April 18, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

John Ashcroft faces criticism during speech -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Student rally in support of Gordon, LGBTQ community -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thousands gather in Amherst Commons for 23rd Annual Extravaganja -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sexual violence is not ‘normal’ -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

One year after Boston Marathon bombings, UMass doctor Pierre Rouzier continues passion to help -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Photo Slideshow: UMass United Rally -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Get Yourself Tested at UMass -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass football continues move in new direction in annual Spring Game -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Library labyrinth targets stress -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

There is nothing to debate about global warming -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass hits the road to take on LaSalle -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

No. 11 UMass women’s lacrosse looks to extend winning streak against Richmond -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive latest McCormack Executive-in-Residence -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Got a little Irish in you? -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass doctoral student awarded Soros Fellowship -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass Dressage Team discusses the lesser-known sport -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Canelas: Things worth watching in Spring Game 2014 -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

‘The Walking Dead’ finale resurrects a dull season -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Five places to study at UMass -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

UMass tennis team battles injuries as season comes to an end -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

UMass men’s hoops struggles in exhibition win

Maria Uminski/Collegian

Coming off its appearance in the National Invitation Tournament Final Four a year ago and facing a Division II opponent in its first exhibition game, one would think the Massachusetts men’s basketball team would use the contest as a tune-up and launching pad into the regular season.

But with the suspension of three players for the game – including two in the backcourt – and being largely outplayed in the paint, UMass coach Derek Kellogg had a clear message for his team.

‘Listen, last year was last year. This is this year now and we can pretty much tear up all the press clippings and realize we got a lot of work to do,’” Kellogg said.

The Minutemen failed to break away from American International on Saturday afternoon – never leading by more than seven and trailing for much of the first half —but managed to carve out an 87-82 victory at the Mullins Center.

Starting junior shooting guard Jesse Morgan, freshman backup point guard Trey Davis and sophomore center Cady Lalanne did not suit up for the contest after violating team rules. Kellogg would not discuss the specifics of the rules that were broken or how long the players would be held out.

With Morgan and Davis inactive, point guard Chaz Williams was forced to play 37 minutes, only taking a brief rest in the second half after cramping in his left leg. Williams led all scorers with 24 points — 20 coming in the second half — as the junior took control of the game down the stretch.

UMass only dressed eight players in the game, with Williams and Freddie Riley serving as the only two guards.

The suspension offered a blessing in disguise for Riley, who scored 21 points and hit 6-of-10 shots from 3-point range in place of Morgan in the starting lineup. Riley also played a team-high 38 minutes.

Riley’s 2011-12 season was largely a letdown as the junior never could find consistency in his shot. But he said Saturday’s performance was good for his confidence level heading into the season.

“I felt more like myself because last season I didn’t really shoot too well so this is good for confidence for me to shoot well and it really did feel like I was back to my normal playing ways,” Riley said.

The exhibition game serves as the Minutemen’s final tune-up before their regular season opener on Nov. 13 against Harvard.

The Yellow Jackets took a 1-point lead with eight minutes, 17 seconds left in the contest, but UMass strung together an 11-3 run to open up a 78-71 advantage with just over five minutes remaining to hold on for the win.

AIC outscored the Minutemen, 30-28, in the paint, and had 17 second-chance points compared to UMass’ nine.

“I thought our rebounding was porous at times and our half-court slots online defense,” Kellogg said. “We just weren’t physical enough, that’s really what bothered me the most.”

But while the Minutemen struggled in areas, Kellogg admitted he was glad these mistakes occurred in an exhibition game rather than a regular season affair.

“It’s great that we’re having this conversation after our first exhibition game and not halfway through the year,” Kellogg said.

AIC coach compares Kellogg to Calhoun

In his postgame press conference, AIC coach Art Luptowski was asked about continuing to play UMass more in the future.

Luptowski was very appreciative of Kellogg making the decision to play the Yellow Jackets, as AIC is located in Springfield, Kellogg’s hometown.

Luptowski compared Kellogg’s decision to Jim Calhoun’s for UConn to play the Yellow Jackets in the regular season, as Calhoun paid tribute to his alma mater, AIC.

“Derek Kellogg, in his own way, is a young Jim Calhoun,” Luptowski said. “He’s a stand-up guy. Derek’s gonna give the game to AIC because it’s the right thing to do.”

Kellogg chuckled when asked to respond to the comparison, saying that it might be too early for him to be mentioned to Calhoun, a Hall-of-Fame coach who recently retired.

“I think Jim Calhoun obviously is a legend in the game, so anybody who would compare you to him even in the same breath is probably a little premature,” Kellogg said.

Luptowski didn’t stop with the praise for the Minutemen, saying that UMass is better than the Huskies. The Yellow Jackets lost to UConn, 78-63, on Thursday in an exhibition game.

“No disrespect to UConn, but I think at the end of the day, UMass is a better basketball team,” Luptowski said.

Stephen Sellner can be reached at ssellner@student.umass.edu and followed on Twitter @Stephen_Sellner.

 

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