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Brendan Adams a vocal, stabilizing presence for Hurley’s Huskies

The junior guard hopes to build off a strong sophomore year and find his niche amongst the talented Huskies’ guards.

Junior guard Brendan Adam is poised to make a large impact for the UConn men’s basketball team this year.
Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

When Brendan Adams was originally being recruited, the UConn men’s basketball program was not in his top nine schools. A little over three years ago, he committed to URI. He was going to go be a Ram.

That all changed when URI’s head coach, Dan Hurley, left for UConn in March of 2018. Adams followed him to Storrs a few weeks later.

Coming in as the No. 178 ranked recruit in the 2018 class, according to 247Sports, Adams arrived in Storrs as the only true freshman in his class.

Fast forward to two years later, where Adams finds himself in a prime position to secure a valuable role on an incredibly deep UConn team. Hurley has been insistent that Adams has a role on this team throughout the offseason – specifically if he can make his 3-point shooting translate from practice into games.

“Brendan was awesome last year, I thought he took a big step forward as a sophomore,” Hurley said back in September. “Defensively, his ability to get to the rim and use his physicality to score and finish.”

“We see a guy day-in-and-day-out that shows the ability to be a high-level shooter,” Hurley continued. “It hasn’t transferred onto the court yet, in terms of percentages, but I just think you’re going to see that this year with him.”

In a depth role, Adams struggled on the offensive end his freshman year, shooting 30.1% from the field and 23.5% from deep. He improved those averages in his second season, though, knocking down 39.4% of his shots and 27.8% from beyond the arc in 2019-20.

He nearly tripled his per game scoring numbers from 2018-19 to 2019-20, including 11 double-digit scoring efforts.

Albeit with a smaller usage rating, Adams had a higher offensive rating than unanimous American Athletic Conference First-Team selection Precious Achiuwa out of Memphis last season, with a 99.6 to Achiuwa’s 98.2, according to KenPom. Adams was just behind another First Teamer in Jarron Cumberland, who had a 99.8, in offensive rating as well last season for Cincinnati.

“Brendan, he’s one of the most hardworking, intense players on this team,” senior forward Isaiah Whaley said. “He pushes everybody, he pushes me a lot too.”

Whaley said that Adams is always pushing him, telling him when he can work harder in practice.

“Brendan’s in everybody’s ear,” freshman forward Andre Jackson said. “He’s one of the loudest people in the gym every day. He brings energy to the whole group. His personality is very talkative, so I mean he’s getting to everybody. He’s got a word for everybody.”

The junior is currently dealing with a foot issue, dating back to at least early September, but is on track to start the season on time, according to Hurley.

Hurley said he has the chance to compete to fill the void left by Christian Vital, last season’s team-leading scorer and captain, on this year’s squad.

Adams logged 22 minutes per game last season with Vital, Alterique Gilbert and James Bouknight taking up a majority of the guard minutes. This season he will compete with point guards R.J. Cole and Jalen Gaffney for time at the point, as well as Jackson and Tyrese Martin for the combo guard/wing role.

“He’s been with us from the start, he’s a valued member of the organization – highly valued,” Hurley said.

Note: Adams wasn’t made available by UConn for this story as he recovers from his foot injury.