Opponent Watch 2019-20: UCONN

After not posting a top-40 ranked recruiting class by ESPN rankings for the past two seasons, Hurley’s recruiting class is ranked tops in the American Athletic Conference and 17th in the country.

The trio of James Bouknight, Jalen Gaffney and Akok Akok is the highest-rated UConn class since Kevin Ollie pulled in a top-10 class in 2016, but most of those players left the program.

Bouknight and Gaffney promise to be the next generation of the UConn backcourt. For a program as guard-dominant as the Huskies, these two top-100 prospects have the potential to become the backbone of the program for the next few years.

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Good news. I do not have the time I used to to research what other teams are doing and following their recruiting so glad to get the updates.

But scholarships, if there is one more to offer, are “precious,” Hurley said. The Huskies need depth at center, but he would not want to make a four-year commitment to a player just to fill a short term role.

“We still have needs, one glaring need is somebody to play behind Josh [Carlton],” Hurley said. “But what’s the greater need? Filling a role behind your starting center or continuing to add the type of quality that’s going to lead to championships? … If we have a scholarship, what direction do we go?”

Diarra, a redshirt junior forward, will no longer play for the Huskies due to “multifaceted, complicating patella femoral pathologies,” according to a release sent out by UConn on Wednesday. However, Diarra will remain with the team this season as a student assistant coach.

“Unfortunately, Mamadou has endured some difficult circumstances physically since he arrived at UConn,” UConn coach Dan Hurley said in the release. “We cannot, in good conscience, ask him to continue attempts to rehab to the point where he could compete at this level, knowing it could severely impact him later in life.

"In terms of punishments, there are plenty. Here’s what the NCAA dished out on Ollie and UConn:

  • Two years of probation for the men’s basketball program.
  • A three-year show-cause sanction for Ollie.
  • Elimination/vacation of records for games in which certain UConn players played, but have retroactively been deemed ineligible.
  • Reduction of one scholarship, from 13 to 12, for the upcoming 2019-20 season. (UConn self-imposed this penalty.)
  • A $5,000 fine (UConn self-imposed).
  • Recruiting limitations: one-week ban for unofficial visits and any kind of digital or phone communication toward recruits in 2018-19 (already imposed by UConn) and a two-week ban on unofficial visits for the upcoming season; four fewer recruiting days in 2018-19 and 2019-20; and “a one-visit reduction from the permissible number of official visits in men’s basketball during the rolling 2018-19 and 2019-20 two-year period.”
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UGone #1

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Hurley :roll_eyes:

UCONNs problem was never recruiting; Ollie was pulling in 4 stars easily. Problem was health and poor coaching.

But, keep pushing that narrative, UCONN. Everything will be better now. :wink: