The key for new UConn head coach Danny Hurley to be able to be competitive right away in the American Athletic Conference was to be able to surround his star point guard Jalen Adams with the kind of talent that can be coached up into something better than what we’ve seen in recent years from the Huskies.
And while we will not know whether or not Hurley has actually done that until we see this team in action, what we do know is that he is in the process of restocking the roster as we speak.
Hurley has added three players to the mix for UConn in the last two days. On Monday, he landed back-to-back commitments from players to help build out the roster. It started with Brendan Adams, a 6-foot-4 point guard from Baltimore who was committed to play for Hurley at Rhode Island and who is the younger brother of former St. Bonaventure star Jaylen Adams; that Adams family is of no relation to UConn’s Jalen Adams. He’s a three-star prospect in the class of 2018.
Then came a commitment from Tarin Smith, a grad transfer from Duquesne that averaged 12.4 points and 3.2 assists last season. He began his career at Nebraska, where new UConn assistant Kenya Hunter was on staff, and played his high school ball for Bob Hurley Sr., Danny’s father, at St. Anthony’s in New Jersey.
On Tuesday, the Huskies got a commitment from another grad transfer, St. John’s center Kassoum Yakwe, a 6-foot-8 center that led the Big East in blocked shots as a freshman but fell out of favor with St. John’s over the course of his career. He played in just three of the Johnnies last 12 games this past season.
With Adams back and Alterique Gilbert expected to be healthy following a second season ended early by shoulder surgery, the arrow is pointing up for UConn this season.