UMass hoops 2013-14 - Tourney or Bust

gmogmo

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Solid win over a decent BC squad yesterday led to the 1st vote in a top 25 poll in recent memory:
 
http://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/USA-Today-Top-25-Poll-4974606.php
 
Win tomorrow in 11AM home game vs LSU, and that's a great start to the season with two signature wins leading in to a solid out of conference schedule (BYU, Providence, Florida State, Nebraska, most likely New Mexico).  A-10 should get 4-5 teams in tourney again, is this the year the curse of Brusier Flint ends and UMass is one of the teams that dances?
 
 
 

BigA27

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Agreed on the rule changes. Its ruining the flow of a pretty good game. Cady Lalane has been really impressive today so far.
 

RedSoxFan

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Very pleased with this start. I was thinking that 1-1 was probable, and 0-2 was a possibility before the season started on Sunday. Still very early in the year but I think this is the team that breaks through and makes it to the big dance. This is the most talent UMass has had on the court in a very long time. 
 

serotonin

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Was anyone at the game today?  I caught bits and pieces on the radio and it sounded like Mullins was going nuts after the Putney dunk, but I haven't been able to find any video.  Good win, if a bit on the sloppy side.
 

ForceAtHome

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serotonin said:
Was anyone at the game today?  I caught bits and pieces on the radio and it sounded like Mullins was going nuts after the Putney dunk, but I haven't been able to find any video.  Good win, if a bit on the sloppy side.
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3uorwKh_qw&feature=youtu.be
 

gmogmo

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2 votes in AP poll and 8 in coaches poll this week....big games in Charleston starting Thursday.  Have to win opener vs Nebraska (3-0) because it most likely gets you a date with New Mexico (they play UAB).  Even if you lose that game, not a huge deal because will be a big SOS/RPI boost.
 

SaveBooFerriss

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UMass listed as the fourth most underrated team by Bruce Pearl:  
 
4. Massachusetts Minutemen 

Learn this name: Chaz Williams. Described by VCU coach Shaka Smart as the best player in the Atlantic 10, the 5-foot-9 Williams shoots the lights out and plays insane defense. He is averaging 22 points and six assists per game so far this season. A lack of depth could hurt UMass, as only seven players have seen significant playing time through three games, but the Minutemen received help by their schedule this season by getting tough conference opponents VCU and La Salle at home. 
 
 
 
http://insider.espn.go.com/blog/ncbexperts/post?id=636
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Nebraska @ 12:30. Looks like it will be streaming on ESPN3. Gotta have game one in this tourney.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Man, NCAA officiating was already awful enough without the mandate to call every bit of contact.
 

SaveBooFerriss

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Jed Zeppelin said:
Maxie Esho is a good athlete but a terrible, terrible basketball player.
 
I am not watching the game so I can't refute anything he did this game, but I actually like Esho as a player.  He brings a lot of energy.  He isn't a shooter.  
 

Jed Zeppelin

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SaveBooFerriss said:
 
I am not watching the game so I can't refute anything he did this game, but I actually like Esho as a player.  He brings a lot of energy.  He isn't a shooter.  
 
I was harsh, he definitely brings some good things to the table but his hands are really rough.
 
Meanwhile, Gordon is lighting it up, getting to the hoop whenever he wants.
 
Whistles are still frustrating but UMass has really taken advantage of Nebraska's foul trouble. They haven't tried to defend the paint all half.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Drive to the hoop + fall down = recipe for success.
 
Can't wait until the tournament and star players are fouling out or playing 25 tentative minutes in foul trouble.
 

SaveBooFerriss

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With four games into the season, UMass has wins against ACC, SEC and Big 10 teams.  That is a nice way to build the resume.
 
A win against NM would be huge.   
 

Jed Zeppelin

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No answer for the zone on offense or pick and pop on defense. Going to be a long day if they can't at least get a hand in the big guy's face.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Keep running, this team just played 50 minutes last night and Kirk looks like he's ready to pass out on the floor.
 

SaveBooFerriss

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Up by 5 at half, but NM is more than capable of storming back. Other than having a lead, the best news is that none of the starters is in foul trouble. I think Kellog is going to have to lean on the starting five to end this one. I am just following on gamecast, but will watch the DVR of the game tonight.
 

Grimace-HS

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I'm watching the game and UMass definitely looks good, especially for being so early in the season.  Already a win versus ACC, SEC, and Big Ten teams...and so far more than hanging with #19 New Mexico.  This team is fun to watch with the energy and hustle.  Chaz looks consistently good and they're holding all of New Mexico under control (except Alex Kirk...but he's been virtually all of the New Mexico offense).
 

Jed Zeppelin

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CLOSE IT OUT BABY.
 
Hell of a run here on both sides of the ball. Gotta finish the job.
 
Wow, I would never have guessed Cady had put up numbers like that today. This team really only goes 7 deep but those 7 are so solid this year.
 

Grimace-HS

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If we can hold on and win Sunday, I'd have to think we'd crack the Top 25.  Or at least be right on the edge with a lot of votes.  It used to be that the A-10 schedule would be the easier part, but the conference schedule will be strong (even without Butler, Temple, and Xavier).  These strong wins early on will really help.
 

Grimace-HS

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BigSoxFan said:
Best UMass team since Camby? Really enjoy watching these guys.
I think so...and early indicators are that they are pretty balanced as well.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Finally deciding to double Kirk won the game. Should have happened sooner but at least it happened.
 

amfox1

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If they can win against the Davidson-Clemson winner, then they go into the mostly MAC, and mostly soft, portion of their out-of-conference schedule (E.Mich, BYU, N.Illinois and Ohio) and could be 10-0 and ranked when they face Florida State on December 21 in the Orange Bowl Classic.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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I really like what Gordon brings to the table, even if he isn't a threat as an outside shooter right now. He's very strong, good off the dribble and gets to the hoop with ease (though he needs to do better from the line). Looks like a great fit defensively as well. It's huge having that second guy who can create for himself and cave the defense to create open shots for Carter and Putney.
 

serotonin

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What has really impressed me is the team's ability to elevate their defensive play and finish games.  Gordon has definitely been a great surprise as well, I just hope they're able to get some other guys involved so fatigue isn't a factor later in the year.  Enjoying watching this team a lot.
 

SaveBooFerriss

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Ugly second half, but a nice win.  Given the number of upsets in college basketball, I'll take any win. 
 
Hopefully, Chaz doesn't have another shooting game as bad as today (1-12). 
 

SaveBooFerriss

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Jed Zeppelin said:
#24 in the AP poll
 
That is great.  I was a senior at UMass during the 1991-1992 season and I remember it was a huge deal when that team broke into the top 25 for the first time in a long time.  
 

Grimace-HS

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Very good news....it is early, but I also saw that their RPI was #1 earlier in the day (just surpassed by Kansas).  I'm sure the RPI will change more, but I see no reason why this team can't stay within the Top 25.  The A-10 will be tough, but their out of conference schedule hasn't exactly been easy...I'm sure the energy and excitement is back in Amherst.  Great to see.
 

gmogmo

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1st game as a ranked team in 15 years tonight (up to 21 in AP and 22 in Coaches) @ Eastern Michigan.  Would be a shame to lose right away, vaguely remember them losing 1st ranked game of Cal era to West Virginia back in the early 90's.  Win tonight, and sets up nice match-up Saturday afternoon in Springfield against a very solid BYU team.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Not surprised at this not being the prettiest win. Long layoff, newly raised expectations, and the first true road game of the season. Good to get out with the W.