The turmoil of the UConn men’s basketball program under Kevin Ollie caused a lot of athletes to transfer both in and out of the program. The Huskies’ history with transferred players has been largely successful, though sometimes grad transfers used as plugs for a leaky roster didn’t meet the mark.
Usually when UConn recruits leave the program to play for another school, they end up going down a tier. Over the past few years, they’ve ended up at Louisville, Notre Dame, and other top programs seeking better opportunities.
Here’s a look at how those players have performed.
Steven Enoch finished his college career as a key piece on a Louisville team that ranked No. 14 in the final AP poll of the season. Enoch, who played two seasons at UConn, immediately improved his game upon joining the Cardinals, and started 28 of 31 games in his senior year, playing the fifth-most minutes on the team. His defense was still far better than his offensive game, but he developed enough as a scorer to average 9.5 points per game in his two seasons in the ACC, and became one of the conference’s better rebounders, even finishing 15th in the ACC in Player Efficiency Rating.
Vance Jackson’s junior year, his second at New Mexico, did not provide him with the jump in development he was seeking. While his scoring, particularly as a jump shooter, remains solid, his defense still leaves a lot to be desired, and most of his numbers fell while he took a smaller role on the team. New Mexico graduates a handful of seniors in the offseason, so Jackson could play a bigger part in the Lobos’ success next year.
Despite starting 31 games, Juwan Durham may not have been the biggest name on Notre Dame, but he was unquestionably the Fighting Irish’s best defensive player on a team that desperately needed the help. Durham was third in the ACC in blocked shots, and got a lot more productive on the offensive end—although he still isn’t a versatile scorer, he’s making a much higher percentage of his shots now. The one-year Husky only played 8.3 minutes per game during his lone season in Storrs, and now appears to be a completely different player, exemplifying the benefits of developing your young prospects.
Another couple of players are worth mentioning for this article, though they never set foot on campus. James Akinjo was originally a UConn signee out of the class of 2018 until being released from his NLI after the coaching change. He spent one season lighting it up for Georgetown, averaging 13 points and 5 assists per game, before announcing his intention to transfer seven games into his sophomore campaign. The former Kevin Ollie commit is now committed to Arizona.
Another former Ollie signee, Emmitt Matthews, is averaging just under 6 points per game for West Virginia. Makai Ashton-Langford, a 2017 signee who asked to be released from his letter of intent, transferred out of Providence after two years with minimal production and is now at Boston College.
Since Dan Hurley arrived, the Huskies have been able to hold on to most of their players. Alterique Gilbert will be departing as a graduate transfer to find more playing time, but the program is clearly more stable than it has been in the recent past. The Huskies will have R.J. Cole available next year after the New Jersey native transferred from Howard University. UConn will likely be looking to the transfer market this offseason to fill its remaining roster opening.