Tuesday, September 17, 2013

UConn Inquiring About Devonte' Graham

UConn is looking at another point guard who would, ostensibly, join the team for 2014-15.

Devonte' Graham, a 6-foot-1 point guard from Raleigh, N.C. is currently at Brewster Academy. He signed with Appalachian State last fall, but in February requested a release from his national letter-of-intent. That was denied, as was his appeal, so he opted to do a postgraduate year at Brewster.

(Photo by Greg Mintel, Raleigh News-Observer)

"He could have done the easy thing, what kids have done for a long time, and withdrawn from class (at Raleigh's Broughton High), which would make him a non-qualifier and a fifth-year senior at Brewster, and his letter-of-intent would have been voided," Brewster coach Jason Smith said.

Instead, Graham graduated from Broughton and is taking a full load of courses at Brewster with hopes that he's released from his LOI at some point by Appalachian State. He has one more appeal, but if it is rejected again by the school, Graham would have to sit out next year at whatever school he ends up going to.

Smith doesn't know for sure why Appalachian State is preventing his release, though he believes the school feels Graham had been tampered with following his commitment last September.

UConn, Providence, Pittsburgh and URI are the schools that have expressed interest in him, but none can talk to Graham directly yet because he hasn't been released from his LOI. UConn has been up to Brewster to see him once, and has been checking in with Smith periodically to see what Graham's situation is.

"He's very athletic, explosive," Smith said. "He shot the ball extremely well yesterday and the day before. He had a great summer, as well. He played in the North Carolina pro-am and was named player of the year for high school/prep kids."

Which leads to the question: no disrespect to Appalachian State, but, well ... why did he wind up committing to Appalachian State?

"He wasn't really sure how the recruiting process worked," Smith explained. "His only visit to App. State was early in September, and the coaches did their best job to get the player to commit, put a little pressure on him."

Graham committed on his visit and never visited anywhere else. He had been slated to visit URI last fall.

As for where Graham may have interest in going, Smith isn't sure right now.

"He's just a little bit stressed out about the whole App. State situation," the coach said. "He's uneasy not knowing how his future's going to lie."

*** Graham isn't the only Brewster Academy player that UConn has interest in. The Huskies have offered 2015 guard Donovan Mitchell, who recently transferred from the Canterbury School in Connecticut and whose mother recently moved to Connecticut. UConn is one of the first schools to offer Mitchell; BC, PC, St. John's are others, and Maryland is coming to see him today.

Mitchell, a 6-3 guard who hails from Elmhurst, N.Y., has been compared favorably to Ben Gordon by a few coaches who've seen him, Smith said.

The Huskies are also interested 6-8 2015 forward Jared Reuter.

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