Tuesday, November 11, 2008

5th Place - UMASS Minutemen

Head Coach: Derek Kellogg
Record at UMASS: First year overall

Homecourt: Mullins Center (9,493)

2 David Gibbs Fr G 6-4 185
5 Ricky Harris Jr G 6-2 175
11 Gary Correia So G 6-1 180
12 Anthony Gurley So 6-3 185
13 Travon Wilcher Fr 6-7 210
14 Chris Lowe Sr G 6-0 160
24 Tony Gaffney Sr F 6-8 208
25 Tyrell Lynch Fr F 6-9 230
31 Luke Bonner Sr C 7-1 245
33 Matt Glass So G 6-7 190
50 Matt Hill So F 6-7 210
(UMASS has three talented transfers sitting out this season as well. Doug Wiggins (talented guard from UCONN), Sean Carter (post out of Oregon State), and Hashim Bailey (another post out of Memphis) will keep the talent level high in Amherst.)

First 5-
1 - C. Lowe (talented senior is back for his final year and hopes to lead the A10 in assists again. he is much more than a distributor though as he increased his scoring output last year to 11.8 ppg.)
2- R. Harris (big time scorer who should post big numbers again under Kellog's 'dribble drive offense'. tremendous talent could push for all A10 team honors this year.)
3- A. Gurley (Wake Forest transfer is a good shooter. He was a top 20 shooting guard prospect out of Massachusetts three years ago and can boast a 24 point performance against Georgia Tech in ACC play.)
4- T. Gaffney (he is a suprisingly good defensive player (59 blocks and 39 steals) who will get a chance to start on a regular basis this year.)
5- L. Bonner (a big man who would rather play on the outside (35% from three land) started to mix it up down low in UMASS' run to the NIT championship game last season.)

Second 5-
1. G. Correia (back up point took 55 shots last season of which 50 were three pointers. he will need to attack the basket a little more this season but is potentially a nice spot up option for this offense.)
2- D. Gibbs (talented player who can play either guard spot. he will be given opportunities this season to show what he can do.)
3- M. Glass (another designated shooter who could thrive in the dribble drive offense.)
4- M. Hill (sophomore will provide servicable minutes down low.)
5- T. Lynch (big man was supposed to play for Auburn last season but that didn't work out and he enrolled at UMASS instead. he was not allowed to participate in basketball activities but has the talent to be a major piece this season for Derek Kellogg.)

A favored son returns home to coach the Minutemen. Kellogg was a big piece of Calipari's great teams at UMASS and graduated in '95 from the school. He brings the dribble drive offense with him from Memphis and does one better: he brings the coach (Vance Wallberg) who created the scheme. It is often referred to as 'AASAA' which stands for 'attack, attack, skip, attack, attack' and I think the Minutemen personel on hand can play this system very well. The questions are defense, rebounding, and overcoming some first year coach obstacles. This team could be clicking on all cylinders come first of the year and there is the possibility that Kellogg could take them where Travis Ford couldn't: the NCAA tournament.

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