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UConn's Carlton enters transfer portal

Senior Josh Carlton will finish his college basketball career with another program, becoming the second UConn player this week to enter his name in the NCAA transfer portal.

Carlton, a 6-foot-11 center from Winterville, N.C., will graduate this spring and play as a graduate transfer next season.

The NCAA granted an extra year of eligibility due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Carlton will join now former teammate Brendan Adams, who's graduating in three years, in the transfer portal. Adams announced his decision on Tuesday.

After starting 81 games in his first three seasons, Carlton came off the bench as a senior after losing his starting job to freshman Adama Sanogo. He averaged a career-low in points at 3.5, rebounds at 3.7 and minutes per game at 11.2 while playing in 19 games.

If not for Carlton's inspired performance on Dec. 3 against USC, UConn likely wouldn't have scored a key win, as he chipped in nine points and a season-high 11 rebounds.

Overall, Carlton appeared in 115 career games. He finished with eight career double-doubles.

Carlton had his best season as a sophomore, averaging career bests in points (9.0) and rebounds (6.2) while earning the American Athletic Conference's most improved player award.

But he never duplicated those numbers.

In his final UConn game, Carlton played just two minutes in UConn's NCAA tournament first round loss to Maryland on March 20 in West Lafayette, Ind., finishing with one rebound, one steal, one turnover and two fouls.

Carlton, who played at DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Md., is the first of three UConn seniors to make a decision about his future.

Starting forward Isaiah Whaley and key reserve Tyler Polley, the Big East's sixth man of the year, also have an option to return to UConn for their final year of eligibility or go the graduate transfer route.

Odds are star guard James Bouknight, who's projected to be an NBA first round draft pick, will opt to leave. He's yet to announce his plans.

• In other UConn news, incoming recruit Jordan Hawkins, a 6-5 shooting guard at DeMatha Catholic, has been selected to participate in the 2021 American Family Insurance High School Slam Dunk championship set for Tuesday in Indianapolis. The 10th annual event, which will be held at Franklin Central High School, will be televised on CBS on April 4 at 1:30 p.m.

The Big East will be well-represented as Villanova recruit Jordan Longino will compete in the 3-point shooting championship while Providence-bound Rafael Castro will be in the dunk competition.

g.keefe@theday.com

 

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