Scrolling Headlines:

UMass women’s basketball suffers disappointing loss to St. Bonaventure at Mullins Center Thursday -

January 19, 2017

REPORT: Tom Masella out as defensive coordinator for UMass football -

January 19, 2017

Zach Lewis, bench carry UMass men’s basketball in win over St. Joe’s -

January 19, 2017

UMass women’s basketball handles Duquesne at home -

January 16, 2017

UMass men’s basketball’s late comeback falls short after blowing 15-point first-half lead -

January 15, 2017

UMass hockey outlasted at home against No. 6 UMass Lowell -

January 14, 2017

Hailey Leidel hits second buzzer beater of the season to give UMass women’s basketball win over Davidson -

January 13, 2017

UMass football hosts Maine at Fenway Park in 2017 -

January 12, 2017

UMass men’s basketball snaps losing streak and upsets Dayton Wednesday night at Mullins Center -

January 11, 2017

UMass women’s track and field takes second at Dartmouth Relays -

January 10, 2017

UMass hockey falls to No. 5 Boston University at Frozen Fenway -

January 8, 2017

UMass professor to make third appearance on ‘Jeopardy!’ -

January 8, 2017

UMass women’s basketball suffers brutal loss on road against Saint Joseph’s -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops thirds straight, falls to VCU 81-64 -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops tightly-contested conference matchup against George Mason Wednesday night -

January 4, 2017

Late-game defense preserves UMass women’s basketball’s win against rival Rhode Island -

January 4, 2017

AIC shuts out UMass hockey 3-0 at Mullins Center -

January 4, 2017

UMass professor to appear as contestant on ‘Jeopardy!’ Thursday night -

January 4, 2017

Penalties plague UMass hockey in Mariucci Classic championship game -

January 2, 2017

UMass men’s basketball falls in A-10 opener to St. Bonaventure and its veteran backcourt -

December 30, 2016

Kellogg still figuring out where new players fit

Massachusetts men’s basketball coach Derek Kellogg knows the talent the seven players he recruited as transfers and freshmen possess. What he doesn’t know is how they will fit in with the 2009-10 Minutemen 10 days before the regular season opener against Central Florida.

UMass had a closed scrimmage against Boston University scheduled for Saturday, but several Terriers came down with the flu, and Kellogg canceled it as a precaution. He is now looking for another team to scrimmage on Thursday before the Minutemen host Dowling at home on Saturday.

There are nine players who never played a minute of Division I basketball, and the remaining six, who played for UMass last season, also leave a bit of a question mark because Kellogg knows there has been improvement. He just doesn’t know how much improvement they’ve had.

“It’s been fun coaching them, but the tough thing for me is I’m not sure where we are right now because we haven’t played anyone besides ourselves. That’s pretty difficult,” Kellogg said.

He knows that guard Ricky Harris is going to lead the team because of his senior leadership skills and what he brings to the court. Redshirt junior Anthony Gurley and sophomore David Gibbs have made substantial improvements under Kellogg’s eyes, and are going to play major roles for the Minutemen this season.

As important as they’ll be to UMass, all three players aren’t necessarily going to start unless Kellogg feels that they give the Minutemen the best chance to win.

“I’m not sure if that combination (Harris, Gibbs and Gurley) is definitely conducive to winning the game,” Kellogg said. “They have played better and are getting better together, but I need to play another team to get a gauge on who’s going to be starting and who’s going to be playing most of the minutes.”

Kellogg expects to go 10 or 11 deep this season and believes that he has a better team than last year, but he’s still unsure about which combination of players works best.

Along with mixing and matching different lineups, Kellogg has to get most of his team accustomed to playing at the speed and intensity level that comes with playing Division I basketball, especially with a schedule as tough as the Minutemen’s.

Later in the season, Kellogg hopes to implement a full-court press, but that can’t happen until the half-court defense is high enough for his standards. Early in the year, he expects that there will be plenty of mistakes and will have to be patient with his young team, but he also believes it can be successful later on in the year and improve on last year’s record.

“I’m not trying to push them too far until we’ve mastered the basics,” Kellogg said. “I think we still have a lot of work to do in mastering the basics.”

Adam Miller can be reached at amiller@dailycollegian.com.

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