During the three-day early signing period in November, teams have been able nail down who they need to recruit hard to gain their commitment for the following fall and discover who is squarely in their corner. For high school seniors, they can secure a spot on a team for next year, put recruiting behind them and focus on their final year of high school basketball.
Two such prospects committed to Dan Hurley and the UConn Huskies as the early signing period ended on Thursday in James Bouknight and Jalen Gaffney.
Bouknight committed first on Sept. 18, choosing the Huskies over Indiana, Miami (FL), Virginia Tech and VCU. He also held offers from Maryland, Wichita State, Saint Louis and Illinois.
Currently ranked No. 85 in the Rivals150 for the class of 2019, Bouknight is from New York City and is attending The MacDuffie School, a prep school in Granby, Massachusetts.
Kimani Young was in on the 6-foot-4 shooting guard while he was on staff at Minnesota and after he joined Hurley, was able to continue his recruitment and seal the deal.
Bouknight is trending upward with a strong summer after tearing his meniscus in January and should figure to be an off-ball guard or a smaller wing player in thee-guard lineups, helping take the pressure off Christian Vital and Brendan Adams.
Gaffney committed a week later and will add to the guard depth, standing at 6-foot-2. Bouknight wanted to play with Bouknight, playing a hand along with Kimani Young in bringing him to Connecticut.
“He actually kind of started recruiting me himself,” Gaffney told ESPN when he committed. “I think our games complement each other. We’re both athletic and able to score. Together we could be that new duo and help the program get back to its glory days. That was definitely part of the allure of it.”
Ranked No. 97 in the ESPN top 100, he chose UConn over Pitt, St. John’s, Clemson and Florida.
Hurley now has three scholarships remaining for the class of 2019 to fill by spring.