Fifth-year grad transfer David Onuorah commits to Huskies

UConn has added to its frontcourt depth with the addition of fifth-year grad transfer David Onuorah, who committed to the Huskies on Tuesday.

“I felt comfortable with the coaching staff,” said Onuorah, who visited Storrs a week earlier. “The visit was great. I feel like they understood me and it was a good fit.”

Onuorah, a 6-foot-9 forward, played the past four seasons at Cornell. He averaged 5.0 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks while shooting 51 percent from the floor as a junior in 2015-16, finishing ninth in the Ivy League in rebounding. However, he played just one game last season before sitting out the rest of the season for “personal reasons.”

Onuorah received a waiver, clearing the way for one more season as a grad transfer.

UConn has had success with a fifth-year senior out of Cornell before: Shonn Miller averaged 12.3 points and 5.2 boards per game for the Huskies’ NCAA tournament team two years ago. Miller was a teammate of Onuorah’s for two seasons.

“I guess it just happened that way,” Onuorah said, with a laugh. “I had no plan of that, it just happened that way. I’m thankful I had Shonn to talk to about his experience. I think it only helps to make the decision a bit clearer. It’s crazy, it’s kinda funny and cool. But yeah, Shonn’s awesome. He enjoyed his experience there. He had a good year. I was able to follow him.”

Onuorah’s only other visit was to Georgetown.

Onuorah hails from Lithonia, Georgia, hometown of current UConn guard Alterique Gilbert, who sat out his freshman season last year with a shoulder injury. Onuorah went to Marist School and Gilbert attended Miller Grove, but the two never played each other in high school.

“I didn’t really know about him until my visit, honestly,” Onuorah said. “I don’t think he knew me. We just had that connection of Lithonia.”

Onuorah adds veteran depth to a UConn front line that is largely inexperienced or raw. The Huskies have three incoming freshmen forwards: 6-9 Josh Carlton, a 6-9 center from DeMatha High in Washington, D.C., 6-9 Isaiah Whaley from Gastonia, North Carolina and 6-7 Tyler Polley out of Miami. Polley is more of a small forward.

The Huskies also have Eric Cobb, a 6-9, 295-pound JUCO transfer who began his career at South Carolina, coming in, and now Onuorah.

UConn will also have 6-8 Mamadou Diarra back in the fold after he sat out his freshman season with knee problems.

The Huskies, of course, lost a pair of big men when 6-10 Steve Enoch and 6-11 Juwan Durham transferred from the program after the season ended.

UConn is still looking to fill one more scholarship, most likely a perimeter player, for the 2017-18 season before concentrating on Class of 2018 and 2019 recruits.