UConn lands Saint Mary's transfer guard Aidan Mahaney

Aidan Mahaney drains a deep 3 from downtown (0:17)

Aidan Mahaney drains a deep 3 from downtown (0:17)

Saint Mary's transfer Aidan Mahaney, one of the best available guards in the portal, has committed to UConn, he told ESPN.

Mahaney is the second crucial addition for the Huskies in recent days, following five-star recruit Liam McNeeley, who committed on Friday night. The player from Lafayette, California, visited Storrs late last week, but then took a trip to visit Kentucky this past weekend. He had also visited Creighton and Virginia, but Dan Hurley and the reigning back-to-back national champions won out.

"I chose UConn because I want to compete for national championships," Mahaney said. "UConn is a place that keeps the main thing the main thing. The coaching staff has proven themselves to be the best in the country the last two years. Offensively with Luke Murray, I'll be in a different system that should allow my game to grow even more. And defensively with Kimani Young, I'll be challenged to become the best I can be. Coach Hurley will push me to be the best player I can be and I can't wait to pick his brain and the rest of the staff. Every subsection from managers to grad assistants and DOBOs all work incredibly hard and are detailed down to a T with everything.

"I chose UConn to be pushed, to be a part of something bigger than myself, to compete for a national championship and to become a pro."

A key factor in Mahaney's decision was UConn's desire to make history again and go for a third consecutive national championship.

"The coaching staff doesn't rebuild at UConn, they reload," he said. "There is no tiptoeing around the fact that the program is going for it all again, and I am ready to be a part of that journey towards continued greatness. One game at a time, obviously, but the goals at UConn are set the moment you walk into the facilities. National champs."

A two-time first-team All-WCC selection, Mahaney has been one of the premier mid-major guards in the country during his first two seasons in college. The 6-foot-3 guard burst onto the scene early as a freshman, scoring 25 points against Oral Roberts in his debut and scoring 20-plus six more times the rest of the season.

But it was his performance in an overtime win over Gonzaga in February of his freshman season that made Mahaney a national name. He scored 10 straight points down the stretch of regulation and scored or assisted on 19 of 21 points during an eight-minute stretch in regulation and overtime to lead Saint Mary's to a comeback win.

Mahaney was just as effective as a sophomore, with outings of 25 points against New Mexico, 22 points against Utah and averages of 19.7 points on 50% 3-point shooting in three games against Gonzaga. He had 23 points in the WCC tournament title game win over the Zags.

In two seasons with the Gaels, Mahaney averaged 13.9 points and shot 37.5% from 3-point range on more than six attempts per game.

Mahaney is a much-needed backcourt addition for the Huskies, who have already lost four starters from the sport's first back-to-back national champions since Florida in 2007. Guards Tristen Newton and Cam Spencer are out of eligibility, while projected lottery picks Donovan Clingan and Stephon Castle entered the NBA draft. Redshirt sophomore Alex Karaban also declared for the NBA draft, but he's a projected second-round pick and has left open the option to return to Storrs.

Hurley will rely on Big East Sixth Man of the Year Hassan Diarra to take on a bigger role, while Samson Johnson and Solomon Ball -- who each earned several starts this past season -- will see increased minutes. UConn is welcoming in three ESPN 100 recruits in McNeeley (No. 9), Ahmad Nowell (No. 34) and Isaiah Abraham (No. 58), as well as a pair of transfers in Mahaney and former Michigan big name Tarris Reed.