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UConn men’s basketball transfer tracker

Taking a closer look at some of the options on the transfer market for 2021-22 and how they fit in with the Huskies.

San Diego State v UNLV Photo by David J. Becker/Getty Images

With the confirmed transfers of Josh Carlton and Brendan Adams, as well as James Bouknight’s decision to enter the 2021 NBA Draft, it’s time to analyze the ever-growing transfer market to determine which players Coach Hurley and his staff could be targeting as they look to round out their team for the upcoming season.

Also playing a role in the Huskies’ assembly of their roster 2021-22 roster is the fact that seniors Tyler Polley and Isaiah Whaley will return to use their extra year of eligibility, given by the NCAA due to COVID-related complications. Polley will enter his name into the NBA Draft to garner feedback, though he won’t hire an agent. Both players will also not count toward the team’s allotted number of scholarships.

With this news, the Huskies’ scholarship situation for the 2021-22 season now looks like this:

Dan Hurley, in his rather short career coaching NCAA Division I basketball, has built a reputation of sorts as a force in the transfer market. With the success of recent transfer guards R.J. Cole (Howard) and Tyrese Martin (Rhode Island), who both started almost every game for the Huskies this season, Hurley is already busy pursuing a number of high-level transfers on the market yet again, which checks out given the three open scholarships for next year. However, minutes will be hard to come by with the updated news of both Whaley and Polley returning. Regardless, here are some of the prime candidates who could be heading to Storrs after starting their college careers elsewhere:

Noah Locke, Florida

Junior, 6-foot-3 shooting guard

A former top 80 recruit from the McDonough School outside of Baltimore, Locke has been a steady presence for the Gators on both ends of the floor. Known as a 3-and-D type player, Locke has shot the ball efficiently from long distance (217-538, 40%) and from the free throw line (a career 75% free throw shooter) during his time in Gainesville. UConn would benefit from a player of Locke’s ilk since it lacked a a consistent deep threat this past season. Adam Zagoria reported that UConn is one of the teams that has scheduled a Zoom call with Locke.

UPDATE: Noah Locke has committed to play for Chris Mack and the Louisville Cardinals.

Bryce Hamilton, UNLV

Junior, 6-foot-4 combo guard

The cousin of former UConn standout Daniel Hamilton, Bryce (#149 nationally - 247) wasn’t quite the highly-touted recruit coming out of high school as his cousin was (#17 nationally - 247), but can fill it up in a big way. He led the Runnin’ Rebels in scoring and assists this past season at 17.9 and 3.0 per game, the former ranking third in the entire conference. There are reports that Hamilton will garner some feedback from NBA teams about his pro potential while maintaining his college eligibility, so his decision will likely come at a later date than most.

While he is a volume scorer, Hamilton needs his fair share of shots, as he averaged 17.0 per game last season. For context, James Bouknight only attempted 14.6 per night in 2020-21. To be fair, his high shot volume was likely due to UNLV struggling to find offense, as they had only one other player on the roster average double digits and overall ranked in the bottom half of the conference in scoring. Hamilton is also a sub-par long distance shooter for his career, hitting from deep at about a 32% clip and never making more than 38 three pointers in a season. Should Hamilton choose UConn as his next destination, he would likely start at the two spot and significantly help the Huskies fill the massive scoring hole left behind by Bouknight. Dan Hurley could definitely use the athleticism, toughness, and playmaking ability that Hamilton brings to the two-guard spot. Call him a poor man’s Bouknight (Bouk also shot 32% from three during his time at UConn). This would be a huge get.

Tre Mitchell, UMass

Sophomore, 6-foot-9 power forward/center

A former top 100 recruit out of Woodstock Academy in Connecticut, Mitchell is one of the most sought-after transfers on the entire market — and for good reason. In his first two seasons for the Minutemen, he put up 18.3 points and 7.2 rebounds per game.

If UConn can reel in the talented big man, the Huskies would have one of the most imposing front courts in the nation with Sanogo, Whaley, and Mitchell all worthy of major minutes. Over 75 schools have already reached out to the star forward, with dozens of Power Five programs reportedly in the mix.

Rocket Watts, Michigan State

Sophomore, 6-foot-2 point guard

Watts is a lightning-quick playmaker that can slash and defend at a high level. Besides Duke freshman Jaemyn Brakefield, Watts is the highest rated former high school recruit to enter his name into the transfer portal this offseason. He was rated as the No. 33 player in the 2019 class by ESPN.

He hasn’t had quite the electric career that many expected from him coming out of the acclaimed SPIRE Institute in Detroit, but he still has immense talent and athleticism at his disposal and would provide a major backcourt boost to most programs across the country. It’s also worth noting that Watts had UConn in his top ten list of schools before he committed to Michigan State out of high school and Hurley appears to be trying to rekindle that relationship since UConn has reportedly already reached out to him.

Langston Wilson, Georgia Highlands (JUCO)

Sophomore, 6-foot-9 forward

A lanky yet explosive lefty forward, Wilson has taken the unlikeliest of paths to become a highly sought-after JUCO transfer. After a heart condition kept him from playing any high school basketball, Wilson was finally cleared and chose to play for Georgia Highland junior college. Wilson, now 20, has been a force on the court and worked his way up to the #2 overall JUCO prospect for the class of 2021.

He committed to play for Nate Oats and Alabama in October 2020, but amid the recent gamut of high-level transfers also deciding to take their talents to Tuscaloosa, Wilson has decided to re-open his recruitment. The Pennsylvania native is known as a superb athlete who loves to attack the rim and use his length in the paint to alter shots. He is a tenacious offensive rebounder who can also spread the floor by hitting the occasional three. With this kind of repertoire, Wilson would fit right into Hurley’s offensive and defensive strategy, which focuses on dominating the offensive glass and protecting the rim at all costs. Wilson is also said to be a great young man off the court, along with this hard work ethic on it. Adding Wilson to an already uber-athletic team would put UConn up there with some of the most athletically gifted teams in the country.

Jabri Abdur-Rahim, Virginia

Freshman, 6-foot-7 guard/forward

Hailing from South Orange, New Jersey, Rahim was heavily recruited by Hurley and UConn as a top-40 recruit coming out of high school. While he eventually chose Virginia, Abur-Rahim seldom sniffed the floor his first year in Charlottesville, playing 38 total minutes and scoring only seven points over the entire 2020-21 season.

Abur-Rahim came into Division-I basketball as a raw prospect with loads of potential given his frame, athleticism, and handle. Sound familiar? It’s virtually the same scouting report that Andre Jackson had coming into Storrs, which is why it’s tough to see Abdur-Rahim fitting into the current roster makeup for 2021-22. With that being said, UConn will likely reach out to Abur-Rahim, given their past relationship with him and his considerable talent.

UPDATE: Jabri Abdur-Rahim has committed to the Georgia Bulldogs.

Matt Bradley, California

Junior, 6-foot-4 shooting guard

Bradley would be a dream get for Hurley and Co. A incredibly built and skilled scorer who has poured in almost 1,300 points over his three-year career at Cal Berkeley, Bradley has also shot the ball very well from distance since he joined the Golden Bears (156-388, 40%).

Bradley was a former fringe top 100 recruit coming out of Wasatch Academy in San Bernardino, CA and has led his home state team in scoring in back-to-back seasons. Landing a seasoned veteran who has finished as a top-5 scorer in a power 5 conference two seasons in a row would be the ideal scenario for Hurley, as his iso-scoring ability and three point prowess would address two immediate needs for the team next season. There hasn’t been any chatter about UConn contacting Bradley as of yet, but it would be very surprising if Hurley and his staff didn’t at least inquire about the talented junior. After all, he is a top-ten option on the transfer market right now.

UPDATE: Bradley has decided to transfer to San Diego State.

Alexis Yetna, South Florida

Sophomore, 6-foot-8 small forward

A strong left-handed forward that hails from Paris, France, Yetna produced solid numbers for South Florida with career averages of 10.8 points and 8.5 rebounds. While his hometown is overseas, Yetna attended Putnam Science Academy in Connecticut, a school that produced UConn recruits Mamadou Diarra and Akok Akok.

Yetna serves as a semi-stretch four (45-130, 34.6% from three) and can muscle tough buckets down low with his 243-pound frame, which could give UConn a lot of different looks, especially on the offensive end — think of a bigger but less versatile Tyrese Martin. UConn is familiar with Yetna from playing in the AAC last season and Hurley has already reached out to him, per Stockrisers’ Jake Weingarten.

UPDATE: Yetna has committed to Seton Hall, per John Fanta.

Marreon Jackson, Toledo

Grad transfer, 6-foot-1 point guard

A stat sheet stuffer, Jackson paid his dues to the Mid-American Conference for four straight years and is now looking for tougher competition. He poured in 18.1 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per game last season, taking home conference player of the year honors.

UConn will have a crowded backcourt next season with R.J. Cole, Tyrese Martin, Andre Jackson, Jalen Gaffney, Rahsool Diggins, and Jordan Hawkins all likely to see significant minutes. While Martin will likely play the three and maybe even some small-ball four, that still leaves five guards taking up a large portion of the playing time between the one and two spots. But when someone of Jackson’s caliber enters the transfer pool, it’s worth at least checking out. Coincidentally, UConn has already contacted him, per Jeff Goodman.

UPDATE: After cutting his list down to Arkansas, Arizona State, Georgetown, and Miami, Jackson has committed to Arizona State where he’ll play for Danny Hurley’s brother, Bobby Hurley.

Kadary Richmond, Syracuse

Freshman, 6-foot-5 guard/forward

Kadary Richmond is one of many players leaving Syracuse and head coach Jim Boeheim behind. He is a versatile two-way guard that can grab steals in bunches but just didn’t get the playing time behind Buddy Boeheim and Joe Girard.

In 21 minutes per game this past season, Richmond averaged 1.6 steals per game while shooting 45.3% from the floor and 33.3% from deep. He flashed an ability to run the Orange’s offense as well, dishing five or more assists in six games this season — three of which came in his only three starts on the year.

Richmond went into Syracuse as the No. 88 recruit in his class according to 247Sports after playing at Brewster Academy, the same high school as former Husky great Jalen Adams. He visited UConn during his recruitment and had the Huskies in his final four before he committed to Syracuse.

UPDATE: Kadary Richmond has committed to Seton Hall, per Another UConn target headed to play for Kevin Willard and the Pirates.

Marcus Carr, Minnesota

Junior, 6-foot-2 point guard

The junior point guard will be looking for his third collegiate program this offseason after transferring to Minnesota from Pitt after his freshman year. Carr may opt to turn pro, as it’s been reported he will test the NDA draft waters, but if he chooses to stay in college and commit to the Huskies he would bring some much-needed experience and volume scoring to UConn. Carr took over 15 shots per game at the helm of Minnesota’s offense this season and while he did put up 19.4 points per contest, he did so taking nearly twice as many shots as the next highest player on the roster.

Carr scored 20 points or more 11 times this past season, including four games of 30+ points. He’s also an adept distributor, posting an average of 6.7 assists in 2019-20, before taking on more of the scoring load in 2020-21 which attributed to his average dropping to 4.9 assists per game. Carr was a decent shooter this past season, hitting on 38.5% from the floor, 31.7% from deep, and 79.9% from the line. Coming out of Motverde Academy, he was the No. 146 player in his class.

CJ Felder, Boston College

Sophomore, 6-foot-7 small forward/power forward

Before Whaley decided to return to UConn, the thinking was that Felder could be a great replacement for some of the hard-nosed rebounding, shot-blocking, and short range scoring that he brought on a nightly basis. As a guy who makes his living seeking contact in the paint, Felder could have given UConn that extra edge on the defensive end while also helping to further improve their offensive rebounding.

UPDATE: Felder has committed to the Florida Gators, per his Twitter page.