Cady Lalanne, Jesse Morgan practice Tuesday with UMass men's hoops



Last modified: Monday, October 22, 2012

AMHERST - The University of Massachusetts men's basketball team is getting closer to full strength.

The Minutemen had their first full-squad fall practice Tuesday and both Cady Lalanne and Jesse Morgan participated to varying degrees.

Practice officially begins next month, but NCAA rules allow coaches to conduct workouts with their teams for two hours a week. Lalanne, a sophomore center, has been cleared after offseason foot surgery, but UMass coach Derek Kellogg is taking things slowly with him.

Morgan, who broke his wrist in July, hasn't been cleared for contact drills yet.

"We're doing a lot of stuff that's non-contact so Jesse can practice," Kellogg said before Tuesday's workout. "Cady is full-go, but I'm going to take it easy with him."

Morgan needs to see a doctor before he can be cleared for contact.

"(My wrist) is getting better every day. I'm getting back into it and I didn't really miss anything. I'm just trying to push forward. It's a good feeling to be back out here with the guys," said Morgan, who averaged 9.9 points per game last year. "I healed faster than was expected. I hit rehab pretty hard. I was going twice a day, everyday. I was trying to get back as fast as I can to help my teammates out. I want to be here to push them and get them better everyday and have them get me better."

Three players didn't participate. Redshirt junior forward Sampson Carter, who is working his way back from a hip injury, was at a doctor's appointment. He could return to practice in some capacity shortly.

"He needs to push through it a little bit," Kellogg said. "He has some scar tissue in that area that he has to push through a little."

Junior point guard Chaz Williams slightly injured his hip over the weekend, but Kellogg said it wasn't serious. Williams, who is vocal in all situations, was coaching his teammates from the sideline.

Senior wing Javorn Farrell is expected to miss the season after offseason ankle surgery.

Kellogg said the September workouts were a valuable primer to help prepare his team, especially the new players, for October.

"We just want to get them acclimated to how hard you've got to play, especially the young guys," Kellogg said. "It gives you the chance to get a lot of the stuff in that you might not want to do during a real practice. Some of our drills and how we're trying to play. It gives us a chance to get ahead of the game so when real practice starts we can actually practice."

All three freshmen - Trey Davis, Izzy Freeman and Tyler Bergantino - have been cleared by the NCAA.

Full practice begins Oct. 12.

MISCELLANEOUS - Freddie Riley switched jersey numbers for the second straight season. He wore No. 24 for his first two years, then switched to No. 4 last year. He will wear No. 23 as a senior.

Davis is No. 12. Freeman is No. 55 and Bergantino has No. 11. Derrick Gordon, the sophomore guard who transferred from Western Kentucky, wore No. 2, but he doesn't have to choose a number until he is eligible to play in 2013-14.

UMass still has one game to add to its schedule, which kicks off in less than two months. The Minutemen are expected to play at least on exhibition game and one closed scrimmage.

Matt Vautour can be reached at mvautour@gazettenet.com. Follow UMass coverage on Twitter at twitter.com/GazetteUMass. Get UMass coverage delivered in your Facebook news feed at http://www.facebook.com/GazetteUMassCoverage.


 


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