The Huskies, with two commitments in the past week, have unofficially raised the number of scholarship players on the roster to 10 for the 2012-13 season. And with the news Wednesday that forward Leon Tolksdorf has orally committed to UConn, that roster will include three players from Germany. Swingman Niels Giffey and center Enosch Wolf are heading into their junior seasons at UConn.
Some recruiting reports list Tolksdorf, 18, at 6-foot-8 but others familiar with the player say he may only be 6-5. Either way, he is billed as a combo forward whose strength may be his shooting from the outside.
Tolksdorf, who reportedly visited Storrs over the weekend, played for ALBA Berlin last season and averaged 14.2 minutes and 5.2 points. He shot 34.1 percent from three-point range and video shows that he likes to spot up and take shots from behind the arc. He seems to have good fundamental instincts – as many European players do.
In 2009, Tolksdorf played in the Under-16 European Championships, averaging six points and four rebounds while shooting 23.8 percent in eight games. His team finished 11th in the FIBA Junior event.
According to a recruiting analyst familiar with players from overseas, Tolksdorf is slower and less athletic than some of the forwards who have been successful at UConn. The Huskies had a need for frontline players, however, after Alex Oriakhi, Roscoe Smith and Michael Bradley transferred and Andre Drummond declared himself eligible for the NBA Draft. Phillip Nolan of Milwaukee committed to UConn last week.
Tyler Olander and DeAndre Daniels will join Giffey, Wolf, Toksdorf and Nolan in the 2012-13 frontcourt. The backcourt should be strong with Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright returning, R.J. Evans transferring from Holy Cross and incoming freshman Omar Calhoun joining the squad.
The addition of Tolksdorf likely completes UConn's recruiting effort for this season. The Huskies had 10 scholarships last season and are expected to get two back from NCAA sanctions. But the coaching staff would like to balance the classes and is not expected to add any other signees now.
Bradley "B.J." Hayes, another big man UConn had been highly interested in, signed with Georgetown on Wednesday. He had cancelled a scheduled visit to UConn.