UMass hoop recruits on campus
By Matt Vautour, The Daily Hampshire Gazette Staff Writer, 10/4/2000

AMHERST - Two players who will be opponents in the near future and teammates not long after that, hung out together for a while in Amherst last weekend.

All three of the University of Massachusetts men's basketball recruits were on campus.

For guards Ed Basden and Jeremiah King, the visit was their one official (paid for by the school) visit, while power forward Maurecio Branwell, who is playing at Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg, got a ride to Amherst for an unofficial visit.

Branwell's Notre Dame squad will face King, who is playing for Winchendon, several times this winter.

"I told him I was going to get him," Branwell joked.

The three players can sign their official letters of intent next month.

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The Minutemen can't begin practicing with the coaching staff until Midnight Madness on Oct. 13, but the players have had regular pickup games in the Mullins Center and at the Curry Hicks Cage.

An early standout from those games has been freshman Willie Jenkins. The baby-faced swingman has shown a strong scoring potential, both from the outside and driving to the basket.

Sophomore center Micah Brand, who dominated the Springfield Pro-Am League this summer, also has looked sharp.

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There will be a familiar face on the UMass bench during games and on the court during practice. Former Amherst High School star Dwayne Killings plans to walk-on to the Minutemen.

Killings can't play, or even suit up, for games for UMass this year because he is transferring from Hampton College in Virginia.

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As an annual rite of autumn, the college basketball preview magazines are hitting newsstands.

Minuteman senior Monty Mack has increased his appearances on the regional covers from one last year to two this year.

Mack and Boston College's Troy Bell both are featured on the cover of Athlon's and Street and Smith's. Mack is listed as the preseason player of the year in the Atlantic 10 Conference by the two above publications, as well as by Dick Vitale's/ESPN and the Sporting News.

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Miscellaneous: UMass coach Bruiser Flint will participate in his annual alumni association breakfast in Boston Thursday, at The Fours, a sports bar near the FleetCenter... The Bruiser Flint Radio Show on WHMP has moved from Rafters to The Monkey Bar in Amherst.

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