Gazette, Collegian: Carter Re-Energized In Bench Role - UMass Athletics

Gazette, Collegian: Carter Re-Energized In Bench Role

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The Daily Hampshire Gazette has a basketball notebook leading off with Sean Carter's important and increased play off the bench for the last four games.

Since then Carter has thrived. He's averaging 6.25 points and 5.0 rebounds per game in four games as a reserve, culminating in Saturday's effort.

The Daily Collegian also has a story on Carter and his contributions to the UMass win.

"That may have been the best game he's played since he's been here," UMass coach Derek Kellogg said after the win. "I thought Sean was great. Since he's gone to the bench, it's ironic that he's played such good basketball."

Carter re-energized with vital role off the bench

AMHERST - Just over two minutes into the second half, University of Massachusetts junior center Sean Carter caught the ball on the right block and put up a baby hook shot. It hit the back of the rim and bounced out.

Carter grabbed the rebound in traffic and went back up. Same result.

Carter again corralled the carom and this time Holy Cross foward Andrew Beinert smacked Carter's arm on the way up. As the ball finally went in, Carter pumped his fist and then made the free throw to complete the three-point play.

The play seemed to energize Carter and he, in turn, energized the Minutemen with his best performance this season and maybe the best in his UMass career.

•  Related stories: Minutemen hold on in first game at Cage since '93

Cage returns to its former glory at UMass

"I feel like this was one of my best games. I brought us energy," said Carter, who had 12 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots off the bench. "That's what we needed today. I've had other games with better stats, but I brought energy to the team and helped get everybody else going."

It took Carter a while to get going this year. After starting every game last year, he didn't score a point and grabbed a combined seven rebounds in UMass' first two games of the season.

Hoping to shake things up, UMass coach Derek Kellogg moved Carter to the bench and Hashim "Big City" Bailey into the starting lineup.

Since then Carter has thrived. He's averaging 6.25 points and 5.0 rebounds per game in four games as a reserve, culminating in Saturday's effort.

"That may have been his best game since he's been here," Kellogg said. "I thought Sean was great. Since he's gone to the bench, he's played such good basketball."

While some players relish starting, Carter said he's fine in his new role.

"I started off the season really slow when I was starting. They just wanted to find a way to get me going," he said. "I don't mind coming off the bench. I'm more of a team guy. I'm all about winning. So I'm coming off the bench and bringing energy and it's starting to work. I'd rather just keep it going this way."

With the Minutemen improving to 6-0, Carter welcomed any roll if the success continued.

"It feels great. It's my first time since I've been in college," Carter said. "I've been at two schools and both of my seasons haven't been the best. I'm feeling real good about it."

STEADY SAMPSON - After scoring in double figures just four times all of last year, sophomore Sampson Carter scored 14 points giving him at least 10 in four of the Minutemen's six games this year. He also had a career high five assists.

GURLEY MILESTONE - Anthony Gurley's 24 points gave him 901 career points as a Minuteman. At his 21.7 points per game average, he'll reach 1,000 points at UMass in the team's Dec. 22 game at Central Florida at the Mullins Center.

November continues to be a good month for Gurley. In 17 November games as a Minuteman, he's scored 298 points, an average of 17.5 points per game.

THIRD TECHNICAL - Sean Carter was whistled for a technical for his part in a shoving incident during a Holy Cross free throw. It was the Minutemen's third T in as many games. Daryl Traynham was called for the first and Kellogg, the second.

MISCELLANEOUS - UMass has now won 15 straight games in the Cage.

Matt Hill's missed free throw in the first half was the first of his career. He was 8-for-8 before that.


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Sean Carter reclaims starting spot and contributes to UMass wins


By: Jay Asser | November 28, 2010 | ShareThis

Hannah Cohen/Collegian

Through its six wins to begin the season this year, the Massachusetts men's basketball team has received significant contributions from a number of players. The latest addition to that group is junior center Sean Carter.

Carter relinquished his starting spot to senior Hashim Bailey and came off the bench in UMass' (6-0) two recent wins over American International and Holy Cross during Thanksgiving break.

On Saturday against the Crusaders at the Curry Hicks Cage, Carter finished with 12 points, seven rebounds and three blocks in 21 minutes of play. Down the stretch, he combined with guard Anthony Gurley to go 5-of-6 from the free throw line to seal the victory. The Oregon State transfer finished the contest shooting 6-of-7 from the charity stripe.

"That may have been the best game he's played since he's been here," UMass coach Derek Kellogg said after the win. "I thought Sean was great. Since he's gone to the bench, it's ironic that he's played such good basketball."

"I feel it was one of my best games because I brought us energy; that's what we needed today," Carter said.

In his third game off the bench this season against the Yellow Jackets, Carter shot 3-of-6 from the field for six points and three rebounds. Prior to being moved out of the starting lineup, Carter struggled in the early going this year, failing to register a made field goal or point in the first two contests. Since coming off the bench, Carter has seen shot and rebounded better.

"Everybody probably knows that I started off the season really slow this year," Carter said. "I started off starting but after a few bad games in a row, they started bringing me off the bench to find a way to get me going."

Carter is just one of a number of Minutemen players who have provided a strong effort in games this year. His performance, however, was the first significant display by a UMass center this season.

Nevertheless, Kellogg is still looking for his players to play their best together.

"We have a lot of guys that on different occasions and different days can play well," Kellogg said. "It would be nice if we could put it all together and have a collective group of about eight of them play well at once."

Saturday was a throwback for UMass coach Derek Kellogg, Minutemen players and fans alike.

The Minutemen defeated the Crusaders, 83-76, at the Curry Hicks Cage, marking the first game played at the storied venue since 1993. The victory also extended UMass' winning streak at the Cage to 15 games, a streak with a 17-year gap between wins.

"That was unbelievable," Kellogg said after the victory. "That was one of the best days I've had in a long time, to come here and walk out to see the place jam-packed."

The Cage, which can seat approximately 4,000 fans, had an attendance of 3,395 on Saturday. It was built in 1931 and was named after Curry Hicks, the athletic director at UMass at the time.

The venue has hosted a number of historic games, including the 1992 Atlantic 10 men's basketball tournament championship game. In that contest, the Minutemen defeated West Virginia, 97-91.

Also in 1992, UMass defeated Temple, 67-52, in a memorable rivalry matchup at the Cage. The Minutemen previously had never beaten the Owls in 21 games.

Though Saturday's game was not nearly as historic, Kellogg was fired up nonetheless.

"How could you not be after [Saturday's win] though? I mean it was an atmosphere like it was when the last time a game was played here, which was '93, so we're all getting old," Kellogg said with a smile.

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