Connecticut wing Tyrn Flowers officially signs with UMass

  • Tyrn Flowers, center, stands with his father Bryan Flowers, left, and mother Dawn Corcoran on Wednesday after the Sacred Heart senior signed his National Letter of Intent to attend the UMass. Joe Palladino photo/REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

@MattVautourDHG
Published: 4/13/2016 7:53:20 PM

The recruiting class that could help elevate the UMass men’s basketball program was officially completed Wednesday.

Tyrn Flowers, a 6-foot-8 wing from Waterbury, Connecticut, signed his National Letter of Intent on the first day of the spring signing period.

The Sacred Heart senior be one of seven UMass newcomers joining Canisius transfer Zach Lewis and academic nonqualifier Luwane Pipkins, who each sat out 2015-16, as well as incoming true freshmen De’Jon Jarreau, Brison Greshman, Chris Baldwin and Unique McLean.

ESPN’s Adam Finklestein called the five true freshmen the Atlantic 10’s best recruiting class. It was ranked the 24th best class in the country by 247Sports.

“This is a class that helps bridge the gap between the last group we had and the next group,” UMass coach Derek Kellogg said. “I’m looking forward to great days ahead. ... There’s going to be a lot of coaching and there’ll be a learning curve (in 2016-17). But the talent level has been raised dramatically.”

Flowers said UMass was an easy choice.

“I fell in love with the school when I first visited,” he said. “I fell in love with the coaches and the team.”

The Minutemen’s style of play appealed to Flowers.

“They play fast and move the ball,” he said. “It’s a good team, a good fit.”

Flowers, who said he’s in touch daily with his future teammates, expected to be enrolled at UMass for the second summer session in July.

Kellogg said Flowers could eventually play shooting guard or either forward spot. His skill set loosely compares to that of former Minuteman Raphiael Putney.

“He’s a little bit tougher at that age than Putt. He’s not as athletic, but there’s definitely some comparisons to be made,” Kellogg said. “He’s a little further ahead of where Putney was coming out of high school. I think he can play as a freshman and help us win basketball games.”

Kellogg said his perimeter length fits the type of player he looks for.

“He has tremendous upside. He can play multiple positions. He fits in with exactly the way I like to play and do things here at UMass,” Kellogg said. “He should be a big part of our program over the next four years. He’s just scratching the surface of what he can be. He’s a very good shooter. One of the best things he does is get hot from 3-point range. He’s a lefty, which is intriguing. ”

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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