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What happens to UConn's top-10 class if Dan Hurley leaves for the Lakers?

NJ.com

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski's early-morning report linking UConn head coach Dan Hurley to the open Los Angeles Lakers job sent shockwaves through college basketball and shook things with extra gusto in Stores, Conn., where the Huskies’ quest for a historic three-peat is set to begin five months from now.

Nothing on that front is set in stone, obviously, but with the Lakers set to make a large offer in an attempt to lure the UConn coach to the NBA, things surrounding the defending champs are looking a lot less stable than they did even 24 hours ago.

The aforementioned uncertainty extends to the Huskies’ three-member 2024 high school recruiting class, as the program could lose a pile of young talent should it undergo a coaching change at this late juncture.

Below, Rivals national recruiting analyst Rob Cassidy explores which UConn signees might jet in the case of Hurley’s departure and even takes a stab at where each might land if he decides to do so.

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HOW LIKELY IS HE TO BOLT? Abraham would probably take a long look at his options if Hurley ultimately lands with the Lakers. The four-star star forward was the first commitment in the Huskies’ 2024 class and made the call last July. His decision was based heavily on his relationship with the UConn coaching staff and Hurley in particular. Since pulling the trigger on his commitment on July 14 of last year, Abraham has had plenty of time to form an even stronger bond with Hurley and his assistants, so it’s understandable that the celebrated head coach’s sudden exit would be a shock to the system should it come to fruition.

WHERE HE MIGHT GO: Marquette, Virginia Tech and Providence joined UConn on Abraham’s list of finalists. Marquette had nearly zero attrition this offseason, however, so it might be difficult for the Golden Eagles to find a scholarship for Abraham this late in the cycle. Hot-recruiting Providence remains in the market and could still be a threat, especially seeing as though the program is making a reclassification decision with 2025 pledge Oswin Erhunmwunse. In-state Virginia Tech, which did a good job courting the Fairfax, Va., native the first time around, will also probably kick the door should the four-star’s recruitment open once again.

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HOW LIKELY IS HE TO BOLT? McNeeley could go either way, and it’s easy to see the reasons why. On one hand, would the five-star wing have the desire or the energy to navigate a third college recruitment? McNeeley, who was once committed to Indiana, took nearly two months to land at UConn after backing off his pledge to the Hoosiers. He seemed a bit overwhelmed by the stress of his process by the end. On the other hand, Hurley’s ability to rattle off national titles while placing prospects in the NBA Draft was the allure for the in-demand forward. Then there’s the fact that McNeeley is from Texas and has nearly zero ties to Northeast other than a desire to play for Hurley’s UConn juggernaut. His decision to stick with the Huskies or take yet another look around would likely hinge on who the program tabbed as its next coach should Hurley decide to actually make the jump to the pros.

WHERE HE MIGHT GO: Kansas was once involved with McNeeley but seems almost totally out of the question these days, as Bill Self’s 2024-25 roster feels finished. Texas should be monitored. So should Oklahoma. The Longhorns and Sooners were both among the involved parties months ago, when McNeeley chose Indiana. A late-arriving suitor with an open scholarship could also push its way into the fray. Would McNeeley consider a re-commitment to Indiana, which now boasts a strong 2024 roster?

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HOW LIKELY IS HE TO BOLT? Of UConn’s three high school signees, Nowell seems least likely to hit the bricks based solely on how many programs already have a high school point guard signed, sealed and delivered. That said, the Philly-based Nowell would definitely have at least a couple schools attempting to reshuffle their scholarship deck and welcome him to the fold. Nowell has been committed to UConn for roughly 10 months, after all, so it would be natural to feel at least a little scorned by Hurley deciding to bolt for the NBA five months prior to his freshman season tipping off.

WHERE HE MIGHT GO: For Nowell it would be about finding a fit, which may prove difficult to do at the 11th hour. The four-star guard chose Hurley’s Huskies over finalists Tennessee, Georgia Tech and Kentucky. Kentucky is under different leadership than it was back when it was courting Nowell and has a freshman point guard in Travis Perry. Neither Georgia Tech nor Tennessee landed a pure point guard in this class, however, and could still be interested in Nowell should they find room on their respective rosters. A new suitor could also emerge, as the strong, steady Nowell is the No. 27 prospect in the Rivals150 and could help any number of high-major schools with an open scholarship.

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