Cady Lalanne making use of first healthy offseason at UMass
Cady Lalanne of UMass, center, is enjoying the first healthy offseason of his college career. Purchase photo reprints »
Cady Lalanne of UMass, center, is enjoying the first healthy offseason of his college career.
JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »
AMHERST — Derek Kellogg’s lips were wrapped around a whistle as the University of Massachusetts coach served as the scrimmage’s referee. But the edges of his mouth turned up in a smile when he watched Cady Lalanne grab an offensive rebound on one side of the hoop and dunk from the other as the Minutemen worked out in the unfrozen Mullins Center practice rink Tuesday.
It’s not an unusual occurrence, but to see Lalanne make this play, any play really, in the summer is a good sign.
Lalanne’s potential has been the source of optimism for the Minutemen from the moment he arrived on campus. Now listed at 6-foot-10 — earlier rosters in his career had him an inch shorter — Lalanne injured and re-injured his foot heading into the offseason each of the past two seasons, stunting his development.
He spent the beginnings of both seasons trying to work his way back into game shape and never really had the chance to focus on improving his skills.
Now, for the first time in his college career, Lalanne is healthy in the summer. He’s worked on his game and looks as strong, athletic and confident as he ever has.
“It feels great. I’ve had time to get my body in shape and work out with my teammates even more to get even closer with them during the summer,” he said. “I’m not trying to rush anything. I’m just focusing on my moves and my game instead of worrying about getting healthy first and getting into shape. This is the most confident I’ve been since coming out of high school. I’m more in shape. I feel more explosive. I’m a little bit bigger, but I can move a lot better.”
Kellogg is excited by the idea of Lalanne, who averaged 8.4 points and 7.4 rebounds in 22.1 minutes last season, having the chance to start a year at full strength.
“He’s been in the best shape he’s been in since he’s been here,” Kellogg said. “He’s working really hard. We’re anticipating him having a big year. He’s preparing himself for success. I’m excited to watch him compete. He’s realizing he has some great opportunities in front of him, for this teams and for his future. He’s working at it that way. I’m proud and impressed with the way he’s working and carrying himself right now.”
Lalanne and Chaz Williams both participated in the Under Armor Undeniable Grind Session, a camp where they worked out in front of NBA scouts, from June 30-July 2.
“We did pretty well over there. We worked out in front of some NBA coaches and scouts. They told us some of the good things we do and some of the bad things we do,” he said. “That’ll help my game out a lot.”
DAVIS SIDELINED — The foot injury that hampered Trey Davis late last season kept him off the floor at Tuesday’s workout. Kellogg said he wasn’t concerned about it affecting the season.
“He just needs a little time off before he comes back,” Kellogg said. “A little bit of rest and relaxation and he should be fine.
CHARLESTON CLASSIC — UMass will face Nebraska in the first round of the Charleston Classic on Nov. 21. in South Carolina. The Minutemen will face either New Mexico, which is projected to potentially be a top 20 team, or Alabama Birmingham in the second round. The entire bracket will be released Wednesday at 11 a.m.
Tickets for the event which also includes Clemson, Georgia, Davidson and Temple, are available through www.CharlestonClassic.com or by calling the College of Charleston box office at (843) 953-2632.
CAMP KELLOGG — Enrollment is open for the Derek Kellogg Basketball School which runs August 5-8. For more information call 413-545-2610 or go to CoachKellogg.net .