Swingman, guard eye UMass
By Matt Vautour, The Daily Hampshire Gazette Staff Writer, 4/19/2001

Steve Lappas' first recruiting class as head coach of the University of Massachusetts men's basketball team could materialize quickly, as two more players could be close to signing with the Minutemen.

Brennan Martin, a 6-foot-6 swingman who signed a letter of intent to attend Villanova in the fall, reportedly will be released from his commitment and is interested in UMass and Lappas, who recruited him at Villanova. He is expected to visit UMass shortly.

Martin is originally from Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., but is currently at Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia, the same school that produced former Minutemen Inus Norville and Andre Burks.

Martin committed to Texas A&M last year, but did not qualify academically and went to Hargrave, where he re-opened his recruiting.

Marcus Cox, the 6-4 combo guard who is transferring from Connecticut, visited UMass this week and likely will announce his decision this week. Rhode Island is the only other school he's considering.

Any signees will join Vancouver, B.C., point guard Kyle Wilson, who committed to the Minutemen last week.

Even if both Martin and Cox sign at UMass, the new coaching staff still hopes to land a big man, as Kitwana Rhymer, Eric Williams and Jackie Rogers all are slated to graduate next year.

Chris Charles, who verbally committed to Seton Hall, but opted out when Tommy Amaker left to become the coach at Michigan, appears to be a priority. The 7-foot center is still considering Seton Hall, but has re-opened his recruiting to include UMass, Villanova and Michigan. Charles visited UMass last week and has visited Michigan as well.

Originally from Milwaukee, Charles is finishing high school at Crispus Attucks High School in York, Pa.

If the Minutemen take the three guards and a big man, it would mean one more recruit than available roster spots, meaning some current player would need to leave the team. With the glut of new backcourt/perimeter bodies, that player might come from UMass' group at those positions.

* * *

Lappas was the featured speaker at Wednesday's sports luncheon at the campus center. He answered questions and drew laughter from the crowd.

"One thing I've learned is that to get applause here, all I have to do to is mention that I beat UConn twice last year," he said.

Lappas introduced new assistant coaches Andrew Theokas and John Leonard. His other assistant, Chris Walker, was out recruiting.

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