Scrolling Headlines:

Former Canisius guard Zach Lewis to transfer to UMass -

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Letter: Deflate-Gate, where’s the air? -

Monday, May 18, 2015

Derrick Gordon announces he will transfer to Seton Hall -

Sunday, May 17, 2015

UMass baseball closes season out with series victory over George Mason -

Sunday, May 17, 2015

UMass to allow four student businesses to accept Dining Dollars next year -

Saturday, May 16, 2015

UMass baseball stymied by John Williams in loss to George Mason -

Friday, May 15, 2015

Jury sentences Tsarnaev to death -

Friday, May 15, 2015

Stop ignoring your white privilege -

Thursday, May 14, 2015

UMass basketball scheduled for showdown with Ole Miss in 2015 Holiday Showcase game -

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Letter: Wall is a regression towards racial inequality -

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

UMass falls to Fairfield in extra innings in final home game -

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

UMass basketball recruit Marcquise Reed chooses Clemson -

Monday, May 11, 2015

UMass baseball drops Senior Day rubber match against URI -

Monday, May 11, 2015

Letter: Shocked at radio host’s ban from WMUA -

Monday, May 11, 2015

UMass women’s lacrosse falls in second round of NCAA tournament against top-seeded Maryland -

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Neil deGrasse Tyson: ‘It’s okay not to know’ -

Friday, May 8, 2015

Defense, Eipp’s five goals lead UMass women’s lacrosse past Jacksonville in NCAA tournament -

Friday, May 8, 2015

Quianna Diaz-Patterson closes book on historic senior season, successful career for UMass softball -

Friday, May 8, 2015

UMass men’s lacrosse overcomes early struggles to make 2015 playoff run -

Thursday, May 7, 2015

UMass softball fails to reach expectations in up-and-down 2015 season -

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Advertisement

UMass men’s basketball prepares for possibility of four games in four days

Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian

Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian

There’s a reason why so much emphasis is put on finishing in the top four of the Atlantic 10.

An easier path to the championship game is certainly one reason, but more important is the automatic bye that comes with it, eliminating the need to win four games in four days.

The Massachusetts men’s basketball team won’t have that fortune this weekend, as it slipped up on the final day of the regular season against Saint Louis, which caused it to slide to the No. 6 seed in the Atlantic 10 Tournament.

UMass already has experience playing numerous games in a short span of time. It had to win three games in four days to win the Charleston Classic back in November. Now, it must channel that same mentality in order to tackle this much taller task, especially if it wants to win its first A-10 title in 16 years.

“This is probably a little more daunting,” UMass coach Derek Kellogg said. “But the biggest thing I look for is, have you won four games in a row throughout the season because if you haven’t, then the chances of doing it now are probably not great.”

The Minutemen have won four games in a row this season multiple times.

The Charleston Classic victory came in the middle of a 10-game winning streak to open the season. Then, following its first loss of the season to Florida State, UMass went on a six-game winning streak. But now is the time when a long winning streak is most important for the Minutemen. One or two slip ups could spell the end to their season.

In order to prevail on Thursday against Rhode Island in the opening round, mental toughness will be the key, according to senior Sampson Carter.

“At this point it’s just mental toughness,” he said. “We’ve been here before. We’ve played in a tournament three years in a row and the Charleston Classic proved that we can do it.”

Should UMass get by the Rams on Thursday night, then the second part of the test kicks in, as it will only have roughly 20 hours to regroup and prepare for No. 3 seed George Washington on Friday.

“It is (a quick turnaround), but they don’t know who they’re playing either,” Kellogg said. “At this point, we all know what we’re doing and how we’re playing. I don’t think anybody’s changed too, too much in the last week or month really.

“Now it’s who can do what they do best for four straight days, or for the fortunate teams, three straight days.”

Added to the task of potentially playing four straight games is the familiarity that every team within the A-10 has with each other.

“Teams know how we play individually,” Raphiael Putney said. “We’ve been playing for four years against these guys, so it’s a lot harder than what you think it is in Charleston.”

To serve as a friendly reminder that his team can win multiple games in a short span, Kellogg has had the Charleston Classic trophy sitting courtside at practice this week.

“I want them to see that we’ve won a championship this year and we’re going for another,” he said. “That we’re capable of winning three or four games in a row and we’ve done that on a neutral floor.”

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

Leave A Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.