Huskies Double Up On Elite Talent
The major story of the UConn off-season up until last week was the national champions losing two scholarships due to a worse than expected Academic Progress Rating. While the loss of the schoalrships will certainly hurt the program, 69 year old head coach Jim Calhoun is expected back, and the Huskies landed two major scores on the recruiting trail last week.
The odyssey of multi-talented forward DeAndre Daniels of IMG Academy (FL) via Woodland Hills (CA) ended, just as strange as it began, as Daniels decided on the Huskies. He immediately erases any concerns that may have popped up following the departure of Jamal Coombs-McDaniel. The rampant speculation regarding where Daniels would go included many high-major names, but never the Huskies. The late addition of the Top 50 talent is huge for UConn.
Also, 2012 shooting guard Omar Calhoun, the leading scorer in Nike’s Elite Youth Basketball League called it for UConn, citing the national championship season. Calhoun has been deadly from the 3-point line, as one of the best shooters in the league. Calhoun may be undervalued nationally, and ensures another scorer is Storrs, CT, bound.
- Two Atlantic 10 schools made key late additions to their 2011 recruiting efforts. UMass stuck, adding point guard Curtis “Trey” Davis, who signed with George Washington in the early signing period. The 6′-0″ Wilson (TX) lead guard is a nice consolation prize for the Minutemen, who missed out on Arizona transfer Lamont “Momo” Jones. Saint Louis also scored a prospect that signed elsewhere in the early signing period. 6′-6″ PF Grandy Glaze, among the best prospect’s still available, will be headed to play for the Billikens. Glaze is a bullish forward that signed with UNLV early, but was released from his letter of intent after the coach staff change.
- UCLA made an interesting and potentially impactful assistant coach hire. The Bruins hired Atlanta Celtics head man Korey McCray. Establishing a pipeline to the deep Georgia high school boys basketball ranks could really benefit UCLA. It’s an interesting hire geographically, and it should bear watching to see if guard Jordan Adams, post Shaquille Goodwin or another Georgia high school player that is being recruiting by UCLA decides to declare after the hire of McCray.
- A deep NCAA tournament run has yielding predictable results on the recruiting trail for coach Shaka Smart and VCU. They have been on a roll with 2012 recruits, and may have capped their class with 6′-5″ wing Jordan Burgess, the younger brother of Bradford Burgess, a Ram star last season. Burgess, the younger, is local at Benedictine (VA). The Rams run looks like it will continue to roll with the incoming talent.
- The second member of the Class of 2012 at Auburn has declared. Georgia guard Jordan Price popped for the Tigers on Saturday. The 6′-5″ shooting guard from Southwest DeKalb joins fellow Peach State wing Shaquille Johnson as 2012 pledges. It’s a nice start for Tony Barbee and Co.
- 6′-1″ lead guard Jordan Roper will be staying in-state. The Irmo (SC) standout made the call to Clemson. He’s the second player to pledge to Clemson, reportedly picking them over finalist VCU. Roper joins Georgia prep forward Jaron Blossomgame already in the class.
- St. John’s and Notre Dame fans will be forced to have an interest in the MLB Draft. That’s because both schools had a hot hoops prospect selected in the draft. The Cincinnati Reds picked 6′-6″ WF Amir Garrett, a Red Storm signee in the 22nd round, while the San Diego Padres picked Pat Connaughton in the 38th round. Both players were selected as pitchers, though neither has been officially announced as signed.
- Siena landed a commitment from 2011 6′-9″ center Marcus Hopper of Holy Cross (NY). NYC hoops website Gotham Hoops considered Hopper one of the best unsigned 2011 prospects in the city.
- Mater Dei (CA) constantly pumps out nationally rated prospects and teams. But, as the Los Angeles Times explored, they also disproportionately transfer more than their peers at the next level. It’s an interesting read, to say the least.
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For those fans that wish college basketball was a year-round sport, the College Basketball Newcomers Guide paperback and Kindle book previews the incoming recruits for every team nationally. There’s no need to wait until Fall to learn about the new names in college basketball that will be starring on the hardwood.