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Sam Cassell Jr. commits to UConn; Louisville basketball coaches reportedly backed off late
Sam Cassell Jr., son of the former NBA player and current assistant coach, committed to Connecticut on Wednesday after listing the University of Louisville in his final two schools.
Cassell made the announcement on his Twitter account, saying: “Blessed to say that I have committed to the University of Connecticut.”
U of L reportedly stopped off its recruitment of the combo guard Cassell over the weekend, with the Cardinals’ coaches figuring they had enough talent already in their backcourt.
“Louisville had been looking at Cassell Jr. as a possible replacement for JaQuan Lyle, who recently decommitted,” wrote Adam Zagoria of Zagsblog.com on Sunday. “UConn, meantime, is looking to add to a backcourt that will lose Shabazz Napier and possibly Ryan Boatright next year.”
Chris Jones enters this season with two years of eligibility, while incoming freshmen Terry Rozier and Anton Gill have four. U of L also has Seattle area guard Shaqquan Aaron, rated the 27th-best player in the 2014 class, committed.
Cassell originally signed with Maryland out of high school but was declared academically ineligible when his credits didn’t transfer from prep school. The 6-foot-3 combo guard enrolled at Florida’s Chipola College, which is coached by former U of L student manager Patrick Blake, and recently received a scholarship offer from U of L’s staff.
“They’ve been a fan of Sam’s for a while, and I think the decommitment (of Lyle) definitely opened up a spot that allowed them to pursue Sam,” Blake told The Courier-Journal last month. “…His game is very similar to his dad’s. He’s really crafty, a big-time shooter ... Where he’s really developed with us is being able to get other people shots. He’s always been able to score, but his ability to create for others has really elevated his game.”
Cassell also made visits to Missouri and Marquette before making his decision.
Along with the guard Aaron, U of L’s 2014 class consists of big man Chinanu Onuaku, who committed last Friday, and power forward Jaylen Johnson. Each are rated four-star prospects by Rivals.com.