UConn Targets Bigs in 2012

With potentially just one scholarship left to give and a roster filled with talented, young players, UConn can afford to selective with the class of 2012.

It's a profound difference from a year ago when UConn's recruiting efforts seemed to have been hampered by uneven, uninspired performances on the court and off the court issues pertaining to Jim Calhoun's health and the pending NCAA penalty for recruiting infractions.

Winning a national championship cures a lot of ills and UConn's recruiting fortunes seem to have recovered fully.

DeAndre Daniels' commitment was the surprise of the spring and Omar Calhoun quickly followed suit to continue the Huskies' momentum.

Daniels' commitment gives the Huskies' depth and size on the wing and Calhoun's scoring ability will help replace the points per game that Jeremy Lamb may be taking with him to the NBA next season.

One area that UConn clearly looked to fill in 2011 and will certainly continue to pursue in the class of 2012 is size in the middle. Michael Bradley and Enosch Wolf are on campus working towards the season, but neither player is known quantity.

Both players have size, (Wolf seems to have it in spades), neither player is a proven commodity and the players UConn seems to have targeted are at the top of the class of 2012.

Andre Drummond, Scout.com's top-ranked player in 2012, tops the list of prospects Connecticut is targeting. Drummond is taking an additional prep year before entering college and while Kentucky, North Carolina, and others are considered possibilities for Drummond, UConn is the front-runner.

Drummond is 6-10, 280 and is the best prospect to come out of Connecticut in recent memory. No player in the class can match his size and athleticism and it's not inconceivable that Drummond would opt to skip college and declare for the NBA after his prep year.

While Drummond has infrequently spoken about his recruitment, should he opt for college or be forced to as a result of a new collective bargaining agreement, UConn would be the front-runner to sign him.

As with Drummond, UConn also made an attempt to convince Mitch McGary to reclassify to the class of 2011. He opted to remain in 2012 and has had a phenomenal spring and early summer in tourneys and camps. Already a solid interior scorer and aggressive rebounder, McGary has expanded his game to the perimeter and even demonstrated range to the three-point line at the NBAPA. He's now the 15th-rated prospect in Scout's 2012 top 100.

McGary has received offers from UConn, Maryland, Arizona, Kansas and Texas, among others. Duke has extended interest, but has yet to offer a scholarship. While the issue of how long Jim Calhoun will be at UConn will be an issue with McGary, UConn is among the leaders for him.

UConn is also recruiting Jarnell Stokes, of Memphis. Stokes is a 6-9, 260-pound space eater, but convention wisdom holds that he will be very difficult to recruit away from Memphis.

??Stokes' list is heavy with southern schools with UConn being something of an outlier. Whether that differentiates the Huskies for him remains to be seen, but it would seem that Connecticut's a long shot here.

UConn faces a similar situation with DaJuan Coleman. Although often mentioned by Coleman, Connecticut's odds of taking Coleman away from the hometown Syracuse Orange are very long.

Unless there's a dramatic development between Coleman and Syracuse, it would be a surprise if any team put serious effort into recruiting Coleman.

In addition to bigs, UConn is also targeting wing help in 2012. We'll look at those prospects this weekend.


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