UConn hasn’t had a player de-commit in a while, and it seems a little odd that a player would do so within a few weeks of the Huskies winning a national championship. But Prince Ali, the guard from Florida who was UConn’s first get from the Class of 2015, backed out on Thursday.
Ali tweeted the following:
“After talking it over with my family, I have decided to reopen my recruitment! I still love UConn and I am still considering UConn!”
Born in the Bronx, Ali, a 6-foot-4 guard, has said he has been a UConn fan all his life. He made an oral commitment in November 2013.
After the Huskies made it to the Final Four, Ali told the Miami Herald on April 2:
“I am happy for UConn and coach Ollie after everything they have been through,” Ali said. “When I committed early people were asking me why UConn. They faced a ban and there was talk if their seniors were going to stay. Well it turns out like I made a great decision.”
Ali did not give a reason for his change of heart Thursday, and UConn folks cannot comment on recruits who have not signed a letter of intent or financial aid agreement.
But one might speculate that Ali decided he committed too early, and now wants to explore other options as his senior year approaches. Or, perhaps, he is concerned about UConn’s numbers in the backcourt the next few years. Ryan Boatright will be gone after next season, but transfer Rodney Purvis becomes eligible next season; Terrence Samuel, with three years remaining, has obviously played himself into the picture and Omar Calhoun is still there. Incoming freshman Daniel Hamilton is 6-7, but sees himself as a shooting guard type. Point guard Sam Cassell Jr. is also coming in next year, with JuCo experience. Will “Turtle” Jackson, another 2015 guard, committed in February. And Kevin Ollie has had an in-home visit with Malik Newman, a highly touted 2015 guard, and has also invested a lot of time in guard Jalen Adams from Massachusetts.
In any event, delete Prince Ali from UConn’s future plans for now. He averaged 18 points per game to lead Sagemont, of Weston, Fla., to a 33-0 season and a state title in Florida.