UMass basketball players Tafara Gapare & T.J. Weeks Jr. enter transfer portal

By KYLE GRABOWSKI

Staff Writer

Published: 03-28-2023 7:00 PM

Two UMass men’s basketball players entered the transfer portal Tuesday.

Both freshman forward Tafara Gapare and redshirt junior guard T.J. Weeks Jr. will transfer away from Amherst.

Gapare, a Wellington, New Zealand, native played in 30 games for the Minutemen. He averaged 3.4 points and 2.1 rebounds in 12.3 minutes per game, shooting 31.2 percent from the field and 26.7 percent from the arc.

The four-star, top-50 recruit originally committed to DePaul before reclassifying and pledging to the Minutemen. His visa took nearly the entire fall to approve, so he didn’t join the program in Amherst until the week before the season began.

Gapare set a season-high with 15 points against Albany.

Weeks played 85 games for the Minutemen and averaged 8.9 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. He hit 36.5 percent of his 3s.

His father Tyrone established a legacy at UMass as part of the dominant teams of the mid-90s.

Weeks will have two years of eligibility wherever he lands.

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They’re the third and fourth Minutemen to enter the transfer portal this offseason, joining point guard Noah Fernandes and forward Dyondre Dominguez.

MINUTEWOMEN EYE BIG LEAGUES – UMass grad students Sam Breen and Destiney Philoxy officially declared their eligibility for the WNBA draft according to a list released Tuesday.

They exhausted their eligibility in Amherst this season and led UMass to three consecutive postseason appearances and an Atlantic 10 title and NCAA Tournament berth last year.

Breen is a two-time A-10 Player of the Year. She led the league in rebounding (10.1 per game) and was third in scoring (17.3 points per game). The Gibsonia, Penn., native notched 20 double-doubles.

Philoxy was second in the A-10 at five assists per game and added 1.6 steals per contest. She scored 10.7 points per game while being one of the nation’s best at drawing charges.

The WNBA Draft combine will be held in conjunction with the Final Four in Dallas this weekend. The draft itself features three rounds (12 picks each) and will take place April 10.

ANOTHER ONE – Breen was also named the Eastern College Athletic Conference Player of the Year on Tuesday. She’s the first UMass player ever to receive that honor.

Breen also made the All-ECAC Division 1 team for the second year in a row.

She’s also a finalist for the 2023 Becky Hammon Mid-Major Player of the Year award. 

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