Friday, February 12, 2016

UConn recruiting profile: Makai Ashton-Langford

Makai Ashton-Langford hails from Worcester, Massachusetts, not far from the Connecticut border.

He grew up rooting for UConn and has admitted he's dreamed of someday being a Husky. But it's not as sure a shot as one might think.

UConn has offered Ashton-Langford, a Class of 2017 point guard, but by all accounts, he's going to wait at least through the spring and summer circuits to make any commitments anywhere. UConn and Providence have been his most dogged pursuers, with DePaul also showing keen interest. Louisville has inquired about him and, more recently, so has Kentucky.

John Calipari saw Ashton-Langford play back in November, shortly after the Cushing Academy guard had broken his hand. No one knew his hand was broken at the time, and he didn't have his best game. Ashton-Langford sat out the next 6-7 weeks, but he's back now, shooting the ball as well as ever, and sure to start attracting more interest outside of the New England schools (who can and have seen him play numerous times over the winter) once the college basketball season winds down.

"People have done a good job getting out the word, in a general sense, that Makai's got a heavy UConn lead," said Cushing's first-year head coach, Mike Wolf. "I think they're clearly high, high on his list. But the idea that other schools aren't in the mix is a false one."

With Jalen Adams (another former Cushing point guard) and Alterique Gilbert in tow, Ashton-Langford could see two point guards ahead of him by the time he'd hit campus in the fall of 2017. Ashton-Langford is more of a true point guard than Adams, although Wolf believes he's can't be labeled as a classic point guard.

"He's got some Allen Iverson-esque point guard in his game," said the coach.

Both Wolf and Vin Pastore, who coaches Ashton-Langford on the Mass Rivals AAU team, agree that the kid is an elite defender.

"He's an elite defensive ball-stopper," said Wolf. "He guards the best player on any team at pretty much any position except the post, and if we asked him to do that, he'd probably do that, too."

Added Pastore: "He's the best defender at that position in the country, which fits UConn to a 'T.'"

Now, it's just a matter of whether UConn fits Ashton-Langford's needs to a 'T.'

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