Monday, March 29, 2010

UConn's Sell

While UConn is at its scholarship limit of 13, don’t be shocked to see another slot or two open up over the coming weeks via transfer, etc. The Huskies are still in pursuit of some of the top Class of 2010 recruits in the country, but like their competitors on the recruiting trail (Kentucky, Kansas, Texas, Syracuse, Florida, etc.) they are at the whim of the decisions of a bunch of 17, 18-year-old kids. Once one major recruit (Brandon Knight?) makes his decision, the dominos will all start to fall over the next month.

So what’s UConn’s sales pitch to elite recruits? Well, here’s a good one: since Ray Allen in 1993-94, there have been (by my count) 17 players who started right off the bat as freshmen at UConn. Of those 17, 11 wound up being NBA draft picks, and many emerged as NBA stars. And that list doesn’t even include Ben Gordon, who didn’t start for most of his freshman season despite being the team’s second-leading scorer (12.6 per game). The others not on the list: Kevin Freeman, Ajou Deng, Taliek Brown, Rashad Anderson and Jeff Adrien.

Translation: if you come to UConn and play immediately, there’s a great chance you’ll wind up making lots of money in the NBA one day.

And there are definitely minutes to be had next season for the Huskies. Starter’s minutes. Incoming frosh Roscoe Smith could certainly be one. Can UConn land another?

***Totally unrelated, but here’s a feature from today’s Register about New Haven’s Keith Cothran, who’ll lead URI into action against North Carolina tomorrow night in the NIT semifinals at Madison Square Garden. Nice story (whether well-written or not) about a nice kid who’s overcome a lot and has truly used college basketball as a ticket to an education and a better life.

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