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Four Schools “Going All-In On” Highly-Touted Combo Forward In Transfer Portal

UMass’ Matt Cross has been in the transfer portal for less than a week, but he is already getting a lot of love from four schools, according to Jeff Goodman from the Field of 68. Goodman said yesterday that Wisconsin, Iowa, TCU, and USC are heavily pursuing Cross.

Four Schools “Going All-In On” Highly-Touted Combo Forward In Transfer Portal

Cross is known for his offensive ability, although he is also an active and smart defender. He has a strong build and is versatile—he can play both the three and four. While he can stretch the floor with his shooting, he is at his best around the rim. Additionally, Cross is a solid passer who is fairly athletic and loves to get out in transition.

The 6-7 combo forward is coming off a career year in 2023-24. The 2023-24 A-10 first-team selection averaged 15.3 points, 8.6 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 1.5 steals. He shot .540/.329/.798 while producing five double-doubles and scoring in double-figures in 23 of his 28 appearances, topping the 20-point mark on three occasions.

Cross is transferring for the third time since being a four-star recruit in 2021 from Beverly (Mass.). He was a consensus top-100 recruit that year, ranked No. 86 by ESPN, No. 93 by 247Sports composite rankings, and No. 99 by Rivals.

Cross started his collegiate career with Miami (Fla.), where he spent one season, starting nine of his 14 appearances. Cross moved on to Louisville, where he was part of the Cards rotation, though he struggled a bit. He spent the last two seasons at UMass.

Cross has one season college season remaining.

UMass went 20-11 this past season, a five-game improvement under second-year head coach Frank Martin, including 11-6 in A-10 play. It marked the first time the Minutemen reached the 20-win mark since 2013-14. Their 11 A-10 victories were the program’s most in over 15 years.

However, Martin has lost seven players to the transfer portal. UMass has yet to land a transfer.

Looking At The 4 Schools Pursuing Cross

Wisconsin Badgers

Wisconsin has been one of the top basketball programs this century. The Badgers are coming off a disappointing NCAA tournament, but they won 20+ games for the third straight year and the fifth time in the past six seasons.

Coach Greg Gard must replace three of his starters following the departures of Tyler Wahl (graduation), Chucky Hepburn (transfer), and AJ Storr (transfer). Seven Badgers have entered the transfer portal since the end of the season.

“In today’s college basketball, players are making transactional decisions all over the country at every level,” Gard said. “There’s no time to complain about the system in place. We’re dedicating all of our energy right now to finding the next fit for our program.”

Wisconsin was considered the favorite to land Omaha transfer Frankie Fidler, but he delayed his anticipated announcement last week. With Hepburn landing in Louisville, it would be a surprise if Fidler chose Wisconsin.

Iowa Hawkeyes

Iowa went 19-15 and 10-10 in Big Ten play, but the Hawkeyes saw three straight NCAA tournament appearances come to an end. From a year ago, the Hawkeyes lost two starters, one to graduation, and three players to the transfer portal—including Patrick McCaffery, the son of coach Fran McCaffery. McCaffery has gotten a commitment from Morehead State transfer Drew Thelwell.

TCU Horned Frogs

TCU is in the midst of the greatest stretch in its basketball history, winning 20-plus games and reaching the NCAA tournament in three straight years. However, coach Jaime Dixon lost a lot from last year’s squad, which went 21-13. Dixon has lost three players to the transfer portal, though the Horned Frogs have secured the commitment of two transfers.

USC Trojans

Eric Musselman has a lot of work to do in his first season at USC. The Trojans lost six players to the transfer portal, a few key seniors, and Isaiah Collier to the NBA. However, the Trojans have brought a trio of transfers:  Bryce Pope, Josh Cohen, and Clark Slajchart.

Cohen and Cross were teammates at UMass.


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