Last night, news broke on Twitter that Point Guard Willie Jackson made a verbal commitment to UConn's 2015 recruiting class. It was first reported by On The Radar Hoops:
#OTRHoopsReport: 2015 PG Will Jackson Athens Christian (GA) has committed to UCONN— Shun Williams (@OntheRadarHoops) February 4, 2014
They also wrote a really good summary which describes what kind of player Kevin Ollie is getting and why Jackson chose UConn over the other major programs who had shown interest- a list which included Memphis and Louisville. Jackson is a great fit for the program and appears to understand the family mentality that Kevin Ollie has fostered up in Storrs. He also goes by the nickname "Turtle", so we have a Prince and a Turtle joining the squad in 2015 (I smell a reality showww!)
The man they call Turtle is a combo guard who fits very well into how Kevin Ollie is looking to build his back court. KO wants Guards who are responsible with the ball who can make plays and defend; the versatile Jackson will be able to contribute in all three of those areas. His counterpart in UConn's 2015 recruiting class, Prince Ali, is more of a pure scorer from what I can tell. The back court situation could be pretty crowded by then, with Rodney Purvis, Sam Cassell, Terrance Samuel, Daniel Hamilton and maybe even Omar Calhoun still in the fold, but I think the Class of '15 will still have a shot to contribute early.
Will Jackson just told me he's so excited about his commitment to Connecticut that he "can't think straight."— Evan Daniels (@EvanDaniels) February 4, 2014
I always believed Kevin Ollie would begin putting his mark on UConn basketball with his 2015 class. This is the first class that he will have the opportunity to cultivate fully on his own, without any conference re-alignment distractions, and really knock it out of the park. So far, with two great commitments and many great players still in play things are looking pretty good. If he can land one or two impact big men then we're in business and I'll get to work designing our three-peat shirts. I believe we have one scholarship left, but if someone leaves early for the pros, that will open up another spot.
Overall, this is great news. 2014's recruiting had a unique set of challenges, but if you include Rodney Purvis (which, why not) it's a really talented group joining a team that might only lose Shabazz Napier to the pros. Keep in mind, these guys will be joining the team two seasons from now- a lot can happen in 18 months. Still, there is cause for excitement because Kevin Ollie seems to attract a certain type of passionate, team player who fits a specific mold. Our immediate future looks great, and we can continue to feel confident that Kevin Ollie will bring UConn to extraordinary heights.