Recruit Xavier Rathan-Mayes to Visit UConn

NBC Connecticut

Time waits for no man. And neither does recruiting, which is now officially in the post-Calhoun era at UConn. Coach Kevin Ollie and his staff have plenty of experience finding talented high school kids and selling them on the Huskies, but it will still be different without Calhoun beating the bushes alongside them.

But there's no time to lament their fate -- there's too much work to do. After all, UConn lost five players in the spring and NCAA sanctions prohibit them from taking part in the 2013 postseason. Not exactly the circumstances that have recruits kicking in the door to be a part of. That doesn't mean there isn't plenty of interest just that the Huskies' staff has to work a little harder.

Which brings us to guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes of Huntington Prep (West Virginia). He's scheduled to visit Illinois this weekend and will be in Storrs the weekend after that for his official visit, according to the New Haven Register's David Borges.

This past Monday, Kevin Ollie and assistant Karl Hobbs met with Rathan-Mayes at Huntington Prep.

"It was great," the senior told Borges. "We had a great discussion, talked about the way I'd fit into the program. I really love Coach Ollie. He's just a great person, a great guy. I think he's definitely going to do special things with UConn in the future."

This point can't be emphasized enough. Yes, Calhoun had the stature, the legacy and the resume but Ollie, who's just 39 years old, can much better relate to these players. Still, there's no denying (or replacing) Calhoun's cachet.

"It's sad to see Coach Calhoun go out like that, after having such a great career, bringing UConn basketball from nothing to a national powerhouse," Rathan-Mayes said. "But I'm really happy for Coach Ollie. We've had a great relationship for a year and a bit. Just the kind of guy he is, he really deserves it."

Rathan-Mayes plans to announce his college plans in mid-October and it sounds like the Huskies have as good a chance as anybody.

"It definitely plays a factor, my dad playing at Florida State," he said. "Not a lot of kids can say their dad played at the same school recruiting you. My dad being from Connecticut, me playing at UConn when I was younger, I think it would be just as special. I know a lot of people there from Hillhouse, friends and family's down there."

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