Jalen Gaffney, a guard that St. John’s has pursued hotly for some time, has chosen to commit to Connecticut.
Gaffney, a 6’2” guard who had a number of other visits scheduled, went to UConn first and saw all he needed to see there. He will join Dan Hurley’s rebuilding program in Storrs over St. John’s, Xavier and Clemson.
“Coach [Dan] Hurley laid out five things that stuck with me,” Gaffney told ESPN. “The style of play, opportunity to make an immediate impact, exposure, player development, and trust. I trust Coach Hurley, he’s won everywhere he’s been, and I trust the entire staff and have a great relationship with them.”
Assistant coach Kimani Young, who also spearheaded Bouknight’s recruitment, has a relationship with Gaffney’s father that dates back almost three decades, and was pivotal to UConn’s ability to make up ground when the new staff arrived this spring.
For the Red Storm, this is a bit of a blow. While the team has some guards who should return next season (Justin Simon, Mikey Dixon, LJ Figueroa, Bryan Trimble, Greg Williams and Eli Wright), Gaffney was a player the staff had targeted for years.
The recruiting game always has more misses than hits, but Chris Mullin and his staff are still hoping to land some target — perhaps Aidan Igiehon, perhaps Precious Achiuwa — to improve what should be a good Red Storm team this season. Achiuwa and big man Kofi Cockburn are also targets of interest for UConn, where Dan Hurley looms large in the minds of the Johnnies faithful.