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UMass basketball adds highly rated guard Donte Clark

  • University of Massachusetts men's basketball coach Derek Kellogg

Virginia Tech’s loss appears to be the University of Massachusetts men’s basketball program’s gain.

Donte Clark, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Charlotte, N.C., by way of Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia, is expected to enroll in summer school classes later this week according to a source close to UMass.

He still needs to be accepted by the university and have his paperwork processed before he can officially be part of the program.

Clark was the No. 116 ranked player in the nation (No. 27 shooting guard) by Rivals.com. He’s been primarily a two-guard, but can handle the ball.

Last summer ESPN’s recruiting described him as follows:

“The upside is there with him. He’s a bit of an under the radar player heading into his all-important senior summer. He’s done well for himself in the spring.”

He committed to Virginia Tech in September, but didn’t receive the necessary combination of core course grades and standardized test scores. Atlantic Coast Conference schools aren’t allowed to enroll athlete as nonqualifiers.

Clark won’t be allowed to play or practice during the 2013-14 season, but provided he maintains the required academic progress pace, he can have four years of eligibility beginning in 2014-15.

He won’t count against UMass’ scholarship total until then, effectively making him coach Derek Kellogg’s first recruit in the 2014 freshman class. UMass will have three scholarships at that time to replace Chaz Williams, Raphiael Putney and Sampson Carter.

UMass has had considerable success with nonqualifiers in the past. Current Minutemen Cady Lalanne and Clyde Santee, who will become eligible this season, began their careers as nonqualifers. Former Minutemen Freddie Riley, Andre Burks and Inus Norville all attended Hargrave.

Clark will join a backcourt that is expected to include Trey Davis, Derrick Gordon, Jabari Hines and Demetrius Dyson.

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

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