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UConn in the NBA: Jackson getting starts, Hawkins plays back home

The 2023 guys make up the majority of Huskies in the NBA.

NBA: Detroit Pistons at Milwaukee Bucks Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

UConn men’s basketball has five alumni playing in the NBA on active rosters. Here’s an update on the Huskies in the league, starting with the most tenured of the fellas.

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Chicago Bulls Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Andre Drummond - Chicago Bulls

In his 12th NBA season, Drummond has proven once again to be a valuable contributor. In his age-30 campaign, he has played in every game to date for the Bulls. The team has struggled, currently sitting in 12th place in the Eastern Conference, but Drummond has produced for his team and is occasionally brought into trade rumors, since contenders may want to add some low-post depth for a title run.

Drummond’s numbers (6.2 PPG, 50% FG%, 6.8 RPG in 13.2 minutes per game) aren’t rocking the stat sheet, but he’s been solid for a bench player.

Adama Sanogo - Chicago Bulls

Sanogo remains on a two-way contract despite going undrafted this past summer and is playing for the Windy City Bulls of the G-League. In his time there, he’s played fairly well, averaging 17.9 PPG (60.4% FG%, 50.0% 3PT%, 74.2% FT%), 11.4 RPG (5.7 offensive, 5.8 defensive), 1.3 SPG, and 1.3 BPG in 27.9 minutes per game.

James Bouknight - Charlotte Hornets

Bouknight has had a tough start to his NBA career, as he has only played in 66 games to date across his second and third seasons. This season, he has only played in one NBA game, despite remaining on the roster full-time with no G-League flexibility. In that one game, he played five minutes and scored five points with a rebound on 66.7% shooting from the field.

The largest issue for Bouknight is he is in a logjam behind point guards Terry Rozier and Ish Smith, as well as shooting guard Brandon Miller. He may end up getting more minutes down the road, but as of now, he is somewhat stuck in his current role.

Jordan Hawkins - New Orleans Pelicans

Hawkins has started nine of his 24 games played this season, averaging 25.7 minutes per game and averaging 11.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game with .380/.361/.870 shooting splits. He’s mostly a three-point specialist, as 6.5 of his 9.9 shot attempts per game are three-pointers.

Hawkins has been a crucial component to the Pelicans 15-11 record, which nets them the 8th seed as of now. He’s proven he can be a viable option on the court with the Pelicans offense, and with some improved shot selection, could become a deadly weapon for them in no time. He had the chance to play in front of his hometown crowd back in DC recently, throwing down a dunk in front of lots of friends and family in attendance.

Andre Jackson Jr. - Milwaukee Bucks

Jackson has played in 18 games for the Bucks, starting in four of them. Jackson has contributed in a limited role, with 2 points, 1.2 rebounds, 0.7 assists, and 0.3 blocks per game on .625/.500 shooting splits (he has not attempted a free throw currently) but his head coach explains why Jackson’s impact goes beyond the stat sheet. UConn fans already knew this, but it’s been great to see his athleticism and basketball IQ play out at the next level.

While he has not gotten a significant amount of playing time yet with only 8.0 minutes per game, he has proven he can create a spot on the Bucks’ roster and continue to build on his skills. Milwaukee is a talented roster currently sitting at 17-7 and 2nd place in the Eastern Conference, so this somewhat contributes to the low-minute allocation. He’s also earning a lot of praise from commenters around the league, including Bill Simmons most recently.