Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
UConn moves into AP Poll for first time in 4 seasons, big recruiting week ahead
By ADAM ZAGORIA
This could turn into an eventful week for UConn on several fronts.
On Monday, Dan Hurley and the Huskies re-entered the AP Top 25 poll at No. 25. It’s UConn’s first time being ranked since reaching No. 18 in 2016-17.
Gonzaga, Baylor, Villanova, Texas, Iowa and Kansas remained the top six.
The Huskies (6-1) will take a three-game winning streak into Monday’s game at DePaul, for which star guard James Bouknight (elbow) is a game-time decision.
Also on Monday, UConn forward Tyler Polley was named Big East Player of the Week. In a 65-54 victory at Marquette, the senior picked up the offense when Bouknight was injured to score a career-high 23 points, all in the second half. He shot 8-of-9 from the field, including 5-of-6 from 3-point range. In a 72-60 win at Butler, the 6-9 forward scored a game-high 19 points, making 5-of-8 from beyond the arc. For the week, Polley averaged 21.0 points and shot 71.4 percent from 3-point range.
Meantime, on Thursday, UConn hopes to add Class of 2022 Roselle (N.J.) Catholic and Team Final guard Corey Floyd Jr., who will announce his college commitment. Floyd is considering a number of schools including UConn, Rutgers and Villanova.
“C.J. is a great player who is just scratching the surface of his talent,” RC coach Dave Boff said. “His best basketball is still ahead of him. Every year at RC he has added to his skill set as he continued to grow and get stronger. He now has that rare combination of great skill, strength and explosive athleticism that allows him to be a special player.”
“He’s a hard worker who loves being in the gym. With two years left in HS I’m excited to see his continued development.”
UConn already has several New Jersey players on its roster, including R.J. Cole, Jalen Gaffney and Adama Sanogo, while Patrick School forward Samson Johnsonis committed for 2021.
“Recruiting New Jersey and the metropolitan area is a huge part of our recruiting plan, the strong footprint that we want in terms of the geography of our approach,” Hurley, a Jersey City native and former Seton Hall standout and Rutgers assistant coach, said in November in response to a question from NJ Advance Media.
“Guys that play high school and AAU and grassroots ball in Jersey, they have the makeup. They’ve got toughness, they’ve got the edge to come and play at a place like UConn, and handle the pressure and expectations of playing at a place like UConn.”
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.