Highly touted New Orleans recruits Brison Gresham, De’Jon Jarreau commit to UMass

Last modified: Saturday, October 10, 2015

The UMass men’s basketball team had its biggest recruiting day in decades Monday as the program landed a pair of potentially high-impact recruits when New Orleans natives Brison Gresham and De’Jon Jarreau announced their decision to become Minutemen.

The duo, who have planned to attend college together from early in the recruiting process, visited UMass this weekend. The McDonogh 35 High School teammates were pursued by several high-major programs and had visits scheduled for Southern Cal and Oklahoma. But they announced on Twitter last week that they had narrowed their choices to UMass and Miami. After visiting Amherst, they elected to head north.

In an announcement streamed live over Nola.com, they laid two UMass hats and two Miami hats on the table. Gresham picked a black UMass hat and Jarreau picked a green Miami hat. They then switched lids. Gresham took a green Hurricane hat and Jarreau grabbed a gray Minuteman hat as their families and teammates, who stood behind them, laughed. But then the twosome each took a UMass hat.

Jarreau is listed as a point guard by Rivals, a combo guard by 247Sports and a shooting guard by ESPN. He called himself a point guard during the press conference. He averaged 16.9 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.6 assists as a junior. ESPN lists him as a four-star recruit (No. 62 overall player, No. 17 shooting guard), while Rivals has him as the 39th-ranked player in the country.

According to ESPN’s Adam Finkelstein, Jarreau is the first ESPN Top 100 player to commit to an Atlantic 10 school this season.

Gresham is a 6-foot-9, 210-pound big man ranked as a four-star prospect by 247Sports and a three-star by ESPN. Rivals has him as the No. 132nd player in the class of 2016, while 247Sports has him No. 71. He averaged 14.8 points, 8.2 rebounds and 3.9 blocks as a junior.

NCAA rules prevent UMass coach Derek Kellogg from commenting publicly on unsigned recruits. The week-long early signing period begins Nov. 11.

In a Nola.com video a week before their announcement, Gresham and Jarreau said their relationship with the coaching staff at UMass was what made the school a finalist.

“UMass was our first real offer. Even after bigger schools came and offered, they never quit. That made it big. Our relationship with them is really great. We talk to them all the time,” Gresham said. “Their coaching staff is really good. Every time I talk to coach DK or coach (Shyone Chatman) it feels like they’re my family. We don’t always talk about basketball. We talk about school and my mom.”

The pair join Unique McLean in UMass’ freshman class for the 2016-17 season.

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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