Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Sam Cassell, Jr. Commits to UConn

The UConn men’s basketball program prides itself on being a big, extended family. On Wednesday, it got a commitment from a player who hails from a pretty good hoops family himself.
Sam Cassell, Jr., a point guard at Chipola College, a junior college in Marianna, Fla., committed to the Huskies.

He is the son of three-time NBA champion Sam Cassell, who’s now an assistant coach with Washington. Cassell was a teammate of UConn head coach Kevin Ollie in Milwaukee for a season.

Cassell, Jr., is a 6-foot-3 guard who can score in a variety of ways.

“He’s that kid that makes shots that other people couldn’t make,” said Ryan Hurd, who coached Cassell, Jr. at Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg, Mass., two years ago. “When you’re coaching him, you just have to close your eyes and wait for results. There are some unbelievable shots that kid puts in the basket.”

UConn views Cassell, Jr. as a point guard first, which is something the Huskies could need with the impending graduation of Shabazz Napier and possible NBA departure of Ryan Boatright. UConn will also have current freshman Terrence Samuel and NC State transfer Rodney Purvis as point guards for next season.

The Huskies have been going after Cassell, Jr. pretty hard the last few weeks, with associate head coach Glen Miller making three different trips to see him play down in Florida, most recently this past weekend. Ollie is actually on his way down to Florida right now to see Cassell, Jr. work out.

Cassell, Jr. enrolled at Chipola last year after being deemed ineligible to play at Maryland, to whom he had committed. The NCAA deemed a couple of classes Cassell, Jr. had taken at Notre Dame Prep not to be up to snuff, though Hurd noted it was unfair because several other players who took the same classes were ruled eligible to play last year in college.

Cassell, Jr. didn’t play at Chipola last year but will play this year. He’ll have three years of eligibility at UConn.

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