Vinson adding numbers

By Herb Scribner

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In the midst of the Massachusetts men’s basketball team’s recent guard issues, Terrell Vinson has been stepping his game up to help out the Minutemen.

“He’s starting to bring a toughness to the team, he’s playing harder on defense, he’s in the right spots,” UMass coach Derek Kellogg said on the Men’s Basketball Radio Show.

Kellogg explained that Vinson’s style of play stretches across all ends of the floor.

“…his value is, I’m going to be your stopper on defense, I’m going to get you some offensive rebounds, I’m going knock down an occasion 3, I’ll make my free throws, and I’ll get three or four buckets around the rim, then all of a sudden he’s giving you 12 points, and eight rebounds a game…” Kellogg said.

Most recently, Vinson played a big part in defeating the Rams. His eight points and same amount of rebounds helped put back some opportunities. On one offensive possession against URI, guard Gary Correia missed a shot which was followed up by two put-back opportunities by Vinson, the last of which found the net.

“I thought ‘TV’ played a very, very solid game [against URI] and is starting to come around to what we expect of him,” Kellogg said.

Just before that, Vinson put on a defensive mask as he went man-on-man with Justin Harper.

According to Kellogg, the Richmond game proved to all UMass fans just how tough Vinson can be defensively as he covered Harper, who is one of the top NBA draft prospects for this season. Kellogg said that when Vinson was on him, Harper didn’t look like a top prospect.

“When TV was on him, he wasn’t as effective,” Kellogg said.

Vinson started off the season on a high note, scoring 10 points, a pair of assists and six rebounds in UMass’ win against New Mexico State.

In the following game against Texas Christian at the MassMutual Center, Vinson added more contributions to the team with nine points and a pair of dimes.

Following these two top-performances by the sophomore forward, Vinson stumbled along, hitting a rough patch as he added a pair of points against Quinnipiac and not scoring against Central Connecticut.

Since A-10 play began however, Vinson has picked up his game to help the Minutemen. Aside from the match against Dayton (three points), Vinson’s stats against other A-10 opponents have been considerably better than other games.

Against La Salle, Vinson’s offensive side came out to play as he scored in double digits for the first time since the NMSU game. Even on the defensive end, he added three rebounds and a block and was a main contributor.

Despite the vast loss to Charlotte, Vinson tried his best to get things moving as he earned 10 rebounds (three offensive) to align with his seven points.

Vinson’s improvement is right in line with what Kellogg is looking for his players to accomplish as the season starts to near playoff season.

“You need different players to figure out different ways to help the team win,” Kellogg said.

Herb Scribner can be reached at [email protected]