he University of Massachusetts latest men's basketball recruit is coming from just up the road as Matt Glass, a postgraduate at Northfield Mount Hermon, verbally committed to the Minutemen Thursday night.
Glass, who is from Jericho, Vt., received little exposure despite leading Mount Mansfield Union High School to the Vermont Division I state championship as in 2005. He enrolled at Northfield hoping to increase his exposure and earn a Division I scholarship.
A strong performance on the summer AAU circuit, particularly shooting the ball, earned Glass immediate attention.
He visited UMass, Northwestern and Richmond in September and was being courted by Princeton and Penn before deciding on the Minutemen.
Northfield coach Bill Batty said Glass would work well in coach Travis Ford's system.
''I think UMass is a great fit for him. I think he really fits the style Travis Ford wants to play,'' Batty said. ''He's a big shooter, that's the point. There's a lot of 6-foot-2 shooters around. This is a 6-foot-7 shooter.
''He's a very good offensive player,'' Batty added. ''He can go to the basket. He's got a lot of offensive weapons. I think his best days are ahead of him.''
Glass said his visit to UMass' campus sealed his decision.
''After my visit and meeting with Travis, the coaching staff and the players and getting a feel for what the school is all about, it felt academically and athletically like it was the right place for me,'' said Glass, who plans to be a regular in the stands at UMass home games this season. ''I'm excited about spending time with the guys and with the coaches and getting down to the UMass campus as much as I can in my free time and really submerging myself in all it has to offer.''
Glass hopes the year at Northfield Mount Hermon, which has four players already committed to Division I schools, would help him be better prepared for college.
''I want to work hard to develop myself as a college wing player so I can be as versatile as I can,'' he said. ''I'm going to work so I can handle the ball on the perimeter and defend stronger faster wings at that level.''
Glass joins Connecticut forward Matt Hill, New York combination guard Marcus Matthews and Springfield big man Trevon Wilcher among players who have committed to play for UMass beginning in the fall of 2007.
NCAA rules prohibit coaches from commenting on recruiting until players' have signed a national letter of intent. The early signing period begins in November.
Glass' commitment leaves UMass with two scholarships to offer. One of those could go fast. Max Groebe, a 6-foot-5 wing from Germany, who is at Chaminade High School in Miami, Fla., told Rivals.com that he is leaning toward picking the Minutemen.
''I think that I might be going to UMass,'' Groebe told Rivals.com. ''They are my No. 1 option right now and they will be tough to beat.
Groebe has also received interest from South Florida, Georgetown, George Washington, Miami of Florida, Purdue, Virginia, American and Texas-Arlington.
''UMass, Richmond, South Florida and a bunch of Patriot League schools have been by the gym to watch me practice, or have been here for in-home visits,'' Groebe said.
''I just love everything about UMass, which is why they're my leader. The gym is amazing. I love the gym and the team and the coaching staff. The guys at UMass are fun and I really believe that I am a perfect fit for the system,'' he added. ''I'm tall and I can shoot the ball, so it's a perfect fit for the both of us.''
Groebe played for the German under-18 national team in the summer of 2005.
UMass is looking to Europe for another prospect as well. The Minuteman staff was one of the first to express interest in Tomasz Kwiatkowski, a 7-foot native of Poland, whose stock has risen dramatically in recent months. He will play alongside Wilcher at Lee Academy and is looking at several Atlantic 10 schools as well as the University of Texas at El Paso, where former UMass star Tony Barbee was recently hired as the head coach.
OPTIMISTIC ABOUT GAFFNEY - Batty predicted success for another former Northfield Mount Hermon standout at UMass. Tony Gaffney, a transfer from Boston University, walked on at UMass and is sitting out this season.
''I think Tony will really flourish under Ford,'' Batty said. ''He's a very talented player. He's a 6-foot-8 scorer. He's athletic. I'm excited to see what happens with him.''
WILLIAMS HONORED - Former Minuteman star big man Harper Williams was inducted into the school's athletic hall of fame Friday night. Williams was not present at the ceremony because he's playing professionally in Europe. His wife represented him at the event.
Williams is the third John Calipari-era Minuteman player inducted, joining former teammates Lou Roe and Jim McCoy.
Matt Vautour can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more UMass coverage including a frequently updated UMass sports blog, go to www.dailyhampshiregazette.com/umsports