Massachusetts Men's Basketball 2013 NIT Tournament Capsule

Massachusetts Minutemen
Atlantic 10 (21-11, 9-7)


With so much attention being given to the top tier teams in the Atlantic 10, Massachusetts has flown under the radar. However, the Minutemen played very well in non-conference games, beating the likes of Harvard, Providence, Northeastern and Ohio. Their only losses came to North Carolina State, Tennessee and Miami (FL). Those are not bad losses. The tough A-10 was a bit up and down for Umass, but finishing around .500 in that league is pretty good this year.

Big Wins: 11/15 vs Providence (77-75), 1/30 at La Salle (61-60), 3/2 at Xavier (77-72)
Bad Losses: 1/19 George Washington (76-79), 2/2 at Charlotte (65-66), 2/20 at St. Bonaventure (94-99)
Coach: Derek Kellogg (5 seasons at Massachusetts)

Why They Can Surprise:
Chaz Williams is probably the best guard in the conference. The junior point guard averages 15.9 points, 7.4 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 2.1 steals. Williams leads the Minutemen on both ends of the floor and does an amazing job creating shots for his teammates and himself. The frontcourt has plenty of depth and a few scoring options for Williams to find. Terrell Vinson is a dynamic slasher who can knock down the long ball or use his 6-7 frame to get to the basket. Raphiael Putney and Sampson Carter are the usual starters up front. Neither are true post scoring threats, but they can stretch out the defense with the occasional mid-range jumper. Cady Lalanne, a 6-9 sophomore, is the true post presence and will start when Coach Derek Kellogg needs more beef in the frontcourt.

Why They Can Disappoint:
Despite all of the options in the frontcourt, Lalanne is the only one who is a true post scorer and a quality rebounder. When Lalanne is on the bench, which is usually about half of the game, the Umass offense becomes one-dimensional. The team also will get beat on the glass with Lalanne throwing around his 250 pound frame. The Minutemen have had some time to replace Jesse Morgan after he was lost for the year with a knee injury in January, but they do miss his scoring. Morgan was the second leading scorer on the team and the most prolific outside shooter prior to the injury. As a result, Freddie Riley has been thrown into a bigger role. Riley is an experienced senior, but he is mostly a shooter and lacks the driving ability that Morgan provided. The overall depth on the perimeter is also now very, very slim.

Probable Starters:
Chaz Williams, Junior, Guard, 15.9 ppg, 7.4 apg, 4.3 rpg, 2.1 spg
Freddie Riley, Senior, Guard, 8.6 ppg, 1.0 apg
Terrell Vinson, Senior, Forward, 12.3 ppg, 3.8 rpg
Sampson Carter, Senior, Forward, 6.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg
Raphiael Putney, Junior, Forward, 7.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg

Key Roleplayers:
Maxie Esho, Sophomore, Forward, 5.5 ppg, 4.9 rpg
Cady Lalanne, Sophomore, Forward, 8.5 ppg, 7.4 rpg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 73.5 (48th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 71.1 (291, 13)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.6 (165, 12)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.2 (149, 7)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.3 (61, 5)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.0 (160, 8)
Free-Throw Percentage: 71.0 (117, 6)
Rebound Margin: -0.1 (185, 10)
Assists Per Game: 15.0 (41, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.9 (218, 11)

Last Five Postseason Appearances:
2012    NIT        First Round win over Mississippi State
2012    NIT        Second Round win over Seton Hall
2012    NIT        Quarterfinal win over Drexel
2012    NIT        Semifinal loss to Stanford
2008    NIT        First Round win over Stephen F. Austin
2008    NIT        Second Round win over Akron
2008    NIT        Quarterfinal win over Syracuse
2008    NIT        Semifinal win over Florida
2008    NIT        Final loss to Ohio State
2007    NIT        First Round win over Alabama
2007    NIT        Second Round loss to West Virginia
2000    NIT        First round loss to Siena
1998    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to Saint Louis

*all team stats through 3/10


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules