Men's Basketball

Lowe Named College Chalk Talk's No. 3 Player In The Atlantic 10

Chris Lowe posted a 14-10-14 triple-double last season against La Salle last season.

Chris Lowe posted a 14-10-14 triple-double last season against La Salle last season.

Aug. 28, 2008

AMHERST, Mass. - According to College Chalk Talk, UMass point guard Chris Lowe is the No. 3 returning player in the Atlantic 10. The website only lists Temple's Dionte Christmas and Saint Joseph's Ahmad Nivins ahead of Lowe. Ricky Harris comes in at No. 7.

Here is what the site says about the UMass backcourt:

3. Chris Lowe, Guard - UMass
"Chris Lowe is what I think is the best point guard in the league." If this quote from former UMass head coach Travis Ford is any indication, Chris Lowe's spot amongst the conference's top returnees is well deserved.

Lowe was the straw that stirred the UMass drink last season; engineering an attack that ranked second in the league in scoring offense (81.5 ppg). With new head coach Derek Kellogg installing the dribble-drive motion offense, Lowe will be the most important player on what may be the league's most exciting team to watch. In essence, Kellogg brought a Ferrari home from the dealership and is handing the keys to Chris Lowe.

Lowe is a silky smooth lefty who possesses a deadly floater and has the ability to control a game beyond the box score. The point man led the league in assists per game (6.2 apg) and had a terrific 2.16 assist to turnover ratio. In fact, Lowe ranked eighth in the nation in total assists (214) and sixteenth in assists per game.

At just 6 feet and just 160 pounds, Lowe gets the most out of his body as shown by his season's final stat line: 11.8 points, 6.2 assists and 3.3 rebounds per contest. For further proof, ask LaSalle. Lowe posted a 14-10-14 triple-double last season against the Explorers; just the sixth triple double in UMass history. Defensively, Lowe ranked as one of the leagues most proficient theft men by averaging 1.68 steals a game (fourth in the A-10).



Although UMass fell short of reaching the NCAA Tournament, they did reach the NIT final before being topped by former national finalist Ohio State. Coach Kellogg, however, is fresh off a trip to the national title game, and will be itching to get a squad of his own into the dance. Fortunately, he has one of the conference's best players, in Chris Lowe, to help him get there.

No. 7 - Ricky Harris, UMass
One of the several bright-spots for the 2007-08 NIT Finalist Minutemen was the play of Ricky Harris. While it is well documented that Harris increased his scoring average by almost 14 points per game (4.5 to 18.2) last season, he made key strides in several underlying areas. He improved his field goal percentage by close to 7% (36.3 to 42.8), three-point percentage by 12% (25.4 to 37.4) and, equally important, free throw percentage by roughly 8.5% (66.7 to 75.3). A fantastic scorer, Harris averaged nearly three makes from downtown per game. This season, he'll team with Chris Lowe and Wake Forest transfer Anthony Gurley to form one of the most dynamic backcourts in the conference.

But Harris isn't simply an offensive show. On the defensive end, Ricky has buckled down. Most notably, he was one of only six players to record more than 50 steals (56) and, in fact, finished seventh in the conference in steals per contest (1.56) in 2007-08. With aggressive defense such a critical component of the uptempo style favored by UMass, having Harris and his active hands in the backcourt for another two years may not be a welcome sight to opposing guards, but is for the fans of the men from Amherst.


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