UMass nabs men’s basketball graduate transfer Gasperini, Eagles get reported commitment from junior college big man

Series of roster changes headline 2020-2021 Eagles season

UMass nabs men’s basketball graduate transfer Gasperini, Eagles get reported commitment from junior college big man

Mark Gasperini (#23) in a game against Holy Cross on Jan. 18.

Former AU men’s basketball forward Mark Gasperini will be transferring to UMass Amherst, he announced Wednesday via Twitter. He will be eligible to play for the Minutemen immediately.

The 6-foot-10 power forward missed the entirety of the 2017-2018 season with reported medical issues, which has allowed him to graduate from AU with a year of eligibility remaining.

Gasperini, who attended high school in the Boston area, is known for his hook shot and reliability in the post, as he put up 10.3 points and 4.7 rebounds per game during his career in Tenleytown. 

“My career at American did not go as planned, not only did I miss a whole year but we never got past the quarter finals [of the Patriot League Tournament],” Gasperini told The Eagle. “As much as I love my teammates here at American, it was time to try and win at a new place and I think UMass gives me a great opportunity for that.”

Gasperini will be joining a UMass team that is looking to record its first winning season since 2014-15. Despite the lack of recent success in Amherst, the Minutemen are considered to be a team on the rise with an abundance of young talent. Last season, forward Tre Mitchell was named Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year.

“I’m expecting that I’ll probably both play with Tre and be his back up,” Gasperini said. “I’m very excited about this because Tre is a great player on a great team, so I’m just looking to do whatever needs to be done to help us win.”

Although the Eagles still have power forwards Josh Alexander and Jesse Little returning next season, AU has reportedly received a commitment from Christian Lorng, a 6-foot-9, 255 pound big man who has played the last two seasons at Chipola College, a junior college in the Florida Panhandle. Lorng will be eligible to play for AU this upcoming season.

This season at Chipola, Lorng averaged 6.8 points and 6.4 rebounds per game while playing alongside two of the top forwards in the junior college ranks, Lat Mayen and Marial Mading.

Before his time at Chipola, Lorng was a highly touted high school recruit who held offers from Creighton, Missouri, Tennessee and Houston, and was committed to play at Wake Forest before changing his plans.

In Lorng, AU will get an athletic and physical post player who can run the floor and crash the boards effectively.

In addition to the reported commitment of Lorng, AU has also received commitments from high school players Colin Smalls, Johnny O’Neil and Matt Rogers for next season. The Eagles have two scholarship slots yet to be filled.

jkolodny@theeagleonline.com

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