MBB: A look into new UConn transfer guard Nahiem Alleyne

The UConn men’s basketball team defeats DePaul 75-68 on Senior Day at Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, CT on Saturday, March 5, 2022. This victory concluded the Huskies’ regular season. Photo by Sofia Sawchuk.

The UConn men’s basketball team has secured its second transfer guard of the season and it’s a big addition. 

When UConn head coach Dan Hurley was looking in the transfer portal for potential additions to his roster, a huge focus was at the guard position, especially with young guards like Corey Floyd Jr. opting to join other programs. 

“We’ve got work to do on the roster still to fill it out and get some more guys that can help us, especially on the perimeter,” Hurley said to reporters on April 14. “We feel like what we’re bringing back and what we’re going to add, just like last season we’re going to have a better team this year than we did last year.” 

Meanwhile, after leaving his previous home at Virginia Tech, Nahiem Alleyne was coming off a junior season that saw him average 9.6 points, including 37.3% from the three-point-line. Alleyne now had to find a new home for the 2022-23 season and there were plenty of suitors, including Providence and Seton Hall. 

Instead of opting for other programs, the transfer guard had his eyes on another Big East school and that was UConn. For the junior entering his senior season, it simply had a “different aura.”  

“As far as the coaching relationships, I can tell everyone has a good bond, not just coaches but the managers and advisors too,” said Alleyne in an interview with Prospective Insight. “Everybody was just themselves, they were just being themselves throughout the recruitment process. Their play style is guard heavy and Coach Dan Hurley is great. I can tell his energy carries through the whole team.” 

It’s a great fit for the transfer guard with a talented skill set that fits the program’s plans for the future. A huge reason that Alleyne is heading to Storrs is for his sweet left-handed jumpshot, a powerful weapon that has let the upperclassman shoot 38.6% from beyond the arc during his college career. 

That shooting is just another weapon for additional transfer Tristen Newton, who is projected to play at point guard for UConn next season with his playmaking abilities. Just like Alleyne, both guards know the value of hard work. Despite both guards not being heavily recruited out of high school, they’ve shown their true talent at the college level against NCAA tournament level programs, with Newton showing his skills against teams like Memphis while Alleyne went toe-to-toe against Duke and UNC. In the 2022-2023 season, both players will look to take their skills even further in Storrs. 

With plenty of potential for different sets due to Alleyne’s shooting and size, he’s shown that he’s more than just your average shooter. 

The transfer guard can finish well at the rim, taking advantage of his physical frame for tough finishes and efficient scoring. That, along with keeping turnovers low at 1.1 per game last season, makes him even more special.  

The UConn men’s basketball team defeats DePaul 75-68 on Senior Day at Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, CT on Saturday, March 5, 2022. This victory concluded the Huskies’ regular season. Photo by Sofia Sawchuk.

Perhaps the most undervalued part of his game may be Alleyne’s passing. Despite averaging just 1.5 assists last season, the transfer started out the year with  approximately three or four assists in several games and has shown that he can find open teammates for quality shots. In a program that includes Big East talented big man Adama Sanogo and an athletic juggernaut in Andre Jackson, those numbers could potentially go up. 

Beyond Alleyne’s offense, the guard’s 6-foot 4 frame at the guard position gives him plenty of potential to be an even better defender in UConn’s system that has notoriously preached defense. At nearly a steal per game, Hurley has transformed players like R.J. Cole into much better defenders and there’s certainly potential for Alleyne as well. He’ll just have to put in the work in UConn’s competitive program. 

It’s clear that Alleyne possesses the talent to provide a great impact for the Huskies next season. With more transfer talent incoming for the Huskies, the program is looking to continue its success and remain a feared opponent in college basketball. 

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