MHERST, Mass. -- University of Massachusetts head men's basketball coach James "Bruiser" Flint announced today that 6-8 power forward Mauricio Branwell (Silver Springs, Md.) and 6-2 combo guard Jeremiah King (Passaic, N.J.) have signed national letters of intent to play for the Minutemen next fall.
Jeremiah King & Mauricio Branwell, 11/17/2000
"Mauricio is a tremendous athlete, who will really help us on the inside," Flint said. "I was impressed with his toughness, and his ability to rebound the basketball. He will be a very good player for us, and should be an anchor along our frontline in the coming years."
King, meanwhile, played his junior season at Paterson Catholic (N.J.) High School, but will play for former UMass player Mike Byrnes at the Winchendon (Mass.) School as a senior. The versatile King, who can play either guard position, averaged 22.6 points per game at Paterson Catholic a year ago, and selected UMass over South Carolina, Seton Hall, Pitt, St. Joseph's and Hofstra.
"I believe Jeremiah will really strengthen our backcourt," Flint said. "He can play both the point and the off guard, which will give us some options with him. Our style of play should suit his talents very well.
King and Branwell join Eddie Basden, who signed last week, to complete UMass' recruiting efforts for the 2001-02 season. "I'm really happy with this class as a group," Flint said. "They are three very good players, but they are also good kids, and I believe that's important, too.
"With what we've signed this fall, combined with what we have sitting out (Raheim Lamb and Anthony Anderson) this year, we've really positioned the program for continued success in the coming years. I would expect that down the road, this group could well be our starting line-up. These five guys are difference makers."
he official paperwork finally arrived for Mauricio Branwell and Jeremiah King. The two players turned verbal commitments into signed letters of intent Wednesday, completing the University of Massachusetts men's basketball team's fall recruiting class.
Both players are attending Massachusetts prep schools this season in an attempt to become eligible for their freshman seasons next fall.
The two signees join Maryland native Eddie Basden, who signed his letter of intent last week.
Branwell, a 6-foot-8 forward who averaged 18 points and 13 rebounds at Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C., is at Notre Dame Academy in Fitchburg this year. He chose UMass over Tennessee, Syracuse, Iowa State and George Washington.
"Mauricio is a tremendous athlete who will really help us on the inside," UMass coach Bruiser Flint said in a statement released by the athletic department. "I was impressed with his toughness and his ability to rebound the basketball. He will be a very good player for us, and should anchor our front line in the coming years."
King is a 6-2 combo guard who played at Patterson (N.J.) Catholic, the same school that produced current Milwaukee Buck Tim Thomas. King averaged 22.6 points per game. He is currently playing for former Minuteman Mike Byrnes at Winchendon.
"I believe Jeremiah will really strengthen our backcourt," Flint said. "He can play both point and off guard, which will give us some options with him. Our style of play should suit him very well."
King and Branwell play against each other Friday in Fitchburg.