Basketball News On Traynham's Suspension - UMass Athletics

Basketball News On Traynham's Suspension

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On Thursday, UMass coach Derek Kellogg announced freshman Daryl Traynham had been suspended indefinitely. Here are stories.

UMass suspends Daryl Traynham indefinitely; cause unknown

Photo: UMass' Daryl Traynham suspended indefinitely
JERREY ROBERTS
University of Massachusetts point guard Daryl Traynham, right, has been suspended indefinitely for an undisclosed violation of team rules.

AMHERST - The University of Massachusetts men's basketball team's already thin numbers at point guard got worse Thursday as coach Derek Kellogg announced that freshman Daryl Traynham has been suspended indefinitely for an undisclosed violation of team rules and won't play in Sunday's Atlantic 10 opener against Dayton.

Kellogg said Traynham was not allowed to practice with the team during the suspension, which began Wednesday. He said there was no timetable for his return. Traynham didn't practice either Wednesday night or Thursday morning.

"We're going to handle it internally. But right now it's the best decision for the team and the program," Kellogg said. "Indefinitely means I'm going to evaluate where things are when the time is right and deal with the situation at that point."

Traynham, who is averaging 4.7 points and a team-high 3.1 assists in 16.6 minutes per game, started the last three games for the Minutemen as senior Gary Correia is out with a stomach ailment. Correia's return is uncertain, but Kellogg didn't rule out him returning for Sunday. Without Correia and Traynham, the Minutemen have no natural point guard on the roster.

"We're working on some different things and having some different guys play the point," Kellogg said. "It's kind of a team point guard situation. We have some hybrid guys that will get a chance to play point guard. I want to make it easy for them so we can run offense and get guys open for them."

Javorn Farrell, who is a natural wing, will start at point guard where he's played regular minutes this season. He's battled an ankle injury all season as well. Farrell has said he'd prefer to play off the ball, but is putting full focus into playing point guard.

"Whatever Coach Kellogg asks me to do or needs me to do, I'll do it to help the team," Farrell said. "We need somebody to initiate the offense and when the game gets out of control, to slow it down and be a floor general out there. It's basically being a leader. I'm working on that in practice."

Jesse Morgan, another natural wing who has only been practicing since late December, will get the first crack at back-up point guard minutes.

"To put a player in who really hasn't practiced is difficult," Kellogg said. "But he's going to give it a try. We'll see how he responds. I'm hoping he responds well and shows us he can play some point guard."

Morgan said he's trying to learn fast.

"It's going to be tough," said Morgan, who played some point guard in AAU. "But it's something I have to do to help the team so that's what I'm going to do. Gary is definitely mentoring me, telling me where to be on the floor. He's doing a very good job."

Sophomore Freddie Riley will be the third point guard. Kellogg said senior Anthony Gurley would also be a possibility.

"I've been practicing at the point guard," Riley said. "I don't know how much I'm going to be used there."

Riley, normally a shooter, said when he plays point guard he suppresses that instinct.

"I'm just focused on getting everybody else shots," he said. "If I get an open shot I'll take it, but I'm not focused on my shot."

Traynham's suspension continued a difficult week for the Minutemen, who were blown out Monday against Central Connecticut. Kellogg was pleased with how the rest of the team has bounced back.

"I feel really good where the team is mentally as a team. That's the most important thing making sure all the guys are on the same page, working together and competing at a high level," Kellogg said. "Today was one of the best practices we've had all year. Guys competed at a high level. Their attitudes were fantastic."

FORBES CONTRACT GUARANTEED - The NBA's deadline for waiving players without guaranteed contracts passed Wednesday, meaning former UMass standout Gary Forbes' 2010-11 contract is guaranteed until the end of the season.

GAFFNEY TO FLASH - Former UMass forward Tony Gaffney has signed with the Utah Flash of the NBA Developmental League. The Flash don't play in Springfield for the rest of this season.

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UMass basketball team suspends Daryl Traynham, leaving point guard up for grabs

Published: Thursday, January 06, 2011, 5:18 PM     Updated: Thursday, January 06, 2011, 5:30 PM
Ron Chimelis, The Republican By Ron Chimelis, The Republican 
UMass Men's Basketball vs BrandeisUMass point guard Daryl Traynham, a freshman, has been suspended indefinitely.

AMHERST - Freshman point guard Daryl Traynham has been suspended indefintely from the University of Massachusetts men's basketball team.

Coach Derek Kellogg said Thursday that Traynham is on campus, but not allowed to participate in any practices or team-related functions.

The coach did not give the reason for Traynham's suspension, other than to describe it as a violation of team rules. UMass first practiced without him Wednesday night.

Kellogg said Traynham has not been kicked off the team, but from the coach's comments and tone, this suspension does not look to be short-term.

"We'll handle it internally, and we'll evaluate it when the time is right,'' Kellogg said.

He did not say what Traynham would have to do to be reinstated.

In 10 games, Traynham was averaging 4.7 points, He led UMass in assists (31) and was second in steals (16).

Traynham was shooting only 26.7 percent from the floor and 18.8 percent on 3-pointers. Listed generously at 5-foot-9, he often found himself trapped and undersized in traffic under the basket, where he found it difficult to finish off fast breaks.

But he also lent quickness and ball-hawking ability to the defensive press, and had become a starter with senior Gary Correia sidelined by a stomach ailment. 

With Sunday's Atlantic 10 opener against Dayton approaching, Kellogg said the point guard spot could be split among several candidates, including Javorn Farrell, Jesse Morgan, Freddie Riley and Anthony Gurley.

It also remains possible that Correia will play. Without him, UMass does not have a natural point guard.

Farrell, Morgan and Riley are all 6-foot-5. Farrell has been playing the point, but is primarily a wing player. 

He conceded the adjustment has been challenging. Farrell has also been playing on a sore ankle.

"I feel pretty decent now. Whatever the coach and team need me to do for the betterment of the team, I'll do it,'' the sophomore said.

Farrell said the team needs a designated point guard, even if no one fits the role naturally.

"You just need someone to initiate the offense, and slow things down when it gets crazy. You need a leader, and I'm working on that,'' he said.

Riley is a sophomore shooting guard with a 3-point flair. He is probably the most unlikely candidate to play a distributor's role, but said he'll try,

"I played a little point in high school. It will be a challenge, but I'm ready to try my best,'' he said.

"I'm not focussing on my shots so much as getting shots for the other guys.''

Morgan, a freshman, joined the team for the second semester. His career has consisted of 19 minutes over three games.

"I played a little point guard in AAU ball. My teammates are helping me, telling me to stay calm and be confident,'' he said.

Morgan sat out last year for eligibility reasons. Kellogg has wanted to introduce him slowly to the college game.

Now, Morgan might get a chance to run the offense.

"Jesse has the capability. But not playing or practicing for a year, and then playing in college, is different,'' Kellogg said.

Morgan said Correia has been a useful mentor regarding point-guard play.

The 6-4 Gurley is a senior with the experience to remain calm at a new position. But he is averaging 20.4 points a game, and playing the point would require Gurley to not only score, but keep his teammates involved as well.

That happened last year when leading scorer Ricky Harris had to fill a void at point guard.

Unless Correia returns, modifications to the offense look inevitable.

"We're working on some different things. Point guard will probably be a team position,'' Kellogg said.


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