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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

CONNECTICUT RECRUITING REPORT

VERBAL COMMITMENT ALERT: Ben Eaves, F (Worcester Academy)

Here is the article from the Hartford Courant on the latest Husky addition: Eaves Commits to UConn.

Projected 2006-2007 Roster:
Seniors: Marcus Williams (PG), Josh Boone (PF/C)
Juniors: Rudy Gay (SF)
Sophomores: AJ Price (G), Marcus Johnson (WG), Jeff Adrien (F), Craig Austrie (G), Robert Garrison (PG).
Freshmen: Curtis Kelly (BF/C), Ramar Smith (G), Jerome Dyson (G), Jonathan Mandeldove (C), Stanley Robinson (F), Ben Eaves (F)

Links to our previous Connecticut recruiting write-ups: October 12 Report, Sept 19 Report, Sept 18 Report, Sept 6 Report, July 8 Report, July 25 Round-Up.

Read More...Click Below!


Well, the Connecticut Huskies and Hall of Fame head coach Jim Calhoun have done it again, they targeted 6'7 forward Ben Eaves of Worcester Academy and went and got him. Eaves visited the Connecticut campus officially this past weekend and decided UConn is where he wants to make his college home.

Eaves was a virtual uknown in the recruiting world until coming to the United States from England late this summer to attend Worcester Academy. During the recruiting contact period, many high-major coaches from around the country attended open gym workouts at many of the New England prep schools and Worcester Academy is a regular stop and that is when Eaves made a name for himself. Pittsburgh, Providence, Georgia Tech, Marquette, USC, etc all stopped in at Worcester and left impressed enough by Eaves to leave a scholarship offer on the table. Connecticut, previosuly described as his "dream school", was too good of an opportunity for Eaves to pass up and he decided on the Huskies shortly after his visit. He had visited Providence the week prior for their Midnight Madness.

The courant article quotes Worcester Academy head coach Eddie Reilly, who played for UConn assistant George Blaney at Holy Cross, quite extensively on Eaves' game. Since Eaves played solely in England up until now, not much is known about the 6'7 210 lb small forward. Reilly lists Eaves shooting ability and versatility as his strengths and his athletic ability has also been reported to be very good. Sounds like an excellent addition to the Connecticut program.

With the Eaves commitment and the decision of Will Harris to look elsewhere, Connecticut is slated for 14 scholarships for the 2006-2007 season, which is one higher than the NCAA limit of 13. Obviously, Rudy Gay is a likely NBA lottery pick and Josh Boone, who is expected to graduate in three years, is another 1st round possibility. Marcus Williams and AJ Price also have their futures up in the air, Williams could also be a 1st round NBA selection after the season. So, they could have up to three more scholarships open, but it is most likely they continue to recruit some additional front court help. The names of players to make an impact up front are dwindling, Hamady N'Diaye remains in the mix, but with everything that has surrounded him and his prep school, he would be a really high risk player to depend on qualifying and getting cleared by the NCAA. Jonathan Mandeldove and Curtis Kelly probably need another body upfront to play right away. In the spring, a serviceable JUCO big man could be a good fit for the Huskies.

This is obviously an outstanding class for Connecticut and one of the better reloading jobs you will ever see. They will hope Mandeldove continues his impressive improvement and playing against major college talent everyday in practice at Hargrave should prepare him for his first season in the Big East. A year ago he was signing with VCU and averaging about 12 PPG in high school, now, he is a member of one of the elite programs in the country, but his improvement will be monitored closely to address the possible need in the front court for next season, especially if Josh Boone moves on to the NBA. They should be set at the wing with impressive freshmen Marcus Johnson and incoming recruits Stanley Robinson and Ben Eaves. Robinson can also play some big forward as well and Jeff Adrien looks to be the type to excel at the college level. The guards will be helped greatly if AJ Price can get past all the outside issues and become part of the rotation, and, of course, if Marcus Williams stays for a senior season. Freshmen Craig Austrie and Robert Garrison should be able to team with Jerome Dyson and Ramar Smith to form a talented group and Marcus Johnson will be very much in the mix at all three perimeter positions. Curtis Kelly has had somewhat of a disappointing spring and summer and will need to show more consistency and added strength inside, he chose the right coach who will get the most out of him, his potential is limitless.

We will continue to follwo the recruiting juggernaut that Jim calhoun has created at UConn for any late additions the Huskies will look to add.

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