Ursuline Academy's Elena Delle Donne, the nation's top women's basketball recruit, has abruptly left Connecticut for unspecified reasons after a week of summer school.

It was unclear whether the 6-foot-5 swing player out of Wilmington had left the Storrs campus permanently or just needed to handle some personal matters.

A knowledgable source involved in AAU competition in the Philadelphia area, where Delle Donne has competed, told The Inquirer she had left the school but could not say what caused her to leave.

"This is nothing out of the ordinary," Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma said last night in an e-mail to the Hartford Courant confirming her departure. "It happens all the time."

Delle Donne's father, Ernie, referred questions to Auriemma.

"I'm not talking about it," he told the Courant without saying whether his daughter had returned to their home in Centerville, Del.

Delle Donne is the marquee name in a star-laden freshmen class that includes Germantown Academy's Caroline Doty of Doylestown.

Connecticut is next season's overwhelming favorite to win the NCAA title.

Last summer, Delle Donne suddenly decided to take time off from the sport, bypassing trials for a USA Basketball squad. In September, she chose the Huskies over Villanova and Tennessee.

If her departure is permanent, it is unlikely she would transfer to Villanova because of transfer rules involving fellow Big East Conference schools.

Contact staff writer Mel Greenberg at 215-854-5725 or mgreenberg@phillynews.com.
Read his blog at go.philly.com/womhoops.