Will UMass Basketball Start Blowing Out Crappy Teams, Or Will Every Single Game Be a Nail Biter?

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It would be absolutely lovely to see UMass just blow the doors off of an inferior team for once. I can’t do this for every single game. Wednesday’s 88-87 win at George Mason might’ve just been the most improbable. Unfortunately I missed it due to having to earn money to pay my mortgage, but I felt like I was there by hitting the refresh button on my iPhone every 30 seconds.

When I checked at 7:30 the Minutemen were down by a couple points. At halftime, they were down by a couple points. Twenty minutes later? You guessed it, down by a couple points. You could tell it was going to be one of those games. In the final five minutes they’d realize that this was a crap happy opponent and they’d go on a 14-2 run to put the game away.


But that run never apparently came. Instead they let another inferior opponent get all wet about the prospect of beating the #16 team in the nation. I thought the run might come when they went up by three with three minutes to go. Instead GMU fought back and had a five point lead with only 40 seconds to go. Every time I hit refresh I thought I’d see a UMass six or seven point lead. But every time I came closer and closer to the reality that UMass was going to lose. To George Freaking Mason!!

But there’s something about this team. The box score says that GMU turned the ball over three times in the final 24 seconds. In reality they had the ball stolen from them by superior talent three times in the final 24 seconds. That’s just how UMass roles this year. When I hit refresh for the final time and it said 88-87, I screamed out loud and started high giving nobody, as I was alone at a red light. Embarrassing.

Either way, the Minutemen are 15-1. Wrap your head around that one for just a moment. Fifteen and freaking ONE. They’re ranked ahead of college basketball’s elites – Duke, North Carolina, Kansas, UCLA, and reigning national champion Louisville. Any other year this team loses both the St. Bony’s and the GMU game. But not this team. They’re just too good. Here’s a couple thoughts though…

  • I really like Tyler Bergantino, but he kind of needs to do something to make himself useful. He scored two points last night, which was more than his four previous games combined. He doesn’t exactly rebound or block shots either. Kind of just occupies space and fouls a lot. If UMass is going to use an eight man rotation, it needs contributions from all eight men.
  • I kind of wish Derrick Gordon would do something besides hitting game winning bunnies. I still think he’s a good player, but he can’t shoot for the life of him.
  • Cady Lalanne can’t keep shooting 5 of 11 from the field. He’s a center, but it’s pretty easy to take him out of the game if you have a down low presence. If he wants to play in the NBA he’s gotta up his game down low. Offensively AND defensively.
  • Does UMass commit more fouls, or do the refs just suck every game? Seems like they can’t go 5 minutes without ending up in the bonus. The foul count against GMU was 23-14 in favor of the home team. Putney and Lalanne fouled out, and Maxie Esho had four fouls. I hate to blame it on the refs all the time, but what I’ve seen thus far has been terrible.


On Saturday UMass doesn’t just need to win. They need to beat the ever loving shit out of Elon. It’s freaking Elon!! They sound like a brokerage firm. Apparently they’re a real college in North Carolina. For whatever reason the state that sends them the second most amount of students is….

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Weird. Either way there’s no way this crappy team from a loser conference should be within 15 points when the horn sounds at the end of the game. UMass beat a ranked New Mexico team by 15. Time to go back to the good ol days of blowing teams out.

Go U!!

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11 Comment(s)
  • January 17, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    The conference is a pretty solid one, but they lost Temple, Xavier and Butler. Big losses right there. LaSalle and Richmond suck this year too. And after they started off 5-0 last year they all chumped it up, except for LaSalle.

  • Blong
    January 17, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    I agree that we are much better than the lower level A-10 teams and a team like GM we should run away from, but the A-10 overall is much better than anyone is giving it credit for. GM was the worst team in the OOC schedule, and they finished with a 7-7 record. No team finished with a record under .500. I believe we are clearly the best team in the league, but it isn’t fun of cupcakes this year like years past.

    • Joey G
      January 17, 2014 at 9:25 pm

      No doubt about it. The A-10 was given no credit coming into this year. There will be no “pretty” teams that will dominate the competition. However, there will be a lot of teams that can win ugly and make life miserable for other conferences come tournament time. Remember that this conference went 5-0 in the first round of the tournament last year.

  • Joey G
    January 17, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    Is it a rule that they have to wait until there are 2 minutes remaining in the game to trap or press? Isn’t there a slight possibility that this strategy might work earlier in the game? Although they may just have cheap fouls called on them if they do. I don’t know if there are more fouls being called against them, but they certainly have more cheap fouls called against them than the teams they play.

    • Blong
      January 17, 2014 at 3:02 pm

      I agree that they should be pressing earlier in the game. The refs have loosened up a bit with the fouls (part of the reason VCU is back in the groove) so there is not reason to not hit the opposing team with the press to start the 2nd half or on and off throughout the game.

  • matt
    January 17, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    Admittedly, I’ve only watched a few games and wouldn’t consider myself a big fan but It appears to me the reason they aren’t blowing out these shitty teams is because they aren’t much better themselves. They seem to have only one above average player. There is no Donta Bright on this team.

    • Blong
      January 17, 2014 at 3:01 pm

      They have multiple above average players. They just aren’t playing well at the moment… yet they are still winning. They had better snap out of it though because Richmond, St. Louis and VCU aren’t going to be cupcake games.

  • John Clark Sucks
    January 17, 2014 at 8:15 am

    Umass’ first loss will come at the hands of THE RHODE ISLAND RAMS! Gooo Rhody!!!

    • Blong
      January 17, 2014 at 11:51 am

      UMASS already has one loss…

  • SouthwestGoon
    January 17, 2014 at 4:27 am

    Tyler Bergantino- doesnt do anything except hype his team up.Not a good replacement if laLane gets hurt or fouls out. Cady Lalane needs to play like a big man, throw some elbows and GET MAD. hes so chill….too chill. Sampson Carter, 5th year senior, but if it werent for his neon green sneakers, you wouldnt be able to find him- he doesnt show up. ever. Putney- STOP SHOOTING THREE POINTERS OUT YOUR ASS, YOUR 6 8 STOP JACKIN UP THREES.The most important rule in basketball is IF YOU ARE GOING TO FOUL, DO NOT ALLOW THE SHOT TO HIT THE RIM. Umass allows too many three point plays on girly soft fouls. If youre going to foul, HACK. Lastly. I know Adidas is our sponsor and doesnt make not one good piece of merchandise but WHY THE CORNY COLORED SHOES. STOP. PLEASE. WE LOOK LIKE DRAGONTALES. Nike, please sponsor us.

    • Blong
      January 17, 2014 at 12:16 pm

      Jeez, one would think we are 1-15 with that post… yikes.

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