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R.J. Evans commits to UConn

By Gavin Keefe

Publication: theday.com

Published April 13. 2012 11:30AM   Updated April 13. 2012 1:20PM

R.J. Evans, who'll graduate from Holy Cross in May, will continue his education and basketball career at UConn.

He made his decision after his parents, Ray and Deborah, met with UConn coach Jim Calhoun today in Storrs. Classes prevented Evans from attending the meeting.

"I'm a Husky," said Evans, who's from Salem and graduated from Norwich Free Academy. "It's every Connecticut kid's dream to play at UConn. It's a dream come true. I'm grateful and thank God. It's a great opportunity and I'm going to make the best of it."

A stocky 6-foot-3, 200-pound guard, Evans averaged 11.5 points, 4.8 rebounds. 2.8 assists and 1.8 steals while shooting 47.7 percent from the field last season for the Crusaders (15-14). He sat out most of his junior season as a medical redshirt, giving him another year of eligibility.

It appears to be a perfect marriage for both parties.

Evans will get a chance to play and attend graduate school close to home.

And UConn brings in a versatile veteran to a team that lacked leadership last season and strengthens its backcourt depth. The Huskies also add a short-term player during a time when the coaching staff is hampered in their recruiting efforts due to a post-season ban in 2013.

Evans first met with Calhoun and assistant coach Glen Miller, who's known Evans since his NFA days, on March 26. A few days later, Evans talked about his possible role with the team.

"I just go in there really as an open book," Evans said. "I want to contribute to the team what I have done my last four years (at Holy Cross). I became a mature leader on the court who can bring not only offense and scoring but also the intangibles that a lot of teams these days are missing.

"A lot of teams don't have energy on the court and they don't always compete. I bring toughness and competitiveness on the court."

UConn's incoming recruit class also includes 6-3 guard Omar Calhoun of Brooklyn,N.Y.

Evans is believed to be the third former Eastern Connecticut Conference player to play for Calhoun. Ledyard graduate Greg Yeomans, a walk-on, spent one season (1994-95) with the Huskies. Kyle Chapman, also a walk-on out of Ledyard, was on the roster for the 1996-97 season.

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