The Connecticut Huskies have had quite the week. The retirement of an icon in Jim Calhoun and installation of a former player in Kevin Ollie is a lot to digest. Regardless, the Huskies made sure they connected with a prime target: ESPN 100 shooting guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes (Toronto, Canada/Huntington Prep).
“Coach Ollie was supposed to come down to see me [on Wednesday],” said Rathan-Mayes, who is ranked No. 23 overall in the 2013 class. “He had called me and said coach Calhoun was going to make the announcement [Thursday] but it came out [Wednesday].”
The native of Canada would like to make his decision by the middle of October. In a week, he’ll have dates for his official visits and Connecticut, Florida State, Baylor and Illinois are on the list.
“All the coaches came in this week, except for UConn because of the situation,” he said. “Coach Ollie’s going to be in first thing on Monday. After that I’ll sit down with my mom and my dad and maybe come out with two to three schools and from there I’ll make my decision.”
Ollie will have challenges given the timing of the coaching change and Rathan-Mayes' recruitment is one of the first he’ll tackle early next week.
“I really can’t look at [UConn] in the same way. In the sense he’s gone and he’s a legendary coach,” Rathan-Mayes said. “Coach Ollie and I have had a great relationship since day one. It’s going to be tough for him because he’s only got a year and he’ll be re-evaluated. That might be tough for him to step into the position right away.”