Thursday, April 12, 2007


April 12, 2007

COMMITMENT ALERT: Donnell Beverly, (G) Leuzinger High (CA).

Projected 2007-2008 Roster:

Juniors: AJ Price (G), Marcus Johnson (WG), Jeff Adrien (F), Craig Austrie (G).
Sophomores: Curtis Kelly (BF/C), Jerome Dyson (G), Jonathan Mandeldove (C), Stanley Robinson (F), Doug Wiggins (PG), Gavin Edwards (PF/C), Hasheem Thabeet (C)
Freshmen: Donnell Beverly (G)
2008 Commitment: Nate Miles (G/F)
2009 Commitments: Alex Oriakhi (C), Jamal Coombs (F)

With Ben Eaves and Robert Garrison recently deciding to leave the Connecticut program, Jom Calhoun enters the spring signing period armed with two scholarships available. Donnell Beverly became an immediate target as the late-blooming guard from California had a strong senior season and the UConn recruiting efforts paid off and Beverly is Committing to the Huskies (Hartford Courant).

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With 13 players consisting of their freshmen and sophomore classes heading into the 2006-2007 season, there was not much to write about on the recruiting front for UConn since last summer. However, after a disappointing season in which the Huskies went just 6-10 in the Big East and did not even make the NIT, changes are taking place on the Connecticut roster. After seldom-used Ben Eaves and Robert Garrison decided to leave the program, the Huskies hit the recruiting trail and have landed Donnell Beverly, a 6-foot-4 point guard from Lawndale, Calif. Beverly made his only college visit to UConn last week and was considering visits to Florida State and Texas A&M, but will not go. Beverly averaged 19 points, eight rebounds and eight assists as a senior for Leuzinger High School. Beverly, a left-handed pass-first point guard who weighs 195 pounds, will be used to compliment AJ Price in the backcourt and compete with Doug Wiggins and Craig Austrie for minutes spelling Price.

Connecticut has one current verbal commitment for the class of 2008 in highly regarded Nate Miles. With a roster next season void of seniors, UConn still has to be careful with their scholarship situation, having one current grant open. They are involved in a virtual who's who in the class of 2008, especially with frontcourt talent such as Ed Davis, Samardo Samuels, Greg Monroe, Drew Gorden, Al-Farouq Aminu and Kevin Jones. They are also very much in the mix with the top guard prospect in the class, Brandon Jennings, who recently re-opened his recruitment after committing to USC.

Back to 2007, the Huskies are waiting word on Hasheem Thabeet and his plans with the 2007 NBA draft. Thabeet is definitely on the fence and family considerations very much could push the 7'3 freshman into the draft. If that were to happen, UConn is likely to make a hard push for 7-foot Anthony McClain of Nathonal Christian Academy in Fort Washington, MD. McClain has all the tools to be an excellent big man, good length, athletic ability and he can move up and down the court. He is still quite raw and needs to add strength (pretty much sums up the 2006-2007 Husky squad), but any school would love to have the tools he is in possession of to work with. McClain will visit UConn later this month and is also seriously considering Cincinnati at this point. If Thabeet moves to the NBA, UConn is considered the strong favorite for McClain. JUCO Herve Banogle made an unofficial visit to Storrs earlier this month. A definite fall back option, Banogle had very modest numbers in a couple injury plagued seasons at Howard JC in Texas.

We will continue to watch the McClain/Thabeet situation as it unfolds this month, but for now, UConn looks to be making serious noise with the top of the 2008 class.

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