Highly-touted recruits De’Jon Jarreau, Brison Gresham both pick UMass

By Andrew Cyr

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Monday was a huge win for the Massachusetts men’s basketball team and it didn’t even step foot on the court.

Shortly after 3 p.m., highly-touted recruits De’Jon Jarreau and Brison Gresham both verbally committed to UMass, choosing the Minutemen over Miami (FL).

Jarreau and Gresham had made it clear, after playing both AAU and high school basketball in New Orleans together, that they wanted to continue playing college basketball at the same program.

Jarreau, a four-star recruit, is the highest-rated recruit that UMass coach Derek Kellogg has brought to the program in his eight years in Amherst. The 6-foot-5, 180-pound point guard is ranked the 39th best player in the 2016 recruiting class according to Rivals.com, as well as No. 56 by 247Sports and No. 62 by ESPN.

Gresham, a 6-foot-9, 210-pound forward is a three-star recruit and is ranked No. 71 by 247Sports and No. 132 by Rivals.

As juniors at McDonogh 35 High School, Jarreau averaged 16.9 points per game, 3.9 rebounds and 3.6 assists. Gresham contributed with 14.8 points, 8.2 rebounds and 3.9 blocks of his own.

Jarreau will join Donte Clark, Luwane Pipkins and Canisius transfer Zach Lewis in the backcourt for UMass in 2016 while Gresham will add much needed depth to the Minutemen’s frontcourt that currently features freshmen Malik Hines, Rashaan Holloway and graduate student transfer Antwan Space from Texas A&M. However, Space will have no remaining eligibility by the time Gresham arrives at UMass.

Both Jarreau and Gresham’s commitments Monday were only verbal, meaning nothing is official until Nov. 11 when the pair can sign their official National Letter of Intent. Kellogg is not allowed to comment on the recruits until these letters are signed.

The 2015 season is full of uncertainty and could very well be a transition year for the Minutemen, but UMass’ future is bright and Jarreau and Gresham will be a big part in that.

Andrew Cyr can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @Andrew_Cyr.