Coverage from:
JuCo Junction - 4/12
The Springfield Union-News - 4/12
The Daily Hampshire Gazette - 4/13
UMass Athletics - 4/13
The Springfield Union-News - 4/14
The Daily Hampshire Gazette - 4/14

The Saga Ends in Ink
By Russ Blake, JuCo Junction, 4/12/2000

Barton County power forward Jackie Rogers ended weeks of speculation on Wednesday by signing a national letter of intent with UMass. The Syracuse, N.Y., native picked UMass over Louisville. Rogers spoke to JUCO Junction shortly after his decision.

Jackie Rogers, a 6-7, 220 pound power forward from Barton County C.C. in Great Bend, Kan., signed a national letter of intent late Wednesday afternoon with the University of Massachusetts.

Rogers told JUCO Junction late last week that he would decide between UMass and Louisville, and it was Denny Crum's Cardinal program that finished a strong second to Bruiser Flint's Minuteman club when all was said and done.

"I picked UMass because it will give me a chance to play close to home where my friends and family can see me play," said Rogers. "I think that we are going to have a chance to win the league next year, because we have a good team and a good recruiting class coming in."

Rogers said that he signed and faxed his letter of intent to UMass around 5:10 p.m. C.S.T. on Wednesday. Bruiser Flint called the basketball office at Barton just to make sure that all the i's were dotted and t's were crossed.

"It was a hard decision," Rogers said. "I had a lot of people calling me, telling me what to do. I am glad I got it over with and now I won't have to worry about it much anymore."

Rogers averaged 18.8 points and 7.3 rebounds in helping to lead Barton County to a number one ranking for much of the 1999-2000 season.

The Cougars were upset by Independence C.C. back on March 7 in the Region 6 finals, denying Barton a return trip top Hutch.

Rogers visited three schools throughout the process -- St. Bonaventure (Sept. 99), Louisville (Feb. 00) and UMass (March 00). He is expected to complete his degree work by May 8 and return to Syracuse, N.Y.

Rogers officially signs with UMass
By Ed Kubosiak Jr., MassLive Associate Sports Producer, 4/12/2000

Signed, sealed and deliverd.

University of Massachusetts men's basketball coach Bruiser Flint got his man after all when power forward Jackie Rogers of Barton Community College in Great Bend, Kan., signed his national letter of intent late this afternoon with UMass, according to Juco Junction, an online recruiting site.

Rogers, a 6-foot-7, 220-pounder who averaged 18.8 points and 7.3 rebounds with Barton last season, had been wavering in recent weeks after saying early on that he would be coming to UMass. Louisville entered the picture in the last two weeks when Cardinal coach Denny Crum made a last-minute pitch to sign the big man.

UMass also received a signed letter of intent from Lynn English point guard Anthony Anderson on Wednesday.

"I picked UMass because it will give me a chance to play close to home where my friends and family can see me play," Rogers was quoted on Juco Junction. "I think that we are going to have a chance to win the league next year, because we have a good team and a good recruiting class coming in."

Rogers and Anderson join Jameel Pugh, a 6-4 guard from Sacramento, Calif., and Raheim Lamb from Boston English High as signed recruits.

UMass signs hoop recruits
By Matt Vautour, The Daily Hampshire Gazette Staff Writer, 4/13/2000

Verbal commitments turned into signed papers Wednesday as Jarrett Kearse, Anthony Anderson and Jackie Rogers all signed letters of intent to attend the University of Massachusetts on the first day of the spring signing period.

The three players joined Raheim Lamb and Jameel Pugh, who signed in the early signing period for the incoming class.

Anderson's paperwork arrived Wednesday morning, while Rogers' came through the fax machine in the early evening. Kearse is expected to file his letter today.

UMass coach Bruiser Flint is pleased with the infusion of talent.

"The hard work really paid off," said Flint, who praised his assistant coaches. "Geoff (Arnold) and Tony (Barbee) did a great job. We did things differently this year. We opened up a lot of different areas. We recruited more volume so if we didn't get our top (choice), our next guy would be pretty good."

Rogers, a 6-foot-8 power forward from Barton County Community College, chose UMass over Louisville and St. Bonaventure. Rogers spent a year at West Virginia before going to Barton County, where he was the team's leading scorer (18.2 ppg) and second leading rebounder (7.5 rpg) for a team that was ranked in the JUCO top five all season.

Flint was excited about what he can bring to the Minutemen.

"He's athletic, he can score around the basket and he rebounds well," Flint said. "When I went out to see him play, nobody on the floor played as hard as he did. He reminds me of Lou Roe. Lou always brought a lot in terms of intensity, and Jackie does that too."

The addition of Rogers eliminates the depth problem that plagued UMass inside last year, when Kitwana Rhymer and Micah Brand were the only regular contributors . Rogers and Eric Williams, who sat out last year after transferring from Syracuse, will compete for time at power forward.

"We didn't have any depth last year," Flint said. "Some of our nonconference teams, as well as the bigger teams in our conference, crushed us inside. This gives us some bodies to go against those teams."

Whether Anderson is in uniform next year remains a question. The 5-10 Lynn point guard has yet to attain the necessary combination of core course grades and standardized test scores to reach NCAA eligibility standards for next season.

Lamb, a small forward from Boston, also has yet to qualify. But according to Flint, both players have improved their academic situation considerably since the fall.

"I went to see them both during the recruiting period and I came back pleased," Flint said. "They're both a lot closer to qualifying than they had been."

Whenever Anderson becomes eligible, Flint is looking forward to seeing him in action.

"He'll give us the best pure point guard we've had," said Flint, who is a former floor general himself. "He played with (UConn-bound) Scott Hazelton last summer. Anthony ran the team and got people the ball, but when Scott got injured, Anthony really stepped up and would get 25 or 30 points per game. He does what he has to do to help his team win.

"He's unselfish," Flint continued. "He could have had 30 points per game in high school, but he found the open man and got people involved. He did what a good point guard is supposed to do."

If both Lamb and Anderson are eligible, then UMass has filled its quota of scholarships for next year.

With a potentially full roster next year, Flint knows there will only be so many minutes to go around, a problem that hurt his team two years ago.

"Two years ago we had too many guys with agendas that were too worried about themselves," Flint said. "We went after guys (for this season) that were talking about winning, not about how many points they were going to score."

* * *

UMass has added one big-name opponent to its schedule next year, and more could be on the way.

The Minutemen will travel to Columbus to take on Ohio State on Dec. 10. The Buckeyes will come to Amherst in the 2001-02 season.

A game that would draw considerable interest in Franklin County also could be in the works. UMass and Auburn are negotiating a potential home-and-home series. The Tigers feature former Pioneer Valley Regional star Adam Harrington.

The Minutemen are also one of a small group of teams that is still under consideration to play in November's Tip-Off Classic at the Springfield Civic Center and in the Rock and Roll Classic in Cleveland against Cincinnati.

* * *

One of the worst-kept secrets in the Nutmeg State is that Connecticut assistant coach Karl Hobbs is the University of Hartford's top choice to fill its vacant coaching position. UMass assistant Geoff Arnold also is a candidate for that post. Hobbs, however, is also a candidate for several other jobs, including ones at Siena and Houston.

Arnold, aware of where he stands in the scenario, said, "I thought things went well down there. I understand the process, so I'm waiting to hear."

* * *

The annual UMass Basketball Banquet is Sunday. Awards will be given to players for a variety of achievements ranging from performance to academics.

The second annual Milt Cole Award, named for the former Daily Hampshire Gazette sports editor, will be given to a non-player for dedication and commitment to the UMass program.

UMass Basketball Announces Three Signings
Anderson, Kearse and Rogers to join Minutemen next season.
From UMass Athletics, 4/13/2000

AMHERST, Mass. - University of Massachusetts head men's basketball coach James "Bruiser" Flint announced today that three student-athletes have signed national letters of intent to attend UMass and play for the Minutemen, beginning in the 2000-01 season. The three players to sign are guard Anthony Anderson (Lynn, Mass.), forward / guard Jarrett Kearse (Philadelphia, Pa.) and forward Jackie Rogers (Syracuse, N.Y.).

Anderson played for coach Ronald Bennett at Lynn English High School. This season, he averaged 24 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds per game, while leading Lynn English to an overall record of 19-5. Anderson was named the Most Valuable Player of the Northeastern Conference each of the last two seasons, and was also selected to this year's Boston Globe All-Scholastic Super Team.

Coach Flint on Anderson: "Anthony will be our first pure point guard since I have been the head coach. He is able to score when he needs to, and he is also adept at finding the open man. He is a real team player who will fit well into our system."

Kearse is a transfer from Philadelphia Community College, who will have two years of eligibility remaining. He did not play for Philadelphia C.C. this season, but spent the previous two years playing at West Virginia University. During the 1998-99 season, he averaged 12.2 points and 4.4 rebounds per game for the Mountaineers, while starting 27 games. He also led West Virginia in assists with 128 and three-pointers made with 57. Kearse previously played at Simon Gratz High School, leading his team to the Philadelphia public school championship during his senior year with a 25-5 record. As a senior, Kearse averaged 16.3 points, 8.9 assists and 5.8 rebounds per game, while earning second team All-State, first team All-City League and first team All-Area honors.

Coach Flint on Kearse: "Jarrett is a proven player who has already had success on the collegiate level in the Big East Conference. He is capable of playing both guard spots and at small forward, and will really help to raise our talent level."

Rogers is a transfer from Barton County Community College in Great Bend, Kan., where he averaged 18.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per game this season. Rogers, who will have two years of eligibility remaining, previously played at West Virginia University during the 1998-99 season. He averaged 1.8 points and 1.0 rebounds per game, while playing in 24 contests for the Mountaineers during his freshman year. Rogers also spent one season at Winchendon (Mass.) Prep School, where he averaged 9.9 points and 5.2 rebounds per game while leading his team to a 26-7 record. He played his high school ball at Corcoran H.S., earning All-Central New York and All-State honors while averaging 21.3 points and 15.1 rebounds per contest.

Coach Flint on Rogers: "Jackie is a big kid, who can score inside and rebound the ball. He always plays with a lot of energy, and he will help to give us the kind of inside presence which we lacked last season."

With the addition of Anderson, Kearse and Rogers, UMass has now signed five players this season. During the early signing period in November, forward Raheim Lamb (Boston, Mass.) and guard Jameel Pugh (Sacramento, Calif.) committed to UMass.

"With the addition of these three players, our recruiting class should really raise the talent level of our team," said Flint. "They all have the ability to contribute to the success of the team, and we hope they come in, work hard, and help us get back to the NCAA Tournament.

"We are also very happy to have two of the top players out of Massachusetts coming here, in Anthony Anderson and Raheim Lamb. It is our goal to keep the top players in the state at home, and we accomplished that this year by signing Anthony and Raheim."

A complete list of the incoming class for the Minutemen follows.

NameHt.Wt.Cl.Pos.Hometown / High School or Junior College
Anthony Anderson5-11175Fr.GLynn, Mass. / Lynn English H.S.
Jarrett Kearse6-6220Jr.F / GPhiladelphia, Pa. / Philadelphia C.C.
Raheim Lamb6-5190Fr.FBoston, Mass. / Boston English H.S.
Jameel Pugh6-4200Fr.GSacramento, Calif. / Grant Union H.S.
Jackie Rogers6-8230Jr.FSyracuse, N.Y. / Barton County (Kan.) C.C.

UMass locks up recruits
By Ron Chimelis, The Springfield Union-News, 4/14/2000

The puzzle is complete. The University of Massachusetts men's basketball team has five signed, sealed and delivered letters of intent in hand.

Yesterday, the letter committing guard Jarrett Kearse to UMass was received. Similar documents for power forward Jackie Rogers and point guard Anthony Anderson were received Wednesday, and forward Raheim Lamb and guard Jameel Pugh came aboard during the fall early signing period.

"Jarrett is a proven player who has already had success on the collegiate level in the Big East," UMass coach Bruiser Flint said of Kearse, a 6-foot-5 combination guard who can also play small forward. "He will really help to raise our talent level."

Kearse, a high school star at Philadelphia's Simon Gratz High School, averaged 12.2 points and 4.4 rebounds for West Virginia University in 1998-99. He led the Mountaineers in assists (128) and 3-point baskets (57) before transferring to Philadelphia Community College, where he did not play basketball last season.

The 5-11 Anderson was selected to the Boston Globe All-Scholastic Super Team after averaging 24 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds for Lynn English High School. Flint said the signings of Lamb (a 6-7 forward from Boston English) and Anderson were crucial to his efforts to keep the state's best high school players at home.

Kearse officially a Minuteman
By Matt Vautour, The Daily Hampshire Gazette Staff Writer, 4/14/2000

The University of Massachusetts basketball program got letter of intent No. 5 Thursday, as Jarrett Kearse officially became a Minuteman.

Kearse, a 6-foot-5 guard/small forward, will be a junior next year. He spent his first two seasons at West Virginia, before opting to leave after his sophomore season.

The Philadelphia native spent this past year taking classes at Philadelphia Community College. He didn't play basketball for Philly C.C., however, to maintain two years of eligibility.

"He can play multiple positions," UMass coach Bruiser Flint said. "Plus, he's proven. He did well in the Big East. We'll have to shake some rust off him, but I think he'll do a good job for us. He gives us another person who can put the ball in the basket."

Kearse led WVU in assists with 5.3 per game as a sophomore and was the Mountaineers' third leading scorer with 13.5 points.

Kearse joins forwards Jackie Rogers and Raheim Lamb and guards Anthony Anderson and Jameel Pugh as new Minutemen next year.

Due to the possibility that either Lamb or Anderson might not achieve the necessary grades or standardized test scores to be eligible, UMass is still recruiting players.

Denver native Stan King, a 6-4 shooting guard and J.C. Mathis, a 6-8 forward from the Bronx, are still interested in UMass. King will officially visit UMass later this month, while Mathis visited unofficially in the fall.

The Minutemen also could be a landing spot for Modibo Diarra, the raw but talented center from Africa who is currently at Notre Dame Academy in Fitchburg. Diarra speaks several languages fluently, but English isn't one of them, making the verbal section of the SAT nearly impossible. Diarra has yet to decide where he's going, but he is friends with Lamb and has listed UMass as a possibility.

* * *

Slam Magazine, the popular urban basketball magazine, is becoming a source of UMass features. Slam, which did a story on Pugh's dunking ability earlier in the year, currently features short stories on Rogers as part of a piece on junior college players, and on Monty Mack, who is returning for his senior year.

Back to the home page

Click Here to Visit Our Sponsor