He was certainly the hero the last time these two teams played. In one of the most exciting games of the season, the Minutemen made a dramatic comeback and sealed the victory with a Chaz Williams steal and a Derrick Gordon put-back.
Despite the heroics, it was one of the worst games of the season (especially in the first half) for the Minutemen. Here’s what UMass needs to do to pull out a victory tonight at The Bill:
- Control the boards – In the last game against George Mason, UMass let up 19 offensive rebounds. That is absolutely atrocious for a team that is one of the leaders in the Atlantic 10 in rebounding.
- Come out hot – It is vital that the Minutemen start the game with energy and drive an up tempo pace. George Mason struggles against the full court press and transition offenses. This also goes back to my first point. If UMass gives up offensive rebounds, they are not able to quickly transition from defense to offense.
- Stay out of foul trouble – One of the reasons that UMass struggled against George Mason last time is that Lalanne, Putney, Esho and Carter were in foul trouble. Lalanne and Putney both fouled out at the end of the game leaving a big gap in the front court. An added side effect of this was that The Patriots went to the free throw line 31 times, scoring 22 of their points there.
UMass will be looking for its third win in a row, but like any Atlantic 10 game it will not be easy. In the past two weeks, The Patriots have secured their first Atlantic 10 win and they took St. Louis to overtime in St. Louis. This is a team with a lot of talent and it should be a great game so don’t miss it!