UMass earns poll votes; Chaz Williams tabbed with Atlantic 10 honor
Massachusetts guard Chaz Williams (3) passes around Xavier guard Dee Davis (11) in an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, March 2, 2013, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Al Behrman) Purchase photo reprints »
AMHERST — The University of Massachusetts men’s basketball team’s 3-0 start earned the team accolades on Monday.
UMass earned votes in both Top 25s. The Minutemen got a No. 24 vote (worth two points) from the New Haven Register’s Dave Borges in The Associated Press Top 25. After getting one point in last week’s USA Today Coaches Poll, the Minutemen jumped up to eight this week.
New Mexico, which is UMass’ potential second round opponent in the Charleston (S.C.) Classic on Friday, moved up to No. 19 in the AP poll and No. 20 in the coaches poll.
Meanwhile, Chaz Williams became the second UMass player in as many weeks to earn Atlantic 10 Player of the Week honors. Cady Lalanne earned the honor last week.
It was the first such honor for Williams, who averaged 21.5 points and 10 assists in UMass’ wins over Louisiana State and Youngstown State.
“I feel like any week any person on this team could be a nominee or player of the week,” Williams said. “It’s an honor to get it this week.”
ANDERSON OFFICIAL — UMass officially announced the signing of C.J. Anderson, completing its recruiting class. Anderson, a 6-foot-5 Memphis (Tenn.) native who can play any perimeter spot, joins New Jersey big man Rashaan Holloway and North Carolina wing Donte Clark, who is sitting out this year as an academic nonqualifier, as the Minutemen’s projected freshman class next year.
Anderson was a three-star recruit according to Rivals and Scout.com.
“C.J. is a guy we’ve kept an eye on for a long time. He’s a multi-dimensional player who can play a lot of positions for us from the three down to the one and maybe even the four on some occasions,” UMass coach Derek Kellogg said. “He’s another versatile UMass-type player. What I like best about him is that he’s another good kid, a high-character young man.”
He’s the third player from Memphis to sign with UMass following Sampson Carter and Demetrius Dyson.
SPEEDY RECOVERY — UMass sophomore big man Tyler Bergantino, who suffered a minor right knee injury in practice last week and was limited to three minutes on Sunday, practiced at full speed Monday and expected to be unrestricted in Charleston.
“The knee is feeling better and better each day,” Bergantino said. “I’m full-go right now. I was in a lot of pain on Saturday. I was praying for my knee and icing it and doing exercises all night because I wanted to play. There was no way I wasn’t going to suit up. I woke up Sunday, took some Aleve and it felt great.”