While Brady and Patriots fans in Boston celebrated ‘one for the thumb’, UMass fans also got one for the thumb with a 5th straight loss (I know that doesn’t make sense since losses aren’t typically commemorated with rings but work with me here). I break down the 70-62 loss to the Rams in this weeks KJR.
Knee Jerk Reactions
- Coach Kellogg needs to bring something new to this offense because clearly it’s not working. The fast paced, full press, turnover driven offensive scheme of the past does not fit this team’s skill set. He has a core group of young, yet talented bigs (Holloway, Hines, Gresham, Baldwin) but the offense is designed to flow through the guards.
- As much as I loved the reference comparing Zach Lewis to Freddie Riley (a UMBR favorite) this is a completely different type of team than past squads. In general, it’s not a bad idea to fit your young players to the existing scheme, but I think in this case, Coach Kellogg has an opportunity to design an effective style of play that enhances the strengths of his young talent.
- It seems like a no brainer, but having a set of plays that can be run in the half court that involve a pass inside would be a good start. Even my below average intramural team had one (Wilbur!). We saw this in flashes especially in the second half but nothing is more frustrating than watching Donte or Lewis dribble in circles while Holloway is pleading for the ball in the post.
- Having said that, Donte was in the zone tonight finishing with 30 points. This even included some nice mid range jumpers!
- A double double (12 pts, 12 boards) for Rashaan was nice to see. However it was a frustrating night with a lot of balls rimming out on easy layups and turnovers on bad passes. Holloway could be a 20 point per game scorer in the A10 if he can get his efficiency and free throw percentage up.
- Starting to become a huge fan of Chris “Breadcrumbs” Baldwin. I kind of just realized how insanely athletic this guy is tonight. While his skills haven’t quite caught up to his athleticism yet, Baldwin always gives 100% effort.
- 5 losses in a row stings…but things have been worse! Last year the Minutemen lost 7 straight and there’s still time to turn the skid around with some wins.
- With the game on CBS Sports, one UMass fan took the opportunity to flash a “UMass Dining #1” sign to the cameras. That’s about the only thing UMass is #1 in these days.
UMBR Dunce Cap
Dunce cap goes to Dejon Jarreau. Not sure what’s been going on with Deeky lately but he doesn’t seem to be the player we saw at the beginning of the season. His shot is way off, he’s giving the ball up a lot, and he’s not distributing the ball well. He needs to lay off the greasy food at the nation’s #1 dining hall before games, because his fingers seem slippery. Tonight the mediocrity continued with 2 points, 5 turnovers, and 0 rebounds. Ouch.
UMBR Game Ball
The game ball is shared between Holloway and Clark. Holloway was in some foul trouble so his minutes were limited but when he was on the court the offense was working nicely. The inside-out game with Rashaan should be a go-to all season. A double double almost deserves an automatic Game Ball.
Clark had 30 points and put the team on his back once again, especially in the first half.
Head Shaking Stat of the Night
UMass prob this year: shot selection. 41.8% of their shots have been threes despite being a HORRIBLE 3-pt shooting team.
— Mat Shelton-Eide (@MatSheltonEide) February 8, 2017
The Minutemen head to St. Joseph’s on Saturday. It’s hard to believe but UMass’s last win came against the Hawks on January 18th on the back of Zach Lewis’s 23 points. St. Joe’s has a very short bench so look to UMass to push the tempo and try to tire out the Hawks.
Fun Fact: Phil Martelli has lost more games than any coach in Saint Joseph’s history.