1 Michael Lasme
One of the nation's top preps, Michael Lasme will challange for Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year honors and a starting spot in the UMass backcourt as a freshman in 2002-2003 ... Ranked among the nation's top 70 players by both ESPN.com (No. 64) and Hoop Scoop (No. 70) ... Can play either guard position ... A tremendous all-around athlete, he owns a vertical leap estimated at 45 inches ... "Michael Lasme is a tremendously gifted athlete, a real talent," Massachusetts coach Steve Lappas said. "He's got to learn how to play and do the things he needs to do at the collegiate level, but he has all of the tools and the makings to be a very, very good player."
Averaged 24 points, eight assists, six rebounds and three steals as a senior captain at Burlington (N.J.) Life Center Academy ... Led coach Darryl Gladden's Warriors to a 21-7 record in 2001-2002, and a 20-6 mark in 2000-2001 ... Tallied 30 or more points 12 times as a senior ... Led Warriors to a pair of Penn-New Jersey league titles, and paced the conference in scoring as both a junior and senior ... Over his prep career, he averaged 21 points, seven assists, seven rebounds and two steals ... Won the slam dunk contest at Pittsburgh's 2002 Born to Run Classic and was also named to the All-Star squad ... N.J. Hoops Newsletter named him to its five-player Best One-on-One and Quickest Player units ... MVP of 1998 Junior African Cup held in Egypt ... Selected as top point guard at 1999 Senior African Cup in Angola ... Earned All-State and All-Conference honors in both basketball and soccer ... Also a standout soccer player, he scored 86 goals as a prep senior en route to National Christian Player of the Year honors ... Helped the Warrior soccer team to a two-year mark of 47-1 mark, including a 26-1 record in 2001-2002 ... The striker netted a tournament record 13 goals en route to MVP honors of the National Association of Christian Athletes High School Tournament ... Committed to UMass in July, 2001, after being pursued by Cincinnati and eventual 2002 NCAA champion Maryland, then signed with the Minutemen in November, 2001.
Full name is Meledje Michael Lasme ... Born Dec. 14, 1982, he'll celebrate his 20th birthday the day the Minutemen host Florida International ... Son of Nicodeme and Diomande Lasme, his guardians are Derek and Paula Williams ... Father, Nicodeme, coached the Ivory Coast National squad, while his mother, Diomande, played professional basketball in France ... Has a brother ... Enrolled in the College of Arts & Sciences ... Born in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, he moved to France when he was 12 and has been in the United States the past two years ... Speaks four languages -- French, Spanish, German and English.