Apparently, winning a national championship will do wonders for your recruiting.
For the second time in less than a week, UConn has inked a highly-touted recruit. This time, it's New York City shooting guard Omar Calhoun (no relation to Jim), ranked No. 38 overall in the 2012 class by ESPNU, and the No. 10 SG according to Scout. A 6-3, 185-pound wing type, Calhoun is noted as a pure scorer with good shooting range and a solid defender.
Calhoun chose UConn over schools like North Carolina, Kentucky, Pitt and West Virginia, and in his recent visit to Storrs, noted a "renewed passion" in Jim Calhoun, who at this point has probably bought himself a scepter and a purple robe, for he is emperor of all basketball.
He visited UConn Thursday, and the allures of Storrs no doubt drew him in immediately. I bet it was the Wendy's in the Student Union that did it, but I wouldn't rule out the Subway next door.
Omar's father complimented the entire UConn staff - JC, Kevin Ollie and Glen Miller - and if you're wondering why Ollie is seemingly being groomed to supplant Calhoun, well, this week is why.
As of now, Omar Calhoun would be UConn's 11th scholarship committment for 2012 if everyone currently on the team stays past next season, no guarantee if Jeremy Lamb and Alex Oriakhi develop the way we think they might. I'm not exactly sure how many 'ships UConn will have to play with in 2012 - they're down to at most 12 due to NCAA probation, and APR penalties loom - but this almost certainly isn't UConn's last splash in the 2012 class.
That UConn remains in pursuit of a number of big-time 2012 recruits (Andre Drummond foremost among them) seems to indicate that Calhoun isn't too worried about scholarships. Or that he believes one of the players on this year's team is NBA-bound. Or, you know, that someone will be waived post haste next May. Or all three!
But no matter how you look at it, the signings of Calhoun and DeAndre Daniels are an extremely encouraging measure of the program's health. For all the negative news since UConn won the national title, the future now seems approximately 200% brighter than it did at the beginning of the month. Welcome aboard, Omar.