Huskies Sign DeAndre Daniels…Goodbye Andre Drummond?

As has been rumored, the Huskies handed out their 10th scholarship, filling out their 2011-2012 roster.  UConn was docked 1 scholarship due to recruiting violations, and lost 2 more due to low APR scores, so the roster is now complete.

Daniels is a great catch, ranked #19 by MaxPreps and #10 by Rivals.  He was far and away the best remaining player.  He should be an outstanding player for the Huskies.

Here’s what I don’t like about the signing: the Huskies are thin in the backcourt, and this signing doesn’t help this year, and may hamstring the Huskies next season.

As much as I cringed when Donnell Beverly would come into games, he was an experienced player and a good leader, and had the ability to steal a few minutes when necessary.  And in a pinch, Jamal Coombs-McDaniel could play in the backcourt.

Fast forward to next season.  The UConn backcourt this season will consist of Jeremy Lamb and Shabazz Napier, and incoming freshman Ryan Boatright.  Injury or foul trouble is going to be a real issue for this team.  The front court players are Alex Oriakhi, Tyler Olander, Enosch Wolf, Roscoe Smith, DeAndre Daniels, Niels Giffey, and Michael Bradley.  I love the potential of this front court, but who swings to the backcourt in a pinch?  Giffey seems to be the only possibility.

The situation may actually be worse for 2012-2013.  The most likely candidate to leave is Jeremy Lamb, who was said to be considering leaving early this year.  Lamb would need to be replaced with another guard.  Based on performance to date, there is no one in the front court that would be considered a candidate to leave early.  The Huskies will be docked one scholarship from the NCAA sanctions for two more years.  And the APR performance, which is an average over four years, is likely to be worse the next time.  The best that the Huskies can hope for is that the NCAA believes that UConn has address the APR issues, and that the performance is on an upward trend.  It’s possible, but unlikely that a scholarship might be re-instated.

So what’s the issue? UConn is firmly in the running for top 2012 recruit Andre Drummond (actually down to #3 in the latest Rivals rankings) as well as #5 ranked F Mitch McGary.  Barring an early departure, transfer or dismissal, the Huskies do not have an opening.  And regardless of how it ultimately plays out, you can guarantee that other coaches are going to use this against the Huskies.  Remember how Angelo Chol was told that UConn had no scholarships to offer?   My guess is that the Huskies have lost their chances with Drummond or McGary.

On the other hand, it’s likely now (and Daniels has claimed) that Jim Calhoun will stick around for one more season…


2 Responses to “Huskies Sign DeAndre Daniels…Goodbye Andre Drummond?”

  1. Hunter Says:

    On top of the Daniels commitment, Omar Calhoun just gave a verbal commitment for 2012. How do you see that impacting Drummond and if Andre wanted to come to UConn, do you think Coach C would “advise” another player (maybe the kid from TN) to transfer?

    • yukonnj Says:

      First of all, you trumped me on the Omar Calhoun news — the last I’d read was Thursday, when he’d just taken a recruiting trip to UConn.
      I do see this impacting Drummond — with Omar Calhoun, they’re already one over their current scholarship limit, and Drummond would put them over by two. I do think that Michael Bradley or Enosch Wolf would be encouraged to leave, or perhaps Tyler Olander if he doesn’t improve. One issue is that there is uncertainty, and other coaches are going to use this against the Huskies, since they will have no open scholarships (see Angelo Chols comments from last recruiting season).
      I’ll try and post a longer discussion — this is a complicated situation involving the APR and other issues.

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