Sports: Hur­ley lands a pair of guards as his first re­cruits at UConn

Guards Tarin Smith and Bren­dan Adams com­mit

The Day - - FRONT PAGE - By GAVIN KEEFE Day Sports Writer

Dan Hur­ley and his staff had a pro­duc­tive week­end, land­ing the first two re­cruits of his UConn head coach­ing ca­reer.

Guard Tarin Smith, a grad­u­ate trans­fer out of Duquesne, and 6-foot-4 guard Bren­dan Adams of Bal­ti­more made com­mit­ments to the pro­gram on Sun­day. They vis­ited the Storrs cam­pus over the week­end.

They both cited that their strong re­la­tion­ship with the UConn coach­ing staff played a ma­jor role in their de­ci­sion.

"I just have a great re­la­tion­ship with the coach­ing staff...," Smith said. "I like the cam­pus and like the (pro­gram's) his­tory. I think it is a great place to play."

Both guards have ties to Hur­ley and his staff.

Smith, who's from Ocean Town­ship, N.J., played for Hur­ley's fa­ther, Bob Sr., at St. An­thony High School. While in mid­dle school, he at­tended one of Dan Hur­ley's St. Bene­dict bas­ket­ball camps.

At Duquesne, Smith was in the same con­fer­ence — the At­lantic 10 — as Rhode Is­land, Hur­ley's pre­vi­ous coach­ing home. Last sea­son against URI, Smith had six points, four re­bounds and three as­sists in a 61-58 loss on Jan. 27 in Kingston.

Smith was named the At­lantic 10 sixth man of the year, av­er­ag­ing 12.4 points, 3.0 re­bounds and 3.2 as­sists in 28.5 min­utes per game. He shot 41.4 per­cent from the field and 33.3 per­cent from 3-point range.

"I think its go­ing to be fun," Smith said of play­ing for Hur­ley. "(Coach Hur­ley) buys into his guys. He's def­i­nitely into it. He's re­ally in­tense. I'm ex­cited."

Smith also has a con­nec­tion to re­cently hired UConn as­sis­tant Kenya Hunter. He played his fresh­man year at Ne­braska when Hunter was on the staff there.

"Just know­ing I had some­one on the staff I could trust and knew be­fore, it was big," Smith said.

Adams is one of Hur­ley's for­mer re­cruits at URI. When Hur­ley left for UConn late last month, Adams de­cided to re-open his search and asked for a re­lease from his let­ter of in­tent.

Ge­or­gia, Se­ton Hall, Xavier and George Ma­son also reached out to Adams, who av­er­aged 18 points, four re­bounds and three as­sists at Calvert Hall dur­ing his se­nior year.

"I feel a big part of me com­mit­ting to UConn is the re­la­tion­ship I al­ready had with coach Hur­ley and also (as­sis­tant) coach Ki­mani (Young) who re­cruited me at Min­nesota," Adams said. "Once I got on cam­pus it be­came an easy de­ci­sion. It felt like a good fit and I had a good re­la­tion­ship with those guys so I knew they had my best in­ter­est at heart."

Adams en­joyed hang­ing out with his fu­ture UConn bas­ket­ball team­mates. He also spent time with Smith.

"I thought they were all good guys," Adams said. "That was a big part of me com­mit­ting, too. They felt like good peo­ple and that we could do some­thing big and turn it into the old UConn. I'm ex­cited to get started."

Adams comes from an ath­letic fam­ily.

His older brother, Jaylen, re­cently com­pleted his se­nior sea­son at St. Bonaventure, where he was the At­lantic-10 Con­fer­ence's co-player of the year. His mother, Yolanda, was a col­lege bas­ket­ball player at Wes­ley Col­lege in Delaware and fa­ther, Dar­ryl, played foot­ball at Mary­land.

With the ad­di­tion of Adams and Smith, UConn will have five guards on the ros­ter next sea­son, join­ing Jalen Adams, Chris­tian Vi­tal and Al­terique Gil­bert.

That's if all the re­turn­ing Huskies de­cide to stay with the pro­gram.

Hur­ley ran a perime­ter-power at­tack at Rhode Is­land, start­ing as many as four guards on his At­lantic-10 reg­u­lar sea­son cham­pi­onship and NCAA tour­na­ment team this past sea­son.

The Huskies will likely tar­get a front­court player to fill their last re­main­ing schol­ar­ship. g.keefe@theday.com

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