Gazette: Dinged-Up UMass Hosts Maine - UMass Athletics

Gazette: Dinged-Up UMass Hosts Maine

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The Daily Hampshire Gazette has a look at tonight's UMass-Maine basketball game.

Daryl Traynham's foot, ankles for both Javorn Farrell and Terrell Vinson - they're all healthy enough to play but problematic enough to keep three key players in the University of Massachusetts' rotation well below 100 percent.

After Saturday, the Minutemen will have 10 days between games, allowing coach Derek Kellogg to rest some of his players as they focus on final exams.

Until then he's hoping his players can keep grinding through two more games at the Mullins Center, tonight against Maine (7 p.m.) and Saturday against Seton Hall.

Dinged-up UMass welcomes Black Bears to Mullins

AMHERST -Daryl Traynham's foot, ankles for both Javorn Farrell and Terrell Vinson - they're all healthy enough to play but problematic enough to keep three key players in the University of Massachusetts' rotation well below 100 percent.

After Saturday, the Minutemen will have 10 days between games, allowing coach Derek Kellogg to rest some of his players as they focus on final exams.

Until then he's hoping his players can keep grinding through two more games at the Mullins Center, tonight against Maine (7 p.m.) and Saturday against Seton Hall.

"We have a bunch of guys who have played a bunch of games in a short period of time. We worked hard at the beginning of the season because I wanted to make sure we were ready to go from day one this year. I pushed these guys pretty hard and when you do that their bodies break down a little bit," Kellogg said. "We can't do anything until after the Seton Hall game. That's when we can give them some time off. I don't want them practicing long hours during finals. I want them to concentrate on academics. It works in both ways for us. We've managed to get by to this point, but I'm looking forward to having a full roster of guys who are healthy and ready to go."

While Traynham isn't fully healthy, Kellogg has greatly welcomed his presence.

"It gives us one more body, a guy I know is going to come in and play hard," Kellogg said. "We can pick up the tempo a little bit more and pickup fullcourt and give guys the necessary rest so they can play as hard as I want them to play for the full 40 minutes."

Traynham's presence at point guard also allows Javorn Farrell to move back off the ball.

"I like Javorn better at that wing spot. He's not trying to do as much as fast. I think he rushed it a little bit the last couple games. He's more naturally a secondary ball-handler. I don't think it wears him out as much."

The Black Bears arrive in Amherst struggling at 2-5. They haven't beaten a Division I team since the season opener, a 71-66 overtime win over Utah Valley University, a transitional D-I school. Since then they've lost to Maryland, Notre Dame, Quinnipiac, Brown and most recently Delaware State, 75-56 on Monday. Their only other win is over Maine-Machias, an NAIA school.

Maine has four players scoring in double figures led by junior guard Raheem Singleton, who is averaging 11.3 points and 3.6 assists per game.

Troy Barnies is its top inside presence. The 6-foot-7 senior forward averages 10.9 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. He's led the team on the boards in six of their seven games.

WILCHER RETURNS - The game marks the return of former Minuteman Travon Wilcher. The 6-foot-7 Springfield native played in six games for the Minutemen in 2008-09 before transferring north.

He's appeared in three games for the Black Bears and averages just 4.3 minutes per game.

This is the second member of Travis Ford'sfreshman class of 2008-09 that the Minutemen have played against. They competed against Max Groebe and Cornell last year.

UMASS vs. MAINE RIVALRY - Maine is a rare team to play UMass in men's and women's basketball, ice hockey and football. UMass won in football. The schools start a three-game hockey series Sunday at 4 p.m.

The women's basketball team's play in Orono on Dec. 29.


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