It’s been a nice couple of weeks on the recruiting trail for handful of Atlantic 10 teams including UMass who just yesterday landed a true package deal in DeJon Jarreau and Brison Gresham.
The New Orleans natives who played their high school ball together chose the Minutemen over former George Mason Final 4 coach Jim Laranaga and his Miami Hurricanes team, giving the A-10 squad an offseason win over an ACC school and some much-needed optimism after a lackluster 2014-15 season heading into a 2015-16 year that won’t include three of the Minutemen’s top-four scorers from this past season.
Jarreau was a heavily-recruited 6’5 point guard who held offers from the likes of Florida, Texas, Oklahoma and Creighton to name just a few off his long list as ESPN’s No.62 player in the 2016 class and combines with Rivals top-150 big Gresham to give UMass perhaps their best recruiting class since the ’09 class headlined by ESPN top-50 Terrell Vinson.
New VCU head coach Will Wade matched Kellogg’s top-100 addition by adding ESPN’s No.59 recruit De’Riante Jenkins as the first piece of the Rams’ 2016 class, proving Wade is capable of continuing the level of recruiting established by previous head coach, Shaka Smart. Wade will look to further strengthen that class as the Rams are heavily recruiting top-100s Charlie Moore (ESPN No.80), Alpha Diallo (ESPN No.90) as well as Rivals top-150 guard Josh Parrish to name a few.
VCU’s crosstown rival Richmond is keeping pace with the Rams by adding big-time in-state talent in the form of De’Monte Buckingham and Nick Sherod as well as fellow ESPN three-star, Grant Golden. Buckingham is a big-time player who’s still flying somewhat under-the-radar and just recently averaged a 22-point, 10-rebound double-double (plus 4.3 assists) in this summer’s first-ever MakePlayz Breakout Classic.
Fellow local product Nick Sherod will join Buckingham in the backcourt and becomes the third Sherod in his lineage to play for a top Virginia school. He follows his father Edmond Jr. who played at Old Dominion and grandfather Edmund Sr. who starred at VCU before continuing his hoops career with the New York Knicks.
Dan Hurley has continued to solidify his Rhode Island Rams as one of the A-10’s top programs with a strong summer on the recruiting trail. Hurley has put together one of the biggest classes (literally) in the A-10, collecting three 2016s 6’8 or taller including 6’9 250-280 (depending on your preferred recruiting service), Mike Lassyard. Lassyard is one of four three-stars that will dawn the Keaney blue joining 6’3 guard Jeff Dowtin, 6’8 F/C Michael Tertsea and 6’8 power forward Cyril Langevine.
That group joins an already large 2015 four-man group that includes three more players 6’7 or taller so it’s safe to say you can expect “big things” from Rhode Island in the future, one way or another.