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Tristen Newton commits to UConn men’s basketball

The transfer from ECU will have up to two years of eligibility remaining.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: FEB 20 East Carolina at UCF Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

On Wednesday, former ECU guard Tristen Newton committed to UConn men’s basketball, marking the first offseason add in what will be an offseason of transition for Dan Hurley and Co.

Originally from El Paso, Texas, Newton is a guard with some size and ballhandling ability, standing at 6-foot-5, 190 pounds. While he might not be as solid as former two-guard Tyrese Martin, he will be able to provide UConn some offensive firepower. Newton averaged 17.7 points, 5.0 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game for the Pirates in 2021-22, which was enough to earn all-American Athletic Conference second-team honors.

Newton was relatively lightly-recruited out of high school and did not have a high-major offer, instead drawing interest from the likes of Northeastern, Evansville and Jackson State. However, he has improved each year and started each game for the Pirates last year, taking a big leap after a sophomore season in which he averaged only 8.7 points per game with a 34.8 field-goal percentage.

Newton also posted 22 points against UConn in the 2019-20 season.

Dan Hurley has up to five more scholarships to use for transfers and additional freshmen after four scholarship players graduated and another four, Akok Akok, Rahsool Diggins, Corey Floyd Jr and Jalen Gaffney, departed via transfer. UConn is likely to target more guards with the space, as the only scholarship backcourt player remaining on the roster is rising sophomore Jordan Hawkins.