Cats lose freshman Clarke, gain transfer from UMass

This past week began on a low note for the Catamount men’s basketball team when freshman Jordan Clarke announced that he would not be returning for the 2009-10 season.

That all changed very quickly, however, when The Burlington Free Press broke the news that two-time Mr. Basketball and Underhill native Matt Glass will be joining the squad.

Glass, who spent his first two collegiate seasons at UMass, has yet to sign an official letter of intent with the Catamounts, leaving school officials unable to comment on the matter, but his words earlier in the week say it all.

“It’s official,” Glass said.  “I’m a Catamount.”

His 6’7″ frame will be welcome in the Cats’ rotation following the loss of the 6’8″ Clarke, whose 1.4 points per game and 1.6 rebounds per game during his freshman campaign belie the promise which he showed on the hardwood.

Vermont head coach Mike Lonergan and Clarke were both unavailable for comment on the matter, leaving questions about his reasons for transferring, but Glass will gladly accept the slot left in Clarke’s absence. 

Glass played in all 30 UMass games last season, but, due to a lack of size in the Minutemen rotation, the guard was forced to move down low and play the power forward position.

Glass’ 3.4 points per game and 1.7 rebounds per game averages would likely increase if he were moved back to his natural position, but it remains to be seen whether the Catamounts will make that move.

The former Mount Mansfield Union star will be forced to sit out next season due to NCAA transfer regulations, but he still has two years of basketball eligibility left to follow in the footsteps of such high profile Vermont transfers as Maurice Joseph and Chris Holm.

Perhaps the most exciting part of the transfer for Glass, however, is his love for the program and the state in which he became a basketball standout.

“I’m glad to be back home,” Glass said.