With the regular season wrapping up, it’s time to check in on how some current players with UConn ties are doing at their new schools.
Josh Carlton - F/C
Stats at UConn: 6.2 points, 5.0 rebounds
Years played: 2017-2021
Current team and stats: No. 14 Houston | 12.0 points, 6.6 rebounds
After starting about half of the season his freshman year, Carlton took a big leap during his sophomore campaign, starting all 33 games and putting up 9.0 points and 6.1 rebounds. He progressively declined over his last two years, starting just one game his senior season with lows of 3.5 points and 3.7 rebounds per night.
Carlton chose to try his luck in the transfer portal for the extra COVID year granted by the NCAA and ended up picking Houston, UConn’s old AAC rival. Leaving Storrs seems to have paid off mightily for the fifth-year senior. He is currently fourth on the team in scoring (12.1), and first in rebounding (6.7) helping the No. 14 Cougars to a 25-4 record and AAC regular season title.
Brendan Adams - PG/SG
Stats at UConn: 4.8 points, 1.8 rebounds, 1.1 assists
Years played: 2018-2021
Current team and stats: George Washington | 8.2 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists
Adams came to UConn hoping to add needed backcourt depth behind Jalen Adams, Christian Vital, and Alterique Gilbert and was the first commit of the Dan Hurley era. He was able to sporadically contribute as a freshman, but saw a solid bump his sophomore year with averages of 7.4 points and 2.2 rebounds after lead guard Jalen Adams left. He did not shoot the ball particularly well however, with an overall field goal percentage of 39%. This issue snowballed into his junior year, as he saw a decline in minutes and production, his field goal percentage dropping by a full 10 percentage points.
With RJ Cole, Tyrese Martin and Andre Jackson returning for this season, as well as Hurley bringing in two top 60 guards in Hawkins and Rahsool Diggins, Adams saw the writing on the wall. He chose to transfer closer to his hometown, ending up at George Washington in DC. He is currently averaging eight points and 3.6 rebounds per game for the Colonials.
Vance Jackson - SF
Stats at UConn: 8.1 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists
Years played: 2016-17 season
Current team and stats: East Carolina | 13.1 points, 5.8 rebounds,
Yes, Vance Jackson is still in college. Back in the day he was a part of the first major recruiting haul by former head coach Kevin Ollie, contributing to a class that was ranked fifth nationally by ESPN, including four top 100 players. A versatile 6-foot-8 wing that could shoot lights out was his reputation coming into Storrs, and he played this part well during his first year, hitting 50 threes at a 40% clip. He decided to jump ship and find solace at New Mexico, following in the footsteps of two other Huskies who also left the program that offseason - Jackson’s top-100 recruiting classmate Juwan Durham (Notre Dame), and Steven Enoch (Louisville).
Jackson spent two years with the Lobos averaging double figures and being a serviceable three point threat, but never sniffed the NCAA tournament. He decided to transfer to Arkansas, where he wasn’t much of a contributor, averaging 3.8 points and 11.6 minutes per game, but the Razorbacks made the Elite 8 before they were stomped out by a dominant Baylor team.
With the extra Covid year granted by the NCAA, Jackson decided he would try his luck elsewhere once again. He went back to his AAC roots, playing for East Carolina, and is averaging career highs of 13.1 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 41.3% from three. The Pirates are 15-13, so their NCAA hopes reside in the AAC tournament, but it’s nice to see Jackson doing well after a turbulent collegiate career.
Javonte Brown - F/C
Stats at UConn: 2.0 points, 1.0 rebounds
Years played: 2020-21 season
Current team and stats: Texas A&M | 1.5 points, 1.8 rebounds
Brown was the third leg of the 2020 recruiting class that featured top 100 talents Jackson and Sanogo. A legitimate seven-footer with a build, Brown hoped to bolster the middling frontcourt that only featured an inexperienced Carlton and Isaiah Whaley before he became The Wrench. With Sanogo flashing massive potential early on, and Dan Hurley choosing to mostly use reserve guards when dipping into the bench, Brown only played in two games all season, scoring two total baskets. He left the Huskies mid-season last year to join the Aggies of Texas A&M. So far this year he has played in 24 games, starting 11. Brown averages 1.4 points and 1.8 rebounds.
Players who committed to UConn once upon a time but never came to Storrs
James Akinjo - PG
Current team and stats: No. 3 Baylor | 13.1 points, 5.8 assists
An undersized but scrappy point guard from the Bay Area, Akinjo was set to headline the 2017 recruiting class for head coach Kevin Ollie. After Ollie was fired in March of 2018, Akinjo decommitted that same day. About a month later he committed to Patrick Ewing and the Georgetown Hoyas, where he played one full year before leaving early in his second season.
He transferred to Arizona on New Year’s Eve of 2019, and was granted a waiver to play immediately next season for the Wildcats. Akinjo took advantage of his new situation and earned Pac-12 first team honors, averaging 15.6 points and 5.4 assists. Unfortunately for Akinjo, his bad coaching luck continued as Sean Miller was fired by Arizona after the culmination of last season which led to him searching for his fourth home in as many years. He decided to help Baylor defend their title, joining Scott Drew’s staff, leading them to a 25-5 ranking and a potential Big 12 regular season title. Akinjo was also recently named as one of five finalists for the prestigious Bob Cousy award which honors the nation’s top point guard.
Emmitt Matthews Jr. - G/F
Current team and stats: Washington | 11.3 points, 4.9 rebounds
Matthews was another west coast prospect signed by Ollie and his staff, and followed in Akinjo’s footsteps by decommitting after Ollie was let go by UConn. Matthews joined forces with UConn’s former Big East foe Bob Huggins and West Virginia, who was a finalist when Matthews committed to UConn. After appearing in 92 games for the Mountaineers and being an average contributor over three seasons, Matthews decided to transfer to Washington for his senior season, where he is averaging career highs of 11.3 points and 4.9 rebounds per game.
Lukas Kisunas - C
Current team and stats: Stanford | 2.4 points, 2.6 rebounds
Kisunas was the third Ollie decommit in the 2018 class, hailing from the prestigious Brewster Academy that produced former Husky greats Jalen Adams and Jeff Adrien, as well as NBA superstar Donovan Mitchell. He’s enjoyed a four year career for the Stanford Cardinal, appearing in 112 games.