Derek Kellogg to juggle lineup after Cady Lalanne suspension
AMHERST — With sophomore center Cady Lalanne suspended after being arrested Saturday night, University of Massachusetts coach Derek Kellogg was forced to juggle his lineup and game plan for today’s 7 p.m. game against Northeastern at Matthews Arena in Boston.
Kellogg said he hadn’t decided whether sophomore Maxie Esho or junior Sampson Carter would replace Lalanne in the starting lineup.
“I think Sampson has done a good job in his minutes. Maxie’s done a great job in his minutes,” Kellogg said. “The reality is I do like Maxie coming off the bench because of his energy, but Sampson’s done some good things. I think we’ll be able to run a little bit more with those lineups.”
Kellogg said that Lalanne’s absence would mean more time for two freshmen, guard Trey Davis and big man Tyler Bergantino.
“It’ll give the young guys an opportunity to get some minutes,” Kellogg said. “Trey has earned the opportunity to play. Maybe we’ll go smaller and run a little bit more. Tyler has done some good things in practice. Because of the way the schedule has been laid out I haven’t had the chance to get those guys in. Now I’m being forced to, which might be a good thing down the line.”
Bergantino said that adapting from high school to college basketball has been an adjustment.
“Not only physically but mentally. All the running and how hard we go and the speed of the game and recovering,” he said. “I’m getting a little better every day. I still feel I have a long way to go. I didn’t think it would be this hard to adjust, but I’m coming from a slow move-the-ball-around high school to a fast team. It’s a big adjustment. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”
Even before Lalanne’s suspension, Kellogg was hoping for an improved Jesse Morgan. The junior guard has struggled shooting since the Minutemen got back from Puerto Rico.
“Saturday after the game he came in and shot for an hour by himself. I think he’s committed to being a good shooter,” Kellogg said. “I do think we would have maybe had some different outcomes if he shot the ball a little better in a couple of games.
“He’s a confident kid,” Kellogg added. “Shooters sometimes shoot themselves out of slumps. I think he’s taken pretty good shots. I’m just waiting for them to go down. Saturday’s 1 for 10 is uncharacteristic for him. If we’re going to go on one of our runs, those are the ones he’s got to make. ... I’m not putting pressure on him to make those shots. Our team needs those baskets to be where we need to be.”
Morgan was confident the shots will fall soon.
“I don’t feel like I’m in a shooting slump. I just feel like shots aren’t falling,” Morgan said. “I just needed to get back in the gym and work on the things I’ve been working on. It’s going to come back.”
The Huskies are 4-3 after dropping their last two games to Charlotte and Maine. They finished second to the 49ers in the Great Alaska Shootout.
“Northeastern played very well up in Alaska. I think they had some tired legs against Maine (Wednesday) and have had four or five days to get ready for us,” Kellogg said. “It’s a local game against a team that sees UMass as a big game. It’s going to be a tough one, just like Siena was. You’ve got to be ready.”