There was a bundle of UConn news to hit our timelines early Wednesday but after a lull late in the day, UConn men’s basketball announced that all three recruits in its 2021 class signed National Letters of Intent with the school, according to a team release.
The Huskies’ No. 8 ranked recruiting class features guards Jordan Hawkins and Rahsool Diggins as well as forward Samson Johnson. The Huskies have the second-best recruiting class in the Big East, according to 247Sports.
“It definitely felt great. I’m officially in the UCONN family. I was waiting so long for this day. I’m super excited,” Johnson told The UConn Blog following the announcement.
Head coach Dan Hurley received verbal commitments from all three within a few weeks of one another, starting with Diggins on July 26 of this year. Hawkins and Johnson quickly followed suit committing on Aug. 7 and 10, respectively.
“We are thrilled to welcome Rahsool, Jordan and Samson to the UConn family,” Hurley said in the release. “Each of these young men has the type of talent, character, work ethic and winning pedigree that will help us continue to build a championship program.”
Diggins is a 6-foot-1 point guard out of Archbishop Wood High School in Pennsylvania, where he averaged over 20 points, five rebounds and nearly five assists per game last season. He is a consensus top-50 recruit and was the anchor of this class for Hurley.
“He is a very talented guard who can score at all three levels and is an unselfish passer with great leadership skills,” Hurley said about Diggins. “Rahsool is the type of player we need at UConn as we pursue championships.”
Rahsool Diggins had his defender on skates. @RahsoolDiggins3 @Gatorade pic.twitter.com/pmsAVnqmEY— SLAM HS Hoops (@SLAM_HS) October 31, 2020
Both Diggins and Johnson were invited to the Slam 16 high school event in late October and Johnson picked up MVP honors after posting a 12-point, eight-rebound performance. It seems as though the two have the beginnings of a connection forming on the court as well after they linked up on a lob in transition for Team Red.
THE FUTURE Part II@RahsoolDiggins3 @kdroos_13— CUE THE MUSIC (@Cue_the_Music) October 31, 2020
The 6-foot-10 Johnson hails from The Patrick School in New Jersey, where UConn freshman Adama Sanogo spent time last season. He joined The Patrick School last season after growing up in Togo and spending time at Seeds Academy in Senegal.
“Samson is a very exciting player with a tremendous upside,” Hurley said in the release. “He is a perfect fit for the type of player we were looking for in this class. He’s long, athletic and can really shoot.”
The power forward shot 37% from beyond the arc last season, aided by his 7-foot-6 wingspan. He averaged nearly nine points and a bit over three rebounds per game for the Patrick School in his junior season.
The top-ranked recruit in Hurley’s class was the sharpshooting Hawkins, though. The DeMatha product picked UConn over his local Maryland as well as North Carolina, Virginia, Michigan and Xavier.
He shot 46% from three-point land in his junior year at DeMatha, where he averaged over 12 points and five rebounds. His shooting is the exact thing the Huskies have needed in recent years, as they shot just 32.4% from deep last year, 215th in the country, according to KenPom.
“Jordan is the prototypical UConn wing – the kind of player that UConn has had so much success with in the past,” Hurley said. “He’s extremely athletic with long range shooting ability and his versatility and ability to stretch the floor should excite UConn Nation.”
Jordan Hawkins with 23pts in a win last night @golive23 #UConn #Huskies pic.twitter.com/kQ9KLTbRS4— CUE THE MUSIC (@Cue_the_Music) November 1, 2020
All three players will seemingly bring a well-rounded game to Storrs next fall. They’re all multi-dimensional players who will be key additions in the face of the potential losses of James Bouknight, Tyler Polley, Isaiah Whaley and Josh Carlton for next seasons roster.