Former in-state star R.J. Evans will finish his successful Division I career in a UConn jersey.
Evans, a 2,000-point scorer at Norwich Free Academy and a three-year starter at Holy Cross, will transfer to UConn for his final year of eligibility, he confirmed to Hearst Connecticut Media Group Friday. He’s pursuing his Masters and will not be required to sit out a year.
Evans waited until his parents met with the UConn coaching staff Friday morning to make his commitment official.
“I didn’t want to do anything without my parents meeting the coaches first,” he said.
A physical, rugged 6-foot-3, 200-pound guard, Evans said he plans to add “toughness, experience and leadership to the back court.” In his career at Holy Cross (he received a medical redshirt after playing just eight games in 2010-11), Evans averaged 12.5 points, 5 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.4 steals per game. He has a very solid build for a guard — and defends well on the perimeter — but he lacks the shooting touch of most Division I backcourt players. Evans shot just 18.8 percent from 3-point range and 53 percent from the free throw line at Holy Cross.
He figures to be in the mix for minutes alongside Ryan Boatright, Shabazz Napier and incoming freshman Omar Calhoun. UConn’s backcourt could be the league’s best next season. It’s frontcourt, though, is a different story. Roscoe Smith and Tyler Olander are the only returning rotation players, and Michael Bradley, who has never appeared in a game, may be the team’s center.
UConn has two more scholarships to give out for the 2012-13 season.