East Carolina transfer, second-team All-AAC guard Tristen Newton commits to UConn

East Carolina transfer Tristen Newton, one of the best guards in the portal, committed to UConn on Wednesday.

"I fit the role they need," Newton told ESPN. "We are going to have one of the best backcourts in the nation with guys like Jordan Hawkins, Andre Jackson and myself, along with the best big in the Big East with Adama Sanogo. I feel as if there's no reason we shouldn't be one of the best teams in the country."

Newton visited the Storrs, Connecticut, campus this past weekend and opted to end his recruitment after one trip.

"Visit was great," he said. "The coaches and players made me feel welcome, the facilities were great and were everything I needed to focus on basketball."

A 6-foot-5 guard from El Paso, Texas, Newton earned second-team All-AAC honors this past season after averaging 17.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and 5 assists. He was one of the league's best playmakers, ranking third in the AAC in points and second in assists. Newton also got to the free throw line more than anyone in the league outside of Player of the Year Kendric Davis, and led in free throw shooting at 87.9%.

Newton had eight 20-point efforts, including 30 points in November against Western Carolina and 32 in the AAC opener against Tulane. He also had 10 assists in a win over South Florida in February.

Newton spent three seasons at East Carolina but will have two years of eligibility remaining due to the NCAA granting everyone an extra year due to the COVID-impacted 2020-21 season.

"They have a great tradition of guards throughout the program's history," he said of UConn. "When it's all said and done, if it's one or two years, I want to be right up there with them."

East Carolina had a coaching change last month, firing Joe Dooley after four seasons and replacing him with Tennessee assistant coach Michael Schwartz.

UConn has plenty of minutes available in the backcourt, following the departure of senior R.J. Cole and the transfer of reserves Jalen Gaffney and Rahsool Diggins and redshirt Corey Floyd Jr. Newton should be able to step in immediately alongside Hawkins and Jackson to help fill the void. The Huskies return three starters from a team that won 23 games and earned a 5-seed in the NCAA tournament.