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UMass basketball lands two recruits

Since he first arrived in Amherst, University of Massachusetts men's basketball coach Derek Kellogg has had an affinity for long, athletic wing players who can play multiple positions. He added two of those to his program last Friday.

According to sources, Seattle native Seth Berger and Dallas native Zach Coleman committed to UMass during their recruiting visits to campus.

NCAA rules prevent Kellogg from commenting on unsigned prospects.

The 6-foot-7 Berger, who was dubbed a player whose stock was about to rise by ESPN's Dave Telep, also had interest from Gonzaga and Washington State.

ESPN's recruiting website described him as follows:

"Berger is a rangy 4/3 with very good length and solid athleticism. He has a very nice first step off the dribble and he has a knack of getting in the lane for the score. His pull-up game is solid and he is an astute passer. He has a high IQ for the game and has a knack of making winning plays at both ends of the floor. ... Berger is a solid athlete, but he isn't overly bouncy or quick. His frame needs to add strength and it will be interesting to see how his frame fills out to see if he can keep his quickness when he bulks up. In addition, he needs to continue to improve his ball handling and jump shot, specifically getting his legs into his shot."

The 6-7 Coleman was a high school teammate of UMass freshman guard Trey Davis. Coleman originally committed to Missouri, but changed his mind. He had interest from Louisiana State and Baylor as well.

ESPN gave him this report:

"Coleman is a combo forward that has a good basketball IQ and feel for the game. He is a high level passer, good ball handler and pretty good shooter that can extend his range to the arc. Coleman knows how to get his shots in the flow of the game and makes good decisions on the break with the ball in his hands that greatly benefits the team. ... Coleman should not only add strength but could be a better rebounder and be more of a physical presence on both ends of the floor. ... Coleman is a versatile forward with an excellent skill set. He knows how to play within a team concept. He is a good decision maker with excellent upside and is productive in a variety of ways that positively affects his team."

Coleman will be the third Minuteman from Texas joining Davis and Houston native Clyde Santee, who is sitting out the 2012-13 season as a partial qualifier.

The additions of Berger and Coleman mean that the Minutemen will be one scholarship over the limit for 2013-14, unless one or both players don't qualify academically or someone currently on the roster chooses not to return.

Season-ending injuries to Sampson Carter last year and Javorn Farrell this year mean that both players will be eligible to stay for a fifth season in 2013-14. That left UMass with the two scholarships. One of those will go to Santee.

Matt Vautour can be reached at mvautour@gazettenet.com.

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