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Daily Hampshire Gazette – UMass basketball: Bryant forward Daniel Rivera becomes Minutemen’s first transfer of the offseason

UMass men's basketball head coach Frank Martin speaks during a press conference at the Martin Jacobson Football Performance Center about the University of Massachusetts' entry into the Mid-American Conference.

UMass men’s basketball head coach Frank Martin speaks during a press conference at the Martin Jacobson Football Performance Center about the University of Massachusetts’ entry into the Mid-American Conference.
STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Just days after UMass forward Matt Cross announced his transfer to SMU — the fourth player to transfer from the program this offseason — the Minutemen finally added their first piece to the 2024 roster on Tuesday night.

Bryant’s Daniel Rivera announced his decision to transfer to UMass on Instagram. Rivera started all but one game for Bryant last year, averaging 13.3 points, 8.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 2.2 blocks. He has two remaining years of eligibility.

Rivera, who visited UMass on Tuesday and committed during his visit, is originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico and played high school and prep basketball in the Bronx, New York. He joined his older brother, Mike, at the Odessa College junior college program in Texas for his freshman year before transferring to Saint Louis for his sophomore season. He did not play for the Billikens and transferred to Bryant after the 2022-23 season.

UMass is looking to replace its starting frontcourt from last season. Cross (SMU) and Josh Cohen (USC) were both Atlantic 10 First Team All-Conference members in 2023-2024.

Although Rivera is listed at 6-foot-1, 210 pounds, he ranked fourth in the America East in rebounds per game and second in blocks per game. He made nearly 80% of his field goals at the rim and struggled to shoot the ball – 10.7% from three-point range and 46.9% from the free-throw line. He finished the year with five consecutive double-doubles.

In addition to Cohen and Cross, Keon Thompson (Stephen F. Austin) and Robert Davis Jr. also joined. (Old Dominion) from the schedule this offseason.

Junior Rahsool Diggins, sophomore Daniel Hankins-Sanford and freshmen Jayden Ndjigue and Jaylen Curry signed NIL deals to remain with the Minutemen. UMass also signed three new freshmen for next season: big man Luka Damjanac, small forward Nate Guerengomba and power forward Lewis Walker.