UMass’ losing streak stretched to five games with a loss to Saint Louis on Saturday, 86-75. Things were looking up through the first half and a bit of the second, but then the Minutemen absolutely imploded on offense, allowing Saint Louis a 17-0 offensive run which nailed the coffin shut.
Phil’s Knee Jerk Reactions
- Great transition and perimeter defense from the Minutemen early on in this game. UMass made an effort to force steals and intercept passes as the Billikens were running up the floor, and contested rebounds well under their own hoop.
- Saint Louis’ deep bench took away this advantage later on, as UMass tired out and the Billikens outran them in transition. This is not something we’re used to seeing from Saint Louis, which over the past few years has typically played a slow, methodical game.
- On the other hand, incredibly poor finishing on the interior for UMass. None of the guards could get an easy layup to drop in, so we saw a plethora of jump shots and threes.
- Good to have Zach Coleman back playing a chunk of minutes. He didn’t make a huge impact, but the deeper the rotation the better for the Minutemen.
- Bad news: sounds like Malik Hines has a stress fracture in his foot and is likely going to miss the rest of the season.
- T-Berg was playing excellent defense this afternoon in the paint. He had a couple of big blocks and was holding his ground when Saint Louis posted up. The Billikens don’t have a big lineup, so that certainly helped T-Berg.
- UMass was guilty all day of sitting on their heels outside the key and allowing Saint Louis guards to drive by them, especially on the baseline. I’m looking at you, C.J. Anderson.
- Those two threes by Trey Davis right before the half, first to tie the game then to give UMass the lead, were absolutely ridiculous. Trey really put the offense on his back in this game.
- A note on passing for UMass: while the Minutemen generally moved the ball well on the perimeter, it seems like they are almost avoiding sending the ball inside. This has been a real issue all year for the team.
- Very little to say about the second half. Offensive struggles mostly, they made a game of it near the end, but no dice.
Knee Jerk Reactions Rant from Adam
I tweeted at the beginning of the game that a loss to St. Louis would be “rock bottom” for the Minutemen and that’s exactly what we saw. On offense, UMass continues to live and die by the three pointer, but this time it’s only Trey Davis who ever hits them. In the first half, twenty five percent (yes that’s ONE QUARTER) of the Minutemen’s points came from Trey Davis three pointers from lala land. Trey Davis, Jabarie Hinds and Donte Clark were all settling for jumpers. Trey hit a whole bunch of them which was awesome, but three point shots from the parking lot are not a great long term strategy for your offense.
As bad as the offense looked for most of the game, the defense was even worse. Some chump named Brett Jolly (look him up he averages one point per game) was torching UMass on the inside (10 pts, 4 rebounds) and the Billikens number one offensive weapon was another squid named Marcus Bartley (17 pts) who averages 2.7 points per game. Yes, the Minutemen got beat by a couple of bench warmers!
From start to finish, this game was a showcase of bad basketball. Every high school coach in the country should have had their team watching this one. “Look Timmy, see how C.J. Anderson never boxes out? Don’t be like him!”
Antwan Space, the guy who was supposed to fill the gaping hole in the front court, looked like he forgot there was a basketball game going on until the last two minutes of the second half. Where the hell were you man? The worst part about it (and Phil will tell you) is that St. Louis sucked too! They just only sucked slightly less than UMass. I would rather spend 15 hours stranded on a bus with the Duquesne men’s basketball team than have to suffer through another viewing of that game.
UMBR Game Ball
Who else but Trey Davis? 36 points from the rejuvenated guard.
UMBR Dunce Cap
This one goes to C.J. Anderson, who was honestly a defensive liability in this game. Not what we are used to seeing from C.J.
Look Ahead to St. Joe’s
UMass heads south to take on the Hawks on Wednesday night at 7:00 PM, assuming Philadelphia can handle all the snow being dumped on them this weekend. St. Joe’s is 15-3 on the season, and all 3 losses have been good ones. Maybe they’ll still be thawing out and the Minutemen will have a shot.
Fun Fact: Informal UMBR polls show that the St. Joe’s hawk mascot is the most hated in the A10, and quite possibly the country.