Player Profiles: Carl Pierre

#12
Guard
Boston, MA (Boston College High School)
6’4
175 lbs
https://twitter.com/_carlpierre_?lang=en
https://www.instagram.com/c.pierre15/

Overview:

Pierre, a late commit, officially signed with UMass on June 5th 2017. The Randolph native starred for Boston College High School and led them to the MIAA Division 1 South Sectional Semi Final in his senior season. After averaging 22 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks per game, he was named to the All-State Dream Team by both the Boston Globe and Boston Herald and was awarded Catholic Conference Player of the Year. The 1000 point scorer also ran with local AAU program Metro Boston. Originally, Pierre was planning to spend a postgraduate year at The Westminster School in Connecticut to develop his game more for the next level, but the offer from the Minuteman was too much to resist.

High School Highlights:  http://www.hudl.com/v/27gmE7

2017-2018 Outlook:

Pierre was one of the most dominant players in the MIAA last season, but it may take some time to get used to the physicality of the Atlantic 10. In fact, Pierre is one of the only players in the MIAA Class of 2017 to commit to a Division 1 program. Originally, he did not appear to be on the radar of many D1 teams but caught the eye of the Minuteman as well as Lafayette after his fantastic senior campaign. Still, look for 2017-2018 to be a transition year for Pierre while he builds muscle to his wiry frame and gets used to the speed of the competition.

Role/Attributes: Pull up/Turnaround Mid range, Spot Up 3 pointer, Aggressive driver

http://umassathletics.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=9071

Quote: Head Coach Matt McCall on Pierre

“I’ve really been impressed with Carl. I’ve been impressed with his competitiveness. He’s picking things up,”…“He’s in there competing every single possession. He’s always in the gym, always in the weight room trying to get better. He’s a sponge trying to soak it all in. I’m very pleased with his development right now.”

Quote from Daily Hampshire Gazette Article http://www.gazettenet.com/Freshmen-Pierre-Turner-Morris-eager-to-contribute-for-UMass-13017080 By Matt Vantour

Player Profiles: Khalea Turner-Morris

#14
Center
Reserve, LA (New Hampton School)
6’9
265 lbs
https://twitter.com/turnerkhalea?lang=en

Overview:

Turner-Morris was the most highly touted recruit for the Minuteman this offseason. The 3 star prospect held offers from Eastern Tennessee State, Kennesaw State and conference foes St. Bonaventure as well as St. Louis showed interest before he ultimately decided on UMass. The Louisiana native finished his high school career with a postgraduate year at New Hampton, a program that has turned out bigs such as Noah Vonleh (Portland Trail Blazers), Zach Auguste (Notre Dame) and Tyler Lydon (Syracuse) in recent years. Playing in the NEPSAC Class AAA, New Hampton matches up against  the best high school talent in the Northeast and perhaps the country. Additionally, this signing adds to UMass’ recent success recruiting from the Bayou state with last years combo of Dejon Jarreau and Brison Gresham.

High School Highlights:

2017-2018 Outlook:

Unlike many freshman, Turner-Morris arrived in Amherst physically prepared and ready to compete. A natural power forward, he is a bit undersized for the center position but his strength on the block will allow Umass to use him in different scenario’s. The front court for the Minutemen is experienced and Turner Morris has three players in Chris Baldwin, Malik Hines and Rashaan Holloway that he is able to practice with and learn from on an everyday basis. There is certainly depth at the forward position, but Turner Morris will provide valuable minutes off the bench in his first season, focusing on primarily consistent rebounding and hard-nosed interior defense. He will not be counted on as a primary scorer as a freshman, but he appears to have a soft touch around the basket. In high school, Turner-Morris was able to dominate over smaller defenders, so it will be interesting to see how he develops his post moves and mid range game in the future.

Role/Attributes: Backup Forward, Physical build, Interior presence

Quote: Turner-Morris on fellow big man Rashaan Holoway

“Having Rashaan has been a great experience because he’s one of the top big men in the league. He’s a great competitor. He’s very quick on his feet,”…“He’s physically stronger than me. It’s great practice because there’s nobody in this league that’s as strong as him.

Quote from Daily Hampshire Gazette article http://www.gazettenet.com/Freshmen-Pierre-Turner-Morris-eager-to-contribute-for-UMass-13017080 by Matt Vantour

Player Profiles: Jonathan Laurent

#11
Forward
Junior
Orlando, FL (Dr. Phillips High School)
6’6
200 lbs
Former Team: Rutgers Scarlet Knights
https://twitter.com/phenomballa_4?lang=en
https://www.instagram.com/phenomballa_4/

Overview:

2015-2016:
24.3 MPG     8.1 PPG     5.1 RPG     .9 APG     .5  SPG     .2 BPG     46.5% FG     24% 3FG     73.0% FT
2016-2017:
13.3 MPG     3.0 PPG     2.4 RPG     .4 APG     .5 SPG     .2 BPG     42.5% FG     26.7 % 3FG     71.4% FT

Another transfer UMass acquired this offseason, Laurent is a player who has shown that he can compete in one of the most competitive conferences in all of college basketball in the Big 10. Before his commitment to Rutgers, Laurent held offers from a couple major conference teams in Alabama and Georgia tech. As a freshman, Laurent seemed a bright spot in Rutgers’ dismal seven win campaign. The highlight of his season, was when he scored 23 points and had eight rebounds in a triple overtime loss against Illinois. Overall, Laurent finished fifth on the team in scoring (8.1), and third in both rebounding (5.1) and field goal percentage (46.5%). It appeared that he was poised to succeed at Rutgers, but after the firing of coach Eddie Jordan, Steve Pikiell took the reigns and Laurent’s duties on the team took a turn for the worse, although they improved their win total to fifteen. His role decreased significantly and saw most of his major stats nearly cut in half.

2017-2018 Outlook:

Similar to other transfer’s Laurent will have to sit out a year before resuming his remaining two years of eligibility. The Minutemen will lose, do it all wing C.J Anderson after this season, so Laurent is a valuable asset to help replace the kind of versatility that Anderson provides. At 6’6 and 216 pounds, he has a powerful frame for a small forward and don’t be surprised if UMass plays him at the four spot in small lineups. With Laurent’s ability to grab rebounds, it will give the Minutemen versatility to experiment with different lineups. Look for Laurent to fight for heavy minutes and even a starting spot in 2018-2019.

Role/Attributes: Versatile Wing, Undersized PF, Aggressive Rebounder

http://umassathletics.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=9070

Player Profiles: Unique McLean

#  4
Guard
Sophomore
Brooklyn, NY (The MacDuffie School)
6’2
175 lbs
https://twitter.com/uniquemclean4?lang=en
https://www.instagram.com/uniquemclean4/

2016-2017 Overview:

McLean was a key part of last years recruiting class which ranked 27th best in the country according to ESPN, yet he was very overlooked in his first season for the Minutemen. In fact, he didn’t see the court as former coach Derek Kellogg elected to red-shirt him and preserve a year of eligibility due to the depth of the backcourt. Another NEPSAC product, Unique played his senior season for the MacDuffie School and ultimately chose UMass over offers from Rutgers, Dayton, Rhode Island, Boston University and Fordham among a few other mid majors.

High School Highlights:

2017-2018 Outlook:

After the departure of nearly half of last years team, his decision to stay looks like it is going to pay off in the near future. McLean’s athleticism is his most vital attribute as he is known for his high-flying dunking ability.  In fact, don’t be surprised to see him in the College Slam Dunk Championship one day. Overall, it does not appear that creating off the dribble is one of his greatest strengths, but McLean should be able to match his athleticism with intense defensive play to make a huge difference this upcoming season. This combination will get the crowd and his teammates excited and lead to scoring runs that may ultimately be the difference in close games. Hopefully, Mclean will be able to portray more of his skill set in his second season and prove that he is more than the human highlight reel that many know him to be.

Role/Attributes: Bench Role Player, Athleticism, Length

Dunk Contest Highlight:

 

http://umassathletics.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=6988

Quote: Head Coach Matt McCall on McLean’s athletic abilities and potential

“One of the things that stands out the most is just his athleticism,”…“We’ve really been trying to harp to him just about impacting the game on the defensive end of the floor. With his length, with his athleticism, he should always be in the right spot defensively. He should always be in right spot and put his focus on that. He’ll score as a byproduct of being in the right spot.”

Quote from The Massachusetts Daily Collegian article http://dailycollegian.com/2017/10/12/unique-mclean-will-have-the-opportunity-to-play-a-large-role-for-umass-basketball/ by Philip Sanzo

 

Player Profiles: Raysean Miller

#42
Guard
Junior
Boston, Ma (Boston Latin Academy)
6’1
200 lbs

2016-2017 Overview:

Key Stats:
3 GP     4 MPG     1 PPG     .7 RPG     .3 APG     0 SPG     0 BPG     20 % FG     25 % 3FG

One of two walk on’s for the Minutemen, Miller only played in three games last season and recorded seven short appearances the year before. It’s clear that he hasn’t seen the court much in the past two years, but with the lack of depth at the guard position, this season looks to be the time he finally gets an opportunity. Before UMass, Miller starred at Boston Latin Academy as a 1,000 point scorer, four-year starter and two-time City League All-Star. Notably, he was also an All-Scholastic selection by the Boston Herald in his time there. Despite these numbers, he didn’t draw much attention from Division 1 programs and joined the team as a student manager his freshman year. After injuries derailed the lineup, Miller was selected to the roster as a walk on by former coach Derek Kellogg.

Offseason Highlights:

2017-2018 Outlook:

It is evident that Coach McCall is extremely high on Miller’s abilities and immediately fell in love with his work ethic and attitude over the preseason. McCall knows exactly what he is going to get with Miller as he has established himself as solid and dependable in any role he is asked to fill. Now, with the news of Jalyn Brantley’s heart condition, Miller will compete for starting minutes at the off guard spot and will surely take some of the ball handling responsibilities from Luwane Pipkins. Look for Miller to be one of, if not the most improved player on the team and perhaps the entire conference. He’s been waiting his whole life for a chance, expect him to take this one.

Role/Attributes: Starting Sg or Backup PG, Smooth Jump Shot, Reliable

http://umassathletics.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=8637

Quote: Head Coach Matt McCall on Miller’s dependability 

“I think Ray is a guy you’re going to see out of the floor an enormous amount for us. He’s reliable. He’s always in the right spots defensively. He’s competitive. He does exactly what you ask him to do. He’s connected with all his teammates. When you put all that together, Ray Miller will be in the lineup and he’ll be in there an enormous amount.

Quote from Daily Hampshire Gazette article http://www.gazettenet.com/Walk-on-G-Rayshawn-Miller-ready-to-contribute-for-UMass-13063896 by Matt Vantour

 

Player Profiles: Malik Hines

#10
Forward
Jackson, Mississippi (Murrah High School)
Junior
6’10
255 lbs
https://twitter.com/jucity_leek?lang=en
https://www.instagram.com/jucity_leek/

2016-2017 Overview:

Key Stats:
11.5 MPG     3.5 PPG     3 RPG     .4 APG     .3 SPG     .5 BPG     60.3 % FG     0.0 % 3FG

Hines had an up and down sophomore season but saw consistent improvement in his play. Overall, he appeared in 31 games and started 5 of them at the forward position. In his role, he primarily served as a backup big man for Rashaan Holloway and added much needed depth to a young front court. A broken foot derailed his first season but he came back stronger last year to provide rebounding and a defensive spark that was vital to Umass’ success at times. In a non-conference slate against Wagner, Hines finished with 14 points, 8 rebounds and even 2 steals while playing a season high 27 minutes. Still, his best performance came late in the year against St. Bonaventure when he recorded his first career double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds on nearly perfect shooting from the floor. Overall, he proved himself a capable rim protector as he finished fourth on the team in blocks (.5) and was named the most outstanding player in the Gotham Classic in which UMass dismantled Pacific in a come from behind victory.

2017-2018 Outlook:
Hines was already set for a prominent role this season but with the preseason injury to Rashaan Holloway, he will have to fill the void of his interior presence until Holloway fully recovers. Hines has proved himself to be a reliable rebounder and defender in the past, providing second chance opportunities and altering shots at the rim. This season, he must show confidence and improvement in his offensive game, particularly when his back is to the basket. Regardless, with playmakers such as Pipkins and Anderson constantly penetrating into the lane and drawing defenders, Hines will be the beneficiary of many lay-ups and high percentage looks. If he is able to incorporate his raw size into his offensive skill set, he should see the floor more consistently.

Role/Attributes: Starting Power Forward, Strong Rebounder, Interior Defender

http://umassathletics.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=324

Quote: Hines on playing both against and alongside teammate Rashaan Holloway

“Every year you want to get better as a player. It started this summer with strength and conditioning,”…“From guarding Rashaan in practice everyday, he’s hard to guard. When my head’s on straight, we’ll be pretty nasty together.”

Quote from Daily Hampshire Gazette Article http://www.gazettenet.com/UMass-C-Rashaan-Holloway-out-with-thumb-injury-13062244 By Matt Vautour

 

Player Profiles: Chris Baldwin

#5
Forward
Sophomore
Springfield, MA (Notre Dame Prep)
6’8
235 lbs
https://twitter.com/chrisbaldwin413?lang=en
https://www.instagram.com/supreme_cb5/

2016-2017 Overview:

Key Stats:
9.4 MPG     2.2 PPG     2.8 RPG     .3 APG     .1 SPG     .5 BPG     46.4 % FG     0 % 3FG

The local product appeared in 32 games in his freshman season for the Minutemen. Alongside transfer Brison Gresham (Houston), Baldwin was given a fantastic opportunity to gain experience in his first college season. This came as a result of the Minutemen’s youth and lack of depth at the forward spot last year and will serve valuable to Baldwin as he prepares for a more prominent role in 2017-2018. Last season, Baldwin proved himself to be a reliable rebounder and will hope to add to his success on the glass this season. He reached a season high tally with 10 in a loss to George Washington and grabbed 9 boards in a first round win in the Atlantic 10 Tournament against St Joe’s. Baldwin’s season high in points came against St. Bonaventure when he shot 4-5 from the field while scoring 9 points and adding 9 rebounds in only 12 minutes.

Freshman Highlights (2016-2017):
https://twitter.com/ChrisBaldwin413/status/916329931084304385

2017-2018 Outlook:

Umass returns the bulk of their frontcourt in 2017-2018. When the Minuteman elect to go big, look for Baldwin to compete or split minutes with Malik Hines and new recruit Khalea Turner Morris. Expect Baldwin to be more comfortable in his second collegiate season and for his minutes to increase moderately. With extended minutes comes more opportunities and we should see his scoring average improve a bit and a steady jump in rebounding totals.

Role/Attributes: Backup PF, Key role player, Rebounds and Second Chance Points

http://umassathletics.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=6989

Quote: Head Coach Matt McCall on Baldwin’s versatility 

“Chris Baldwin is a tough physical kid down there. Yes he’s going to play on the perimeter, pick and pop and do some of those things, but he’s a physical frontcourt player,” McCall said. “We’re not going to take that away from him.”

Quote from Daily Hampshire Gazette article http://www.gazettenet.com/Opportunities-abound-for-UMass-F-Chris-Baldwin-11082669 by Matt Vautour