Scrolling Headlines:

UMass men’s soccer falls 2-0 vs. Colgate -

August 28, 2016

UMass men’s soccer falls to No. 6 Syracuse in season opener -

August 27, 2016

UMass football boasts young, balanced rushing attack going into 2016 season -

August 9, 2016

UMass football looks to add more size, depth on defensive side heading into 2016 -

August 9, 2016

UMass football gets back in action with start of training camp -

August 9, 2016

UMass football coach Mark Whipple announces Ross Comis as starting quarterback, transfer Andrew Ford close behind -

August 8, 2016

Amherst PD to encourage registering off-campus parties with implementation of Party Smart Registration program -

July 23, 2016

UMass Board of Trustees votes 11-2 to raise tuition and fees an average of 5.8 percent -

July 14, 2016

Mike Stone announces retirement following 2017 season -

July 13, 2016

‘Warcraft’ delivers a likeable mess -

July 5, 2016

Former UMass field hockey coach Carla Tagliente accepts job at Princeton -

June 29, 2016

50 Activists attend meeting as UMass Board of Trustees approves motion of divestment from fossil fuel companies -

June 16, 2016

Four former Minutemen depart from UMass hockey program -

June 14, 2016

Boston Calling 2016 delivers rousing farewell to City Hall Plaza -

June 2, 2016

Sufjan Stevens unearths quirk at Boston Calling -

June 2, 2016

The Collegian live tweets Boston Calling -

May 28, 2016

UMass baseball finishes season with sweep over George Mason -

May 22, 2016

UMass women’s lacrosse falls in NCAA quarterfinal -

May 22, 2016

‘Green Room’ is a bloody blast of survival horror -

May 21, 2016

DaLuz: Boston Celtics stuck trudging in the mud -

May 18, 2016

UMass men’s basketball getting production throughout the roster

The No. 22 Massachusetts men’s basketball team doesn’t quite fit the new mold that is becoming men’s Division I college basketball.

The Minutemen don’t boast a lineup filled with superstar freshmen or potential NBA lottery picks. Instead, they are doing things the old fashioned way, with an experienced lineup that doesn’t rely on just one player to lead the way.

And maybe that is exactly why this year’s team is off to one of the best starts in program history and nationally ranked for the first time in 15 years.

Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian

“I think that (experience) brings you closer, makes you like a close-knit team,” junior Cady Lalanne said. “We all know each other’s game and have good chemistry with each other. What’s their go-to move. What they are like. Where they like the ball.”

One could argue that Chaz Williams was a one-man offensive show at times for UMass last season. But this year is different. Instead of Williams trying to do it all by himself, it’s up in the air every game as to who will lead the Minutemen in scoring. Through eight games, every starter has led the team in scoring at least once, with every starter averaging in double-digit points per game.

“I would say there’s a combination of a lot of things,” UMass coach Derek Kellogg said. “A lot of guys have improved. We’ve had some different guys inserted into the lineup that have changed the complexion of the team, whether it’s Trey (Davis), Derrick Gordon, or a guy like Sampson (Carter) is playing good basketball.”

Every game, someone new steps up. Whether it’s Lalanne leading the charge with rebounds, Davis coming off the bench to hit crucial 3-pointers, or Maxie Esho upping the team’s energy by playing aggressive defense, the Minutemen have players that do the little things that don’t show up in the box score.

“Everybody is just ready,” Williams said. “Coach instilled in us to be ready at all times and I think our guys are doing that. We got that type of team that any given night, it can be any guy going off for 30 (points).”

While every player has had a hand in helping UMass get off to a perfect 8-0 start, Kellogg and the other players have been quick to defer all praise to Williams, the team’s leader.

“I think Chaz is doing a very, very good job of getting everybody involved with distributing the basketball and picking his spots to score,” Kellogg said.

That unselfish play was on full display Saturday, when Williams finished with a career-high in points (32) and assists (15) in the Minutemen’s 105-96 win over Bringham Young. Following the game, Williams said the assists total is what impressed him most and that he has always taken more pride in distributing the basketball rather than scoring it.

That mindset has made the team better so far this season and it’s made Williams a more efficient player through the first month of the season.

“I know any given play, I can give it to my teammates and they can do the same thing that I can do just as well,” Williams said. “It’s just all about having confidence in my teammates and just playing basketball.”

Patrick Strohecker can be reached at pstrohec@umass.edu and followed on Twitter @P_Strohecker.

Leave A Comment