Recruiting ears to the ground
By Matt Vautour, The Daily Hampshire Gazette Staff Writer, 8/9/2000

With Monty Mack, Jonathan DePina and Winston Smith leaving after next season, UMass has been recruiting to fill three holes, with a heavy emphasis placed on scoring.

The Minutemen's best chance for an early signing appears to be Jeremiah King, a 6-foot-2 well-regarded shooting guard from Passaic, N.J. who impressed scouts on the summer circuit.

King told the Bergen Record that if things worked out the way he hoped, he would end up at UMass.

Flint and his staff have had several players make unofficial visits to campus already, with several more scheduled. One recruit who already has stopped in is 6-8 power forward Ed Nelson, who grew up in Boston but is currently at St. Thomas Aquinas in Ft. Lauderdale. That high school has been a fertile recruiting ground for UMass football players.

One of the more intriguing players UMass is pursuing is Deng Gai, a thin, 6-10 center from the Sudan who will play at St. Thomas More in Connecticut this season.

He is expected to unofficially visit UMass this month.

Other players UMass is recruiting include:

* High-scoring Maryland native Ed Basden, a 6-5 swingman who recently trimmed his choices to UMass, Villanova and Georgetown. He plans to visit UMass unofficially this month.

* Craig Forth, a 7-foot center from Albany.

* Ernest Turner a 6-2 guard from Somerdale, N.J. recently was quoted as saying UNLV is his leader, but listed UMass as a possibility. He has scored 2,000 points already, entering his senior year.

* Tommy McLaughlin, a 6-5 Andover native who is the son of former UMass coach Tom McLaughlin. The elder McLaughlin coached the Minutemen from 1981-83. Tommy McLaughlin had a difficult summer playing in Boston, but is still considered a top prospect.

* Kenny Adeleke, a 6-6 small forward from the same high school as UMass power forward Eric Williams. Adeleke already has visited UMass unofficially.

* Tony Bethel, a guard from Bishop McNamara in Forestville, Md. can play either backcourt spot.

* Mariceo Branwell, a 6-8 forward from Forth Washington, Md. the same high school where UMass All-American cornerback Jerard White played.

* Jason McKreith, a 6-4 guard, from Schenectady, NY, is originally from Springfield and is interested in returning to western Mass.

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