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I’ve seen teams blow games before, but I’ve never seen anything quite so emasculating as what happened to UMass basketball today against Manhattan. Somehow the Minutemen allowed this rag tag collection of rejects to play with them for 40 minutes. In the final minute UMass was up 61-58 with five seconds left. With 2 seconds remaining Trey Davis intentionally fouled Manhattan in order to prevent them from hitting a game tying three. They hit the first, and the missed the rim on the second, which gave UMass the ball, up by 2 points, and with 2 seconds remaining.
What happened next was one of the biggest fuck ups in the history of sports:
Seriously, how the hell does that happen? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Derek Kellogg is a good recruiter and he’s built UMass up from the ashes. But he can’t coach his way out of a paper bag. I’ve been saying this for years, but the yahoo Umass footy pajama crew just yells at you when you point this out. Yea, I know Seth Berger is obviously grossly incompetent if he can’t inbound the ball to a wide open man. But here’s a thought – throw the God damn ball to the other end of the court!! Or maybe don’t have Seth Berger inbounding the ball? Nah, that can’t be it.
You know who’s supposed to be in charge of making sure that Seth Berger doesn’t completely fuck up the game? One of the five million coaches on UMass. Seriously, I’ve never seen so many coaches in my life. UMass is like the Duggar family of coaches. How many suits do you see on this bench?
I count ten in that picture alone, with one guy who has to sit in the second row of coaches. But if you look to the right more, you see more suits
Now I don’t wanna jump to conclusions, but I see FIVE more suits there, including two that ran out of bench space and have to sit behind the cheerleaders. Seriously, couldn’t ONE of these people pull Derek Kellogg aside and say, “Coach, maybe we shouldn’t let the inexperienced white guy inbound the ball.”
Or here’s a thought on the Manhattan inbound pass – Don’t have your 6’10” center guarding the freaking three point line:
I’d love to know why Cady Lalanne, who had a monstrous 2 blocks, 16 rebounds and 23 damn points, was defending a guard on the perimeter while point guard Trey Davis defended the paint. Because that makes TONS of sense. Boner of the year material right there.
Anyway, now that I got the negative out of the way, they DID win the game 77-68 and they ARE 3-0. Lalanne is finally hiked up his skirt and started playing like the monster that he is. Davis, Maxie Esho, Jabarie Hinds, Lalanne, and Derrick Gordon all scored in double digits. Oh yea, and they shot 27 of 29 from the free throw line. That is an INSANELY GOOD number.
As dominant as Lalanne was and has been, what Derrick Gordon has done this year is eye opening. Check out his stat line today: 12 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 blocks. Oh yea, and he’s 6’2.” Those are power forward numbers right there. The dude is a bad, bad man. This vicious block with 43 seconds to go basically sealed the game for them:
Did I mention he shot 8 of 8 from the line, and is now 26 of 30 on the year? That only makes him one of the best free throw shooters in the country, less than a year after he shot 52%. Think of how crazy it is. That’s like the difference between Shaq and Ray Allen.
And I hate to keep coming back to this, but it’s gotta have something to do with the fact that DG is out of the closet now. Because you don’t get that much better at free throw shooting by eating your Wheaties. Anyone who’s ever played basketball before knows what a mind fuck shooting free throws can be. When you’re not thinking straight (no pun intended DG), it’s impossible to be a good free throw shooter.
Up next is Notre Dame and Florida State on Saturday and Sunday at Mohegan Sun. These are basically the first two real teams they’ve played this year. If somehow they survive those two then this team is for real. If not, we might be looking at a return back to the tournament – the Not Invited Tournament.
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