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2010-2011 UMass Basketball Preview
Posted By Jeremy Frassa On Nov 10 2010 @ 3:28 am In UMass | No Comments
Derek Kellogg is entering his third season as coach of the UMass Minutemen. His first two seasons at UMass were not exactly picture perfect. His team posted a record of 24-38 during his first two seasons as head coach. The the inability to properly execute the dribble drive offense has really seemed to hurt the team. When Kellogg was hired as head coach in the spring of 2008, he came to a team that was in shambles. Players were leaving the program and transferring left and right (no thanks to Travis Ford) and the players that stuck around did not exactly fit the dribble drive mold. Now in year three, Kellogg believes that he has the players needed to run the dribble drive offense effectively and bring the UMass program back into the national spotlight.
Two Big Questions
1. Who will fill the void left by the departure of Ricky Harris?
Anthony Gurley and Terrell Vinson look like the two who will have to step up and fill the void left by Ricky Harris. Gurley has shown that he has the ability to take over a game. He recorded a double-double against Boston College on December 23, 2009 with 23 points and 10 rebounds. He also had
a strong game in the Atlantic 10 tournament against Richmond where he recorded a career high 24 points, with a majority of those points coming in the second half. Terrell Vinson had a strong freshman year. He averaged almost 10 points per game and showed that he could be counted on to make a clutch play. Who could forget the clutch lay up Vinson against Memphis last seasons to give UMass the 73-72 upset victory over the Tigers. A year of experience will only make him stronger and it will certainly be interesting to see how he has improved.
2. Point Guard?
Senior point guard Gary Correia looks like he will be the starting point guard, for at least the beginning of the season. This will be a new role for Correia, as he was a back up for the most part during his first three years at UMass. With David Gibbs transferring, Gary Correia went from back up point guard to the only upperclassman point guard on the roster. Freshman point guard Daryl Traynham will get some playing time, but Kellogg does not want to throw him into the fire. In UMass’s exhibition game against Brandeis University, Traynham looked impressive. He led the team in scoring with 15 points and recorded 3 steals. He is a different breed of point guard , one that UMass has not seen in some time. Listed at a generous 5’9, he is extremely quick and plays with a lot of intensity. He is not afraid to shoot the ball rather than pass it. He reminds me of a young Drew Lavender, a short point guard who isn’t afraid to shoot the ball or drive it to the basket. Correia has the experience while Traynham has the upside, so it will be interesting to see who gets the majority of the playing time as the season progresses.
Hall of Fame Tip-Off
UMass kicks off their 2010-2011 campaign with six consecutive games in Western Massachusetts, with four games in Amherst, MA and two in Springfield, MA. The Minutemen will be taking part in the Hall of Fame Tip-off Tournament this year. As part of the Tip-Off tournament, UMass will take on Rider University at the Mullins Center on November 12 and then travel to the MassMutual Center in Springfield to face New Mexico State and TCU on November 20 and 22 respectively. UMass will close out the tournament at home against American International College on November 24. The New Mexico State Aggies are the reigning Western Athletic Conference Champions and the only team in the Tip-Off tournament that played in the NCAA tournament last season.
Cancun in 2011!
UMass just announced that they will be taking part in the Cancun Governors Cup in December 2011. The tournament will feature six teams from around the country, including College of Charleston, Kansas State (No. 3 in the preseason Coaches poll), UMass, Rice, Southern Illinois and Utah. This will be the first time since 1999 that UMass has played outside of the United States.
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