Another knock against Kevin Ollie? UConn players finding their way after leaving Storrs

Orlando Magic’s Rodney Purvis, right, looks for a way past Washington Wizards’ Tomas Satoransky (31) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, April 11, 2018, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

You hate to bad-mouth an ex, especially one who you had some great times with, but facts are facts–and UConn fans deserve to know the truth.

Kevin Ollie has been gone for a few months now, Huskies fans are all smitten with their new head coach Danny Hurley, and the water is pretty much under the bridge (except for that $10 million Ollie and the school are fighting over. That’s gonna cause some ice cream-eating and Demi Lovato song-playing).

Still, even after he cleaned out the coaches’ office last month, there have been a few signs that this breakup was for the best.

Some former highly-touted Huskies who didn’t do much during their time in Storrs have started to perform under the tutelage of NBA coaches, showing off the talent that gave them promise when they came to play for KO.

Amida Brimah, the seven-foot center who never really improved after playing an invaluable role during UConn’s 2014 national championship run, has shown clear improvement playing for the San Antonio Spurs’ G League team in Austin.

The big man logged 22 minutes per game for the Austin Spurs, putting together a nice library of highlights on his G League bio page and keying the Spurs’ run to a G League championship. (All that dude does is win titles, apparently).

Sacramento Kings center Willie Cauley-Stein, right, looks to pass against San Antonio Spurs center Amida Brimah during the first quarter of an NBA preseason basketball game Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)


Rodney Purvis, who showed flashes of brilliance but ultimately was underwhelming at Connecticut, has been Ferrari-like in the G League, winning Player of the Week honors in December and ending up in the Association by the end of the year.

The musclebound point guard averaged 18 minutes in 16 games for the Orlando Magic, and even went for 19 against Philly in late March.

Daniel Hamilton, who only spent two years at UConn (2014-16), also started out in the G League, and has also worked his way up to the bigs, seeing some end-of-season garbage time with the Thunder (six games).

Denver Nuggets guard Will Barton, right, reaches in for the ball as Oklahoma City Thunder guard Daniel Hamilton tries to drive the lane in the second half of an NBA preseason basketball game Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017, in Denver. The Thunder won 96-86. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)


Despite coming in as highly-recruited players (Purvis was a McDonald’s All-American, Hamilton considered a top-25 prospect), many fans might have expected to hear about these guys playing overseas, as opposed to earning cups of Gatorade in the NBA.

Not to bash Ollie for his players finding their way in the pros, but the successes these guys have had at the next level only underscores the point that they underachieved as a group while at UConn.

One of the main knocks against Ollie is that he didn’t develop his players, which is a major reason why Jalen Adams, once among of the nation’s top point guard recruits, is coming back for his senior season next year.

Here’s hoping Adams, along with Purvis, Brimah and Hamilton, all find their niche in the NBA.

In fact, here’s hoping Ollie does too. There’s nothing we’d love to see more than KO coaching up one of his former guys in the league as an assistant next season.

Sometimes, you root for your exes, even if you know you shouldn’t still be together.


Related: UConn fans beam with pride as Kemba becomes Hornets’ all-time scoring leader

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