Opponent Previews: Holy Cross (11/6)

Summary:

Opponent: Holy Cross Crusaders
League: Patriot League

Record 2-5

Notable Wins: Harvard (73-69),
Notable Losses: Rhode Island (88-66), Albany (78-62) La Salle (58-54)

Team Stats:                   UMass                   Holy Cross
Points Per Game:         72.5(229th)            64.9 (325th)
Rebounds Per Game:  35.0 (229th)           26.6 (349th)
Assists Per Game:        14.3  (163rd)          11.7  (294th)
Points Allowed:            71.5 (170th)           73.4  (204th)

Starting five:

Karl Charles: #1 Forward, 6’6, 194 lbs
11.5 PPG   3.2 APG   1.5 SPG   40 3P%

Caleb Green: #0 Guard, 5’10, 173 lbs
11.4 PPG   3.1 RPG   3.0 APG

Patrick Benzan: #10 Guard, 5’11, 172 lbs
11.0 PPG   4.0 RPG   2.3 APG   1.7 SPG

Jehyve Flooyd: #20 Forward, 6’8, 226 lbs
10.7 PPG   4.9 RPG

Jacob Grandison:  #21 Forward, 6’6, 190 lbs
4.7 PPG   2.4 RPG

Sixth man

Matt Faw: #15 Forward, 6’9, 206 lbs
5.9 PPG  1.6 RPG

Prediction:

70-62 UMass

UMass opens a five game home-stand in desperate need of a victory. With two difficult tests upcoming in Providence and Georgia, it is vital that the Minutemen take care of Holy Cross. It will surely help to return home at the Mullins Center where UMass has recorded all three of their wins this season alongside zero losses.

The Crusaders enter the contest with a 2-5 record, but recorded a surprising win earlier this season against a talented Harvard team. Remember, the Minutemen fell to Harvard in overtime in their second game of the year. Holy Cross receives very consistent offensive production as four of their players average between 10.7 to 11.5 points per game. Furthermore, they have a good deal of experience as they are led by three juniors who all have NCAA tournament appearances in Jahve Flood, Patrick Benzan and their best player, Karl Charles. Freshman point guard Caleb Green is very talented and defending Luwane Pipkins should be a great test for him as he is still adjusting to the college game. Thankfully, Holy Cross is one of the worst rebounding teams in all of college basketball, so as long as Rashaan Holloway stays on the floor, himself and Malik Hines should have a field day on the glass.

The Minutemen must not take Holy Cross for granted as they also enter on a losing streak and are surely hungry for a win as well. As long as they stay active and aggressive, UMass should position themselves to be victorious, but if they struggle with another small ball lineup similar to Quinnipiac’s, the slide may continue.

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