On Tuesday it was announced that 6-4 shooting guard Donte Clark was denied admission to Virginia Tech, leaving head coach James Johnson one man short in his quest to account for the graduation of ACC Player of the Year Erick Green.
Johnson’s loss became Derek Kellogg’s gain, as it was reported by Justin Byerly of CarolinaPreps.com that Clark will attend UMass. However, Kellogg may not get to place Clark in the perimeter rotation right away.
According to Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette, Clark will likely attend UMass as a non-qualifier, meaning that he would have to sit out the 2013-14 season. When news broke that Clark was denied admission to Virginia Tech, it was noted that he had yet to get through the NCAA’s initial eligibility clearinghouse.
But even if Clark has to sit UMass won’t lack for options on the perimeter, with point guards Chaz Williams and Trey Davis and shooting guards Derrick Gordon and Demetrius Dyson on the roster. And in Gordon, the Minutemen have a versatile guard capable of having an immediate impact.
After transferring in from Western Kentucky, Gordon sat out last season per NCAA transfer rules. In his lone season as a Hilltopper, Gordon averaged 11.8 points and 6.7 rebounds per game on a team that got hot at the right time following a coaching change to reach the NCAA tournament.
Inside the Minutemen are experienced, with Sampson Carter, Raphiael Putney, Maxie Esho and Cady Lalanne all being upperclassmen.
And if UMass fans want to look to the 2014 campaign, Williams would be the only departure on the perimeter (Carter and Putney will be gone, too) with West Virginia transfer Jabarie Hinds ready to slide into that spot and Clark being eligible as well.
Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.
UConn commit Juwan Durham, a four-star big man in the Class of 2016, has torn the ACL in his right knee for the second time in seven months. The Florida native committed to the Huskies and head coach Kevin Ollie back in September. The 6-foot-9 forward is regarded as the No. 31 overall prospect in the national Class of 2016, so he can really be a force when he’s healthy.
In a report from Tampabay.com’s Bob Putnam, UConn was notified of the injury immediately and there is no change in plans with the commitment. The Huskies also own commitments from four-star point guard Alterique Gilbert and three-star power forward Mamadou Diarra in the Class of 2016. Having Diarra, an active, rim-protecting presence, helps with Durham’s recovery, since he can provide some more front court depth.
If Durham rehabs back to full speed, UConn has a very talented power forward who was just hitting his stride in the Florida state playoffs last February. UConn has a nice class so far with this group, especially if Durham can recover, With a year to recover until next season, Durham can hopefully play during his freshman season in 2016.
Arizona State fans won’t get a chance to see Torian Graham take the floor this season, but he did sky over fellow teammates (and transfer) Shannon Evans on Friday night at the team’s Maroon and Gold Madness. The 6-foot-4 Graham is a former Buffalo commit — Evans also came from Buffalo — and both players will have to sit out the 2015-16 season due to NCAA transfer regulations.
Graham hasn’t had a chance to get into a Division I game, but he’ll be able to play for the Sun Devils next season. For now, fans can look forward to Graham’s athleticism on the wing in pregame dunk routines.
A former top-100 prospect, Graham also pulled off this ridiculous move in the dunk contest.