Daisha Simmons and Briana Hutchen are swapping Scarlet for Crimson.
While no official announcement has been made by the school, it appears as if the two rising sophomores — who were given their release from the Rutgers women’s basketball program in April — are transferring to the University of Alabama.
Both players will be ineligible for the upcoming season as per NCAA transfer rules.
“It’s really not a package at all,” said Hutchen, adding that she was “surprised” when she learned of Simmons’ decision through a future teammate.
“That’s going to make it 10 times easier because both of us are going to have a hard time sitting out.”
Simmons, a combo guard, and Hutchen, a forward, became close friends as the only two freshmen on the Scarlet Knights’ roster last season, fueling speculation that they wanted to reunite elsewhere.
“We talked a few times a week,” said Hutchen, who confirmed that she visited the Southeastern Conference school with Simmons, “but you have to make the decision that is best for you as an individual.
“We tried not to put pressure on each other. It just all worked out. I’m so excited about it.”
Simmons, who did not consider Alabama a finalist in her original recruiting process, averaged 2.4 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 18.4 minutes per game last season.
The all-time leading scorer in the history of Somerset County high school girls basketball did not return a message requesting comment. Her coach at the Gill St. Bernard’s Schoool, Mergin Sina, has a son — Jaren — in the 2013 recruiting class that has verbally committed to Alabama.
In a lesser role for the Scarlet Knights, Hutchen, whose nickname is “Breezy,” contributed 1.2 points and 1.5 rebounds in 6.5 minutes per game.
“I didn’t feel like I was a good fit,” she said. “I felt like I lost myself within the school and I needed to find the ‘Breezy’ I used to be. I gained that back playing this summer. I feel really comfortable.”
The Crimson Tide finished 18-15 and reached the Women’s National Invitation Tournament Sweet 16 last season.
“They are up and down the court a lot,” Hutchen said. “And they produce a lot off of their defense, which is a big thing for me.”
Note: Piscataway High School rising senior Danaejah Grant offered a verbal commitment Monday to Clemson University. She listed Rutgers among her finalists.