Re: The Official "Fire Derek Kellogg" Open Thread
posted at 1/5/2011 4:04 AM EST
First, give Howie Dickenman and his team some credit. I was at the game and they were shooting the lights out. This was their superbowl and they came out on fire.
Next, DK had to play with a rookie PG who is about 5'6" and no backup. Farrell is not a 1 and has been hurting. Big City also has a sprained ankle. Matt Hill, who sat out with injuries for two years was the back-up center. RS wing, Raph Putney, got his most minutes ever (and did pretty well).
We lacked a second scoring option and had a few guys playing mediocre defense. Jesse Morgan, who hasn't played or practiced until a week ago was forced to be used and looked rusty but better than in his other performances.
It was a bus trip road game after a holiday snow storm that left half the team stranded in airports and unable to practice. Sean Carter and Freddie Riley basically had been gone for a week.
The bench was thin, Central is a well-coached team that was up for the game and frankly DK didn't have enough players to properly prepare for a team that they had little knowledge of in the first place. It was an ugly game but will be a test for a team that is still in building mode.
They need to get more experience. They could use a few more parts. But DK inherited the worst recruiting class UMass has seen since Ron Gerlufson:
Correia: A back-up PG who could start for a CCSU
Hill: Two torn achilles but still plays w heart despite limited mobility
Matthews: ended up at Southern New Hampshire
Lynch: A jerk who is not playing anywhere as far as anyone I know knows
Lang: Relegated to walk-on status after
Wilcher: Only getting mop-up time in Maine
Glass: Doing well in Vermont, where he belongs - not a fit for DKs offense
Grobe: averaging about 6 ppg on a HORRIBLE Cornell teamSo the guys that would be upper classmen are nearly all incapable of playing A10 ball as starters - Hill, Glass and Grobe are NEC -type players at this point and the rest are either gone or unable to get mop up time against CCSU(Lang didn't play).
Anthony Gurley can't be expected to do it alone every night. DK has some talent on the way - He is building a program from scratch. It takes time to crack the eggs and add the flour!!!!
What do we gain:
Morgan will be a half- year sophomore next year, J. Laguerre is supposed to have good skills, Chaz Williams (who played big minutes as a frosh in the Colonial and is sitting out as transfer) gives us two true point guards. Maxie Esho who has good skills and has gained some size and practice as a red shirt. Cady Lallanne who is rated very high as a PF and is sitting out as a non-qualifier. Andrew McCarthy a 7'1" walk-on who played a little AAUP and turned down a D2 scholarship to play D1 at UMass - who is working on his skills but has a big enough body to get in the way.
What do we lose:
Gurly - tough to replace
Bailey - big and slow backup
Correia - good kid but a backup
Not sure if Hill and Lang are planning on coming back as they have a lot of schooling under their belts.
What else do we gain next year?
We will have a team stocked with players that have seen a lot of game time at the A10 level and that know what DK expects of them. We will finally have a mix of experience and talent.
This year the realistic goal is a winning record and a run at the NIT, CBI, or CIT. More games under their belts and some tournament experience.
Getting your butt kicked every now and then test what you have inside of you. Let's see how they develop before we start calling for Derek's head!!!! The man works his butt off, just as he did as a player. And we should all remember what his teams pulled off!!
GO UMASS! Stay W/ DK!!!