Jerome Dyson and Jonathan Mandeldove were two guys who were completely overlooked a year ago. Dyson committed Saturday and Mandeldove pulled the trigger less than 24 hours later, according to sources close to the situation.
``I really wanted to get it over with," Dyson said. "I knew I wanted to be there and that UConn is the place for me." Dyson never got much exposure back when he was in Maryland. Ditto for Mandeldove, an Illinois native who spent the last couple of years at Shiloh High in Georgia.
Dyson is a 6-foot-3 senior guard at Proctor Academy (N.H.) who played the last portion of July with the D.C. Blue Devils.
Dyson had originally scheduled an official visit to Boston College on Sunday, but it was canceled. Maryland had also been in the mix, but the Terps had backed off lately.
``I wanted to play at the highest level and I know UConn is right there," Dyson said.
One of the key factors in his decision was the fact that the Huskies want him to play point guard and replace Marcus Williams, who could leave after this season.
``I'm actually going there to play point guard," Dyson said. "I'll play mostly the point. They're going to give me an opportunity to start as a freshman and get a lot of minutes."
Dyson is a prolific scorer who will still have to get used to getting his teammates involved to make the adjustment to the point guard spot.
Mandeldove was a one-time VCU signee who didn't qualify and is at Hargrave Academy (Va.). According to sources close to the situation, the 7-footer joined Dyson in giving his word to the Huskies staff on Sunday.
``He's got tremendous upside and has got to be considered as one of the top five centers in the country," Hargrave coach Kevin Keatts said. "Everyone knows about his defensive ability, but he's got the ability to score inside and has tremendous upside offensively as well."
Mandeldove was scheduled to take official visits to Wake Forest and Memphis in the coming weeks. Dyson and Mandeldove join Curtis Kelly, Ramar Smith and Will Harris in UConn's Class of 2006. The Huskies aren't done there. They still need at least one more player for the class.