UMass basketball: Matt Cross reportedly enters transfer portal

UMass forward Matt Cross (33) drives the ball against South Florida’s Chris Youngblood (3) earlier this season at the Mullins Center in Amherst.

UMass forward Matt Cross (33) drives the ball against South Florida’s Chris Youngblood (3) earlier this season at the Mullins Center in Amherst. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

By GARRETT COTE

Staff Writer

Published: 04-16-2024 5:44 PM

AMHERST — The vicious one-two frontcourt punch that helped the UMass men’s basketball team to its best season in a decade is now gone.

Forward Matt Cross has entered the transfer portal, according to multiple reports early Tuesday afternoon. Cross averaged 15.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game for the Minutemen throughout the 2023-24 campaign and earned First Team All-Atlantic 10 honors alongside his fellow big Josh Cohen.

Cohen already made his decision to transfer a few weeks back and landed at USC, and now Cross has also headed for the exit after two stellar seasons with UMass. This leaves two giant holes as the cornerstones of last year’s team will not be coming back.

Cross has one year of eligibility remaining, and he could still decide to come back to UMass, but it looks as if head coach Frank Martin won’t have his workhorse come the fall.

Following short one-year stints with Miami and Louisville, Cross became a fan favorite in Amherst right away – his rugged play style and persistent commitment to improving his game two big reasons why. Now, he’ll be heading to his fourth program in five years playing college ball.

When UMass brought back Rahsool Diggins, Jaylen Curry, Daniel Hankins-Sanford and Jayden Ndjigue, it seemed the final piece to the puzzle was Matt Cross. And when Martin took to Twitter/X earlier on Tuesday to say “What a great call I just got, let’s go,” initial speculation was that Cross would be back in maroon and white.

Still, the Minutemen have built a strong foundation of impact players, and if they land a few transfers of their own, they’ll be right back in the conference mix in what is their final season competing in the A-10.

Garrett Cote can be reached at gcote@gazettenet.com

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