Will Derek Kellogg’s firing create roster upheaval?

  • Dejon Jarreau, left, of UMass, moves the ball past Kyle Davis, of Dayton, during the regular season at the Mullins Center. GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

@MattVautourDHG
Published: 3/9/2017 6:52:14 PM

PITTSBURGH — Whether the next coach of the UMass men’s basketball program inherits a promising young roster or a complete restart will depend on whether the players decide to stay and play for the new coach.

The 2016-17 Minutemen had no seniors meaning its possible that the entire roster could be back. That’d be pretty rare with a coaching change.

DeJon Jarreau tweeted:

“I don’t know what to say.. my heart shattered!”

He followed that with:

“I just wanna say thank you for all you done for me. The relationship we developed is like no other, love you coach. Until we meet again”.

Luwane Pipkins tweeted:

“WOW WOW WOW WOW IS ALL I CAN SAY” with followed by two hand-slapping head emojis.

Jaylen Franklin, who is expected to be a walk-on next year, wrote:

“Wanted to play for Coach DK since I was 12. Say what you want, but he is one of the most caring/genuine people I’ve ever met. (Expletive deleted) man.”

The following is a look at each player on the roster and the likelihood of his return.

Juniors

Donte Clark — He’ll reportedly graduate on time with a year remaining, which means he can take advantage of the NCAA’s graduate transfer rule. He’d be an attractive target for a Power Five that’s trying to rebuild quickly or reload or a mid-major looking for an alpha dog scorer. The new coach might have to convince him to stay.

Seth Berger — Like Clark, he’ll graduate on time with a year to play. Berger’s versatility and defensive skills, would give him options if he wanted to play his final season elsewhere.

Zach Lewis — One of the odd parts of the fifth-year transfer rule is that it opens the door for players to transfer twice. Lewis is eligible to do exactly that. He’d have interested suitors if he wants to go. He might wait to see what Clark does because if Clark leaves, his role could grow immensely.

Zach Coleman — He has his degree and a year of eligibility left. But barring drastic improvement in his well-worn knees, it’s unlikely Coleman moves on. He’ll likely be back for one more year.

C.J. Anderson — Unlike the other juniors, he’s only in his third year, so he’d have to sit out if he left. Most schools don’t want to commit two years of a scholarship for one year of playing. Plus he could play a lot of minutes at UMass if someone else left.

Sophomores

Holloway — Whoever takes over will likely have Holloway on the roster. Because the big man from New Jerseysat out his freshman season, he’d lose a year if he transferred. Don’t be surprised if Holloway puts his name in the NBA draft to get evaluated with likelihood of pulling out and returning to school. It’ll be interesting if new coach retains Rich Casella, who has been instrumental in improving Holloway’s conditioning.

Malik Hines — Like Holloway, he’s used his sit-out season already so transferring would mean a lost year. He’ll almost certainly likely be back.

Freshmen

Pipkins & Unique McLean — Both have sat out a year so transferring would mean sitting out another one that they don’t get back. It’s a good bet that both would give the new coach a chance.

DeJon Jarreau & Brison Gresham — Assuming these two are still a package deal, the new coach will likely have to re-recruit them at least a little bit. Both are obviously talented enough that other programs will put back-channel feelers out to gauge their interest. UMass will have to hope that both will at least give the new hire a chance.

Chris Baldwin & Ty Flowers — Both Baldwin, a Springfield native and Flowers, who is from Connecticut, had sporadic playing time and could have different roles under a new coach. Does playing close to home appeal enough to want to stay?

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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