Paul Gotham of the basketball site Pickin Splinters wrote a piece on the path the program has taken in four years under coach Derek Kellogg. He also touches on the progress junior guard Chaz Williams has made in two seasons, while making note that the 5-9 Brooklyn dynamo's potential is still climbing.
UMass head coach Derek Kellogg and senior forward Terrell Vinson spent Tuesday in Boston participating in the second Commonwealth of Massachusetts Men's Basketball Media Day. All six head coaches from the state's Division I program - Boston College, Boston University, Harvard, Holy Cross, UMass and Northeastern - were in attendance.
Rob Dauster of College Basketball Talk put out his list of ten men's basketball programs on the rise entering the 2012-13 season.
UMass: UMass basketball history is limited to, more or less, two people. Julius Erving played for the Minutemen from 1968-1971 before going on to become Dr. J. The other person is John Calipari, who took over a program in 1988 that had 10 straight losing seasons. In his fourth year, he led UMass to the Atlantic 10 regular season and tournament titles, advancing to the NCAA tournament. He would accomplish that feat for five consecutive years, which culminated in his run to the 1996 Final Four, riding on the shoulders of Marcus Camby, before leaving the program. Bruiser Flint took over and led the Minutemen to two more NCAA tournaments, but they've only won one A-10 title -- the 2007 regular season -- since then. Outside of those seven consecutive NCAA tournaments, UMass has been to one. Ever. In 1962.
That could change this season, as Derek Kellogg has put together arguably the best team in Amherst since the late 90′s. The Minutemen return all but one member of their rotation from last season, including Chaz Williams, who is one of the most exciting and underrated point guards in the country. They also bring back Sampson Carter and Cady Lalanne, both of whom were injured for much of last season. The Atlantic 10 is going to be a rugged league this season, but UMass has the horses to make a run at a top four finish.
The Atlantic 10 held its annual men's basketball media day on Thursday at the brand new Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The building is only a week old and looks outstanding. They were still set-up for Jay-Z as the part owner of the Brooklyn Nets was continuing his run of concerts to open the facility.
UMass was picked to finish fifth in the preseason poll, which was made up of all 16 coaches and a media member from each area in the A-10 membership, totaling 30 voters. Additionally, Chaz Williams was selected to the preseason first team.
Security was pretty tight so nobody was allowed inside the arena bowl but everywhere else the coaches and media went was very impressive. Here are some articles from UMass beat writers Harry Plumer and Matt Vautour, along with stories from around the league. I also posted a Storify link that summarizes as many tweets from media, coaches and administrators at the event as I could find.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has an update on basketball practice and some notebook items about the preseason. He has quotes from Chaz Williams and Freddie Riley about the excitement leading up to the season, along with info from coach Kellogg on scheduling and early games.
AMHERST -- Before his sophomore season, University of Massachusetts guard Freddie Riley was frustrated about everyone's lack of optimism surrounding the Minutemen. Preview magazines, newspaper articles and even fans had low expectations for the 2010-11 squad and Riley took it to heart.
Two years later, coming off the team's run to the National Invitation Tournament's semifinals, there's a positive vibe surrounding the Minutemen. The preview magazines that are already out and national websites are projecting UMass to finish among the top teams in the Atlantic 10 and perhaps reach the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1998. There's a buzz on campus among students greater than at any previous time.
National college basketball writer and television announcer Jon Rothstein offered up his thoughts on UMass as it prepares for the 2012-13 season. Leading off with a note on junior PG Chaz Williams' infectious energy that envelops the entire team.
Chaz Williams is a like a magnet. The undersized point guard has an infectious personality -- and it's easily noticeable if you're in the gym with him for even just a matter of moments. The 5-9 Williams was one of the best players in the Atlantic 10 a season ago and figures to be so again thanks to the biggest weapon he has -- his heart.
With the fall sports season hitting the midway point, that means hoops and hockey are ratcheting up workouts in anticipation of their seasons. Here are a few preseason articles from area writers on last week's men's basketball practice.
UMass beat writers Matt Vautour (Daily Hampshire Gazette) and
Harry Plumer (Springfield Republican) were in attendance at basketball practice
Tuesday at the Cage and filed a pair of reports on what they saw.
Don't forget, you can reserve your season tickets right now by calling the UMass Ticket Office at 1-866-UMASS-TIX.
** 5 Game Packs go on sale beginning Monday, Oct. 1. ** Single-game tickets will go on sale Monday, Oct. 15. ** Group tickets of 15 or more may be purchased through the UMass Group Sales Office for as low as $8/ticket by contacting Jason Blanchette at 413-577-0340 or email@example.com
National sports publisher Athlon has put out a list of the top ten sleeper teams that it believes will return to the NCAA Tournament this season. Among the teams are coach Kellogg's Minutemen.
The Atlantic 10 is undergoing a changing of the guard of sorts. Butler and VCU are in, and Temple and Xavier are in stages of starting over. UMass could be poised to pounce. Thanks to the arrival of 5-9 point guard Chaz Williams from Hofstra, UMass had its first winning season under Derek Kellogg. The Minutemen's core players were sophomores and juniors last season, including forward Sampson Carter, who averaged 8.6 points and and 3.9 rebounds in an injury-shortened season.
Last night, head men's basketball coach Derek Kellogg was a guest on Inside College Basketball, aired nationally on SiriusXM Radio Channel 91. Here is a link to a clip from the show where the fifth-year coach talks about the journey at UMass since his return.
ESPN.com senior writer Andy Katz recently completed his Summer Shootaround series where he and his associates breakdown the various conferences around the nation. The Atlantic 10 version hit cyberspace on Monday so here is the link.
Happy reading and remember fall sports will start reporting sooner than you think. Go Minutemen!!!
Yesterday we posted a video interview (see below) with head coach Derek Kellogg about
the work his program has done with sport psychologist Joe Carr. Today, UMass
beat writer Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has an in-depth story
about Dr. Carr's visit, dubbed "Brotherhood 2.0."
The Minutemen adopted the word a year ago when they met
with sports psychologist Joe Carr for preseason meetings that helped bond the
team and coaching staff together. On Tuesday, Riley and the rest of the UMass
players again met with Carr for "Brotherhood 2.0" sessions.
"Dr. Carr was a big part of the success we had last
year," UMass coach Derek Kellogg said. "It helped formulate our team,
and defined roles and the bonding of the brotherhood that we had."
"In July we have more time to implement the things we
want to implement and the new guys are getting a taste of how serious this is.
We want to do something special," he added. "It's been good for those
guys to get acclimated. It's been great to get to know them on a personal
level. It's a comforting kind of atmosphere where you know everyone in there is
there for you and part of your family."
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a piece on the excitement generated by UMass' NIT Semifinal run and the success in several other sports along with the transition of the football program to the Mid-American Conference.
"When you have the success that basketball has had and you see what the lacrosse programs are doing and some of our other teams combined with the momentum of our football transition, it's very positive," McCutcheon said. "You walk around (Madison Square Garden) and hear the things people are saying and it's gratifying."
After much anticipation, game day is finally here as UMass and Stanford will meet tonight at 7 PM in the NIT Semifinals in Madison Square Garden. Lots of great previews and features on the Minutemen who have been in the media spotlight due to the program's history with Madison Square Garden and a certain point guard who hails from Brooklyn.
After rallying back from a 17-point second-half deficit, UMass now has a date with Madison Square Garden. The Minutemen came-from-behind last night to defeat Drexel 72-70 in Philadelphia. Terrell Vinson scored 14 of his 18 points in the second half leading a Minutemen charge as UMass closed the half shooting nearly 71 percent from the floor.
UMass will face tonight's winner of the Stanford/Nevada quarterfinal game next Tuesday at 7 PM. The game will be televised live from New York City on ESPN2.
One more win and we are going to the World's Most Famous Arena but its going to be a tough game going into Drexel's Daskalakis Athletic Center where coach Bruiser Flint's team has won 18-consecutive at the DAC. Tip-off is at 7 pm on ESPN (Bob Wischusen and LaPhonso Ellis) and on all four affiliates of the UMass Radio Network (Josh Maurer and Tim Kenney). While you get amped up for the game here are some articles from various outlets in Mass and Philly.
One of the major themes heading into Tuesday night's NIT Quarterfinal meeting between UMass and Drexel will be the relationship between Derek Kellogg and Bruiser Flint. Flint, a former assistant and head coach at UMass, was one of the key members in recruiting Kellogg.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a feature piece on Terrell Vinson and his clutch performances in big games for the UMass basketball team.
Terrell Vinson's highlights aren't likely to end up on SportsCenter's top 10.
The University of Massachusetts men's basketball team has its share of breathtaking dunks and enough alley-oops to potentially be called Lob U. Chaz Williams has gotten well-deserved attention for his game-changing speed and program-changing leadership and Raphiael Putney's improved game and freakish athleticism have made him a fan favorite and a media star.
But with the game on the line, or in Saturday's case the season on the line, the Minutemen have looked to Vinson and more often than not, the junior has delivered.
Here are a few recaps from Massachusetts and Mississippi newspapers on Tuesday's big road win over Mississippi State in the NIT First Round. The UMass-Seton Hall second round game will be played at Walsh Gymnasium on the SHU campus but we are waiting on the NIT to assign a date and time. So while we wait, take a look at some of these stories and keep on cheering on the Minutemen.
The postseason is here and we've got you covered with all of the previews and analysis in preparation for tonight's NIT First Round game at Mississippi State. Tip-off is at 7 pm ET and the game can be seen on ESPN2, and heard on all four affiliates of the UMass Radio Network.
Here are some recaps following the tough 84-80 loss to St. Bonaventure in the Atlantic 10 Championship semifinals. UMass will learn its postseason fate Sunday night and be sure to check back with us for all of the important details.
Led by Jesse Morgan and Chaz Williams, UMass overcame a five-point halftime deficit using a 15-0 run to start the second half in its 77-71 win over top-seeded and No. 21 Temple on Friday afternoon in the first game of the Atlantic 10 Tournament Quarterfinals. UMass will play St. Bonaventure on Saturday at 1 PM. It will be televised nationally on the CBS Sports Network.
Seth Orensky of boston.sbnation.com has an article outlining the dificult road ahead for the Minutemen as they open the 2012 Atlantic 10 Tournament against Duquesne on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.
A Rough Decade:Despite having a series of
talented and successful young coaches manning the bench in Amherst, the
Minutemen have had almost zero success in the Atlantic 10 Tournament. The
Minutemen have won just two conference tournament games in the past 10 years
under Steve Lappas (1-4), Travis Ford (0-3) and fourth-year head coach Derek
Kellogg (1-3). Even in the two seasons UMass managed to advance out of the
first round, the Minutmen were quickly bounced in the quarterfinal round.
CBSSports.com senior writer Jeff Goodman was among the national writers in attendance at Tuesday's 80-73 win over Xavier and was more than impressed with how the Minutemen program has progressed during the tenure of head coach Derek Kellogg. He writes in his column about the importance of Chaz Williams to the UMass program.
Chaz Williams led four Minutemen in double figures with his outstanding 29-point, nine-assist effort in Tuesday's big win over Xavier. Next up is a tough road game at Dayton on Saturday night at 6 p.m. on the CBS Sports Network. So while the team rests up for that one, here are a few recaps and sidebars about last night's game.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a preview this morning of tonight's men's basketball game at Rhode Island with both teams coming off big wins. UMass beat Saint Louis last Saturday at the Mullins Center, while the Rams took down Dayton on the road.
In Andy Katz's blog on ESPN, he again noted that UMass was a team that impressed over the weekend with its win over Saint Louis to retain the No. 1 spot in the Atlantic 10.
Massachusetts: Derek Kellogg survived a difficult stretch at his alma mater and has come through to the top of the standings. The Minutemen, behind Hofstra transfer Chaz Williams, beat Saint Louis and won at Richmond this past week. UMass is in a three-way tie for first in the A-10 with La Salle and St. Bonaventure.
Greg M. Cooper/US PresswireChaz Williams has helped UMass tie for first place in the Atlantic 10 conference.
Ron Chimelis of the Springfield Republican has a story on UMass being able to bounce back this season from tough games. UMass has not lost back-to-back games this season and that, according to Chimelis, is a strong indication of UMass' growth over previous seasons.
Jesse Morgan scored 20 points and the UMass men's basketball team was able to pull away late in the second half for a 79-68 win at Richmond on Saturday. The win moved the Minutemen into a tie for 2nd in the Atlantic 10 standings. UMass will host Saint Louis at the Mullins Center on Saturday. The game will be Big Y Day with $6 general admission tickets available with a Big Y card.
Following the win on Saturday over Saint Joseph's to improve to 14-4 overall and 3-1 in the Atlantic 10, Andy Katz mentioned UMass in his weekly blog on ESPN.com.
Massachusetts:Derek Kellogg has an infusion of transfers and finally some maturity on this team. The Minutemen are atop the standings in the A-10 with Dayton and Xavier after dropping Charlotte and Saint Joseph's.
• What do we make of the Atlantic 10?
Is the league really good or really average? The jury is still out. Xavier lost to La Salle, which lost to Dayton, which lost to St. Bonaventure, which lost to Duquesne, which lost to Saint Joseph's, which lost to Charlotte, which lost to Saint Louis, which lost to Temple, which lost to Richmond.Who's on first? I don't know, third base? OK, actually it's a three-way tie atop the standings with UMass, Dayton and Xavier all at 3-1. The Musketeers, who have reeled off three in a row after their gigantic skid, seem to be finding their footing. But what to make of everyone else is the question for the league. Perennial tourney entrant Temple is all over the map. Saint Louis, which appeared to be making strides under Rick Majerus, has lost three of its last five. And UMass, winner of eight of nine, is finally turning things around under Derek Kellogg, but doesn't have much to hang a nonconference resume on.
UMass erased a 17-point deficit from the first half to improve to 10-0 at home with a 71-62 win over Saint Joseph's on Saturday. Chaz Williams led the way for the Minutemen with 22 points, while Raphiael Putney made national headlines for his highlight reel dunk that landed as the No. 8 Top Play of the Day on Sports Center.
UMass and Saint Joseph's meet today for the 60th installment of the series on the hardwood with some early implications in the Atlantic 10 standings. Both teams enter the game coming off Wednesday wins and stand at 2-1 in the league rankings.
Sandra Constantine of the Springfield Republican has a story on Derek Kellogg being featured as the keynote speaker to 400 high achieving high school students on Tuesday at Western New England University.
The students were taking part in the 10th annual MassMutual Academic Achiever Conference sponsored by MassMutual and Western New England University.
Kellogg, who grew up in Springfield and played basketball at UMass under famed coach John Calipari, outlined his odyssey from growing up in the Hungry Hill neighborhood to becoming head basketball coach at his alma mater.
He described his first college basketball coaching stint at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. It only paid $9,500 a year, but Kellogg said he worked 14 hours a day.
"It is not about the money. It is about the ability to do what you want to do," Kellogg said.
"You be the champions. You be the leaders. You push for it," the coach urged the students, telling them to disregard statistics and material on the Internet that discourages them from thinking they can be successful.
Thanks to clutch free throws down the stretch, the UMass men's basketball team was able to hold off Charlotte on Wednesday night to remain a perfect 9-0 this season in home games with an 85-75 win over the 49ers. The Minutemen return to action on Saturday (4 PM) against Saint Joseph's.
Andy Katz of ESPN listed 12 games to watch this weekend including UMass' game at La Salle on Sunday at Noon.
UMass at La Salle (2 ET): That's right -- UMass at La Salle. Dr. John Giannini has the 11-4 Explorers playing much better than expected; the same can be said for Derek Kellogg and his 12-3 Minutemen. La Salle has won nine of its last 10, and its victory over Xavier really gave this team credibility. Massachusetts has won six in a row and is looking for a key road win in the A-10.
A pair of double-double's by Terrell Vinson and Raphiael Putney combined with 20-points and nearly a triple-double from Chaz Williams paved the way as the UMass men's basketball team defeated Fordham last night in the Mullins Center in the Minutemen's Atlantic 10 opener.
Ron Chimelis of the Springfield Republican looks at UMass' rise over the last few weeks in the RPI entering this week at 79th among 344 Division I Teams. That places the UMass basketball team sixth overall in the Atlantic 10.
Ron Chimelis of the Springfield Republican looks at UMass' second half adjustments in games this year which have helped the Minutemen put together a four-game win streak heading into Friday's meeting with Central Connecticut (Mullins Center, 7 PM).
A great night at the Mullins Center on Thursday as UMass defeated Davidson to reach a 10-3 record and remain perfect in home games this year at 6-0. Maxie Esho had a career-high 12 points, while Jesse Morgan led the Minutemen with 14. In all, five UMass players scored in double-figures.
UMass overcame an 11-point second-half deficit to pull out an 82-78 win over Siena on Friday night in the Hall of Fame Holiday Showcase at the Mass Mutual Center. Freddie Riley continued his streak of hot shooting draining six three-pointers for 20 points, while Chaz Williams tied his career-high with 22 points (20 in the second half).
It was an offensive explosion as UMass routed Boston College 82-46 last night at Conte Forum. It marked the single largest win margin ever in the series between the two schools as the Minutemen improve to 4-0 on the year.
Scott Coen of MassLive.com has a story following last night's 36-point basketball win at Boston College saying that Derek Kellogg's 4-0 Minutemen deserve attention after getting off to a good start on the season.
Ron Chimelis of the Springfield Republican recaps Thursday night's men's basketball victory at home over NJIT that improved the Minutemen to 3-0 on the season. UMass benefited from nine first-half 3-pointers on its way to a 79-58 victory. Chimelis also points out the emergence of Cady Lalanne inside, who had a career-high 14 rebounds in just 15 minutes.
"I don't know yet if Cady always knows what he's doing or where he's going,'' Derek Kellogg said.
"It's nice to see him accidentally bump into 14 rebounds in 15 minutes, though. That shows he can be a big-time rebounder here someday.''
Ron Chimelis of the Springfield Republican previews tonight's men's basketball game against NJIT at the Mullins Center at 7 p.m. Chimelis points out how turnovers and fouls made Monday's victory over Northeastern more difficult and how Derek Kellogg and the Minutemen are looking to improve those areas against the Highlanders tonight.
Check out the very well written story by frequent UMass basketball beat writer Marty Dobrow, who writes on ESPN Boston about UMass' start to the season and the parallels between this season and the last one the Minutemen opened at the Curry Hicks Cage, including the point guard position.
The men's basketball team improved to 2-0 on Monday night with a 83-67 win over Northeastern at the Mullins Center. Sophomore point guard Chaz Williams led the way again for the Minutemen, recording the first double-double of his career with 20 points and 10 assists, both tying career-highs. Terrell Vinson (14) and Sampson Carter (12) both reached double-figures for the second game in a row. Check out coverage of the game below.
Ron Chimelis of the Springfield Republican previews tonight's men's basketball season opener at the Cage in today's issue. Chimelis points out how this season's opener is different than Derek Kellogg's previous three as head coach, as the team is comprised mostly of his players now and they are playing a new style offensively and defensively.
Chimelis also mentions the signing of Tyler Bergantino to a NLI on Thursday.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette writes in his preview of tonight's season opener for the men's basketball team against Elon at the Curry Hicks Cage that Derek Kellogg's squad will play an exciting up-tempo style on offense and use some pressure defense as well.
UMass coach Derek Kellogg is looking forward to getting started.
"I feel like we're in a spot where its good to play a game," he said. "I don't know how much more we can go against ourselves and how much better we can get until we play somebody else and see what works and what doesn't work.
Check out Stephen Hewitt's headline story in the Daily Collegian's basketball preview edition previewing the Minutemen's 2011-12 season, which highlights the fact that Derek Kellogg's UMass team is a new-look squad in many ways going into the season, from style of play, attitude, new players, new roles, and more.
"I think we're looking pretty good," said Chaz Williams. "I think we'll be better than a lot of people expect. But there's always room for improvement. I feel like we can get better every day. Every day we come to practice with an open mind. That's something that will make us and take us to another level."
Stephen Hewitt of the Daily Collegian writes in Thursday's basketball preview edition about redshirt sophomore Chaz Williams, in his first season eligible to play for the Minutemen, taking over the role of point guard for head coach Derek Kellogg, someone who knows a thing or two about playing the point at UMass. The story focuses on how the 2010 CAA All-Rookie selection at Hofstra will be in charge of running the Minutemen's new up-tempo attacking style of play.
"I expect to do some things I haven't gotten to do in the past," said Williams. "A lot of things that will make my teammates better and a lot of things that'll help us win games.
"I want to help bring some excitement back to UMass," he added.
Stephen Sellner of the Daily Collegian takes a look in Thursday's basketball preview issue at the UMass roster being a mix of old and new, and how that mix could be the right one for the Minutemen in 2011-12.
"I'm hoping that that's what people that come in and watch us ... play see is a group of guys that are willing to give up a little of themselves," said Kellogg. "It's really more of a group effort than it'll ever have been."
Jay Asser of the Daily Collegian has a story on the new offense being implemented this season by UMass head coach Derek Kellogg. To better fit the athletes the Minutemen have on the court, the team is switching to more of an up-tempo style of play that will create more balanced scoring and as Asser puts it, "an exciting brand of basketball appears to await the Minutemen."
Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe has a terrific feature in Wednesday's issue on redshirt-sophomore point guard Chaz Williams and what the transfer from Hofstra brings to the Minutemen going into the 2011-12 season. Washburn talks about how head coach Derek Kellogg needs a floor general to lead his new up-tempo attack with "fearlessness and heart that exemplified those 1990s teams."
"He may have found such a conductor in Chaz Williams, a 5-foot 9-inch sophomore transfer from Hofstra, whose Brooklyn upbringing is apparent from the moment he speaks. He brings a New York bravado to Amherst, and his leadership and passion are exactly what Kellogg believes will push the Minutemen back among the elite teams of the Atlantic 10."
Ron Chimelis of the Springfield Republican has a story on the Minutemen using this week as a final tune-up as they adjust to a new up-tempo style of play. UMass opens the season on Friday at 9 p.m. against Elon at the Curry Hicks Cage.
"We're trying to instill in our guys that they have to be the aggressors from the minute they get off the bus,'' head coach Derek Kellogg said.
Ron Chimelis of the Springfield Republican wrote over the weekend on the men's basketball team being a totally new look, or "brand", in 2011-12. He writes how the Minutemen have a new offense, new point guard, and new post player, combined with two closed scrimmages rather than open exhibition games, make what to expect from the Minutemen this season a bit of a mystery.
Well, the mystery will be revealed on Friday when Derek Kellogg's Minutemen host Elon in the season opener at the Curry Hicks Cage at 9 p.m.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story on Derek Kellogg indicating at UMass media day on Friday that the starting five for the Minutemen's season opener this Friday against Elon at the Curry Hicks Cage could be Chaz Williams, Freddie Riley, Javorn Farrell, Raphiael Putney, and Sean Carter. The Minutemen played their second and final closed scrimmage of the season on Saturday at Seton Hall.
Vautour also points out some jersey number changes for the Minutemen this season. Check out the online roster.
Ron Chimelis of the Springfield Republican and MassLive.com covers the announcement of changes to Derek Kellogg's men's basketball staff. With the departure of Vance Walberg, Shyrone Chatman becomes an assistant coach, Tom Doherty has been added as assistant operations coordinator, and Richard Hogans is the strength & conditioning coach.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette takes an in-depth look today at the UMass men's basketball lineup and who could potentially take over more of a scoring role for the Minutemen in 2011-12. Vautour goes through each player, saying why he's a candidate to increase his scoring, and what could possibly prevent that. An interesting read for UMass fans.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a nice story today on redshirt freshman center Andrew McCarthy. Vautour talks about the anticipated matchup with McCarthy's brother's team, NJIT, and Coach Kellogg talks about how the 7-footer could help the Minutemen against some of the bigger post players on the schedule.
Vautour also hits on a few other interesting topics in the notebook, including a possible appearance by Marcus Camby in Amherst, the closed scrimmage against Drexel, advice for Chaz Williams from Edgar Padilla, and Tony Gaffney and Ricky Harris facing each other in Germany.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story on UMass basketball sophomore Jesse Morgan. The piece focuses on how the talented guard was only able to practice with the team and play in games in the second half of 2010-11, therefore only giving everyone a glimpse of what he is capable of. With a full preseason to prepare this year, big things are expected of the shooting guard, who as the story points out, has also been selected by Derek Kellogg to learn the point guard position as a backup to Chaz Williams.
"This is huge for him. Coming off a year where he hadn't practiced or played coming in halfway through, I think he was a little disappointed with his productivity and his playing time," Derek Kellogg said. "It's been fantastic. He's grown up. His body is in phenomenal shape. He has a chance to do some good things if he can continue at the pace he's been at."
CBS Sports College Basketball Insider Jeff Goodman has picked UMass to finish fifth in his conference countdown for the Atlantic 10. Goodman has the Minutemen, who were picked 12th in the A-10 preseason poll, finishing behind Xavier, Temple, Saint Louis, and St. Bonaventure. He also picks redshirt sophomore forward Raphiael Putney has his A-10 Breakthrough Player of the Year.
"The pressure is on Derek Kellogg in Year 4. He lost Anthony Gurley, but might finally have a true point guard with Hofstra transfer Chaz Williams. The young group from a couple of years ago -- juniors Freddie Riley, Sampson Carter, Javorn Farrell, Terrell Vinson and redshirt sophomore Raphiael Putney -- needs to go out there and prove itself."
Ron Chimelis of the Springfield Republican has a nice story in Monday's edition and on MassLive.com on redshirt sophomore Chaz Williams moving into the point guard role for the Minutemen this season. Chimelis points out how Williams will be relied upon by Derek Kellogg to run the team's new offense, based more on transition and playing up-tempo.
"Everything coach tells me, I try to take into consideration and instill into my own game," said Williams, a redshirt sophomore from Brooklyn, N.Y., who sat out last season after transferring from Hofstra.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette had a nice feature over the weekend on UMass freshman forward Cady Lalanne, who after having to sit out last season because of NCAA rules and missing a month this fall due to an injury, is finally practicing with Derek Kellogg's Minutemen as they prepare for their Nov. 11 season opener.
"He's an unbelievable kid, the last one in the gym after practice," Kellogg said. "I think the sky is the limit once he's able to go full speed."