The UConn men’s basketball team is adding some meat to its lineup.
Isaiah Whaley, a 6-foot-9 power forward from Gastonia, North Carolina who as a child earned the nickname “Pork Chop,” committed to join the Huskies Thursday night. Whaley, who verbally pledged his services to UConn coach Kevin Ollie while on an official visit to the Storrs campus, becomes the third member of the Huskies’ Class of 2017.
Whaley, who at 190 pounds is not exactly the most “meaty” player, is finishing a post graduate season at Mount Zion prep in Baltimore.
“Really it’s just a great fit for me,” Whaley told Scout.com late Thursday night. “Their plans fit my plans. They run a high tempo offense and that’s the offense I fit in.”
Whaley had also been considering Seton Hall and Miami (Ohio) among others before choosing the Huskies.
Whaley said working with UConn’s new strength and conditioning coordinator Carlos Daniel to add some meat to his bones helped sway his decision.
“One of their coaches worked with one of my favorite NBA players, Anthony Davis,” Whaley said. “The strength coach, I was impressed with what he was talking about. He got him to gain weight and that’s what I want him to do with me. That set it over the top.”
Whaley joins Josh Carlton and Tyler Polley in UConn’s incoming class of freshmen. The Huskies have also added junior college transfer Eric Cobb and graduate transfer Antwoine Anderson.
Coming off an injury-riddled 16-17 season, one that saw three players graduate and three players transfer after the season, the Huskies continue to revamp their roster.
Sid Wilson, a 6-7 small forward among the top players still available in the Class of 2017, is also finishing up an official visit to UConn and could be announcing his college choice soon. UConn also remains interested in point guard Tremont Waters, a point guard from New Haven who originally committed to Georgetown but has re-opened his recruitment.
Whaley averaged 17.5 points, 9.1. rebounds and 4.7 blocks as a junior at Ashbrook (N.C.) High before attending Mount Zion.