Yesterday was a great day. Not only did UMass end its away losing streak by defeating URI at the Ryan Center, but The UMass Basketball Report made its radio debut with WRIU Sports.
First I want to thank Jake Levin and P.T. Ranere of WRIU Sports for having me on the broadcast. For those of you who missed it, we discussed URI, UMass and the rest of the Atlantic 10 in a short pregame show. Jake and P.T. then took over to call the game. These guys are a very entertaining duo. Now let’s talk basketball.
Putney, Gordon and Chaz Were The Stars as UMass Narrowly Defeated URI
After a slow start and then a very tight finish, UMass was able to hold off URI thanks to a game winning block by Putney and clutch shooting from Chaz Williams. I think that UMass and URI have the potential for a good rivalry in the next few seasons. URI is close to becoming a contender in the Atlantic 10 and UMass has the personnel to be competitive for years to come. I was very impressed with the UMass faithful for packing the Ryan Center. One corner of the arena was almost all UMass fans and at points their cheers drowned out the “Let’s Go Rhody” chants from the home crowd.
Knee Jerk Reactions
- Early in the game, UMass was scoring most of their points on fast breaks and turnovers. DG threw a few spectacular alley-oop passes to Putney.
- DK was clearly trying to get the ball into Cady Lalanne in the post. Credit to Rhody though, they double Cady and denied him the ball for most of the game. He finished with only 8 points.
- Cady needs to work on making decisions faster. When he is singled covered, he has the luxury of taking his time and beating the defender with a post move. However, as soon as he gets double teamed he needs to react quicker, either by making his mover sooner or passing out to the perimeter. Many times he waited too long and ended up turning the ball over or taking a bad shot.
- Putney is sneakily averaging 4.5 blocks per game in the last two games. He is really rising to the occasion. Yesterday against URI he had 11 points to go along with 4 blocks.
- Derrick Gordon is also playing incredible basketball. These past few games he is playing with more confidence and swagger. Now that he has found his jump shot, he is a much more difficult player to defend. He had 11 points and 9 rebounds.
- What can I say about Chaz Williams? Every time UMass needed a bucket he was there. He had 21 points and 7
The UMBR Game Ball: The Game Ball goes to Raphiael Putney. Although Chaz was the high scorer, Putney brought the energy and intangibles that UMass needed to win. His highlight play came at the end of the game with UMass up by three with 40 seconds left. URI had a steal and a fast break that looked like an automatic layup. Instead Putney chased down T.J. Buchanan for the block that sealed the UMass victory.
The UMBR Dunce Cap: The Dunce Cap goes to Cady Lalanne. He played an okay game, but he gets the Dunce Cap for his free throw shooting. He made just 2 of his 7 free throws. That is bad for a guy who is a 67% free throw shooter.
Next game is Wednesday vs. George Mason at the Mullins Center. Remember, the last meeting between these two teams resulted in a come from behind victory by the Minutemen so it should be a good battle.