Basketball team

Virginia Tech transfer Nahiem Alleyne joins UConn men’s basketball team. Here are four other top candidates on the portal. – Hartford Courant

Former Virginia Tech guard Nahiem Alleyne announced Thursday that he would be moving to the UConn men’s basketball team on social media.

Alleyne averaged 9.6 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists during the 2021-22 season. He will have two years of eligibility left. He is best known for his shooting prowess, shooting 38.7% from the 3-point line over three seasons at Virginia Tech.

“He’s a pure shooter,” said Stadium men’s basketball analyst Jeff Goodman. “He gives you someone who can space the floor. Every time he touches the ball, the defenses have to account for where he is. Not only can he do perimeter shots, but he can also create space for other guys’ lanes. Everyone needs one of these guys on the floor. He’s a guy you know can shoot.

In UConn coach Dan Hurley’s new four outs, one on offense, Alleyne would likely play the shooting role.

“Alleyne fills a shooting position,” said CBS college basketball writer David Cobb. “I think if you’re going to play four and give Adama Sanogo room to operate in the position, you need to have shooters around him who can keep the ground spaced. Alleyne was a very good 3-point shooter at Virginia Tech. He’s a guy who doesn’t necessarily need the ball in his hands. It is a type of plug-and-play and spot-up shooter.

Alleyne joins Andre Jackson, Andrew Hurley, Jordan Hawkins and recent East Carolina transfer Tristen Newton as guards on the roster.

UConn had left eight players from the 2021-22 roster this offseason. Akok Akok, Rahsool Diggins, Jalen Gaffney and Corey Floyd Jr. have listed their names on the NCAA transfer portal. On Monday, Diggins announced that he would continue his college career at UMass.

UConn will also be without guards RJ Cole and Tyrese Martin, who have announced plans to turn pro. Additionally, Isaiah Whaley and Tyler Polley have exhausted their eligibility.

With the addition of Alleyne, the Huskies have four scholarships open for the 2022-23 season.

UConn has been active in the portal. Here’s a look at four players who could round out the Huskies roster.

Stats: Averaged 10.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists in the 2021-22 season.

Former Pittsburgh guard Femi Odukale told CBS Sports Insider Jon Rothstein on Tuesday that he had narrowed his transfer list to five schools: Rhode Island, Seton Hall, UConn, Maryland and Oregon. The 6-foot-3 guard played two seasons for the Panthers and was primarily known for his all-around game.

“It would be interesting to see how he would fit in with Newton,” Cobb said. “They both strike me as players who dominate the ball and are more comfortable with the basketball in their hands. I would be really excited as a UConn fan if they got Odukale because he took a big leap from his freshman year to his sophomore year. He could potentially have three years of eligibility left for him to continue to develop and grow.

“The fact that he was already a double-figure scorer in Pitt and showed flashes of a 3-point shot, I would be really excited for him. If they were to have him and Newton play together would be a real defensive headache for many teams in the Big East next season.

Goodman was not as high on Odukale.

“Look, I always want guys coming out of the portal who come from winning programs,” he said. “He would scare me from that point of view. Yes, he put numbers, but he put numbers for a bad team.

Stats: Averaged 8.4 points, five rebounds and 1.6 assists during the 2021-22 season.

Like Newton, Hurley had a close view of Wichita State guard Dexter Dennis in the 2019-20 season as he had 16 points, seven rebounds, two blocks and two steals against UConn. So it’s no surprise that Jake Weingarten of stockrisers.com reports that UConn contacted Dennis.

The 6-5 guard is a prototypical Hurley player with defensive intensity, toughness and overall length. He is known for stopping opposing guards. “He’s a good physical, tough guard who isn’t a great shooter or a great scorer, but does everything,” Goodman said. “He bounces back well in his position. He can give you 10 points per game, but that’s not why you bring him. You train him to be a versatile and tough guard.

Dennis played four years with the Shockers, which Cobb considers a big plus.

“Dennis has been around for a long time, but that’s what the transfer portal is for, getting old,” he said. “I consider him a great physical guard. He was the AAC Defensive Player of the Year. The interior defense has been good under Hurley, but the perimeter defense hasn’t been as strong. Dennis would make a huge difference.

Cobb thinks he would fit in well on the UConn roster.

“I really like the idea of ​​him playing with Alleyne,” he said. “Now you potentially have two elite players. You have an elite perimeter defender in Dennis. You have a sniper in Alleyne. These are guys who would be perfect pairings with Newton. With it, you look at the prototypical 3-D type.

Stats: Averaged 14.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists in the 2021-22 season.

Former Carolina coast guard Rudi Williams announced his final eight schools on Sunday, with the Huskies on the roster.

The 6-2 guard is an impressive offensive player, shooting 44.7 percent from 3 last season. He does a bit of everything on the floor.

“You’re talking about someone who can come in and be a global piece for this UConn team,” said national men’s basketball analyst John Fanta. “He’s a veteran. He is someone who can facilitate and score the ball at a solid level. What I love about Rudi is that not only is he good offensively, but he led Coastal with 48 interceptions last season and he’s a guy they relied on to defend in the backcourt at a high level.

Fanta says Williams fits Hurley’s system.

“That’s the most important thing in Hurley’s system is that you have to be able to defend and create momentum,” he said. “The Huskies played their best basketball last season when they could get out on the open court.

“In the four-out offense, his role would look like someone who helps and facilitates with Newton. He’s able to affect the game not just on the perimeter, but by being able to drive with dribble penetration in that four-out offense, one in and an easy out for the others. This guy can shoot the ball well beyond the arc, so he provides them with spacing. He’s someone who’s hit four 3s five times in total this season. He adapts well to this offense because not only can he take the open shot and make the open shot, but he can make plays for others.

Stats: Averaged 19.6 points, 5.9 rebounds and 3.7 assists.

Former Charlotte guard Jahmir Young listed his name on the transfer portal on April 7, but has mostly focused on the NBA Draft. According to Rothstein, UConn is one of the teams still interested in him.

Young is an exceptional offensive talent around which teams can build their attack. The 6-1 guard rebounds well for his position.

“He’s a great bucket player and a complete offensive player,” Fanta said. “The kind of guy you look at and say, when he comes in on any given night, he could explode offensively. If you look at his spreads over the last year, he can be a streaky shooter. In his last four games of the season, he’s gone 3-3 in 20. He understands what needs to happen to be an effective offensive player.

Goodman thinks he could be a missing piece for the Huskies.

“He’s a quick little guard who can really create,” he said. “For me, you can’t get enough of these guys. He can smash guys, get to the basket and is not a great shooter, but a streaky shooter. He can throw himself. He’s kind of that guy who was missing at UConn last year. RJ Cole was good, but this kid is even more of a prolific scorer. I can see him coming in and averaging 14-15 points per game. He would be a guy I think on UConn would be very high.