MHERST - With its recruiting of current high school seniors in full force, the University of Massachusetts men's basketball team also is making future preparations by recruiting high school juniors as well.
UMass' likely No. 1 target could come from its own backyard. Andover native Tom McLaughlin is widely considered one of the nation's top juniors. The 6-foot-5 player has an advanced offensive game that saw him score 40 points in a game against Boston Latin.
He likely will play shooting guard in college, a spot UMass will be looking to fill with Monty Mack graduating after next season.
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Several of UMass' top senior targets are narrowing their lists as the November early signing period (Nov. 10-17) approaches.
Brooklyn point guard Michael Boynton has shaved his list of potential schools to three, with South Carolina, Boston College and UMass still in the hunt. He visited South Carolina last weekend; he'll be at BC this weekend; and he'll come to UMass on an official visit next weekend.
He will be joined on the trip by fellow New Yorker J.C. Mathis, a 6-9 power forward, who is still exploring several schools.
Sacremento, Calif., native Jameel Pugh has listed UMass and St. Louis as his current leaders. He visited Amherst last weekend and will travel to the Gateway to the West this weekend.
"It was great," Pugh told Pac-West Hoops, a recruiting Web Site, about his trip to UMass. "The campus was really nice along with their facilities. They treated me really well."
A.J. Moye, a 6-5 small forward from Georgia will decide between UMass, Indiana and Georgia.
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According to UMass staff assistant Brian Gorman, there has been considerable interest in this weekend's coaches clinic. Pre-registration is available, but walk-ins are welcome.
For more information, call Gorman at 413-545-3753.
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Andy Maclay II? UMass football star Marcel Shipp has no plans to play basketball in the near future, but when he was at Milford Academy he got to know new Minutemen Eric Williams and JoVann Johnson.
"I was telling Eric from the beginning that he should come here," Shipp said. "(When he came) I said, "I told you so."
While Shipp is modest about his running ability, he wasn't shy about his prowess on the hardwood.
"I beat Eric Williams in a one-on-one game, but he won't admit it," Shipp said. "Or he will admit it, but he'll get mad."
Andy Maclay played football and basketball for UMass.