Maryland has lost recruits to out-of-state schools before. During the Gary Williams era, it became a trend. However, Cassell Jr.'s commitment on Wednesday to UConn hurts just more than Rudy Gay, Kevin Durant and Ty Lawson's cold shoulders. Baltimore native Sam Cassell Jr. would have been a Terp during the fall of 2012, if it weren't for the NCAA's crackdown on diploma mills like Notre Dame Prep that forced him to redshirt last season and play JUCO ball at Chipola in Florida as a non-qualifier after courses he took there were invalidated.
One year into his two-season banishment, Cassell has changed his mind and will join his father's former teammate in UConn next season.
Via Baltimore Sun:
“I always followed UConn, always a Husky,” Cassell said. “I really started paying attention to UConn with Kemba Walker, when he took over that year [the Huskies won the national title]. … [And] I know [Baltimore native and former UConn star] Rudy [Gay]. I don’t know if he knows about [my commitment] now, but I know he will know.”
Cassell won’t be quite as close to home in Storrs as he would have been in College Park, but he’s excited to stay on the East Coast and play for a coach he’s known for more than a decade.
During the 2002-03 NBA season, Sam Cassell Sr. teamed up with Kevin Ollie to help the Milwaukee Bucks to a 42-40 record and the Eastern Conference playoffs. Cassell Jr. remembers watching his father that season and being introduced to Ollie, now the coach at UConn.