UMass notebook: Minutemen lacking in the chemistry department



Last modified: Saturday, January 24, 2015

PHILADELPHIA — Following UMass’ 62-56 loss to Saint Joseph’s Wednesday, Derrick Gordon admitted that the team’s chemistry is contributing to its struggles.

“We have to come together. There’s a little bit of separation right now to be honest. We have to come together and finish the year off strong,” he said. “Different people are bumping heads with different people, whether it’s coaches or teammates. We’re not quite on the same page for the most part and it’s showing out on the court.

“We have to fix a lot of things in the locker room as far as teammates and coaches,” he continued. “Once we fix those I think everything will get a lot better. We have to get on the same page and right now we’re not. I wasn’t expecting the things that went on last year to be happening this year, but it’s coming back at little bit. We can be selfish. We have to stay on the same page as a group. We have to stop pointing the fingers whether it’s coaches pointing them as us, we pointing it at them, so we don’t fall apart.”

Apprised of Gordon’s comments, UMass coach Derek Kellogg didn’t dismiss them, but thought some of it might have stemmed from the frustration of losing.

“We lost tonight and when that happens emotions can be at an all-time high,” he said. “We have pretty good kids and we’ll bring them back together. But I want there to be a little emotion. I didn’t really see it (like Gordon saw it), but if there is we’ll deal with it. It would be nice to have some emotion in the locker room and on the floor. You should be fighting for playing time.”

LINEUP MIXING — In an attempt to spark his team, Kellogg tried a zone, which his team has used sparingly this season, a box-and-one briefly on DeAndre Bembry, and at one point a big lineup with Maxie Esho, Cady Lalanne and Zach Coleman on the floor.

MISSED MILESTONES — UMass was trying to win three straight road games in the Atlantic 10 for the first time since 2008 and its first three road games in conference play for the first time since 2000. The Minutemen, who won at La Salle earlier this month, haven’t won’t two games in Philadelphia in the same season since 2007. UMass has lost four straight in Hagan Arena.

FREE WOES — The Minutemen, who were 9 for 17 from the free-throw line against St. Joe’s, shoot 67.0 percent from the line in losses compared to 71.7 percent in wins.

SNEAKERS AND PINK SOCKS — The game was part of the annual Suits and Sneakers event for Coaches vs. Cancer. Coaches on both teams wore sneakers with their suits. St. Joe’s coach Phil Martelli, who is an active fundraiser for Coaches vs. Cancer, also wore pink socks, as did the Hawks’ cheerleaders and dance team. The pink socks were a new wrinkle with the promotion this year.

MISCELLANEOUS — Freshman C.J. Anderson, whose minutes have increased in conference play, has now played 92 straight minutes without a point. He hit a 3-pointer upon entering the Iona game and hasn’t scored since. He’s only attempted three shots since then and didn’t try one Wednesday. ... Bembry’s 25 points were tied for third most by a player against UMass this year. Harvard’s Wesley Saunders and Providence’s LaDontae Henton each had 27. ... Gordon’s parents and his twin brother Daryl were among the handful of UMass fans in the crowd of 3,687.

Matt Vautour can be reached at mvautour@gazettenet.com. Get UMass coverage delivered in your Facebook news feed at www.facebook.com/GazetteUMassCoverage


 


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