Hurley picks up first two commitments for UConn men's basketball

Published on Monday, 16 April 2018 15:33
Written by NEILL OSTROUT

JOURNAL INQUIRER

Dan Hurley picked up his first two commitments to the UConn men’s basketball team over the weekend, and the players are certainly familiar names to the Husky coaching staff.

Brendan Adams, a 6-foot-3 guard from Baltimore who originally committed to play for Hurley at Rhode Island, pledged to join the Huskies’ class of 2018 on Sunday after an official visit to Storrs over the weekend.

In addition, Duquesne graduate transfer Tarin Smith, a 6-foot-2 guard who played in high school for Hurley’s father Bob at St. Anthony’s in Jersey City, New Jersey, also committed Sunday to join the Huskies for the upcoming season. Smith also visited UConn this weekend.

Adams, who is the younger brother of St. Bonaventure guard Jaylen Adams, will now likely get a chance to play alongside UConn guard Jalen Adams.

He said it was far from a foregone conclusion that he would follow Hurley when he left the Rams for the Huskies.

“When I first de-committed, I didn’t know what to expect I guess. There were people telling me this and that,” Adams said by phone Sunday.

In fact, Adams wasn’t even sure at first he wanted to back out from his pledge to Rhode Island.

“That was a tough decision for me, too, because I had developed a close relationship with coach (David) Cox,” Adams said of the former Hurley assistant who replaced him as head coach in Kingston.

Adams, a top-150 national recruit who averaged 18 points and four rebounds per game at Calvert Hall in Baltimore, was also considering Xavier, George Mason and Seton Hall after deciding not to go to URI.

“After I got my release, the first person I heard from was coach Hurley,” Adams said. “There were a couple different schools calling me but I knew I didn’t have a lot of time to develop relationships with them. But I knew coach Hurley and I knew the staff.”

The 22-year-old Smith averaged 12.4 points and 3.2 assists last season for the Dukes.

Smith began his college career at Nebraska, where he was coached by Kenya Hunter for one season. The former Cornhusker assistant recently joined Hurley’s staff at UConn.

Smith said Sunday evening that he saw on his visit that Hurley had already implemented something of an atmosphere shift and culture shift.

He was also considering Oklahoma, Nevada, Seton Hall and Rutgers, before opting to spend a graduate season in Storrs.

“I think it was just the best fit I could has for. All the pieces fit,” Smith said.

The fact that Smith will playing for his second coach named Hurley, and Adams will be playing with a player who shares his brother’s name, may make things a little confusing but also could add to the fun.



Posted in New Britain Herald, UConn on Monday, 16 April 2018 15:33. Updated: Monday, 16 April 2018 15:36.