Gazette: UMass Finishes Non-Conference At CCSU - UMass Athletics

Gazette: UMass Finishes Non-Conference At CCSU

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The Daily Hampshire Gazette has a preview of the UMass-CCSU.

After getting nine and 11-day breaks before its last two games, the University of Massachusetts men's basketball team will have just two days between Friday's win over Boston University and tonight's 7 p.m. game at Central Connecticut.

"We had so much time off in December," UMass coach Derek Kellogg said. "It's not bad to be playing some games and letting some of these guys mature to see where we're at."

The game is UMass' last nonconference game. Kellogg is hoping for a good effort to use as a launching pad toward Atlantic 10 play, which begins Saturday against Dayton at 2 p.m. at the Mullins Center.

UMass travels to Central Connecticut before A-10 hoop play

AMHERST - After getting nine and 11-day breaks before its last two games, the University of Massachusetts men's basketball team will have just two days between Friday's win over Boston University and tonight's 7 p.m. game at Central Connecticut.

"We had so much time off in December," UMass coach Derek Kellogg said. "It's not bad to be playing some games and letting some of these guys mature to see where we're at."

The game is UMass' last nonconference game. Kellogg is hoping for a good effort to use as a launching pad toward Atlantic 10 play, which begins Saturday against Dayton at 2 p.m. at the Mullins Center.

"I'm feeling good about the time," Kellogg said. "Other than a letdown for a little span there (in the first half), I thought we played well in the last couple of games. At least the defensive intensity and pressure was there. The attitude has been good. We're going to get better and continue improving as the season has gone on as the guys continued to improve."

The game is just the second road game of the season for the Minutemen, who won their only other game outside of Massachusetts. UMass has played the Blue Devils a handful of times in Connecticut in recent years, but they've all been at Mohegan Sun.

"They're fun to watch. They're actually a good team and have played some good teams tough," Kellogg said.

Senior point guard Gary Correia who has missed the last two games with a stomach ailment, will miss tonight's game as freshman Daryl Traynham will make his third straight start. Senior big man Hashim "Big City" Bailey, who suffered an ankle injury late in the first half on Saturday is questionable.

"He could play, but I don't know to what extent he's going to play," Kellogg said.

Against Central Connecticut, which has just one player taller than 6-foot-6 - rarely used reserve Justin Alexander - Kellogg said he's prepared to use a smaller lineup whenever Sean Carter is out of the game.

"If City can play and give us something offensively and clog up the lane on defense, he can help us," Kellogg said. "If not I'm capable of using a smaller, quicker lineup."

Central Connecticut hosts the Minutemen riding a three-game winning streak in what's been a season of streaks for the Blue Devils, who had lost four straight before their current run of success. CCSU is 7-5 overall, but it's 5-0 in Detrick Gymnasium.

Junior Ken Horton has been Central's best player. A 6-foot-6, he's versatile playing inside and on the wing. He leads the Blue Devils in scoring (15.8 points per games) and rebounds (8.0) and has scored in double figures each of the last seven games.

Horton, who scored his 1,000th career point last month is joined by two other teammates averaging over 10 points per game - junior guard Robby Ptacek (13.7) and point guard Shemik Thomson (12.3 points, 4.5 assists).

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