UMass basketball recruit Marcquise Reed chooses Clemson

By Mark Chiarelli

Former Robert Morris guard Marcquise Reed will transfer to Clemson University, a decision which ended a multi-week pursuit of Reed by numerous teams, including the Massachusetts men’s basketball team.

Reed, who averaged 15 points per game this season and was named the Northeast Conference’s Rookie of the Year, announced his decision via Twitter Monday night after narrowing his list of finalists to Clemson, UMass and Southern California. He said the aggressiveness of the Tigers’ coaching staff in his recruitment was a key factor in his decision, as well as Clemson’s alignment within the Atlantic Coast Conference.

“It’s one of the top conferences so it’s a new challenge for myself, so if I’m competing with guys like that it will be easier when I go to the next level. And location. My family wanted to see me play,” Reed told The State.

The 6-foot-3 guard will sit out next season and has three years of eligibility remaining starting in 2016-17.

UMass hosted Reed on an official visit April 24 and was connected to him as a serious landing spot throughout his recruitment. He’s considered a gifted scorer — he scored 22 points against Duke this year in the NCAA tournament — and would’ve been an intriguing piece in Derek Kellogg’s back court.

The Minutemen’s immediate guard situation has taken a hit this summer, as starting shooting guard Derrick Gordon and reserve guard Demetrius Dyson will both transfer. Still, UMass returns seniors Trey Davis and Jabarie Hinds, as well as backup C.J. Anderson.

It’s also expected that incoming point guard recruit Luwane Pipkins — who is touted as a steady 3-point shooter — will gobble up rotational minutes. Pipkins, as well swing forward Donte Clark, will be relied upon as significant pieces within the next two seasons.

UMass still has two open scholarship spots for next season. The Minutemen recently added former Texas A&M forward Antwan Space as a fifth-year option, but is still in the market for both front-court depth and another scoring guard as the transfer market continues to take shape.

Mark Chiarelli can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @Mark_Chiarelli.