Scrolling Headlines:

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

UMass woman’s basketball ends FIU Holiday Classic with 65-47 loss to Drexel -

December 29, 2016

UMass men’s basketball finishes non-conference schedule strong with win over Georgia State -

December 28, 2016

Brett Boeing joins UMass hockey for second half of season -

December 28, 2016

Ricky Harris still affected by ankle injury

mhoopAOne of the questions surrounding the Massachusetts men’s basketball team this season was going to be who could step up if captain Ricky Harris wasn’t having a good game or was injured.

Since Harris’s ankle injury before the game against Grambling State, the Minutemen (7-10, 1-3 Atlantic 10) have needed an answer to that question. While he’s been healthy enough to play in games, he had his second- and third-lowest scoring games of the season against Boston College (12) and Memphis (13).

In those two games, he finished a combined 7-for-27 from the field.

Since the loss to BC, Harris improved his scoring with two 21-point games and a 17-point effort against La Salle. However, his shot is still not as good as it was prior to the injury, specifically from 3-point range.

After missing the game against Grambling, Harris is 5-for-35 from beyond the arc. UMass coach Derek Kellogg believes the health of his team’s leader is between 95 and 100 percent, but is battling issues with his lift and confidence.

Before the Minutemen headed to Richmond, Harris said his inability to jump as high as he usually does is a big reason why his shot is a little flatter.

“My shot hasn’t been falling as I’d like, but I just have got to focus and continue to play hard,” Harris said.

As much as the injury may have plagued Harris during the first part of winter break, Kellogg believes that Harris’s low 3-point percentage may be due to a lack of confidence rather than lingering ankle pain.

“I’m not saying [his injury] is totally why he hasn’t shot the ball well, but I think mentally, it may have had some affect,” Kellogg said. “I have the utmost confidence that when he raises up, [the ball] is going in, and I want him to feel the same way.”

While Harris is trying to get his shot back, some of the Minutemen’s younger players have stepped up. In their win against the Tigers at the TD Garden in Boston, freshman Terrell Vinson finished with 21 points.

Guard Freddie Riley is also starting to pick up some of the production after returning from knee surgery. The freshman is averaging 14 points per game in the last four games. In the games against La Salle (22 points) and Richmond (20 points), he was the team’s leading scorer.

While UMass is 2-5 over winter break, Kellogg is still impressed with the way his freshmen are playing because of how competitive the team’s schedule is.

“You’re talking about five high-level games against very good teams and I think we’ve performed well, which maybe hasn’t shown up in the final score,” Kellogg said. “To have such a young team and play such a tough non-conference schedule, compiled with the way the league’s going, I think it is a little bit of a task for us.”

As Kellogg tries to find other players to take on the scoring load, Harris continues to work during practice in order to regain his confidence back.

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

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