UMass big man Chris Baldwin will transfer

  • Chris Baldwin, center, of UMass, defends Devin Peterson, of Western Carolina, last season at the Mullins Center. GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • UMass’ Chris Baldwin, left, battles Georgia’s Yante Maten to control the ball Dec. 16, 2017 during a men’s basketball game at the Mullins Center in Amherst. GAZETTE STAFF/SARAH CROSBY

@MattVautourDHG
Published: 4/23/2018 2:11:52 PM

AMHERST — The UMass men’s basketball team’s frontcourt remains fluid as Chris Baldwin has asked for his release and will transfer.

Baldwin, a sophomore big man from Springfield, averaged 4.8 points and 4.1 rebounds in 2017-18, but he missed most of February and all of March with a quad injury that required surgery.

He’ll have to sit out the 2018-19 season under NCAA transfer rules and will have two seasons of eligibility remaining. He could not be reached for comment.

Minuteman coach Matt McCall wished him well wherever he lands.

“Chris is a talented player who went through a coaching change. He gave us every opportunity to see if it was the right fit for him. At the end of the day he felt like this isn’t the right fit for him and his family and we support him,” McCall said. “We’re appreciative during all the transition for him to give us a chance. At the end of the day, it just wasn’t the right fit. We want to help him in any way we can find whatever he’s looking for.”

Baldwin was part of Derek Kellogg’s much-hyped final recruiting class that enrolled in 2017. Only redshirt freshman Unique McLean remains. Baldwin’s departure means that Luwane Pipkins and Rashaan Holloway, whose academic status still needs to be determined, are the only remaining scholarship players who played for Kellogg.

Baldwin follows junior big man Malik Hines, who announced last week that he was taking advantage of the NCAA’s graduate transfer rule, out the door.

Sy Chatman, a 6-foot-8 high school senior forward from Minnesota announced Sunday that he had committed to UMass. The Minutemen will add three freshmen and four transfers to the program for the 2018-19 season and are still recruiting players for next year.

UMass’ frontcourt for next season currently consists of Holloway, Rutgers transfer Jonathan Laurent, Khalea Turner-Morris and incoming freshmen Chatman and Samba Diallo.

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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