Recon: Massachusetts

Recon: Massachusetts

8500087-WDR-(Derry-Moore)

The Leader finally spoke, humbled by incessant chatter from the proletariat.  Time, as it often does, rooted out the truth. For weeks The Leader offered his subjects stories of whimsy, each coated in an increasingly thicker glaze of inconceivability. The listless followers took to the message board, the sole remaining weapon in their war on common sense and reasoning.

“Why must I even subjugate myself to offering further explanation?”queried the leader, “Knowing full well that these dolts will create excuses for me?” His closest advisers, not trusted, but proximate, reassured The Leader that the truth was the only available avenue, the only manner in which to properly reingratiate himself with the unwashed masses.

“Nonsense,” exclaimed the Leader, opening his laptop. The advisers gave each other quizzical looks as The Leader logged onto the message board, the last bastion of unchecked stupidity. 

95639-004-12C47433“Here, this thread appears to be a discussion of my latest statement,” said The Leader. He pushed the laptop to his closest adviser, not emotionally close, but proximate. “Please read the first few comments.” The adviser cleared his throat, wiped his brow and read the first entry.

“For all we know, he may have a learning disability. His many physical problems may have affected his concentration.” the adviser read aloud, before pausing briefly. “Again, since I don’t think you really know what happened, leave your accusations at the door.” 

“It’s happening, like flies to fetid meat!” The Leader exclaimed, not bothering to conceal a bemused smirk. “Read more, it pleases me.” The adviser adjusted himself in his chair nervously before reading the next comment.

“That being said, Detwon is trying, very hard to rehab and to make grades. He is also really down on himself right now and needs our support. I don’t know if he reads this, but I hope he sees that we, as a Flyer Nation, support him and his goals. That’s all I’ll say.” The adviser, who appeared startled by the passage, turned to the Leader.

“Sir,” he stammered,”Why would this slob assume things about a person he doesn’t know, a person he’s only learned about through reading your carefully crafted misstatements?”

The Leader stood up, slamming his fist on the table. He snatched the laptop, pushing it to another adviser, this one an impish man seated across from his desk. “Read more!” he shouted. The adviser spun the laptop so it was facing him and withdrew spectacles from his shirt’s front pocket. He began to read.

“He has a problem with one class about a paper that needed to be turned in. Once it is turned in and grade adjusted he will be eligible.” The adviser, fighting back tears, continued. “This is from one of the students I know and should be accurate, we shall see.” The room was instantly quiet, the humming of The Leader’s seasonal depression therapy lamp overtaking the room.

The bespectacled adviser broke the silence.

“Leader, if I may ask, why are your subjects so adamant in offering nonsensical explanations for your blatant lies?” The advisers all looked at each other nervously, questioning The Leader was assuredly a risk not worth taking. The Leader walked towards the door, grabbed the knob and then quickly faced his assembly.

“They believe what I tell them to,” he began, “These troglodytes choose to live inside a fog of ignorance. Some of them even take it upon themselves to further perpetuate my lies.” The Leader turned his attention to the door once more. “This pleases me.” he uttered. With that, The Leader lifted his left leg a few inches off the ground and expelled a shockingly wet gasser. He opened the door and exited his office. The advisers could hear his boisterous laughter echoing off the walls as he skulked down the hall.

[title type=”fancy-h3″ color=””]Overview[/title]

9214533-largeYou be hard pressed to find a school that over-scheduled out of conference more than Massachusetts did this season. Games against Boston College, Notre Dame, Florida State, Harvard, LSU, Providence, BYU, Florida Gulf Coast and Iona. Things didn’t shake out the way Derek Kellogg would have liked them to, as the Minutemen could only muster a 7-6 record heading into Atlantic Ten play. The conference hasn’t been much kinder, UMass enters Thursday’s game with Dayton at 3-3 in the league, coming off a dismal loss at Saint Joseph’s last weekend. The ship be sinkin’.

UMass remains an extremely athletic and lanky team, even with the “graduation” of Chaz Williams, Sampson Carter and Raphiael Putney. Where this year’s team lacks in depth in comparison to last season’s it makes up with its depth. Ten players are averaging at least ten minutes played per game, hockey line metaphors are welcome in Amherst (you know how they say if you have two quarterbacks you have none? Does that hold true in basketball? If you have ten guys playing at least ten minutes a game, does that indicate a lack of talent or a determined philosophy?). 

This year’s UMass is a significant departure defensively from Derek Kellogg’s previous squads. Although they still rebound and block shots as well as anyone in the A10, the Minutemen are having difficulty stopping their opponents from scoring (allowing 71 points per game). Massachusetts tries to shelter its offensive inadequacies with an uptempo attack predicated on getting plenty of shots up. UMass is statistically one of the worst shooting squads in the conference — 40.8%/29.7%/63.2%. 

Hatefull8background

[row] [column size=”col-3″]

120513umass1
Trey Davis • G (6’0″/185) • Jr.
10.7 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 3.6 apg

Davis is replacing Chaz Williams as the team’s primary ball handler.

[/column] [column size=”col-3″]

140409115711-derrick-gordon-umass-single-image-cut
Derrick Gordon • G (6’3″/205) • Jr.
10.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.9 apg, 1.7 spg

Having a up and down season, has yet to develop a jump shot.

[/column] [column size=”col-3″]

dt
Cady Lalanne • C (6’10″/253) • Sr.
11.9 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 2.1 bpg

Lalanne was one of the better bigs in the league last season and has picked up where he left off.

[/column] [column size=”col-3″]

dt
Maxie Esho • F (6’8″/215) • Sr.
12.8 ppg, 6.6 rpg

A great athlete, benefiting from increased playing time this year.

[/column] [/row] [row] [column size=”col-3″]

16357748-mmmain
Jabarie Hinds • G (5’11″/185) • Jr.
7.3 ppg, 2.3 apg

Transfer from West Virginia, excellent on-ball defender.

[/column] [column size=”col-3″]

16675861-mmmain
Donte Clark • G (6’4″/180) • Fr.
8.8 ppg, 1.9 rpg

An academic non-qualifier last season (Archie just perked up), is having an unexpectedly solid freshman season.

[/column] [column size=”col-3″]

zach-coleman-7431f07d5ae656c7
Zach Coleman • F (6’7″/200) • Fr.
3.1 ppg, 2.1 rpg

Redshirted last season, above average perimeter shooter.

[/column] [column size=”col-3″]

dt
Tyler Bergantino • C (6’9″/245) • Jr.
1.5 ppg, 1.3 rpg

A foul-prone big body off the bench.

[/column] [/row] [title type=”fancy-h3″ color=””]Numbers Game[/title]

umasstatshome

[fullwidth_section text_color=”dark” background_type=”color” bg_color=”#C4D8E2″] [spacer height=”10″] [title type=”fancy-h3″ color=””]Prediction[/title]

Got a sour feeling about this one. Amherst has historically been a difficult place for the Flyers and the Minutemen have the type of length and athleticism to give UD problems. UMass wins a close one, 69-65. 

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Tom Blackburn is a proud U. o’ D. alum. He loses faith in humanity one day at a time, but not in you, you seem like you are all kinds of alright. Charter member of the T-Man fanclub.

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