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

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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