Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass basketball notebook: Kellogg talks injuries as Minutemen prepare for George Mason

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(Robert Rigo/Daily Collegian)

All season long Massachusetts men’s basketball coach Derek Kellogg has stressed the importance of having a healthy roster, both for in games and practice situations.

Friday afternoon prior to UMass’ (11-14, 4-9 Atlantic 10) practice, Kellogg updated both lingering injuries amongst the Minutemen as well as introduced a new injury that C.J. Anderson at the end of their 76-66 loss against Fordham last Saturday.

“A stress fracture or something close to that,” Kellogg said after Anderson was seen on crutches at practice.

“He can’t practice for the rest of the year but we are going to keep him in a (walking) boot and on crutches and maybe use him in games. I’m not sure how that is going to work out. We won’t know until Sunday whether he’s going to be able to do it.”

Anderson has started the last seven games for UMass and averaged 29.1 minutes per game during that stretch.

Kellogg also said that he hasn’t decided on the fifth starter if Anderson can’t go, however said that Jabarie Hinds was practicing with the starters Friday.

Berger ready to go

After suffering a head injury in the Minutemen’s 69-63 win against Virginia Commonwealth Feb. 11, Seth Berger said he was feeling back to normal and is completely ready to go for UMass’ game Sunday against George Mason.

Although Berger played three minutes off the bench against the Rams, Kellogg said that he anticipates using him more against the Patriots.

“I’m feeling good. Obviously I had to take a couple days. After a couple days I went through the whole protocol and everything and I feel good now,” Berger said.

“There’s no layover of the injury following me. It was a little fright and a scare, but nothing too serious. “

Berger averages 5.8 points and 3.5 rebounds per game this season.

Coleman’s minutes to be monitored

Throughout his career at UMass, redshirt sophomore forward Zach Coleman has missed time with a long-standing knee injury, including him to miss five consecutive games earlier this season dating from Dec. 29 to Jan. 12.

According to Kellogg, Coleman had his knee drained this Thursday and is considered day-to-day.

“Zach is day to day. We got his knee drained again yesterday,” Kellogg said Friday before practice. “He’ll be that way for the duration of his career where we’ll have to just monitor his minutes and see how much we can use him.”

Coleman started the Minutemen’s first 11 games this season, however has appeared off the bench in their last nine games as a reserve.

Hines to be evaluated

After suffering a broken bone in his foot earlier this season that has forced Malik Hines to miss UMass’ last eight games, Kellogg said that that his foot was going to be re-evaluated sometime next week to check his progress.

Hinds season is still in jeopardy after the initial diagnosis was a four to six week recovery.

“(Friday) is right at four weeks. That’s when he can start getting looked at to see how far it’s healing and if we have to go in and do anything or it’s healing on its own. By early next week he’ll go in and get checked and see exactly where it’s at,” Kellogg said Friday.

“It will be nice to have him, even if it’s at practice the last couple of weeks to get back. He was starting to make some strides defensively more than anything. His rotations were getting better and he was quicker to the ball. Offensively I still think he has ways to go. I like when a big guy can be in the right spot defensively first to where teams can’t get easy layups and those things.”

Hines was averaging 1.1 points and 2.4 rebounds per game in just under 10 minutes played per game this season prior to the injury.

Minutemen host George Mason

Despite playing most teams for the second time this season, Sunday’s matchup against the Patriots (9-17, 3-10 A-10) will be the first time the two teams are playing this season.

Like UMass, George Mason is currently in the bottom four of the A-10 standings and is currently in position to play in the play-in round on that Wednesday in the A-10 tournament.

“Obviously from watching tape and playing them in years past, they’re doing a really good job of crashing the glass on both ends of the floor. I think they get a great advantage with their offensive rebounding,” Kellogg said.

Shevon Thompson, a 6-foot-11 center from Jamaica, leads George Mason with 10.3 rebounds per game, while Marquis Moore (12.3 ppg) and Otis Livingston (11.4) lead the team in scoring.

“They’re a team, like a lot of us, a team that when they are playing well can beat anyone in the conference,” Kellogg said.

“I think their size up front, I mean (Jalen) Jenkins is a freshman and gave us all sorts of problems and then you throw Thompson in there and I think it gives them two guys that can really pound the glass,” he said. “The four and five spot at times this year has given us problems.”

Tipoff from Mullins Center is set for 4 p.m. and can be seen nationally on NBC Sports Network.

Andrew Cyr can be reached at [email protected], and followed on Twitter @Andrew_Cyr.

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