove and forward Tara Stauffacher of Beaver Dam. All three have received scholarship offers from UW.

Other 2019 recruits expected are: Jordan King, a 5-9 guard from Rockton (Hononegah), Illinois; Sara Stapleton, a 6-3 post from Circle Pines (Centennial), Minnesota; and Lola Mullaney, a 5-9 guard from Colts Neck, New Jersey, and Manaquan High School. King and Stapleton are known to have offers from UW.

One 2020 prospect also plans to visit  Jaddan Simmons, a 5-8 point guard from Green Bay Southwest.

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Dennis Punzel covers Wisconsin Badgers volleyball, women's basketball for the Wisconsin State Journal.