Connecticut received its fourth pledge in the 2023 national class on Friday morning from the Seattle native. Jaylene StewartNo. 79 in Top247.
Stuart joins Stephon Castle, Solomon Ballas well as Jaden Ross in the UConn class to date, while the Huskies are also chasing the big man to complete the five-player target class.
A highly skilled and versatile scorer, Stewart should be able to make an immediate impact, especially on the attacking end of the floor.
At 6’7″ and 215 pounds with big hands, a soft touch and versatile workmanship, Stewart can create mismatch issues all over the floor.
Although this term is used too often, it is a real threat to the three-range goal, which can operate from different points on the site. He shoots a clean and soft ball from the three-point line in throw-throw situations, which should allow him to be both a shooting threat and a valuable spacer. He is comfortable playing outside of isolation either on the flank or on the elbow, depending on his matchup, and is very adept at both creating space and dribbling shots. Likewise, he is polished with his back to the basket, where he can turn his shoulder to score over competing defenders, or use his strong body to initiate contact. Stewart plays balanced, seldom speeds up, is a reliable passer and makes decisions in the frontcourt.
Physically, he has a naturally broad build, good length, and natural strength. He is a deceptive vertical athlete who can perform both dunks and block shots. He moves adequately laterally for his size, especially when he tends to lower himself in his stance. Defensively, he has the potential to defend both forward positions in most matches. Overall, there is untapped potential at both ends of the floor as he takes his fitness to the next level.
Stuart and Ross join the current freshmen Donovan Clingan as well as Alex KarabanMain coach And Hurley In the coming seasons, he should have more frontcourt skills at his disposal than ever before.
All four of these players are able to not only move around the court behind the arc, but also control, pass and make decisions in an offensive structure. This should open the way for attacking defenders like Ball and Castle, while giving Hurley more options when building up the team’s offense at half the court.
However, the versatility with which Stewart can hit the ball makes it possible for him to eventually become the center of attention at this end of the court.
On offense, Connecticut is a program that has continued to evolve as Hurley was able to redesign the lineup. According to KenPom.com, they ranked 85th overall in adjusted offensive efficiency in Hurley’s inaugural season in 2018–19, rose to 64th overall in 2019–20, 27th overall in the shortened 2020–21 season and 22nd overall last season.
Defensively, they have always been a personal team, but last season they showed a much greater willingness to switch from one to fourth, which, in fact, made third and fourth places interchangeable in their system.