High school coach says Jarreau, Gresham hoping to stay at UMass

  • UMass Lowell's Ryan Jones, left, defends against UMass Amherst's DeJon Jarreau Nov. 11 during the men's basketball season opener game for UMass Amherst at the Mullins Center.

  • Brison Gresham, right, of UMass, defends Stevie Jordan, of Rider, Thursday at the Mullins Center.

Published: 3/20/2017 10:09:40 PM

According to Kevin Saunders, who coached Brison Gresham and DeJon Jarreau in high school, both freshman are hoping to return to UMass for their sophomore seasons.

“They’re planning on being right there in Amherst,” said Saunders, the coach at New Orleans’ McDonogh 35 High School. “It’s a holding pattern right now to see who’s going to be the new coach. Hopefully it’s a good fit for them. They have a good nucleus coming back. They had a pretty good team, they were just so young.”

Both players expressed disappointment via Twitter when coach Derek Kellogg was fired following the team’s season-ending loss in the Atlantic 10 Tournament, sparking speculation that they might consider transferring.

But Saunders said he spoke to the tandem when they were home last week for spring break.

“They really love being up in Amherst and they’re hoping it’s a good fit for all parties with the new coach,” Saunders said. “They really settled into being college students there. They were anxious to get back there once they got here (for spring break).”

Jarreau, a 6-foot-5 point guard who started 25 games, averaged 9.8 points and 4.5 assists in 24.4 minutes per game.

Gresham, a 6-foot-9 big man who was declared eligible in late November, averaged 3.3 points and 3.2 rebounds in 11.9 minutes, but saw his role increase late in the 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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