The countdown to tipoff is on, and Pickin’ Splinters has what A-10 basketball fans need to know about this year’s incoming class.
Today we cast our eyes upon the UMass Minutemen.
The 2010-11 season ended for the Minutemen when they fell 78-50 to Dayton in the opening round of the Atlantic 10 tournament.
Leading scorer Anthony Gurley graduated. Derek Kellogg and his staff welcome Cady Lalanne to campus. In addition, redshirt freshmen Maxie Esho and Andrew McCarthy are now eligible.
Esho played at Henry Wise High School in Upper Marlboro, Md. where he averaged 14 points and seven rebounds per game before moving to Lee Academy. He was a high school teammate of Daryl Traynham, a fellow freshman.Esho was given a 90 grade by ESPNU recruiting with the following analysis: “Esho has a great basketball frame equipped with incredible length, broad shoulders and big hands. He has to get significantly stronger, which will help him inside, but Esho has a ton of upside and potential. “He played his AAU basketball with DC Assault, the same team UMass’ swingman Javorn Farrell played for. In playing with DC Assault, run by Curtis Malone, Esho has been a part of one of the top AAU programs in the nation. He averaged 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds along with two blocks per game in AAU. He played alongside Duke signees Josh Hairston and Tyler Thornton, Notre Dame signee Eric Atkins and Richmond newcomer Cedrick Lindsay. Coach Zach Suber has been an integral part of Esho’s life and worked with him as a mentor while he played with DC Assault. Esho was named to numerous All-Tournament Teams during his AAU career as well as being named to MVP of the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions at Chapel Hill, N.C., in 2008. Over the last four years, Esho has been part of more than 120 wins on the AAU circuit. In 2009, he helped his squad capture the adidas Take 5 championship and the Teak Breakdown Tournament title, while also making the final four at the adidas Super 64 in Las Vegas after winning the crown in 2008. In addition to winning the adidas Super 64 title in ’08, DC Assault also captured crowns at the Pittsburgh Jam Fest, the Bob Gibbons Memorial Day Tournament in Raleigh, N.C., the Harley Davidson Tournament in Morgantown, W. Va., and the Playaz Spring Fling in Piscataway, N.J.
What they’re saying about Esho – Steve Keller/The National Recruiting Report: “He’s going to need a little strength to be in the mix. He’s got some length and quickness, but he is going to need to get stronger.”
Played three years of varsity basketball at Oak Ridge High School in Orlando, Fla. … The Pioneers amassed a record of 62-24 in his three seasons, including a 24-8 record as a senior in 2009-10, leading the team to a league title … Was named first team All-League and Player of the Year his senior year after taking second team honors as a junior … Set the Oak Ridge school record for double-doubles … Averaged 21 points, 13 rebounds, 4 blocks, and 3 assists per game as a senior … Averaged 17 points, 14 rebounds, and 5 blocks per game as a junior … Also played football in high school … Played AAU ball for the Florida Rams … Enjoyed a highly successful 2009 AAU season that drew recruiting attention nationally … Was ranked No. 21 center prospect and No. 33 power forward prospect nationally by Scout.com online recruiting service.
What they’re saying about Lalanne – Bob Gibbons/All Star Sports: “He’s a tough kid. Showed he can be an effective post player. He can rebound. Very good addition.”
Played a year of prep basketball at Loomis Chaffee in Windsor, Conn. … Averaged 10 points and 15 rebounds per game as a senior at Scituate High School in 2009…Just the third 7-footer in program history, joining 1990s backup center Jeff Meyer (7-2) and Luke Bonner, a 7-1 forward who graduated in 2009 …Adds depth in the front court … Great teammate and hard worker.
What they’re saying about McCarthy — Steve Keller/The National Recruiting Report: “He will need to develop his back-to-the-basket game. I like his size and length. He’s going to need to get stronger. Down the road, he could help them.”