NGSC Sports has learned that UMass Lowell Riverhawk men’s basketball player Alex Rivera has decided to transfer out of school. The decision was made back in early may just before the spring semester was finished. At the time of his announcement, Rivera cited wanting more minutes and more shots. Since putting himself back in the open market if you will, he has found a new home in the L.I.U. Brooklyn Blackbirds of the Northeast Conference. Alex must sit out next season because of the transfer and will have two full years left to play for head coach Derek Kellogg.
As a freshman for UMass Lowell. Rivera appeared in 30 of the 32 games played. He made two starts, both in America East play. His overall numbers would suggest that Rivera was getting what he wanted. He averaged nearly twenty-five minutes a night which was fourth-most on the team. He scored just under ten points per game (9.2) which was also fourth highest on the club. His assists to turnover rate was not bad for a first-year player. He had 47 assists to 39 turnovers and he also came up with 24 steals. Alex was a 68% free throw shooter on the year. He did foul out of three games during the season, all non-conference matchups against UMass Boston, St. Francis Brooklyn and Sacred Heart.
Alex’s offensive output shows his ability to be a player that could put the ball in the basket when counted upon. He scored in double-figures in 17 games including seven in conference action. His first five games, all non-league games, Alex registered double-digit nights. His numbers did take a bit of a downturn once America East play got started. But that’s to be expected of a first-year player going up on a nightly basis against players that are as good as you, and maybe a bit more experienced than you.
L.I.U. Brooklyn played .500 basketball a season ago (16-16). Coach Kellogg graduated four players from that team. Two were guards and one was a swingman playing both guard and forward. Only three members of the roster scored in double-figures for the year on a squad that dropped 74 points a night. Rivera may have found a team that will need his services down the road. But the question is, did he improve his situation from the one he left at UMass Lowell?. The Riverhawks are a team that looks to be on the rise in America East. Waiting his turn to become more of an contributor to the team, in the long run, may have given Rivera what he wanted in more minutes and shots.
As always, time will tell as to whether a wise move was made or not.