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Rutgers wing Jonathan Laurent transfers to UMass basketball

  • Rutgers forward Jonathan Laurent (4) shoots past Monmouth guard Monmouth guard Je'lon Hornbeak (11) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Dec. 20, 2015, in Piscataway, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

  • Rutgers forward Jonathan Laurent (4) goes up to dunk during the second half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against Penn State on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017, in Piscataway, N.J. Penn State won 60-47. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

  • Rutgers’ Jonathan Laurent plays against Minnesota during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)



@MattVautourDHG
Sunday, May 14, 2017

The UMass men’s basketball team added another transfer to its ranks over the weekend, and another could be on the way.

Rutgers wing Jonathan Laurent announced on Twitter on Saturday, after visiting Amherst last week, that he’ll be a Minuteman. He’ll sit out the 2017-18 season under NCAA transfer rules and will have two years to play beginning in 2018-19.

“Thank you to all the schools that recruited me in this process. But I’m proud to be apart of @CoachMattMcCall and @UMassBasketball family”

The 6-foot-6, 216-pound Orlando native averaged 8.1 points and 5.1 rebounds per game as a freshman and started the last 10 games of the season under former coach Eddie Jordan, who was fired after that season. He scored in double figures 10 times and had 10 or more rebounds three times.

Laurent didn’t fit as prominently into new coach Steve Pikiell’s plans. He averaged 3.1 points and 2.5 rebounds, as his minutes dropped from 24.3 to 13.3 per game.

Laurent could be joined by Memphis point guard Keon Clergeot, who visited UMass this weekend. The Winter Haven, Florida native tweeted Sunday:

“Had a Great time at Umass! Now it’s time! Will be making my decision no later than Wednesday.”

Clergeot also considering Florida Gulf Coast.

Laurent joins Fairfield transfer Curtis Cobb, Maryland transfer Jaylen Brantley and Louisiana high school big man Khalea Turner-Morris to commit to new UMass coach Matt McCall, who has at least six scholarships to fill. Turner-Morris and Brantley will be eligible right away, while Cobb will join Laurent on the sideline.

Matt Vautour can be reached at mvautour@gazettenet.com. Get UMass coverage delivered in your Facebook news feed at www.facebook.com/GazetteUMassCoverage