UMass scrimmage a mixed bag according to Derek Kellogg

  • UMass coach Derek Kellogg, left, talks to his team during preseason practice at the Champions Center. GAZETTE STAFF/FILE

@MattVautourDHG
Published: 10/31/2016 10:17:25 PM

Before UMass’ men’s basketball scrimmage with Carleton on Friday, coach Derek Kellogg hoped his team would show enough good things to feel optimistic going forward, but at the same time be reminded that there was still work to do.

Kellogg got his wish.

NCAA rules prohibit schools from releasing stats or even results from closed scrimmages, but they’re allowed to give general impressions.

“It’s a good starting point. It was a good lesson on how hard you have to play at this level. But I liked the way our guys fought back and responded,” Kellogg said. “We’ve got a long way to go as far as how the game needs to be played at both ends of the floor, but I think the team has some promise and potential if we can get it together kind of quickly.”

Kellogg said he experimented with combinations that he might not use again when the season starts on Nov. 11 against UMass-Lowell at 4 p.m. at the Mullins Center.

“I thought there was some promise in a lot of the combinations. I tried a lot of the older guys together and a lot of the younger guys together, which was good at different times,” he said. “I played some lineups that weren’t the best combinations for us to be successful. I was trying to give everybody playing time and minutes to see who could perform.”

Kellogg said spots in his starting lineup remain up for grabs, but he was certain of one thing.

“The lineup I started played poorly. I’m probably not going with that,” he said. “I’m not going to say who it was.”

Kellogg thought his team’s overeagerness to play an opponent might have contributed to a poor start.

“That excitement turned into a careless and sloppy start,” Kellogg said. “We had a lot of newer guys trying to figure out the level of play and the speed of the game. I think it was kind of a shock to them how hard you have to play for a full 40 minutes.”

Freshman Brison Gresham couldn’t play as the NCAA hasn’t ruled him eligible yet.

While Kellogg said the freshmen showed promise, when asked if any players stood out positively, his answer was simple.

“Nope.”

UMass will have a second closed scrimmage Saturday against Albany before opening the season.

RANKED OPPONENTS — Rhode Island is the only UMass opponent ranked in the preseason Associated Press Top 25, which came out Monday. The Rams are No. 23.

Dayton just missed landing second among teams also receiving votes. Of the 63 voters, 23 had the Flyers on their ballot, and two voters had them as high as 14.

Harvard, which UMass hosts Nov. 26, got one No. 25 vote.

DAVIS D-LEAGUE — Former UMass guard Trey Davis was selected by Canton (Ohio) in the sixth round of the NBA D-League draft Sunday.

Also chosen was Andrew McCarthy, the 7-foot, former UMass walk-on who played at a junior college and overseas since leaving the Minutemen following the 2012-13 season.

The Scituate native was taken by Maine in the fourth round.

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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