Thursday, November 21, 2013

A Look at Some UConn Targets Who'll Be in New Haven This Weekend

UConn and Boston College resume their rivalry on the court tonight at Madison Square Garden. They could even play again next year in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off tourney.

But one area where their rivalry has never ceased is on the recruiting trail. UConn won the battle for Shabazz Napier four years ago (though BC didn’t put up much of a fight for the Roxbury kid).

Currently, there are quite a few recruits both schools are in on – and some of those kids will be in New Haven this weekend, at the National Prep Showcase at Albertus Magnus College.

Here’s a look at some of the players UConn is recruiting who’ll be playing in the tournament:

Jalen Adams, 6-2 G, Class of 2105, Cushing Academy: A Boston kid who was at the Huskies’ First Night festivities last month. UConn has offered Adams.

“For what it’s worth, I don’t know the staff there that well now, but they’re telling me and his AAU coach that he’s a priority for them,” said Cushing coach Barry Connors. “They’ve probably been up on campus multiple times this fall. They’re definitely pursuing him pretty good.”

Connors added that Adams is a combo guard, an undersized scoring guard, who’s playing off the ball more this year because Syracuse-bound Kaleb Joseph is manning the point.

“I think he kidn of is a UConn guard,” said Connors. “He’s good with the ball in his hands, being given free rein to make plays with the ball. He can definitely score it. He reminds me a lot of guys that they’ve had: Kemba, Shabazz is more a true point guard.”

When asked who else is recruiting Adams, Connors quickly responds: “Providence.” But the Friars aren’t the only ones: Kansas State, Minnesota, Creighton and VCU are all in on him, as well.

“Jalen’s a funny duck, he doesn’t talk much about (his recruitment),” Connors said. “I don’t know if he’s intimidated by the process or uninterested in the process, or he’s just not far enough along that he hasn’t given it a huge priority. It’s best to say that he is definitely wide-open.”

Kimani Lawrence, 6-6 G/F, Class of 2017, Cushing Academy: A Providence native who hasn’t been offered by UConn yet, though they’re believed to have interest. The two Rhode Island schools – PC and URI – have already offered Lawrence.

Donovan Mitchell, 6-3 G, Class of 2015, Brewster Academy: Mitchell, who recently moved to Greenwich with his mom, was slated to be at UConn’s First Night but wasn’t able to get there. Don’t put too much stock in that, however.

“I think he had the crazy notion that Midnight Madness would actually start at midnight,” Brewster coach Jason Smith joked. “I think that he’s just taking his time, going through the process, developing relationships with people.”

PC, BC and UConn have been recruiting Mitchell the longest, Smith noted, while St. John’s, Iowa, Maryland, Kansas, Florida and Syracuse have also jumped aboard recently.

Mitchell is more of a combo guard, according to Smith.

“As a kid, he’s tremendous, off-the-charts, extremely high-character,” the coach said, “somebody any community would love to have. From a basketball perspective,  he’s a tremendous athlete, very explosive. He shoots the ball very well.”

Jarred Reuter, 6-8 C/F, Class of 2015, Brewster Academy: It’s appeared that UConn has cooled off on Reuter’s recruitment recently, though that may not necessarily been the case. Again, it’s been PC, BC and UConn who’ve been in on him the longest. Northwestern, Iowa, Virginia and Nebraska have also joined the fray.

Smith said Reuter has lost about 35 pounds since last June and now tips the scales at about 230.

“When people see him this weekend, they’ll see a noticeable difference in how athletic he is, how well he moves,” the coach noted.

Devonte Graham, 6-1 PG, Class of 2014, Brewster Academy: Now that UConn has received a commitment from Sam Cassell, Jr., it no longer appears to be in on Graham, who still hasn’t been released from his letter-of-intent from Appalachian State. He’s currently in the process of his final appeal.

Terance Mann, 6-4 G/F, Class of 2015, Tilton School: It seems BC, Georgetown, George Washington, Florida, Iowa State and VCU are most interested in Mann, though UConn has shown interest, as well.

“We’ve heard from them about Terance,” said Tilton coach Marcus O’Neil. “It’s still just the start of his junior year, I don’t think he’s come out and said his final list. We have tremendous respect for UConn. We’ve had a couple guys go there, win a national championship with Calhoun. Kevin Ollie’s done a tremendous job, he’s a world-class guy. Anybody they recruit out of here is gonna give it serious consideration.”

Indeed, just because the UConn careers of Tilton grads Alex Oriakhi and Jamal Coombs-McDaniel didn’t end well, doesn’t mean there’s any negative feelings about UConn up at the New Hampshire school.

“I don’t, personally or professionally,” O’Neil said. “Alex went a long way towards graduating (at UConn), he built a lot of important friendships he maintains with players, coaches that were there. It’s a high-pressure situation. It would have been nice for them to cross the finish line, but we had two guys go there and win a national championship.”

Mustapha Heron, 6-4 G/F, Class of 2016, Wilbraham & Monson: A Meriden native who now lives in West Haven, he’s getting serious looks from major programs all over the country. More on him this weekend.

Tremont Waters, 5-10 G, Class of 2017, South Kent School: It’s never too early to start inquiring about a New Haven kid who is projected to be one of the top freshmen in the nation this season. And UConn has inquired, according to South Kent coach Kelvin Jefferson.

“He does a lot of things well,” said the coach. “He’s got a really high IQ, he understands the game. He’s one of those guys that makes it look easy. Not too many guys who can do that, but he can make shots, really pass ball, sees a couple plays ahead, and he really, really handles ball. He’s a talented kid.”

More on him this weekend, as well.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home