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Boatright commits to play at UConn

By Gavin Keefe

Publication: The Day

Published November 09. 2010 4:00AM

Ryan Boatright always had an interest in playing for the UConn men's basketball program.

His mother needed some convincing before her son a 5-foot-11 point guard out of Aurora, Ill., gave UConn a verbal commitment.

During their official recruiting visit to Storrs the weekend of Oct. 30, Tanesha Boatright asked the coaching staff questions about the program's NCAA troubles, including possible sanctions the Huskies will face when the NCAA Committee on Infractions announces its decision in the next month or two.

She came away satisfied with the answers.

"I did my mom thing," Tanesha Boatright said Monday. "I felt comfortable with the answers that I got. Coach (Andre) LaFleur, coach (Kevin) Ollie and coach (Jim) Calhoun, they were honest. They didn't try to hide or sugar-coat anything.

"We're going into it with open eyes. We're going into with faith. I believe it will all work."

Boatright averaged 26.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 3.3 steals last season for Aurora East High School. He's rated 48th overall in the Class of 2011 and 11th best point guard by Rivals.com, a recruiting web site.

"I'm quick, fast, crafty and athletic," said Boatright, describing his strengths. "I can shoot."

He also considered Oklahoma and UNLV.

The Huskies re-entered the recruiting picture last month when Boatright rescinded an oral commitment to West Virginia after the Mountaineers also received a commitment from guard Jabarie Hinds. As an eighth-grader, he also backed out of a decision to attend USC when coach Tim Floyd left.

"Ryan always had an interest in UConn," Tanesha Boatright said. "When all the (NCAA) allegations came out, he wasn't getting enough information and West Virginia was recruiting him hard so we went with the next best opportunity.

"The door opened up for UConn and presented an opportunity that he always wanted."

Boatright's official visit to UConn convinced him to pick the Huskies.

"They play my style of ball and they're in a great conference, and me and coach Calhoun have something in common," Ryan explained about why he chose UConn. "We have a special relationship. We think the same. When we got there, we just clicked."

Boatright added that he felt a strong connection with Ollie, UConn's first-year assistant.

The Huskies filled a recruiting need with the addition of Boatright. Junior Kemba Walker will likely leave for the NBA following this season and senior Donnell Beverly will graduate, leaving UConn with only Shabazz Napier at that position.

The fall signing period begins Wednesday.

g.keefe@theday.com

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