Makai Ashton-Langford was once part of the UConn basketball future, but Friday afternoon the 40th-ranked player in the Class of 2017 had a change of heart.
“I would like to thank the University of Connecticut for the opportunity, but due to recent turn of events I have been granted my release and will reopen my recruitment without limitations and will discuss my decision over with my family,” Ashton-Langford tweeted.
Ashton-Langford was expected to compete with returning starter Jalen Adams and redshirt freshmen Alterique Gilbert for playing time at the point guard spot next season. Instead, the Brewster Academy and Mass Rivals star will be looking for a new school.
The decision by Ashton-Langford is the latest in a busy week for the Huskies, who have made plenty of news off the court. Associate head coach Glen Miller was let go over the weekend and freshman Vance Jackson and sophomore Steve Enoch announced they would transfer due to dissatisfaction with their roles on the team.
Miller’s departure played a role in Ashton-Langford, according to one source.
“Glen Miller leaving made him take another look at the opportunity to have the ball in his hand right away,” the source said.
The roster upheaval follows UConn finishing with their first losing season in 30 years, at 16-17.
The one bit of positive news for head coach Kevin Ollie’s program was the hiring of associate head coach Raphael Chillious, who comes to the program with a reputation for being a high-level recruiter.
Chillious’ presence already seems to be making an impact with former Washington recruit Blake Harris, a point guard, expected to visit in mid-April (18-19) to Storrs, Conn. and another former 2017 Washington recruit, Mamoudou Diarra, also expected to visit, possibly as early as next week.
UConn already has freshman Mamadou Diarra, who sat out this season due to chronic knee problems, but the other Diarra along with Harris became available following the firing of Lorenzo Romar, along with Chillious, at UW.
In addition to Harris, the Huskies could be back in play for point guard Tremont Waters, who is seeking his release from Georgetown. Waters, a Connecticut native, was originally recruited by UConn along with multiple other schools before opting for the Hoyas.
However, Waters asked for his release several weeks ago just before the Hoyas fired head coach John Thompson III.
The Huskies now have four open scholarships for the 2017-18 season.
So now that's 4 scholarships open for next year. pic.twitter.com/gTsqe4lgrM
— tcf15 (@tcf_15) March 31, 2017