Most Important UConn Recruit All Time | The Boneyard

Most Important UConn Recruit All Time

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jleves

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Figured we have a couple days before the first game, so I wanted to see what other people think.

Who is the single most important recruit UConn has ever landed? I'll present a list that I'm sure others will add to:

Chris Smith - first really big recruit for JC at UConn. Helped to start Huskymania and make UConn a household name.

Ray Allen - huge get who propelled UConn to Big East Championships and cemented UConn as a national power and destination school for premier recruits. He continues to shed a glowing light on UConn being the all time NBA 3 point scorer by a long shot.

Rip Hamilton - MVP on UConns first National Championship team and had a great NBA career.

El-Amin - late unexpected commit who was the missing piece to the first NC. If we don't that first one in 99, what is UConn's and JC's future?

Kemba - Our backup plan to Jennings comes in and helps us to to a final four as a frosh and carries the team on his back to our third NC when everyone said JC was done and UConn was about to fade into oblivion.

Napier - Once again the demise of UConn is predicted and this kid stays when others are scattering like cockroaches when a light is turned on. He wills his team to win a 4th NC under a new coach, in a crappy league and makes it impossible not to consider UConn a blue blood.

My vote: Khalid El-Amin. He was the jump start to the juggernaut. Second place:Napier. He made the transition from a HOF coach to the new coach successful which almost never happens.
 
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Figured we have a couple days before the first game, so I wanted to see what other people think.

Who is the single most important recruit UConn has ever landed? I'll present a list that I'm sure others will add to:

Chris Smith - first really big recruit for JC at UConn. Helped to start Huskymania and make UConn a household name.

Ray Allen - huge get who propelled UConn to Big East Championships and cemented UConn as a national power and destination school for premier recruits. He continues to shed a glowing light on UConn being the all time NBA 3 point scorer by a long shot.

Rip Hamilton - MVP on UConns first National Championship team and had a great NBA career.

El-Amin - late unexpected commit who was the missing piece to the first NC. If we don't that first one in 99, what is UConn's and JC's future?

Kemba - Our backup plan to Jennings comes in and helps us to to a final four as a frosh and carries the team on his back to our third NC when everyone said JC was done and UConn was about to fade into oblivion.

Napier - Once again the demise of UConn is predicted and this kid stays when others are scattering like cockroaches when a light is turned on. He wills his team to win a 4th NC under a new coach, in a crappy league and makes it impossible not to consider UConn a blue blood.

My vote: Khalid El-Amin. He was the jump start to the juggernaut. Second place:Napier. He made the transition from a HOF coach to the new coach successful which almost never happens.

I kind of agree with you. As crazy as it sounds (compared to all the other highly rated recruits and particularly since KEA was probably the least athletic big name prep to matriculate at UConn), El-Amin was that final and pivotal piece to our 1st Final Four and title. All the subsequent titles, some especially at critical junctures in this program's history might never have come without that 1st.
 
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Donyell Marshall.... ??? Great question ... So hard to decide this..
Ray Ray
Smitty
Ct?
 
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maybe not most important recruit, but most important player might be Kemba when this thing is all said and done years and years from now
 
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Daniel Hamilton and Jalen Adams could both work their way into the conversation. But for now, I'll say Rip and Bazz.
 
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Most important player is a lot different than most important recruit.

I would argue the most important recruit was Donyell Marshall -- a highly-touted prospect who proved to subsequent generations of recruits that UConn is an appropriate landing spot for top talent. He also initiated, starting in his junior year in 1994, a 13-year run of nearly year-to-year dominance (9 #1 or #2 seeds).
 
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Most important player is a lot different than most important recruit.

I would argue the most important recruit was Donyell Marshall -- a highly-touted prospect who proved to subsequent generations of recruits that UConn is an appropriate landing spot for top talent. He also initiated, starting in his junior year in 1994, a 13-year run of nearly year-to-year dominance (9 #1 or #2 seeds).
I put Donyell pretty high up in terms of importance as well (probably top 5 even), but I can't even put him above his college teammate, Ray Allen. I have to believe that Ray helped land a lot of recruits to UConn with his achievements in the NBA.
 
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Most important player is a lot different than most important recruit.

I would argue the most important recruit was Donyell Marshall -- a highly-touted prospect who proved to subsequent generations of recruits that UConn is an appropriate landing spot for top talent. He also initiated, starting in his junior year in 1994, a 13-year run of nearly year-to-year dominance (9 #1 or #2 seeds).

Thank God you were in diapers while 'Yell was playing so we didn't have to hear you talk about how the FL game ruined the UCONN brand.
 
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I'll go a little outside the box and suggest Henefeld. The Dream Season doesn't happen without him. That season was huge in its own right, but also in attracting the Marshall-Marshall-Ollie-Fair class. And obviously Henefeld's influence was a huge factor in getting Sheffer.

That one year of influence still echoes in this program.
 
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Ricky Moore and Rashamel Jones both 3 year captains played with Ray, stuck around for the rebuild in the 96-97 season and accepted their roles in order to win it all in 99, both are coaching, of course Ricky as we all know is on our coaching staff.
 

Chin Diesel

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Just for everyone's SA (Situational Awareness), JC has already stated that Chris Smith was the most important recruit because he was a big time in-state recruit who could have played anywhere but stayed home.

That stopped the flood gates of Ct players going elsewhere.

So, everyone here is entitled to their opinion and the rationale for their opinion, but any answer other than Chris Smith better be really good because you're opinion and rationale is in conflict with JC's.
 

joober jones

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It's a tie between Napier and Ollie. They're the two who are most responsible from saving us from falling out of the basketball elite and becoming just another team. We were damn lucky to get the right guys at the right time.
 
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Donyell Marshall.... ??? Great question ... So hard to decide this..
Ray Ray
Smitty
Ct?
Donyell was probably the highest ranking recruit ever .
I think top 5
Emeka was also a great recruit.
Corney Thompson was so highly regarded out of high school that getting him propelled us into the Big East. So he might be the most critical recruit of all time.
Smitty was a great player and JC first great Connecticut recruit.
But Earl Kelly,Mike McKay ,Tony Hanson Al Westin and Corny all were Homegrown.
In fact the 1979 NCAA team started 5 Connecticut Kids. With Jeff Carr and Thompssin that was a pretty good rebounding team. McKay wasn't too bad a scorer either.
I believe Abromitis was also on that team. Along with Bobby The shot Dulin.
 
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One could easily argue Oliie or Allen, but Khalid brought the swagger to this program. That swagger has remained ever since.
 
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did huskies ever go 1 on 1 with blue bloody buddies to win a recruit?

define budies vs duddies (1975:first yr ncaa allowed more than 1 team from same conf as result tourney got much more difficult:example-1974 great acc club ncstate went to tourney because they beat great maryland club in acc tourney so nit got maryland and ncstate got easy road to ncca trophy)

duddies: indiana:1940 and 1953 titles bogus and currently not relevant, ucla:eek:nly 1995 title faced the iron and guess what, they had to go thru UCONN, not only are all previous ucla titles bogus because of easy road but i think walton said all those teams were bankrolled for wooden by boosters!) north carolina just bogus in toto with current issues and some titles in easy era

current blue bloodsy buddies: duke, ky, ks, UCONN

i think JC said that dook wanted smitty bad so i guess SmittY is correct answer because UCONN had to beat devils for recruit

also, not only is current top ranked blue blood UCONN due to on court results overall and recent final 4 twin victories vs devils and ky; but UCONN is also top ranked "peoples choice" and "moral" champion blue blood when comparing them to especially "devils"(they really need to consider a name change), ky with all their bad reputations and it seems kansas is just a nondescript that somehow keeps getting mega recruits to play in cornfields but ultimately failed because they could not land CornY

also since UCONN is the moral champ, the central state devils of new britain need to be eradicated from schedule pronto to avoid harming UCONN rep
 
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Just for everyone's SA (Situational Awareness), JC has already stated that Chris Smith was the most important recruit because he was a big time in-state recruit who could have played anywhere but stayed home.

That stopped the flood gates of Ct players going elsewhere.

So, everyone here is entitled to their opinion and the rationale for their opinion, but any answer other than Chris Smith better be really good because you're opinion and rationale is in conflict with JC's.

The problem with this often stated opinion is that Chris Smith was a very good player, but his recruitment didn't lead to a flood of Connecticut players to UConn. Even if it had, the period immediately following had a very weak group of Connecticut players. There were
very few top fifty players, and most didn't go to UConn. Rash Jones is an exception, but consider Camby and another HPHS player
Kendrick Moore (?). He went to Missouri and transferred to PC; he wasn't a success at either.

In re JC, well he said a lot of things that I don't agree with; in fact many became humorous tag lines on the Boneyard. It is important
what he did, not what he said.

At the time he was recruited, Corny Thompson was a much bigger deal than Chris Smith. His recruitment didn't open the floodgates
during the period when there was a lot of local talent. Mike McKay and Chuck Aleksinas played with Thompson, but after that
in state recruiting sucked despite a lot of talent. Of course Dom Perno sucked as a coach, and he was even worse as a program administrator. Most people totally ignore the atrocious state of the program when Calhoun arrived, by that I refer to player monitoring
and academic support. The talent wasn't that bad. Despite poisoning the well of instate recruiting, Perno still brought in decent players.
 
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Figured we have a couple days before the first game, so I wanted to see what other people think.

Who is the single most important recruit UConn has ever landed? I'll present a list that I'm sure others will add to:

Chris Smith - first really big recruit for JC at UConn. Helped to start Huskymania and make UConn a household name.

Ray Allen - huge get who propelled UConn to Big East Championships and cemented UConn as a national power and destination school for premier recruits. He continues to shed a glowing light on UConn being the all time NBA 3 point scorer by a long shot.

Rip Hamilton - MVP on UConns first National Championship team and had a great NBA career.

El-Amin - late unexpected commit who was the missing piece to the first NC. If we don't that first one in 99, what is UConn's and JC's future?

Kemba - Our backup plan to Jennings comes in and helps us to to a final four as a frosh and carries the team on his back to our third NC when everyone said JC was done and UConn was about to fade into oblivion.

Napier - Once again the demise of UConn is predicted and this kid stays when others are scattering like cockroaches when a light is turned on. He wills his team to win a 4th NC under a new coach, in a crappy league and makes it impossible not to consider UConn a blue blood.

My vote: Khalid El-Amin. He was the jump start to the juggernaut. Second place:Napier. He made the transition from a HOF coach to the new coach successful which almost never happens.

Not only is Nadav Henefeld (The Gaza Stripper) the most important UConn recruit of all time, but I submit that he comprises the Top Ten all by himself. Everyone else starts at #11. Here is what UConn achieved in Henefeld's one season, 1989-90:

First ever Top 15 in national polls (followed by Top 10 and top 5).
First ever Big East regular season title
First ever Big East tournament title
First ever Top Seed in NCAA tournament
First ever Sweet 16 in NCAA 64-team field
First ever Elite 8 in NCAA 64-team field
First ever national media profiles for a UConn player (ESPN, CBS, Sports Illustrated)

Was Henefeld the key player on that team? No one who watched in sheer awe would even ask such a question. Was he the sole reason for UConn's first ever national recruiting class? Absolutely. And remember -- he not only brought Donyell to UConn, he brough Kevin Ollie to UConn. And how important was THAT?

How soon we forget!
 
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