Recently in Raphiael Putney Category
** 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
1. CHAZ, CHAZ, AND MORE CHAZ
Chaz Williams took the conference by storm in his first season in the Atlantic-10 and only figures to be more of a menace in 2012-13. Potentially the Preseason Conference Player of the Year, Williams should give UMass coach Derek Kellogg one of the league's best back courts with he and talented wing Jesse Morgan, a 6-foot-5 wing who seemed to get better every team he took on the floor. If big man Cady Lalanne can stay healthy and form a potent baseline with Terrell Vinson and Raphiael Putney, the Minutemen should be in position to compete for a conference title and a berth to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in a quite a while.
Morgan and Putney are offering new life to this roller-coaster ride of a University of Massachusetts men's basketball season. What they lack in experience, they are overcoming with their energy level, jarring a team that had seemed to be turning stale.
"They are bringing a freshness with their play and demeanor,'' UMass coach Derek Kellogg said as the Minutemen got ready for Wednesday's home game against Saint Joseph's. "Their eyes are always on me, saying 'Put me in.' I like that.''
Kellogg likes to compare the styles of current players with familiar players of years past. He was asked if Putney's style reminds him of any previous Minutemen.
"Not yet. But I think he's a good example of the value of redshirting,'' said Kellogg, whose player used the inactive 2009-10 season to add strength to his still-willowy, 180-pound frame.
UMass takes an 11-7 record (3-2 Atlantic 10) to St. Bonaventure (10-8, 2-3).
UMass fans have heard about Putney's athleticism since he arrived in Amherst, but because he redshirted last year in attempt to get stronger and put on weight, they've rarely had a chance to see it, until last Thursday.
"Putney, even though he's very skinny, is a world-class athlete who does some good things out there with his length and his athleticism," UMass coach Derek Kellogg said. "If we can put some weight on him, if we can get him to mature and become a grown man, I think he has a chance to be a special player at UMass."