UConn men’s basketball coach Dan Hurley has locked down a high-profile transfer as former Howard guard RJ Cole announced that he will be transferring to UConn. He told Evan Daniels of 247Sports that he gave his verbal commitment during an official visit that ended earlier this week. The other school in consideration was Alabama.
Cole, who played for Hurley’s father Bobby at St. Anthony’s, came to Howard as a 3-star recruit and left as one of the best underclassman scorers in the country. After coming to Howard, Cole put up an impressive freshman season, averaging 23.7 points per game and scoring 42 points against UNC-Wilmington.
As a sophomore, the 6-foot-1 guard proved that his freshman performance was no fluke, averaging 21.4 points and 6.4 assists while shooting 38.7% from the 3-point line and earning a handful of accolades. On top of being named to the All-MEAC first team for the second-straight year, Cole was also named the MEAC Player of the Year last season and was named an AP All-American honorable mention.
Following the end of his sophomore season, coinciding with the departure of the head coach who recruited him, Cole decided to test the NBA Draft waters before changing his mind and deciding to transfer. After taking an official visit to Alabama in early-May, Cole decided to go back to the northeast and play for Hurley.
Cole’s addition is arguably the best-possible solution for the Huskies’ final scholarship for next year. While the Union, New Jersey native will sit out the 2019-20 season, he’ll have two seasons of eligibility remaining. He could also apply for a waiver to be eligible immediately.
With Christian Vital and Alterique Gilbert more than capable of holding things down next year, Hurley has done a nice job solidifying the future of the backcourt with a proven scorer and distributor that could carry the Huskies through 2022. Combine Cole’s presence with the current young core of recruits and Hurley’s momentum on the recruiting trail, and it’s easy to see that he may be well on his way to building the next core of great UConn guards.