UConn Recruits Look to Lead the Way in Ollie Era

Huskies basketball team

The University of Connecticut Huskies will be leaning on the help from their 2013 and 2014 recruiting classes as they enter a new era for the team. It is head coach Kevin Ollie’s second season as a head coach, replacing 26-year veteran Jim Calhoun, and the team’s first in the newly formed American Athletic Conference (AAC), after being a part of the Big East Conference since the conference’s founding in 1970.  Following a season during which they were barred from postseason play, the Huskies will be hoping that some incoming young talent will bring the program back to the heights they reached with Calhoun in the Big East.  


Forward Kentan Facey is the jewel of the team’s 2013 recruiting class, an ESPN top 100 prospect who projects to get significant minutes right away.  On a team with questions over rebounding and frontcourt defense, Facey could be just the player to face these problems.  The biggest issue facing the 6’9 forward is when he can debut for the team.  Facey moved from Jamaica two years ago and the NCAA has been investigating his eligibility for this season.  The worst case scenario for Facey would be a two-year suspension, but the team is hopeful that he’ll be available to contribute.  


If Facey were to be ruled ineligible this year, he wouldn’t be the only premium talent on the Huskies sitting on the bench.  Guard Rodney Purvis was a McDonald’s All-American coming out of high school in Raleigh, North Carolina.  However, he faced some difficulties during his freshman season at N.C. State, as he lost his spot in the starting lineup toward the end of the year and claimed that he didn’t fit in their system.  He decided to transfer to UConn in April of this year, citing the school’s legacy of producing NBA guards.  The season on the bench could even prove to Purvis’s benefit, as he’ll learn his role studying a group of experienced and talented guards.  


Probably the most exciting recruit for the team’s 2014 class is Daniel Hamilton out of Los Angeles’s St. John Bosco.  Another guard, Hamilton has been considered a five-star recruit by a number of organizations.  He projects as an impact scorer and a solid all-around player that could potentially be a leader for this new era in Huskies basketball.  


For Huskies fans these past two seasons have been tumultuous.  Coming off a championship in 2011, they’ve  had to deal with the retirement of Calhoun, the disintegration of the Big East and the penalties which barred the Huskies from participating in the postseason in 2013.  Now, with a few promising recruits, the Huskies look to restore order and put the fans’ focus back squarely on the basketball court.