Coverage from:
Insiders Report
The Daily Hampshire Gazette
The Springfield Union-News

Branwell To UMass
By Russ Blake, The Insiders Report, 9/7/2000

Mauricio Branwell, a raw but promising 6-8, 205 pound power forward from Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburgh, Mass., committed to Massachusetts tonight.

Mauricio Branwell
Branwell, who is from Silver Spring, Maryland, apparently had a change of heart over the past 24 hours. He previously told the Insiders Report that he was thinking about taking some visits.

Branwell averaged averaged 18 points and 13 rebounds along with seven blocks per game last year as a junior. He is very athletic, with good skills, but has average grades and it will be.tough for him to qualify.

He has transferred to Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg, Mass., for the upcoming school year. Branwell told the Insiders Report that he previously considered Temple, Syracuse, Tennessee, Iowa State, George Washington and Pittsburgh this fall. Branwell had unofficially visited UMass.

Previously, Branwell said he was looking to visit Syracuse the weekend of Oct. 21 (Virginia Tech FB game) and Iowa State the weekend of Oct. 14. These visits will now not take place.

Branwell spent last year at Dunbar H.S. in Washington, D.C. He traveled this summer with Curtis Malone's D.C. Assault program, and kicked off a busy summer at the adidas ABCD Camp in Teaneck, N.J.

UMass hoop gets new recruit
By Matt Vautour, The Daily Hampshire Gazette Staff Writer, 9/8/2000

The University of Massachusetts men's basketball team may have filled a recruiting class earlier than at any time in its history. The Minutemen got their third verbal commitment for the freshman class of 2001-02 Wednesday.

Maurecio Branwell, a 6-foot-8 forward from Silver Springs, Md., signed on with the Minutemen. UMass had only three scholarships to offer prospective recruits.

Branwell, who averaged 18 points and 13 rebounds for Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C., last year, is transferring to Notre Dame Prep School in Fitchburg for his senior year.

He also had considered Tennessee, Temple, Syracuse, Iowa State, George Washington and Pittsburgh. Branwell reportedly hasn't taken the necessary SATs yet.

Branwell joins a class that includes guards Eddie Basden and Jeremiah King. Both of them made verbal commitments to the Minutemen last week.

Branwell will join a frontcourt including Jackie Rogers, Micah Brand, Eric Williams and Kitwana Rhymer, if Rhymer completes his degree in four-years.

UMass assistant coach Geoff Arnold said Rhymer is on track to complete his degree in time.

Bruiser lands 6-8 power forward Branwell
By Ron Chimelis, The Springfield Union-News, 9/8/2000

Mauricio Branwell says he chose the University of Massachusetts men's basketball program partly because of his admiration for Marcus Camby.

Asked is aspiring to be as talented as Camby has become is an extremely high and almost unreachable goal, Branwell said "no, it's not - not if you work hard."

And with that confidence, Branwell became the third high school player to make a verbal commitment to UMass for the 2001-2002 season.

Branwell, a 6-foot-8 senior power forward, will attend Notre Dame Academy in Fitchburg this year. He joins guards Eddie Basden of Greenbelt, Md. and Jeremiah King of Paterson, N.J., as high school seniors who have also verbally committed to attend UMass in the fall of 2001.

Branwell played last season for Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C., where he averaged 17 points, 13 rebounds and three blocked shots per game. He chose UMass over Temple, Tennessee, Syracuse, Iowa State and Pittsburgh, he said.

Players cannot officially sign letters of intent until the November 8-15 signing period. But Branwell says his mind is made up.

"I just felt comfortable there," he said. "Also, I loved watching Camby play."

Camby took UMass to the 1996 Final Four, then went on to an NBA career, first with Toronto and now with the New York Knicks.

Branwell's recruitment is a plum for UMass coach Bruiser Flint and his staff on several fronts. Having locked up verbal promises from Basden and King, the Minutemen appear solid in the backcourt, but Branwell gives them size for the future.

Winning a recruiting battle within the Atlantic 10 Conference is also special, but especially given that Temple - a UMass archrival and nationally prominent program - was also involving in the recruiting.

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