With another season of college basketball underway, some former UConn players will begin or continue their collegiate careers with another team.
Steven Enoch, Louisville
After sitting out last season due to NCAA transfer rules (which was probably a good thing given all the turmoil in Louisville), Enoch should be an important piece for the Cardinals in head coach Chris Mack’s first season. The 6-foot-10 center posted 13 points and six rebounds in Louisville’s preseason scrimmage last year.
So far this season, Enoch is averaging 10.4 points and 4.4 rebounds per game for the Cardinals, including a season-high 15 points. He did not score in Louisville’s 92-81 loss to No. 5 Tennessee on Nov. 21.
Vance Jackson, New Mexico
Jackson also sat out last season due to transfer rules and should be a major piece for the Lobos, especially after losing star JaQuan Lyle for the season due to a torn achilles. Jackson was a member of the AAC All-Rookie team two years ago after shooting nearly 40 percent from beyond the arc.
Jackson started for the Lobos and had 7 points, 8 rebounds and 5 turnovers in 23 minutes in the season opener against Cal-State Northridge. This season, Jackson is averaging 16.5 points per game and shooting 45.5 percent from the 3-point line, including a 27-point performance against New Mexico State.
Juwan Durham, Notre Dame
Like Jackson and Enoch, Durham transferred after his freshman season and sat out last year. Another year off probably benefitted Durham, who was plagued by knee injuries in high school. Durham was once a highly-rated recruit in the class of 2016, so it will be interesting if he can get back to form and provide value for Mike Brey’s Fighting Irish.
Notre Dame opened their season against UIC on Nov. 6. Durham had 6 points, 4 rebounds and 6 blocks in 14 minutes of action. So far, Durham is averaging 4.6 points and 2 blocks per game for the Irish this season.
Rakim Lubin, LSU-Shreveport
After transferring from UConn following the 2014-15 season, “Rock” played a season at Cal State Northridge in 2016-17 before transferring to NAIA school LSU-Shreveport last season. Lubin was hurt most of last year, but still managed to average 10.5 points and 5.4 rebounds in 26 games. If he can stay healthy, he should be able to use his size and strength to put together a strong senior season for the Pilots.
Lubin averaged 11.6 points and 7 rebounds in three exhibition games during the preseason and scored five points in the regular season opener against University of Texas-Dallas.
The Former Commits
Prince Ali, UCLA (Class of 2015)
A Bronx native, Ali announced his commitment to UConn shortly after watching the Huskies win the 2K Sports Classic over Indiana at Madison Square Garden in 2013. Most UConn fans were excited for the Aladdin puns, but that was short-lived, as he decommitted six months later. Ali committed to UCLA and he’s had an up-and-down career since then. He dunked on Kentucky his freshman year, sat out his sophomore year due to injury, and worked his way back from injury last year on his was to 9.1 points per game. Ali still has two years of eligibility left.
Ali started for UCLA in their first game of the season against Fort Wayne, recording 4 points, 1 rebound and 1 assist in 22 minutes. He’s averaging 7.8 points in 23.2 minutes per game this season.
Makai Ashton-Langford, Providence (Class of 2017)
Ashton-Langford was supposed to be the next-in-line behind Jalen Adams after signing an LOI during the 2016 signing period. He ended up asking for his release after Glen Miller was fired following the disastrous 2016-17 season and subsequently committed to Providence. Ashton-Langford’s first season at Providence was a bit of a disappointment, going from about 20 minutes per game the first half of the season to just 6 minutes in the second half. He ended up averaging 4.2 points and 1.7 rebounds on the season but looks poised to bounce back this year for a talented Providence squad.
Ashton-Langford played 12 minutes in Providence’s season-opener against Siena and scored four points. Since the Siena game, Ashton-Langford has played no more than nine minutes in a game and did not play against Iona on Nov. 24.
James Akinjo, Georgetown (Class of 2018)
Akinjo, a top-100 recruit from Oakland, originally committed to UConn over the likes of California, Maryland, Virginia, and Iowa State, but after Kevin Ollie was fired he asked for his release. It didn’t take long for Patrick Ewing to swoop in and seal the deal with Akinjo, as he announced his commitment to Georgetown one month after getting his release from UConn. Akinjo joins internet sensation Mac McClung in what should be a fun backcourt to watch in Big East play this year.
Akinjo started for Georgetown in their season-opener against Maryland Eastern Shore, putting up 8 points and 7 assists in 26 minutes. This season, Akinjo is apart of a young and exciting backcourt with fellow freshman Mac McClung and Akinjo is averaging 13.5 points and 5.3 assists in 31.2 minutes per game.
Emmitt Matthews Jr., West Virginia (Class of 2018)
Matthews was prioritized by the former staff due to his shooting ability, an area that had been plaguing UConn through the 2017-18 season. Matthews chose UConn over West Virginia, Seton Hall, Georgetown, and Oregon State. Similar to Akinjo, Matthews requested his release once Kevin Ollie was let go and ended up at West Virginia. Matthews figures to be a rotational player for the Mountaineers this season.
Matthews did not score in nine minutes of action during West Virginia’s exhibition game against Penn State. Matthews has played in three of five games this season and has scored five points in two-straight games.
Lukas Kisunas, Stanford (Class of 2018)
Kisunas was the final piece to Kevin Ollie’s three-man 2018 recruiting class. Billed as a tough and physical big from Lithuania, Kisunas played for Brewster Academy in New Hampshire and picked the Huskies over Illinois and Old Dominion. It seemed like a mutual parting of ways once Dan Hurley took over, and Kisunas committed to Stanford shortly thereafter. Minutes should be available for Kisunas this year if he is able to rebound and stay out of foul trouble.
Kisunas had 2 points and 1 rebound in five minutes in Stanford’s season-opener against Seattle University. He’s averaging 1.6 points per game in his first four games of his first season with the Cardinal.
Andra Espinoza-Hunter, Mississippi State
Espinoza-Hunter left the team in late December without a clear explanation for four games, when the school announced she left the program, again without much explanation. In an interview with Lohud.com, Espinoza-Hunter said UConn wasn’t “a good fit.”
A month later, a video of head coach Geno Auriemma leaked out where he said “she’s not there anymore because I didn’t want her there anymore.” Espinoza-Hunter transferred to Mississippi State and received a waiver to play this season.
Espinoza-Hunter is Mississippi State’s top option off the bench, where she’s third on the team with 12.4 points per game and is shooting 39.4 percent from three.
Courtney Ekmark, Arizona State
Ekmark came to UConn as the No. 31 prospect in the class of 2014 but never panned out, averaging under 10 minutes per game, most of which came during the blowouts that frequented the final two years of the Breanna Stewart era. She transferred back home to Arizona State where she’s found plenty of success.
Ekmark started every game for the Sun Devils and led the team in made 3-pointers, including a school-record five treys in one game. Her 58 baskets from beyond the arc also ranked fifth in program history.
Through five games, Ekmark is second on her team with 24.3 minutes per game. She’s struggled from deep to start the year, hitting just 8-23 (.286).
De’Janae Boykin, West Virginia
Boykin is on to her third different program in her college career. She left UConn after one semester without playing due to an achilles injury to get closer to her home of Springdale, MD. Boykin ended up at Penn State, where she played the second semester of the 2016-17 season and the entire 2017-18 season in Happy Valley.
After her stint with the Lady Lions, Boykin transferred to West Virginia. The team is hoping she will be eligible to play during the second semester.
Charli Collier, Texas
Collier was the No. 2 recruit in the class of 2018 and originally committed to Texas as an eighth grader. But she decided to re-open her recruitment as a freshman and eventually committed to UConn as a junior. 10 months later, Collier stuck with her original plan and committed to her hometown Longhorns.
Collier has played in all six games with Texas, starting one. She averages 8.0 points and 4.0 rebounds per game while leading the team with 8 blocks.