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UConn men's hoops press release on Gibbs, Miller and Larrier.

POSTED June 02, 2015
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

STORRS, Conn. (June 1, 2015) --- UConn head men’s basketball coach Kevin Ollie has announced the addition of three student-athletes to the hoop program. Graduate students Sterling Gibbs and Shonn Miller will be eligible for competition in the 2015-16 season, while redshirt freshman Terry Larrier will sit out 2015-16 as per NCAA transfer rules and have three years of eligibility remaining, beginning with the 2016-17 season.

The three players, who have each signed a financial aid agreement with the university, will join incoming freshmen Jalen Adams and Steven Enoch to give the Huskies five newcomers to the program.

“We are excited to welcome the new student-athletes to our UConn family,” Ollie said. “Along with being high quality players, they are young men of high character who also bring a level of maturity and experience with them. We are looking forward to having them with us as we head into the upcoming season.”

Gibbs, a 6-2, 185-pound guard from Scotch Plains, N.J., comes to UConn as a grad student following a stellar two seasons at Seton Hall, where he transferred following his freshman year at Texas. In two years at Seton Hall, he scored 888 points and handed out 240 assists.

Gibbs, who will have one season of eligibility at UConn, was outstanding in 2014-15, earning second team All-Big East, second team All-Met Writers, and second team NABC All-District 5 honors as well as being named the Most Valuable Player of the 2014 Paradise Jam. He was Big East Player of the Week twice and named to the Big East Weekly Honor Roll five times. He was the only player in the Big East to rank in the top five in both scoring and assists.

Gibbs --- whose older brother, Ashton, was a first team All-Big East selection while playing at Pittsburgh and whose younger brother, T.J., will be a freshman hoop player at Notre Dame next season --- averaged 16.7 points, 2.0 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game and his .438 three-point shooting percentage ranked second in the Big East and ninth nationally.    

“What Sterling brings is experience, playing so well in the Big East with his great scoring ability and his leadership ability and just being a tough player,” Ollie said. “For him to come here and fill a spot that we need, especially with his shooting range, is big time.”

Miller, a 6-7, 210-pound forward from Euclid, Ohio, was an All-Ivy League First Team selection last season for the second time in his career at Cornell. Miller was also a first team all-conference pick as a sophomore in 2012-13 before missing the 2013-14 season due to off-season shoulder surgery. The Ivy League does not allow players a fifth season to complete eligibility.

Miller, who will also have one season of eligibility at UConn, finished his three-season career at Cornell with 1,065 points, 608 rebounds, 154 blocks, and 126 steals, ranking in the top 20 all-time in those categories.

A two-time Ivy League Player of the Week last season, he ranked second in the league in scoring (16.8), rebounding (8.5), and free throw percentage (.834) and was among the top 10 in blocks (1.8) and steals (1.3). He was the Ivy League leader in defensive rebounds (7.5), ranking sixth nationally. Miller notched 11 double-doubles last year and tied a Cornell record with 18 for his three-year career.

“Shonn’s explosiveness and his versatility, being able to play multiple positions, will be a big factor for us,” Ollie said. “He rebounded at a high rate last year in the Ivy League and we all think that can translate to any league. Plus, he has the shooting ability to be able to score from different areas of the court.

“Both Shonn and Sterling are coming in to improve, too, both defensively and offensively. Hopefully, we can add to the game they already have, give them hope and encouragement so they can play after they leave Storrs.”

Larrier, an athletic 6-8, 185-pound swingman from the Bronx, N.Y., has transferred to UConn after one year at Virginia Commonwealth. He played in 36 games, starting six, at VCU last season and averaged 6.6 points and 3.0 rebounds. He will be allowed to practice and train with the Huskies this season and be eligible for competition in 2016-17, with three years of eligibility.

“Terry will add something that we talk about all the time – versatility,” Ollie said. “It allows us to bring in a guy who will practice against our guys every day and be able simulate the length and athletic ability that they are going to see in real games.

“But we also want him to come in and not just look at it as a transitional year, but look at it as a year in which he will improve and then be ready to go when those curtains open in the 2016-17 season. I want him to look at leadership, being part of the team. Of course, he’s not going to play in the games this year, but I want him to have the mindset that he’s playing 35 minutes every night, so he’ll get prepared for what’s going to come when he gets his opportunity to step on the court in a Husky jersey on for the first time.”

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