April 17, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

John Ashcroft faces criticism during speech -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

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

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

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

Minutemen look to bounce back on the road against Northeastern

Taylor C. Snow/Collegian

With the help of his headband, Massachusetts men’s basketball forward Raphiael Putney is starting to get back into his old groove.

After the Minutemen’s season opener against Harvard, Putney inexplicably abandoned his trademark headgear as the team set off for Puerto Rico, where his production began to decline.

In Saturday’s loss to Miami (Fla.), though, the headband returned, as did a glimpse of Putney’s old form. Despite getting into foul trouble, the junior hit all three of his 3-point attempts and looked like the player who finished last season with 10.1 points per game, which was good for second on the team.

“Last year, I wore it and it was part of my outfit and how I played,” Putney said of his headband, “so I’m going to bring it back this year again and now I’m going to keep it on my head.”

If the headband and his success have any correlation, UMass coach Derek Kellogg should be happy to hear that. He said Saturday’s game was the first in a long time when he saw Putney get into his rhythm, despite getting into early foul trouble.

“It was unfortunate that he was playing well but that he got in foul trouble again,” Kellogg said. “It was really one of the first times this year where he had good energy and was playing for the team.”

Kellogg and company are hopeful that his success, no matter how small it may be, can continue as UMass travels to Boston for a Tuesday night tip-off with Northeastern at Matthews Arena.

The Huskies (4-3) are losers of two straight heading into the contest after winning four of their first five games. Boasting a nine-player rotation, Northeastern is a deep, experienced team that, like the Minutemen, shoots a lot of 3-pointers.

Leading the Huskies in scoring is Joel Smith (18.0 points per game), who is lighting it up from 3-point territory, where he is 21-for-49 (44.1 percent) so far this season. As a team, Northeastern is shooting 38.5 percent from beyond the arc going into Tuesday’s game.

“It does (worry me),” Kellogg said. “I want us to play a full game and play the way we’re capable of playing. I think we’ve put together good pieces and right now we have to put together 40 minutes of UMass basketball.”

UMass has yet to put together that complete-game effort so far this season despite its three victories, and it will likely have a harder time in doing so Tuesday night with the absence of Cady Lalanne. Kellogg announced Monday before practice that the sophomore center has been suspended indefinitely in relation to an arrest on Saturday night on-campus.

Without Lalanne, the usual starting center, Kellogg will need to shuffle his lineups and insert a new starting center, who will likely be either Sampson Carter or Maxie Esho.

“I think Sampson’s done a good job in his minutes (and) I think Maxie’s done a great job in his minutes,” Kellogg said. “The reality of it is I do like Maxie coming off the bench because of his energy, but Sampson’s done some good things, so I think we’ll be able to run a little bit more with Sampson.”

Lalanne’s suspension will also open the door for the three freshmen – Trey Davis, Tyler Bergantino and Izzy Freeman – to get more playing time. Kellogg asserted that he’ll likely have to shuffle in smaller lineups that can press and run with more ease with the absence of its biggest inside presence.

“I think Trey deserves some minutes to play so maybe we’ll go small and try to run a little bit more,” Kellogg said. “Tyler’s done some good things in practice. Because of the way the schedule’s been laid out with the tough games we’ve played at home and at neutral sites, I haven’t really had an opportunity to get those guys in. Now I’m kind of forced to play them some, which might be a good thing down the line.”

UMass and Northeastern met last season at the Mullins Center, where the Minutemen beat the Huskies, 83-67. Chaz Williams recorded a double-double with 20 points and 10 assists, while Terrell Vinson and Carter followed with 14 and 12 points, respectively.

Tuesday’s tip is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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

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