MHERST, Mass. -- University of Massachusetts head basketball coach James "Bruiser" Flint announced today that 6-5 shooting guard Eddie Basden (Greenbelt, Md.) has signed a national letter of intent to attend UMass next fall.
A consensus top 50 prep and ranked as the No. 3 player in the state of Maryland, Basden played for coach Glenn Farello at Eleanor Roosevelt High School. He averaged 19.3 points, seven rebounds, four assists and five steals as a junior, and figures to challenge for Maryland's player-of the-year honor as a prep senior. Basden chose UMass over Big East Conference schools Villanova, Georgetown and Rutgers.
Basden's stock on the national scene rose soared last summer after his outstanding performances in the D.C. Pro-Am League, the adidas ABCD camp and the AAU national tournament. He played for the Sky's The Limit AAU team, coached by Sam Harris. The fifth-leading scorer in the 2000 AAU 17 & under national tournament, Basden earned a spot on that event's all-tournament team.
"We're very excited Eddie has decided to come to UMass, because he is a tremendous player," Flint said. "He's a big time athlete who can score. In looking ahead to next year, I felt it was important that we find a shooting guard, and we've signed a top 50 player to take over that spot when Monty (Mack) moves on after the season."
ith the early signing period beginning Wednesday, the University of Massachusetts men's basketball team got a letter of intent from one of the three recruits it expects to sign during this session. Maryland native Eddie Basden's paperwork arrived in Amherst yesterday afternoon.
UMass coach Bruiser Flint expressed excitement about the 6-foot-5 shooting guard's potential.
"He's a big-time high school player," Flint said. "He's a tremendous athlete and can really score, which we needed with Monty (Mack) leaving. A lot of people are saying he's a top 50 player. We think he has a chance to be a really special player here."
The Greenbelt, Md., native averaged 19.3 points, seven rebounds, four assists and five steals as a junior at Eleanor Roosevelt High School. He chose UMass over several Big East schools.
"UMass just felt right," Basden said after offering UMass a verbal commitment in August. "I liked the coaches. Bruiser talked to me like a man. He told it straight and didn't lie to me. I liked that."
Flint said Basden reminded him of former Rhode Island star and current Houston Rocket Cuttino Mobley, but stronger coming out of high school.
Flint thought Basden's abilities would fit in strongly with the style the Minutemen play.
"I like guards that can score and strong guards because we play physical defense," Flint said.
Basden has yet to receive the necessary standardized test score needed to be eligible to participate as a freshman, but has several more opportunities to take the test.
Power forward Maurecio Branwell and combo guard Jeremiah King are expected to sign officially later this week. Because they are at prep school, they have to sign the letters themselves and then send it home for their parents to sign before forwarding it to the school.
The early signing period ends Nov. 15.
MHERST - One down, two to go.
The University of Massachusetts men's basketball team received good news yesterday with the receipt of a national letter of intent from Eddie Basden, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt, Md.
"We're very excited Eddie has decided to come to UMass, because he's a tremendous player," UMass coach Bruiser Flint said. "He's a big-time athlete who can score.
"In looking to next year, I felt it was important that we find a shooting guard, and we've signed a (national prep) top 50 player to take over the spot when Monty Mack moves on after this season."
Basden, who averaged 19.3 points per game last year, is one of three high school seniors who had verbally committed to UMass. They could not officially sign until this week.
The other verbal commitments are from Jeremiah King, a 6-2 guard from Paterson N.J., and Mauricio Branwell, a 6-8 forward attending Notre Dame Academy in Fitchburg.
Although UMass loses shooting guard Mack in 2001, freshmen Willie Jenkins and Jameel Pugh have shown promise at the position. Still, Basden is a good addition who averaged seven rebounds, four assists and five steals last year, in addition to his scoring.
Basden considered Villanova, Georgetown and Rutgers before choosing UMass. Maryland also jumped into the picture after Basden's stock improved with a strong summer of AAU ball and camps.
Basden played for the Sky's The Limit AAU team and also played well in the D.C. Pro-Am League and Adidas ABCD camp.
Before this season has even begun, next year is taking shape for UMass. The Minutemen, who are carrying 11 scholarship players, lose seniors Mack, Winston Smith and Jonathan DePina in 2001.
Kitwana Rhymer is also a senior, but if he graduates on time in the spring, he will be eligible to play next season, having regained the freshman season he lost to academic rules.
The Minutemen will also add 6-5 forward Raheim Lamb of Boston, a freshman who is a partial academic qualifier and will practice with the team next year. They also plan to welcome Anthony Anderson, a point guard from Lynn who did not qualify according to NCAA Clearinghouse regulations, and is attending classes at UMass.
Barring other changes, these transactions and the expected signings of King and Branwell would leave UMass with 13 scholarship players next season, the NCAA maximum.