NEW YORK -- Ryan Boatright will come off the bench for Connecticut today when the Huskies take on West Virginia in the second round of the Big East Conference Tournament.
Had things gone a little differently, he could be starting for the Mountaineers in the noon game (ESPN) at Madison Square Garden.
Boatright, a 6-foot freshman point guard from Aurora, Ill., committed to WVU in October 2010 as part of its rather large recruiting class. Five days later, Boatright's mother, Tanesha, told Mountaineers Coach Bob Huggins her son was de-committing.
"My mom called and had the conversation with him and told him what we weren't happy with," Boatright said. "After she was done, I got on the phone basically to reassure him that I didn't want to be committed there anymore.
"It was no hard feelings toward him. He did what was best for his program and that's what he's supposed to do. I just wasn't happy with it."
What Huggins had done was accept a commitment from Jabarie Hinds a day after Boatright picked WVU.
Boatright and Hinds, of Mount Vernon, N.Y., were both to play point guard and Boatright wasn't a fan of the arrangement.
"When you think about it, there really was no point going somewhere you've got to fight with other players at your position," Boatright said, adding that senior Truck Bryant would also be on the team and in the backcourt. "There were too many people in one position. I felt like UConn was a better system for me."
Huggins called Boatright "very talented" Tuesday and didn't want to talk much about a player he still likes and respects, but he did say that players "don't commit and then say you're going to take other visits. That's not a very strong commitment."
Boatright committed to UConn in November.
He averaged 10.3 points and 4.1 assists in the regular season and shot 40.4 percent from 3-point range.
In Tuesday's 81-67 first-round win against 16th-seeded DePaul, which isn't far from where Boatright grew up, he paced ninth-seeded UConn (19-12) with 19 points and seven assists.
Boatright played 33 minutes with starter Shabazz Napier in foul trouble.
"He wanted to show just how good he was and he did," Coach Jim Calhoun said.
UConn is actually the third school to which Boatright committed. He famously told then-Southern Cal Coach Tim Floyd as a 14-year-old in 2007 that he wanted to play for the Trojans.
When Boatright finally made it to UConn, he was suspended the first six games of the season by the NCAA. The NCAA revisited the case in January and had Boatright sit three more times until he was ultimately cleared.