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Jonathan Givony, ESPN 56d

Estonian center Matthias Tass commits to Saint Mary's

Men's College Basketball, Men Basketball Recruiting, Saint Mary's Gaels

Estonian center Matthias Tass has committed to play for the Saint Mary's Gaels this season, he told ESPN.

"I'm part of the Gael family," said Tass, who picked Saint Mary's over offers from a number of Power 5 programs, including Stanford, Georgia Tech, Purdue and Texas Tech.

As to why he picked Saint Mary's, "Definitely their working mentality, how they develop their players," Tass said. "I also enjoyed that they are playing a European basketball style, which fits me best."

Tass made a name for himself at the NBA's Basketball Without Borders Camp in Helsinki in September 2016 and saw his NCAA recruitment skyrocket after he was named to the All-Tournament team while helping Estonia to a third-place finish at the U18 European Championship (Division B) in August.

Tass, who is 6-foot-10, 220 pounds, is a highly skilled big man who is comfortable both facing and with his back to the basket. He showed great versatility at the U18 European Championship, averaging 17.9 points, 13.2 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 2.0 steals and 4.1 blocks per 40 minutes played.

Saint Mary's needs a big man capable of making a major impact, as center Jock Landale will graduate after this season. The Gaels are coming off a 29-5 season and are expected to again battle Gonzaga for the West Coast Conference title.

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