I have to admit, I've never been the biggest fan of following recruiting. My historical outlook has always been more of a "let me know when they get here" kind of situation.
Nevertheless, we all care about UConn Men's Basketball, and this happens to be a blog focused on UConn sports, so because I love you guys I'll be doing my best to stay in the loop about some very possible Husky recruits for the Class of 2015, which currently stands at one with the recent commitment from Jalen Adams.
My goal here is to provide a sparknotes-y version of the information available across the recruiting sites and Twitter.
The first of three, four-day, live recruiting periods in this month began on July 9th, ending on the 13th. These evaluation periods are considered to be the most important stretch of the calendar for recruiting. Coaches don't make direct contact with players at the games but they are able to extend offers and we begin to see verbal commitments trickling in.
Here are a few players who I think have a good shot of ending up in Storrs, in no particular order.
C - Diamond Stone (5-stars, Rivals #6 Overall, Scout.com #1 Overall)
6-foot-10, 250 lbs
Dominican HS, Milwaukee, WI
It is believed that Diamond Stone is the top priority for the coaching staff in the Class of 2015. He visited UConn in June, but did so without his package-deal partner Malik Newman. Newman has also yet to receive a scholarship offer from UConn even though he has said that the package deal with Stone is "100 percent".
Stone has offers from a number of major programs in addition to UConn: Arizona, Georgetown, Indiana, Maryland, UCLA and Wisconsin. Scouting reports have identified him as a highly skilled big man with good footwork and decent range for his size. He has the ability to finish with either hand and should be a dangerous offensive weapon down low.
Across the live period, Ollie and his staff spent a great deal of time watching Stone at the Reebok Breakout Classic in Philadelphia. I'm optimistic that Ollie can get his guy here-- usually when he sets his mind to something he achieves it. Stone would be a welcome addition to UConn's front court.
G- Malik Newman (5-stars, Rivals #2 Overall, Scout.com #6 Overall)
6-foot-3, 180 lbs
Callaway Sr. HS, Jackson, MS
Might as well get the other half of the package deal out of the way. Malik Newman has said that there are currently five schools that are recruiting both him and Diamond Stone. Newman does not officially have an offer from UConn and has yet to visit, but their inclusion on the aforementioned list is encouraging. Kevin Ollie was in Las Vegas for the LeBron James Skills Academy where he would have had a chance to see Newman as well as a few other UConn targets.
The other four schools Newman listed in his interview on Scout.com were Kentucky, Kansas, Miami and NC State. It warrants clarifying that he said those are the five schools currently recruiting both him and Stone, not the five schools which he and Diamond Stone are considering together, so anything's possible.
Kevin Ollie did in-home visits with Diamond Stone & Malik Newman on back to back days in April. Just something to file away.— Evan Daniels (@EvanDaniels) May 19, 2014
Newman is a game-breaking talent who is expected to take college basketball by storm the way Derrick Rose or John Wall have in the past. His elite athleticism and skills allow him to create and make his own shot. He can hit the three, has mid-range game and the explosiveness to drive and finish at the basket. He needs to develop better decision making skills in order to play point guard in the pros-- where he could end up being the first overall pick.
PF - Steve Enoch (4-stars, Rivals #54 Overall, Scout.com #62 Overall)
6-foot-10, 220 lbs
Norwalk HS, Norwalk, CT
Steve Enoch is a Connecticut product who has been a high-riser in the Class of 2015. He also played at the Reebok Breakout Classic where he was extremely impressive. He is expected to be a match-up nightmare because of his shooting range, athleticism and versatility.
Enoch also holds offers from Memphis, Oregon, BC, Providence, Arizona St. and Kansas St. He is garnering interest from a number of schools including Florida, North Carolina and Virginia-- with his profile raised to it's current point I would be shocked if he doesn't add a few more major offers before the end of this month.
In an interview where he mentioned that he grew up rooting for and wanting to play for UConn, Enoch said that he may wait until May to make his decision. UConn's position as one of the first to pursue and offer him along with his hometown favor should serve us well in earning his commitment.
C - Chance Comanche (5-stars, Rivals and Scout.com #21 Overall)
View Park Prep, Los Angeles, CA
Chance Comanche is a long prospect with a lot of potential. He needs to bulk up to reach that potential but the highly sought after west coast product has enough offers from top programs that he'll be able to choose the optimal situation to maximize on his talent. He's currently holding offers from Arizona, Louisville, Kansas, UCLA, Georgetown and USC in addition to UConn and a few others. The Huskies staff apparently kept eyes on him at the Reebok Classic. It's nice to see Kevin Ollie and company going after, and earning the consideration of, the top front court recruits available.
These obviously aren't the only players UConn is pursuing, just a few I think are worth keeping an eye on or who have received special attention across the past few days. Here is a list of Top 100 offers who we still have a chance with in addition to Stone, Comanche and Enoch.
PG- Isaiah Briscoe - 6-3/215 - 5-stars (Rivals #13 Overall, Scout.com #16 Overall)
PG - Jalen Brunson - 6-1/175 - 5-stars (Rivals #15 Overall, Scout.com #17 Overall) LINK: UConn on final eight
SG - Tyler Dorsey - 6-4/180 - 5-stars (Rivals # 18 Overall, Scout.com #25 Overall)
SG - Prince Ali - 6-4/190 - 4-stars (Rivals #27 Overall, Scout.com #47 Overall)
SG - Malik Beasley - 6-4/185 - 4 stars (Rivals #60 Overall, Scout.com #59 Overall)
SG - Donovan Mitchell - 6-2/180 - 4-stars (Rivals #101 Overall)
SF - Bennie Boatright - 6-8/195 - 4-stars (Rivals #45 Overall, Scout.com #54 Overall)
PF - Carlton Bragg - 6-9/225 - 5-stars (Rivals #9 Overall, #11 Overall)
Right now UConn technically has two open scholarships for 2015. Kevin Ollie just gave Junior walk-on, and elite scholar, Pat Lenehan a scholarship for this year but methinks this was a gift of circumstance. Additionally Rodney Purvis and/or Danny Hamilton could declare early for the NBA Draft so we may end up having anywhere between 2-5 scholarships available.
A lot of us have believed that this will be a seminal recruiting class for Kevin Ollie so the next twelve months should actually be pretty interesting. We all know how brightly his reputation shines and how impressive he has looked leading UConn to the National Championship last year-- I think he can make some waves.
I guess I'm a recruiting fan now.