It has been a crazy couple of weeks for UConn, with all the ceremonies and celebrations following their championship, and the grueling recruiting schedule.
It’s a critical time, too. The Huskies and Kevin Ollie, after what happened in March and April, are obviously on everyone’s lips right now. And Ollie, though he can’t talk specifics, acknowledged at the State Capitol on Husky Day that some opportunities have come up this spring that might night not have come up if the Huskies had not won it all. Doors are opening.
The UConn staff first put down a strong foundation with the Class of ’15 way back in August of 2012, just before Ollie took over for Jim Calhoun, when dozens of players came through to visit the campus.
The Huskies have two commits from the class already, in guards Prince Ali and William “Turtle” Jackson, and figure to have scholarships available for a few more.
Since the season ended, UConn coaches have been to tournaments in Kansas City and Sacramento and have had in-home visits with Jessie Govan in New York, Diamond Stone in Milwaukee and Malik Newman in Mississippi. The first two are bigs, which remains UConn’s biggest need. Newman is a guard. UConn is also in on Moustapha Diagne, 6-8, from Jersey and Georgios Papagiannis, a 7-foot-1 center from Greece now playing in Pennsylviania.
Other names to watch include Allonzo Trier, who tweeted Wednesday that UConn offered him a scholarship. He’s a big guard from Oklahoma City. Jalen Adams from Massachusetts, who came to First Night (as did Jackson and Govan), is another guard still very much on the radar, as is Isaiah Briscoe from New Jersey. Derrick Jones, a 6-6 small forward from Philly, may come to visit this weekend, but arrangements are not yet finalized.
These are all considered four- and five-star recruits, exciting possibilities, so UConn is aiming high and casting a wide net, which is just what a national champ should do to build on its success.
Leon Tolksdorf, who has completed two years at UConn since coming from Germany, will almost certainly be transferring soon. He has been looking at mid-majors where he could play more, that are also strong academic schools. It appears it has come down to Columbia and American. The draw-back to going to an Ivy League school, such as Columbia, is that grad students cannot play there, and a player who is redshirting a year as a transfer student could use that option.