Coach Kevin Ollie's 2014 recruiting class added another member Wednesday, when Sam Cassell Jr. made an oral commitment to the program. As often happens in this day and age, he made the announcement via Twitter.
"Blessed to say that I have committed to the University of Connecticut #UCONN #huskynation "
Cassell, the son of former Florida St. and NBA standout Sam Cassell, currently plays for Chipola College, a Florida junior college. He had committed to Maryland but he was declared academically ineligible. He had visited several schools, including UConn and Louisville. In fact, the Cardinals appeared to have the inside track until last week when it was reported that the school was no longer recruiting Cassell.
“They’ve been a fan of Sam’s for a while, and I think the decommitment (of JaQuan Lyle) definitely opened up a spot that allowed them to pursue Sam,” Cassel's junior college coach Patrick Blake told the Louisville Courier-Journal last Thursday. “…His game is very similar to his dad’s. He’s really crafty, a big-time shooter ... Where he’s really developed with us is being able to get other people shots. He’s always been able to score, but his ability to create for others has really elevated his game."
Now Louisville's loss is UConn's gain. It also didn't hurt that Cassell Sr. and Ollie were teammates with the Milwaukee Bucks during the 2002-03 season and the two remain close friends.
Meanwhile, Cassell Jr.'s Twitter feed was full of well wishes Wednesday afternoon, including this from future teammate Rodney Purvis, the former NC State standout now a member of UConn's 2014 recruiting class.
"My dawg @sam2ss2ll just joined the family. Happy my bro finally a husky, welcome him to the backcourt club lol !!!"
In addition to Purvis, Cassell will join swingman Daniel Hamilton and power forward Rakim Lubin in the '14 class. As the Hartford Courant's Dom Amore points out, Ollie appears to have accomplished all his recruiting goals with this group, although small forward Devin Robinson is set to visit Oct. 18, which also happens to be First Night.