After a HUGE win over 13th ranked Michigan State on Wednesday, the Canes look to keep their momentum going on the road taking on a gritty U. Mass hoops team tomorrow at 2pm in Amherst, MA. This UMass team (or as my high school buddies would call it "Zoo-Mass") has been struggling to find its identity under fifth year head coach Derek Kellogg this year. After starting the season with good wins over Harvard and Providence College they had back to back tough losses to NC State and Tennessee. This week they bounced back with a thrilling win over Siena where the Minutemen's main threat Chaz Williams won the game at the buzzer with 3 seconds left. Williams is their version of the Canes' Shane Larkin, an aggressive point guard who can both dish and score from everywhere. He should be a handful for Durand Scott and Larkin. Jesse Morgan is their version of the Canes Trey McKinney Jones. Cady LaLanne is their 6' 9" center with Sampson Carter at 6'8" coming off the bench. Both are physical and should prove to be a tough match up with the Canes Reggie Johnson and Kenny Kadji. The wildcard is Senior Terrell Vinson who is a 6' 7" wing who according to Kellogg "can play everything from the point guard to the power forward and defend those positions as well." Vinson was the second leading scorer in the Siena win with 17 points.
UMass is well coached as Kellogg is a John Calapari disciple whom he played for at UMass and later was an assistant for at Memphis. He employs Calapari's style of aggressive pressure defense which will most definitely cause fits for the Canes.
Bottom line the Canes need to bring their A game because it will be a dogfight.
Your's truly will be on site at the game, look for my post game recap!