UMass returned home to the Mullins Center after two straight away losses with a much needed win against La Salle.
On Tuesday I wrote about how La Salle had the potential to cause problems for UMass with their excellent guards and center. Not only was I wrong, but UMass put themselves back in the conversation of best team in the Atlantic 10.
Knee Jerk Reactions:
- UMass came out with energy for the first time really since non-conference play (Even in the recent blowout against Fordham they started slowly).
- In the first half Putney looked like the amazing player he is capable of being. He scored the first 5 points and had a few steals, assists and blocks. In fact he ended the game with 5 blocks.
- One of the announcers mentioned that Cady Lalanne was the reason for UMass’ early season success and I think that his subpar play has been the difference these past few games. While he wasn’t playing like a superstar last night, he was able to impact the game in the paint, especially by blocking the driving lanes.
- The fast break was unstoppable and I give all the credit the Derrick Gordon. Because of Esho’s concussion, DK played the three guard lineup of Gordon, Davis and Williams with great results. Derrick’s ability to get into the paint combined with the dual threats of Chaz and Trey is very difficult to defend.
- The Minutemen spread the scoring very efficiently. Chaz, Carter, Lalane, Gordon and Davis all scored in double figures. Plus Putney was only one missed reverse dunk away with 8.
- I liked DK’s decision to have Sampson Carter defend Steve Zack early in the game. He is a very capable defender and it left Cady in a better position to rebound and play help defense.
UMBR Game Ball – The game ball goes to Derrick Gordon. He was the catalyst of UMass’ energy early in the first half. Without professional energy man Esho in the game, DG’s role was even more important in this win.
UMBR Dunce Cap – I hate to do this, but I have to give the dunce cap to Demetrius Dyson. He played a few minutes at the end of the game and hit a great looking NBA three. However, he gets the dunce cap for trying again a few possessions later. This time he had a hand in his face and there were still over 10 seconds on the shot clock.
Next game is at Rhode Island, a team that is on the cusp of competing in the Atlantic 10 and will be looking for a big win against the Minutemen.