Earlier this month, high school junior Daniel Hamilton, the 6-6 shooting guard from Los Angeles, said "I can see myself at UConn," following his official visit to Storrs. A week later, Hamilton committed to the Huskies, though it won't be official until he signs his letter of intent, which can happen as early as November.
Hamilton reiterated this week how the team camaraderie attracted him to Ollie's program.
"It looked like they were a brotherhood," he said according to the Hartford Courant's Dom Amore, referring to the Huskies' season-opening win over Michigan State at Ramstein Air Base. "That's where I started to think I could see myself playing for UConn. Guys were unselfish, and the big thing was, it just looked like they were having fun. …
"They treated me like I was family," Hamilton said of the players after his official visit in early May. And the same held for coach Kevin Ollie, who relentlessly recruited Hamilton.
(Ollie) recruited me and (Hamilton's brother) Isaac at Crenshaw (High School)," Daniel told ESPN last week. "When Isaac committed he never stopped. A lot of the coaches that recruited Isaac stopped recruiting me. It's an up-and-coming program. Me and Coach Ollie have a great relationship. I knew him before he got the job there. It's an opportunity for me to come in and step in and do some damage."
And the same family atmosphere Hamilton felt with the players extended to the coaches.
"It was a great atmosphere," Hamilton said. "Coach Ollie seems very humble. He's a people person, everybody seems to like being around him. I've never heard anyone talk bad about him. … That's the kind of coach I wanted to play for, someone I can talk to any time, about anything."
The rough stretch the Huskies endured a year ago at this time -- the NCAA sanctions, players leaving the program,the retirement of Jim Calhoun -- seem like a distant memory. UConn won 20 games in 2012-13, have a talented, veteran group returning, and the future appears bright. Now, in addition to NC State transfer Rodney Purvis, who will join the Huskies in 2014, the team now has Hamilton.