UConn's Dan Hurley says Andre Jackson, Jordan Hawkins have chance to be 1st-round NBA picks | Zagsblog
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Sunday / September 25.
  • UConn’s Dan Hurley says Andre Jackson, Jordan Hawkins have chance to be 1st-round NBA picks

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — During Dan Hurley’s tenure as the head coach at UConn, the Huskies have already produced one NBA players in James Bouknight of the Charlotte Hornets.

    Now Hurley believes more could be on the way.

    Hurley thinks junior guard Andre Jackson and sophomore guard Jordan Hawkins both “have a chance to play themselves into the first round this year.”

    “Yeah, they look great right now, two guys that are coming into their prime potentially for us on the wing, so [it’s exciting],” Hurley told ZAGSBLOG at the New York Basketball Coaches Clinic at Archbishop Stepinac High School.

    Hurley said NBA scouts are high on both the 6-foot-6 Jackson, a high-flying wing who averaged 6.8 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.1 assists last season, and the 6-5 Hawkins, who averaged 5.8 points and 2.0 rebounds.

    “There’s a lot [of scouts] coming, probably the most since I’ve been here,” Hurley said.

    Junior big man Adama Sanogo is also attracting attention. He could also be the Big East Preseason Player of the Year after averaging 14.8 points and 8.8 rebounds last season. Hurley called him “the best big man in the league.”

    “There’s multiple guys in the program beyond those three guys,” Hurley said. “We’ve got some great young players in [Donovan] Clingan, Samson [Johnson] and [Alex] Karaban.”

    The 7-foot-2 Clingan, a local star from Bristol (CT) High School, “looks great” after losing 40 pounds, Hurley said. “He’s moving really well and he’s going to give us a 1-2 punch [with Sanogo] that hopefully will be the separator for us.”

    The Huskies were a 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament a year ago but were upset by No. 12 New Mexico State in the first round. Hurley, who has yet to win an NCAA Tournament game at UConn, said the goal is to get back to March Madness and make a run.

    “Just to continue to be better,” he said. “A couple years ago, we really turned around a bad trend of missing the NCAA tournament for years, so we returned to the tournament with a 7 seed and last year we were a 5 seed. But we didn’t play as well as we would’ve liked, so we want to continue to build on what we’ve done, have a better year than last year and then have my team more ready for March than we’ve been.”

    UCONN TO PAY KEVIN OLLIE ANOTHER $3.9 MILLION OVER FIRING

    (AP) – UConn announced Thursday it has agreed to pay former men’s basketball coach Kevin Ollie another $3.9 million to settle discrimination claims surrounding his 2018 firing.

    The money is in addition to the more than $11.1 million in back salary Ollie has already been paid after an arbitrator ruled in January that he was improperly fired under the school’s agreement with its professor’s union.

    “I am grateful that we were able to reach agreement,” Ollie said in a statement Thursday. “My time at UConn as a student-athlete and coach is something I will always cherish. I am pleased that this matter is now fully and finally resolved.”

    Ollie, a former UConn point guard who guided the Huskies to a 127-79 record and the 2014 national championship in six seasons as head coach, was let go after two losing seasons. UConn also stopped paying him under his contract, citing numerous NCAA violations in terminating the deal.

    UCONN ON THE RECRUITING TRAIL

    Hurley and associate head coach Kimani Young have hit the recruiting trail hard in recent days. On Wednesday they saw Class of 2024 Hudson (NJ) Catholic point guard Tahaad Pettiford, who takes an official to Auburn this weekend.

    On Wednesday, Hurley and Young met with Class of 2024 Stepinac point guard Boogie Fland, the No. 12 prospect in his class per 247Sports.com. Coaches from Oregon, North Carolina, Kansas and Villanova were also on hand Wednesday for Fland, who is in the process of setting up visits.

    Hurley and Young then went to see Class of 2023 7-footer Youssouf Singare of Our Saviour Lutheran, who took an unofficial visit last weekend, and Class of 2023 commit Jayden Ross of Long Island Lutheran.

    Ross and Singare were both on campus last weekend along with uncommitted 4-star wing Jaylin Stewart and commits Stephon Castle and Solo Ball. Hurley and UConn assistant Luke Murray also saw Ball on Wednesday.

    Asked his message to Stewart and Singare, Castle told ZAGSBLOG, “To complete our class, build a brotherhood and bring UConn back.”

    BOB HURLEY SR. TO BE HONORED

    Bob Hurley Sr. will be honored Nov 19 at Fordham University as the first recipient of the Tom Konchalski “Values of the Game Award.” The Hurley family was very close with Tom, who passed on Feb. 8, 2021 from prostate cancer after half a century as a legendary New York-area scout.

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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.