December 20, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

BLOG: UMass football recruiting roundup: UMass signs DT, offers two kickers -

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

UMass President Robert Caret resigns to become chancellor of the University of Maryland system -

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Brandon Montour: ‘It felt great to be out there’ -

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

UMass falls to Northeastern in Brandon Montour’s debut -

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Cady Lalanne continues to evolve as a potential outside shooting threat -

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

UMass hockey returns to action against Northeastern, Montour to make season debut -

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Demetrius Dyson remains hopeful despite rocky start to season -

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Former UMass soccer star Matt Keys aims to continue his career professionally -

Monday, December 15, 2014

Pierre-Louis, Dillard shine in UMass victory over Holy Cross -

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Passing, spacing improved in UMass victory -

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Prolific first half propels UMass past Canisius, 75-58 -

Saturday, December 13, 2014

UMass Faculty Senate hears ad hoc committee’s report on FBS football, shoots down contentious motion -

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Minutemen hope improved spacing will aid struggling half court offense -

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Divest UMass urges Board of Trustees to split with fossil fuel industry -

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Cady Lalanne accustomed to dealing with increased attention -

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Front to Back: Week of Dec. 1, 2014 -

Monday, December 8, 2014

Chiarelli: UMass basketball running out of time to find its identity -

Monday, December 8, 2014

Minutewomen take care of business against American -

Monday, December 8, 2014

UMass women’s basketball handles American, 71-61 -

Sunday, December 7, 2014

UMass basketball downed by Florida Gulf Coast 84-75 -

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Kellogg features depth during UMass win

Erica Baptiste/Collegian

The Massachusetts men’s basketball team stepped onto the court Wednesday night in an unfamiliar fashion.

For the first time this season, their floor general, Chaz Williams, and greatest 3-point threat, Freddie Riley, found a seat on the bench to begin the game. The duo had started all seven games prior to this point but were benched for reasons unrelated to discipline, according to UMass head coach Derek Kellogg.

“I wanted to let them know that really there is no set lineup and that the way things went in the Bahamas I wasn’t happy with and I thought that maybe shaking it up a little bit would get their attention,” said Kellogg.

Riley and Williams both struggled in the Bahamas in certain situations. In two of the three games in the Bahamas, Riley shot a combined 1-for-12 on 3-pointers, while Williams, the team’s leader in assists, failed to register a single dime in the team’s final game of the tournament.

The unexpected move was not just about getting through to Riley and Williams, Kellogg saw this as an opportunity to get backup point guard Jesse Morgan and wingman Raphiael Putney much deserved minutes.

“It helped get Jesse some minutes at the point, and it was [going] to help Putney get some more playing time,” said Kellogg.

Putney responded well, going 4-for-4 in the first half and tallying all 10 of his points in the first 20 minutes of the game.

Kellogg was particularly pleased with Morgan’s effort as he who tossed in eight points and added a season-high nine assists.

“I thought he did a great job,” said Kellogg. “For us to be better he’s got to get better and he showed great signs in the Bahamas and I thought he showed some great signs tonight.”

Despite their absences from the starting lineup, both Riley and Williams made significant contributions.

Riley led the Minutemen with 15 points, highlighted by a pair of dunks and three 3-pointers. Williams finished just behind Riley in scoring with 12 points, and continued his dazzling play at the point guard position, dishing out eight assists.

Kellogg was pleased that coming off the bench had little effect on two of his most important players.

“Really it’s just all how they are attitude-wise,” said Kellogg.  “If they come in and they’re excited and ready to play I don’t think that affects them too much.”

Ultimately, the benching meant little in terms of minutes played for Riley and Williams.

Riley played 16 minutes, a number that surely would have been higher if the score hadn’t gotten so out of hand. Morgan and Cady Lalanne led the Minutemen in minutes played with 28, but despite the benching, Williams finished right behind them playing 25 minutes, another number that likely took a hit given the score in the second half.

In the end, Riley and Williams proved there’s truly no difference between starting a game and coming in off of the bench, a point Kellogg has attempted to stress to his players ad nauseam this season.

“I’ve really tried to sell [to] these guys [there are] 10-11 starters,” he said. “I don’t know how much kids these days buy that but that’s what I’m going with.”

Judging by Riley’s reaction to the benching after the game, Kellogg’s philosophy has rubbed off on him.

“I’m comfortable with whatever role coach wants me to play in,” said Riley.

UMass now heads out to Miami to face another ACC opponent. Kellogg isn’t entirely sure how the starting five will look for that game.

“I’m not sure about that, I think we’ll reevaluate game-by-game and play-to-play of who’s starting,” said Kellogg.

Jackson Alexander can be reached at jtalexan@student.umass.edu.

 

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