Basketball team

The Day – UConn men’s basketball team land San Diego transfer to Calcaterra

California native Joey Calcaterra had never been to Connecticut before making a recruiting visit to Storrs last weekend.

Now he can’t wait to come back.

A 6-foot-3 guard, Calcaterra announced his commitment to the UConn basketball program on his Twitter account on Monday.

“I’ll try to get there as soon as possible,” Calcaterra said.

A native of Novato, Calif., Calcaterra, a transfer grad, has spent the past four seasons at the University of San Diego. He averaged 8.5 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 26.8 minutes per game as a senior while shooting 38.8% from the field, 34.7% from a field at 3 dots.

UConn assistant coach Luke Murray contacted Calcaterra a few weeks ago.

“Them being the historic hit program that they are, it was a very exciting time for me,” Calcaterra said in a phone conversation. “I went there last weekend – Friday and Saturday – and fell in love with coach (Dan) Hurley and the rest of his team, the program they have and the players they have. on the list.

“It’s just an exciting time for me.”

Calcaterra watched one of UConn’s workouts during his trip. He also chatted with the players.

“I just felt like it suited me perfectly,” Calcaterra said. “I loved everything they were talking about. Coach Hurley has a reputation as a coach who likes to go after. That’s what I look for in a head coach, someone who’s going to push me to my limits and push myself to be the best player I can be.”

At the UConn Coaches Road Show in Southington last month, Hurley said he wasn’t done recruiting for the upcoming season as he still had three scholarships left.

Now there are only two fellowships left with the addition of Calcaterra.

Calcaterra joins fellow transfers Hassan Diarra (Texas A&M), Tristen Newton (East Carolina) and Nahiem Alleyne (Virginia Tech) as newcomers.

When asked to describe his game, Calcaterra said he was an all-around player and a vocal leader.

“A lot of people just call me a shooter, but I’m so much more than that. I’m a shooter/slasher, I can reach the rim, have a good midrange game, and I can shoot all three well. Some of them people criticize my defense, but I feel like everything is fine.

“I still have things to work on defensively but, overall, I’m just doing just fine on both sides of the pitch. I’m a competitor and a hard worker, so I’ll work as hard as I can to contribute to the success of the UConn program.”

Overall, the Huskies will have six new players this coming season, including Alex Karaban and former Bristol Central standout Donovan Clingan. Karaban practiced with the Huskies last season while sitting in a red shirt.

“It’ll just be a fun time hitting the gym with all of them,” Calcaterra said.

Calcaterra looks forward to his new adventure and lives on a different coast.

“It will definitely be a new experience for me,” Calcaterra said. “I was born and raised in the Bay Area in California and then spent the last five seasons playing at the University of San Diego. I’m definitely stepping out of my comfort zone, but it’s time for me to do it. It’s time for me to challenge myself.

“When I got the chance to play at UConn, it was very exciting for me and an opportunity I didn’t want to pass up.”

[email protected]