UMass basketball: Josh Cohen, Robert Davis Jr. first Minutemen to enter transfer portal

UMass forward Josh Cohen (23) drives to the hoop before being fouled by South Florida’s Gerald Jones (21) in the first half earlier this season at the Mullins Center in Amherst.

UMass forward Josh Cohen (23) drives to the hoop before being fouled by South Florida’s Gerald Jones (21) in the first half earlier this season at the Mullins Center in Amherst. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

By GARRETT COTE

Staff Writer

Published: 03-18-2024 4:52 PM

AMHERST — One of the first dominoes to fall is a massive one for the UMass men’s basketball team.

Minutemen forward Josh Cohen has entered the transfer portal, ESPN’s Jeff Borzello reported late Monday morning. The 6-foot-10 senior has one year of eligibility left, and he’s decided to use that elsewhere despite leading UMass in scoring (16 ppg) and finishing second on the team in rebounding (6.8 per game).

Cohen confirmed the news through his X account Monday morning, saying “UMass Nation! Thank you for everything you’ve done for me. Especially @coachFMartin, now it’s time for a new chapter on a story that is still being written. I have entered the transfer portal with one year to play.”

Cohen, from Lincroft, N.J., earned First Team All-Atlantic 10 honors while scoring 20-plus points 11 times this season, matching his season high of 28 points three times. Cohen posted 14 points and six rebounds in his final game, an Atlantic 10 quarterfinal matchup with VCU last Thursday.

After starting his career at Saint Francis where he played three full seasons, he transferred to UMass last spring. Cohen will now be playing for his third team in as many seasons come next fall.

This is likely just the beginning for UMass considering the landscape of college basketball, as the transfer portal officially opened for the offseason on Monday.

A year ago, the Minutemen only returned three scholarship players at the start of the 2023-24 season. Losing one of their leaders this early in the process doesn’t bode well.

Head coach Frank Martin will have some work to do to bring in more depth to his frontcourt, a position UMass was already thin at this year.

Robert Davis Jr. enters portal

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UMass freshman Robert Davis Jr. is also entering the portal, according to reports. Davis Jr., who never quite found his footing with the Minutemen this year, played in all but one game (missing it due to a concussion) and averaged just over 13 minutes per contest.

Davis Jr. – who was known for his shooting ability coming out of high school – shot just 33.6 percent from the field and 31.3 percent from 3-point range while scoring 4.1 points per game.

In UMass’ 87-79 win over West Virginia at the MassMutual Center earlier this season, Davis Jr. drilled six 3s en route to a career-high 18 points. That game showed his potential as a scorer, and his 6-foot-6 frame provides a lot of upside for college coaches to work with on the defensive end of the floor.