Huskies Beat Hoyas, Off the Court
UConn received a verbal commitment today from Jamaal Trice, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard out of Los Angeles who was on an official visit to UConn the past few days.
Trice’s commitment comes somewhat out of the blue. He told reporters prior to Monday’s UConn-Georgetown game that he had yet to receive any offers – including from UConn. He had interest from Wake Forest, West Virginia, Virginia Tech and South Florida, and Georgetown came in late, as well. In fact, the Hoyas were apparently on the phone with Trice’s father last night.
However, after enjoying his visit to UConn and receiving an offer from the Huskies yesterday, Trice decided to commit this morning.
UConn had heard about Trice through assistant coach Andre LaFleur’s California connections, but hadn’t seen him at all until a couple of weeks ago, when assistant Patrick Sellers took in one of Trice’s practices at Mt. Zion Christian Academy in Durham, N.C. Trice came across as a nice, personable kid; he’s a good student and a fast, athletic player who can shoot the ball well, too.
Trice played four years at Mater Dei High in Santa Ana, Calif., but decided for a year as a postgraduate at Mt. Zion to boost his stock. He played both with and against current UConn sophomore guard Donnell Beverly in high school and AAU.
On Monday, Trice said the thing he likes best about the Huskies is "their open play. I like to run and gun."
When asked with whom he'd compare his game, Trice said fellow L.A. native Paul Pierce. But make no mistake: Trice is a huge Lakers fan.
Trice's uncle, Robin Kirksey, played at Loyola-Marymount in the early-1990's.
The Huskies now have three incoming recruits for next season: Trice, 6-8 forward Alex Oriakhi and 6-6 swingman Jamal Coombs-McDaniel. The latter two are currently seniors at Tilton School in New Hampshire.
UConn could have another scholarship to offer next season if Hasheem Thabeet turns pro, as expected, or if anyone transfers. The Huskies chief recruiting target right now will be a shot-blocking big man.
The Huskies had hoped to see Josh Smith, a 6-foot-9, 280-pound center/power forward out of Kentwood High School in Kent, Wash., on their trip out to Seattle for the Gonzaga game. But Seattle's snowy weather cancelled all high school games while UConn was out there.