By Jeff Goodman
I wasn't certain that Travis Ford could match the recruiting class he assembled while at UMass back in 2007. Ford received nine commitments in that group - four transferred, two never arrived, two were seldom-used role guys and one wound up being a solid contributor.
Now Ford has gone 0-for-7 with his 2009 class at Oklahoma State.
That's two complete classes and virtually nothing to show for it. No wonder why Derek Kellogg is still trying to get things going at UMass and why Ford's team is struggling and just 7-6 this season.
With point guards Reger Dowell and Fred Gulley both deciding to transfer, there isn't a single member of Ford's recruiting haul that resides in Stillwater. Six of the seven have left via transfer - and the prize of the class never made it academically.
Here's the complete rundown:
Reger Dowell: Started three of the first 11 games and averaged 5.5 points in 19.2 minutes per game. Recently opted to transfer.
Fred Gulley: The Arkansas native started 14 games as a freshman and suffered a shoulder injury last season. He had started five games this season and was averaging 4.0 points in 18.4 minutes when he decided to leave.
Ray Penn: Yet another point guard who didn't make it. Penn started 15 games his freshman season, but was kicked off the team last year after starting 10 games and averaging 5.9 points. He reportedly transferred to Texas Southern, but isn't on the roster.
Roger Franklin: Was a heralded recruit who barely played (averaged 1.7 points last season) and transferred to North Texas. He received a waiver to play immediately due to an illness in the family. He's averaging 7.3 points and 4.5 boards for the Mean Green so far this season.
Jarred Shaw: The 6-foot-11 Texan played sparingly in 26 games over two seasons before transferring to Utah State. He's sitting out this year.
Torin Walker: The 6-foot-11 Georgia native played 10 games as a freshman before transferring to Middle Tennessee. He sat out last season and is averaging 0.6 points and 0.3 rebounds this season.
Karron Johnson: Talented, but enigmatic. He's bounced around plenty and never qualified. He went to junior college for two years and is now at D-3 Shaw University, where he has yet to play this season.
Now let's take a refresher course with that UMASS GROUP FROM 2007:
Travon Wilcher: He transferred to Maine, averaged 1.0 point per game last season in six games and hasn't played a single minute this year.
Papa Lo: After averaging 0.3 points as a freshman at UMass, he transferred to Bryant and averaged 0.4 points and 0.8 rebounds last season.
Max Groebe: He transferred to Cornell after logging a total of 104 minutes as a freshman under Ford and is averaging 1.5 points in 5.5 minutes this season for the Big Red.
Matt Glass: He transferred to Vermont after averaging 3.4 points in 13.1 minutes per game at UMass as a sophomore. He's the star of this class, averaging 9.3 points per game this season.
Marcus Matthews: He never arrived and is now at Division II Southern New Hampshire, where he is averaging 1.8 points per game in six contests this season.
Trey Lang: He finished his UMass career under Derek Kellogg last season as a walk-on and averaged 1.0 point per game.
Matt Hill: He averaged 9.5 minutes per game last season and has appeared in just two games this year, scoring a total of six points.
Tyrell Lynch: Ford compared him to his former Kentucky teammate, Jamal Mashburn. Lynch ended up transferring after a freshman season that saw him average 3.7 points and 3.6 rebounds. His whereabouts now are unknown.
Gary Correia: He played 27 games last season as a senior and averaged 4.3 points per game as the starting point guard.