UMass guard Noah Fernandes receives waiver, becomes eligible for Minutemen

  • UMass men’s basketball guard Noah Fernandes, who transferred from Wichita State after last season, received his relief waiver from the NCAA, the program announced on Wednesday. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO


Published: 9/16/2020 6:15:55 PM

UMass men’s basketball guard Noah Fernandes received his relief waiver from the NCAA, the program announced on Wednesday.

Fernandes, a Mattapoisett native, is immediately eligible for the 2020-21 season.

“We’re very happy for Noah that he will have the opportunity to suit up with us this season,” head coach Matt McCall said in a statement. “I’d like to thank (Athletic Director) Ryan Bamford and (Associate Athletic Director, Governance and Compliance) Ariel Pesante for helping us navigate through this process. As a Massachusetts native, we know how excited Noah is about playing in his home state, and we’re looking forward to having his talent, experience and leadership on the floor this season. We’re confident that he will add to the high level of depth already on our roster in 2020-21.”

Fernandes transferred to the Minutemen from Wichita State following his freshman season in 2019-20. He appeared in 21 games, including three starts, and averaged 1.4 points in 9.9 minutes of action per game. He posted season highs of seven points on 3 of 8 shooting from the floor in 25 minutes at UCF on Feb. 13 and had a season-high six assists against UT Martin on Nov. 16.

“Noah was one of my favorite players that I watched two summers ago in AAU,” McCall said. “I think Noah is a winner, he has tremendous feel at the point guard spot and plays the game with a tremendous amount of passion. His competitiveness, basketball feel and moxie are things you want. I think he’s a better scorer than people give him credit for. He shoots it from the perimeter, but you can also put him in a pick-n-roll and he can make the right play. How we want to play offensively, when you can get multiple handlers out there with shooting on the floor, it’s going to make you that much harder to guard.”

Fernandes has connections with most of the players on the Minuteman roster. He took a prep year in 2018-19 at Woodstock Academy in Connecticut and was a teammate with Tre Mitchell, T.J. Weeks, Preston Santos and Ronnie DeGray III. That team earned the top seed at the National Prep Championship and finished the year 36-2.

Fernandes is a 2018 graduate of Tabor Academy in Marion, where he played for three seasons. He was a First Team All-NEPSAC (Class A) as a senior, earned ISL all-league honors, and averaged more than 20 points per game in 2017-18 and helped his team the NEPSAC Class A semifinals.

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