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

After rough start to season, Freddie Riley aims to get back into rhythm

Things haven’t exactly gone as planned for Freddie Riley so far this season.

Bryn Rothschild-Shea/Collegian

But after 10-day break since the Massachusetts men’s basketball team finished playing in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, the senior shooting guard is aiming for a fresh start Wednesday when the Minutemen hit the road to face Siena.

Optimism began to circle around Riley in the preseason after he scored 21 points on 6-of-10 shooting from 3-point land in UMass’ 87-82 exhibition victory over American International College.

UMass coach Derek Kellogg decided to plug the senior into the starting lineup for the team’s opener against Harvard in hopes that his preseason efforts would carry over into the regular season.

But so far, they haven’t.

The guard has averaged 20.3 minutes per game and 2.0 points per game on 2-of-10 shooting from behind the arc through the team’s first four games.

And after getting the starting nod against both Providence and North Carolina State to begin the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, he was benched in favor of Jesse Morgan, who was the usual off-guard starter last season, for the tournament finale against Tennessee.

“I’ve been a little disappointed but I haven’t really been tripping on that too much,” Riley said. “I know what I can do and I’ve been practicing really well the past week so I’m just looking forward to these next couple of games and getting back to the way I know I can play.”

Riley said the reasons for his early-season struggles can be summed up pretty simply.

“I just haven’t been in the rhythm,” Riley said. “That’s really it with me because, like in practice, I’ve been having a much better rhythm, I’ve been playing a lot better, shooting a lot better, so I think it’s all about rhythm. I know once I get into the right rhythm within the game then my shots are going to start falling like they have been in the past.”

Riley will have a chance to get back to that in-game rhythm Wednesday when he takes on a Saints squad that he played well against last year when the two teams met for a neutral site contest in Springfield.

In that game, the Minutemen had their backs against the wall, as the Saints held a 10-point advantage with 15 minutes left in regulation.

That’s when Riley found his rhythm.

The guard proceeded to bury three 3-pointers as part of a 14-3 UMass run, with his last giving the Minutemen a lead en route to their comeback victory. Riley finished with 20 points on 6-of-11 shooting from downtown.

On Wednesday night, he’ll try to give the team a similar lift, something his coach never thinks is out of the realm of possibility in any game no matter how much he’s slumping.

“He just has to pick his spots and shoot good shots,” Kellogg said. “If he shoots good shots and open ones, I think he could have a bounce back game at any point.”

Riley said the 10-day break could provide him and his teammates a bit of a fresh start and renewed sense of energy as the team tries to put a rocky start to the season behind them.

“I think it’ll help me out a whole lot,” Riley said. “I think it’ll help the team out a lot too because we had a chance to correct a lot of things that we need to correct.”

Stephen Hewitt can be reached at shewitt@student.umass.edu and followed on Twitter @steve_hewitt.

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