#42 Massachusetts Men's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

Massachusetts Minutemen

2014-2015 Overall Rank: #42
Conference Rank: #4 Atlantic 10

Massachusetts Team Page#42 Massachusetts Men's Basketball 2014-2015 PreviewBuy Massachusetts Basketball Tickets

Massachusetts got off to a great start to the 2013-2014 campaign, winning their first ten games and 17 of their first 18. There were some slip ups during Atlantic 10 play, but this team certainly deserved their #6 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Unfortunately for the Minutemen, they lost to Tennessee in the Round of 64. Coach Derek Kellogg must replace three starters, so there is some major rebuilding to do, but this team has the tools to make another run for the NCAA Tournament.

2013-14 Record: 24-9, 10-6
2013-14 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Derek Kellogg
Coach Record: 109-86 at Massachusetts, 109-86 overall

Who’s Out:
Chaz Williams is a massive loss for the Minutemen. He was one of the best point guards in the nation, dishing out 6.9 assists per game. Williams also led the team with 15.6 points per game and could score in a variety of ways. His leadership, on both ends of the floor, will be even tougher to replace than his production. Forwards Sampson Carter and Raphiael Putney are the other two departed starters. Carter was the big man who could stretch the defense with his shooting ability. Putney was always strong on the glass and could swat away some shots too. Clyde Santee is the only other departure after seeing limited action last season.

Who’s In:
Jabarie Hinds, a transfer from West Virginia, will hold most of the pressure for replacing Williams. In two years with the Mountaineers, Hinds started just about every game at the point. As a freshman he averaged 7.4 points and 3.3 assists and he added 7.4 points and 1.6 assists as a sophomore. The backcourt also adds incoming freshmen C.J. Anderson and Donte Clark. The frontcourt adds Rashaan Holloway and Zach Coleman. Coleman is another one of those big small forwards that Coach Derek Kellogg likes to have getting up and down the floor and his one year on the sidelines should have Coleman ready to contribute.

Who to Watch:
With Williams gone, players like Derrick Gordon and Cady Lalanne will step up and pick up some the scoring and leadership slack. Gordon is a great slasher and played very well during his first year with Umass following a stint at Western Kentucky. He averaged 9.4 points per game and is capable of boosting that production. Lalanne is a great interior scorer and the main reason this team was so effective on the glass last season. This squad does need an outside shooter though and the hope is Trey Davis can fill that role. He knocked down 37.7 percent of his attempts from long range as a freshman, but is not afraid to attack the basket either. Davis should be ready for a breakout season even if he does not crack the starting five. Maxie Esho is a lanky 6-8 forward who is a great fit at power forward for a team that wants to keep running and gunning even with a new point guard.

Final Projection:
Coach Kellogg does want to be the top scoring offense in the A-10 again, but it remains to be seen if he has the bodies to pull it off. One of the weaknesses of this team last year was their lack of depth. Umass usually went seven deep a year ago and if Coach Kellogg can comfortably go eight or nine deep without a drop in production, this is a team that will make it back to the NCAA Tournament.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA Tournament

Projected Starting Five:
Jabarie Hinds, Junior, Guard, DNP last season
Trey Davis, Junior, Guard, 9.2 points per game
Derrick Gordon, Junior, Guard, 9.4 points per game
Maxie Esho, Senior, Forward, 8.9 points per game
Cady Lalanne, Senior, Center, 11.3 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 75.8 (54th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 71.2 (208, 10)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.9 (87, 4)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.5 (115, 5)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.4 (260, 10)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.6 (154, 6)
Free-Throw Percentage: 68.3 (228, 6)
Rebound Margin: 2.8 (88, 3)
Assists Per Game: 15.1 (38, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.5 (283, 11)


See All Top 144 Basketball Previews