– Guard/forward Samba Diallo (Sparta, N.J./Pope John XXIII) and guard Tre Wood (Upper Marlboro, Md./St. John's College HS) have signed National Letters of Intent to join the UMass men's basketball team as announced by head coach Matt McCall
Wednesday. The talented duo are set to join the Minutemen for the 2018-19 campaign.
"From the basketball side, both Samba and Tre are terrific and can add different elements to our team in a very positive way. They will help our style of play with both the press and wanting to get up-and-down the floor quickly," said McCall. "More than that, though, they are both high character people and those are the types that we want to win with. We couldn't be more excited about having them both joining us."
Diallo is a 6-foot-7 wing player who originally hails from Senegal has quickly developed into a top collegiate prospect after just a short prep career in the United States. He was rated as a four-star recruit by ESPN and a three-star recruit by 247Sports.com and Rivals.com. In addition to playing for Pope John XXIII, Diallo also played for the NY Jayhawks in AAU. Diallo held multiple offers throughout the recruiting process including four other Atlantic 10 schools before choosing UMass.
As a sophomore in his first year in the United States, Diallo averaged 9.7 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. Those totals jumped during his junior season to 13.4 points and 7.5 rebounds.
"Samba is a 6-foot-7 wing who is extremely versatile," said McCall. "He has a high, high motor who is all over the floor. The biggest thing with him is not just his ball skills, his ability to put the ball in the basket or his ability to play the pick-and-roll – his motor just never stops and you always feel his presence out there on the floor. He is a guy who we will rely on a ton when he comes through the door."
Wood is a 6-foot-1 point guard who also held multiple offers from Atlantic 10 schools and power five conference schools. ESPN, Scout and 247Sports all have him listed as a three-star recruit entering the signing period. As a junior, Wood averaged 11 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.5 steals per game. At the AAU level, the guard was a standout for Team Takeover.
Along with his vision, Wood is touted as one of the quickest players in the country who has equitable ball-handling skills.
"Tre is one of the fastest point guards in the country who has elite speed," said McCall. "He comes to us from a great high school and a great AAU program. He will be able to come in right away alongside the guards who return and will complement those guys. He can run your team and as a freshman won't be intimidated playing at this level."
The duo will join a quartet of current players who are sitting out the 2017-18 campaign due to NCAA transfer rules – guard Keon Clergeot
, guard Curtis Cobb
, guard Kieran Hayward
and forward Jonathan Laurent
. With just one senior this season in C.J. Anderson
, the Minutemen figure to be a very experienced team entering the 2018-19 season.
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