Men’s Basketball: Former Huskies finally getting opportunities at new schools

Four former Huskies are still playing collegiate basketball after transferring from UConn. Sam Cassell Jr., Terrence Samuel, Rakim Lubin and Leon Tolksdorf are each being given opportunities at their new schools. Cassell, Samuel and Lubin will play their first seasons at Iona, Penn State and Cal State Northridge, respectively, and Tolksdorf will play his second season at American University.

Pictured is Terrence Samuel and team members as UConn's championship win against Kentucky April 5, 2014.  Samuel, now playing for UPenn, is one of the Husky transfers that is now getting court time at their new schools.  (File/ The Daily Campus)

Cassell left UConn after last season, a season in which he averaged 2.2 points in just 6.6 minutes per game. His play may have been impacted by leg injuries that contributed to not playing in 18 games. Cassell’s first year at UConn was also affected by injury. He played 15.1 minutes per game that season and even started a couple games, but was forced to miss the final 17 games due to a stress fracture in his leg.

As a graduate transfer, Cassell is eligible to play immediately at his transfer school, Iona. In an inter-squad scrimmage game last month, Cassell scored 39 points to lead his side to victory. He will look to display his outside shooting ability to compete for a starting job with the Gaels, who are predicted to compete with Monmouth for the top spot in the MAAC.

Terrence Samuel departed the Huskies a year after being a crucial part of their 2014 National Champion team. After only managing 1.9 points per game during the regular season of his freshman year, Samuel played well in the NCAA Tournament. He upped his average to 4.5 points per game, including an 11-point game in the Sweet Sixteen to help UConn eventually win the title.

Although Samuel saw playing time in every game as a sophomore, he decided to transfer to Penn State at the season’s end. Transfer rules prevented Samuel from playing for the Nittany Lions last year, but he will look to contribute for the next two years with his toughness on defense and his experience with the Huskies in big-time postseason games.

Rakim Lubin transferred from UConn in the same offseason that Samuel did, and he was forced to sit out last year as well. Lubin is now entering his redshirt sophomore season at Cal State Northridge, where he hopes to get more opportunity than the 6.5 minutes per game he played in his freshman season with the Huskies. One of seven newcomers to the CSNU roster, Lubin will look to make an impact for the third ranked Matadors of the Big West Conference.

Another member of UConn’s 2014 championship team, Leon Tolksdorf decided to transfer after his title-winning sophomore year. During that season, Tolksdorf only saw 3.6 minutes and was held to 1.2 points per game, likely contributing to his decision to transfer. After sitting out the 2014-2015 season, Tolksdorf played 11 minutes per game in his redshirt junior season for his new school, American University. He averaged 2.2 points and 1.8 rebounds per game for the Eagles. American was picked to finish fifth in the Patriot League and Tolksdorf will look to use his senior leadership to improve in his final season.


Josh Buser is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at joshua.buser@uconn.edu.