Matt McCall asking more of UMass freshmen Carl Pierre and Khalea Turner-Morris

  • UMass freshman guard Carl Pierre, right, drives past Matt Scott of Niagara in the first half of the Minutemen's 101-76 win over the Purple Eagles in non-conference play at the Mullins Center in Amherst on Sunday, November 19, 2017. GAZETTE FILE

Saturday, December 02, 2017

COLUMBIA, S.C. – UMass’ true freshmen Carl Pierre and Khalea Turner-Morris each saw their roles increase in Saturday’s 76-70 loss to South Carolina and both made the most of their respective career-highs in minutes.

Pierre had 12 points on four 3-pointers and a career-high five rebounds in 30 minutes and looked poised taking big shots down the stretch.

UMass coach Matt McCall said Pierre has to be better at scoring inside the 3-point line.

“When he drives, because so many teams are worried about his 3-point shooting, Carl has got to ball-fake and go in there and finish,” he said. “If Carl makes those two drives to the rim and the outcome of the game is different.”

McCall benching Baldwin and foul trouble for Rashaan Holloway and Malik Hines led to more playing time for Turner-Morris who had three points and two rebounds in 16 minutes.

“Khalea gave us great energy. Great effort,” McCall said. “Khalea is about the right things. He’s about the team. He’s growing and needs to continue to grow. I thought he had a chance to put his body in a couple plays and he’s got to grab a few more rebounds.”

McCall appreciated Turner-Morris’ dedication despite playing limited minutes to this point.

“We lose to BYU last Saturday. I’m in the office Sunday morning and Khalea is in there working on his game at 9 a.m. He cares. We have to continue to develop him,” McCall said. “We have to continue to develop Carl and continue to develop Khalea. We have to continue to develop everybody.”

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