Getting to know The Commonwealth team in The Basketball Tournament


Staff Writer

Published: 07-23-2023 6:40 PM

AMHERST – An introduction, or likely reintroduction, to the roster of The Commonwealth, UMass’ alumni team competing in The Basketball tournament. The (mostly) Minutemen will face The Virginia Dream at 9 p.m. in Syracuse on ESPNU.

Most of the players come from Derek Kellogg’s successful early 2010s run that featured two NIT trips, including a run to the semifinals, and an NCAA Tournament berth. Six play professionally in Europe, while three have just left college in the past two years.

2015 second round NBA Draft pick Cady Lalane and six-year pro Jabari Hinds were on the initial roster but won’t participate due to injuries.

C.J. Anderson (2014-18)

Played 99 games for the Minutemen and averaged 10.3 points and 5 rebounds per game as a senior in 2017-18. Signed a 10-day contract with the Atlanta Hawks in 2018. 27-year old has spent professional seasons in Hungary, Austria and Germany.

Donte Clark (2014-17)

Averaged more than 16 points per game as a sophomore in 2015-16. UMass’ fourth-most accurate free throw shooter ever (.757). Transferred to Texas Southern after his junior year, when he also entered the NBA Draft but didn’t sign with an agent. Put up more than 18 points per game for the Tigers in 2017-18 and reached the NCAA Tournament after a SWAC title. 28-year old previously played in TBT for Team CP3 in 2020. Professional career has taken him to Hungary, Turkey, Israel and Ukraine.

Maxie Esho (2011-15)

Reached the 2014 NCAA Tournament and averaged double-digit points (11.3) as a senior. Posted four double-doubles. Tied for fourth in UMass histor with 134 games played. 32-year-old recently signed a pro deal in Canada after spending recent seasons in Asia, winning the 2018-19 ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) Finals most valuable player. Also spent time in the NBA G League, Colombia, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, Israel, Republic of Kosovo, Taiwan and Uruguay.

Javorn Farrell (2009-13)

Appeared in 93 games as a Minuteman before finishing his career at Texas-Rio Grande Valley. Played one professional season in Denmark (2014-15) then entered the business world. 32-year old currently works in real estate investment banking.

Brison Gresham (2016-17)

Only spent one season as a Minuteman then transferred to junior college and eventually Houston with high school teammate Dejon Jerreau after Derek Kellogg was fired after the 2017 Atlantic 10 Tournament. Made a Sweet 16 in 2019, won an AAC title in 2020 and reached the 2021 Final Four. Went back to the NCAA Tournament as a grad transfer with Texas Southern in 2022. 25-year old played professionally in Cyprus last year and averaged 10.6 points, 10.5 rebounds, 1.8 blocks and 1.4 assists, all in only 24.8 minutes per game.

Anthony Lee (Temple/Ohio State, 2010-15)

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Finished career at Ohio State after three years at Temple. Averaged 13.4 points as a junior in Philadelphia. Won the 2012 A-10 regular season title and reached the NCAA Tournament, his first of three total appearances. 32 year old joined as an injury replacement.

Mike Mannix (1998-03)

Holyoke native serves as the head coach of Wilbraham & Monson’s prep boys basketball team and school’s Dean of Residental Life and Assistant Athletic Director. Previouly worked as the Indiana Pacers’ video scouting intern and was Drexel’s Director of Basketball Operations form 2008-09. Has won a New England Class AA championship and reached the Elite 8 of the National Prep Championship.

Carl Pierre (2017-21)

Ranks second in UMass history with 286 3-pointers and 38.4 percent accuracy from 3-point range. Appeared in 111 games as a Minuteman. Transferred to Rice for a graduate season in 2021-22, where he was named third-team All-Conference USA. 24-year old tried out for the Maine Celtics in October 2022.

Luwane Pipkins (2016-19)

Holds UMass single-game record with 44 points against La Salle in January, 2018. Also in the program’s top 10 all-time for 3-pointers (7th – 226), 3-point percentage (4th – 35%), steals (T-8th – 142) and scoring average (10th – 15.7 per game). Transferred to Providence for senior season in 2019-20. 27-year-old played professionally in Portugal, Georgia and the Czech Republic over the past three years.

Freddie Riley (2009-13)

A former top-100 recruit that appeared in 125 games for the Minutemen. The 33-year old scored more than 1,000 points at UMass and led the team with 70 3s as a senior in 2012-13.

Terrell Vinson (2009-13)

Started a program record starting 128 games and appeared in 132 for UMass. 32-year old previously played professionally in Germany, the United Kingdom, Israel, Iceland, Finland Romania and Spain since 2013.

Chaz Williams (2011-14)

After transferring from Hofstra, became UMass’ all-time leader in assists (702) and steals per game (1.9). Also ranks second in steals (199), third in free-throw percentage (.776), fifth in free throws (44) and seventh in total points (1,653). Appeared in the 2014 NCAA Tournament. Appeared in 2019 TBT for the Jimmy V Foundation and carved out nearly a decade-long professional career in Europe.

Ethan Wright (Princeton/Colorado, 2018-23)

Newton native that spent a graduate season at Colorado last year after four years at Princeton, where he reached the NIT. Played 14 minutes and scored two points against UMass in the Myrtle Beach Invitational as a Buffalo.