Republican: Lineup Changes May Be In Store For UMass - UMass Athletics

Republican: Lineup Changes May Be In Store For UMass

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Forget the Maine.

That would be the preferred rallying cry for the University of Massachusetts men's basketball team, which fell flat in Wednesday's 68-56 loss to Maine, and now faces Seton Hall at the Mullins Center.

Read the Springfield Republican's preview of the UMass-Seton Hall game on Saturday.

Lineup changes may be in store for UMass basketball team Saturday

Published: Friday, December 10, 2010, 4:31 PM     Updated: Friday, December 10, 2010, 4:36 PM
Ron Chimelis, The Republican Ron Chimelis, The Republican 
Derek KelloggUMass men's basketbal oach Derek Kellogg said he is considering lineup changes for Saturday night's contest against Seton Hall in Amherst.

AMHERST - Forget the Maine.

That would be the preferred rallying cry for the University of Massachusetts men's basketball team, which fell flat in Wednesday's 68-56 loss to Maine, and now faces Seton Hall at the Mullins Center.

Coincidentally, it will be the last UMass game before Jesse Morgan becomes eligible. The highly-touted guard's nickname is "Takeover,'' for his ability to take over games.

Morgan was signed by Seton Hall, but then enrolled at UMass last year. He had to sit out a year, and becomes eligible with the end of the first semester.

He can't help Saturday, though. For his UMass teammates, what shaped up as an opportunity to showcase their progress is now a test of mettle for a 7-2 team that has lost two straight.

Kellogg is concerned about Seton Hall (3-4), which erased a 17-point deficit against Arkansas Wednesday before losing 71-62. But he is more concerned about his own team.

"I may have to change the lineup, to give these guys a kick in the rear,'' he said Wednesday in an even tone but with firm conviction.

"If I do make changes, it will probably be a gametime decision. We'll see.''

Juggling the lineup would get the players' attention, but there are no easy solutions to what has begun ailing the Minutemen.

Wednesday's starters were Anthony Gurley, Sampson Carter, Hashim Bailey, Gary Correia and Terrell Vinson. The starters shot 8 for 32 and scored 30 points; the bench went 10 for 29 and scored 29.

The defense was about the same, no matter who was playing.

Gurley is averaging 20.3 points per game. His starting spot is safe.

Freshman point guard Daryl Traynham has been more productive lately than Correia, but switching roles might reduce the influence of Correia's senior experience. It might also conflict with Kellogg's effort to avoid giving too much, too soon to rookies.

Hobbled by foot problems, Vinson has been in a season-long slump. He has started every game since coming to UMass in 2009.

Pulling him out might send a message, but since neither Bailey nor Sean Carter is known for scoring, it would not answer the question of how to generate points inside.

Sean Carter has been more effective than Bailey, but he has also been better off the bench. Carter is also prone to fouls, and starting might put him in foul trouble soone.

Forward Sampson Carter is the fifth starter. He shot 0-for-5 against Maine, but showed some life inside with eight points on 10 free throws, and eight rebounds.

Besides, neither Javorn Farrell nor Freddie Riley, who might also start, played well Wednesday. Forwards Matt Hill and Raphiael Putney hardly played at all.

Saturday's game is the ninth for UMass in 24 days. The Minutemen are then off for 11 days.

Despite the busy schedule and some minor injuries, Wednesday's game disappointed Kelllogg so much that he said the solution might be to work even harder - possibly with an altered playing rotation.

"I thought we looked tired - no, tired is not the right word,'' he said.

"We were unenthused, not into the game. That is unacceptable.''

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL: http://cstv.collegesports.com/mt5.2/mt-tb.cgi/13530

Leave a comment




CATEGORIES