Opponent Previews: Duquesne (3/3)

Opponent: Duquesne Dukes
League: Atlantic 10 Conference

Record: 16-14 (7-10)

Notable Wins: Saint Louis (16-14)
Other Wins: DaytonGeorge Washington (2), Fordham, La Salle, George Mason, St. Francis, VMI, Maryland-Eastern Shore, Stetson, Delaware State, Mississippi Valley State, North Carolina A&T, Lamar, San Francisco

Notable Losses: Robert Morris (16-6), Cornell (11-14), Pittsburgh (8-23), Southern Illinois (19-12), Richmond (10-19), Saint Josephs (14-15), Fordham (9-20), Dayton (13-16)
Other Losses: URISt. Bonaventure (2), Davidson, VCU, Saint Louis

Team Stats:                                    UMass                        Duquesne                Conference Rank
Points Per Game 
                        71.5 (242nd)               72.5 (218th)             10th vs 7th
Rebounds Per Game                  33.1 (294th)                 36.5 (112th)             11th vs 4th
Assists Per Game                        15.3 (Tied-72nd)         11.8 (Tied-300th)    3rd vs 13th
Points Allowed                             74.8 (239th)                69.3 (99th)

Starting 5:

Mike Lewis II: #1 Guard, 6’1, 185 lbs
14.3 PPG    2.3 RPG    .7 APG    1.0 SPG    .383 FG%     .366 3P%

Eric Williams Jr: #50 Guard, 6’5, 190 lbs
14.7 PPG    8.8 RPG    1.6 APG    1.4 SPG    .3 BPG    .403 FG%    .373 3P%

Rene Castro-Caneddy: #4 Guard, 6’2, 195 lbs
13.2 PPG    2.8 RPG    3.3 APG    .8 SPG    .1 BPG    .448 FG%    .326 3P%

Tarin Smith: #3 Guard, 6’2, 185 lbs
12.3 PPG    3.1 RPG    3.3 APG    1.0 SPG    .5 BPG    .408 FG%    .339 3P%

Jordan Robinson: #55 Center, 6’8, 255 lbs
5.4 PPG    3.9 RPG    .7 APG   .3 SPG   .4 BPG    .485 FG%

Key Role Players:

Chas Brown: #0 Forward, 6’8 235 lbs
4.0 PPG    4.3 RPG    .5 APG    .5 SPG    .6 BPG    .400 FG%

Prediction:

80-65 Duquesne

Keys to the game:

1. Containing the backcourt trio of Williams Jr, Smith, and Castro-Caneddy
2. Malik Hines and C.J. Anderson combining to win the matchup against versatile mismatch nightmare Eric Williams Jr.
3. Consistency for the full 40 minutes
4. C.J. Anderson continuing his dominant scoring play
5. More production on the offensive end from Unique McLean and Ray Miller

Opponent Previews: Richmond (2/28)

Opponent: Richmond Spiders
League: Atlantic 10 Conference

Record: 9-19 (7-9)

Notable Wins: Duquesne (15-14), VCU  (16-13) (2), Davidson (17-10) (2),
Other Wins: George Washington, UAB, James Madison, La Salle, 

Notable Losses: Delaware (13-18), Jacksonville State (20-11), Old Dominion (22-6), Bucknell (22-9), Fordham (9-19), GW (13-16), Saint Joseph’s (13-15), Dayton (13-15)
Other Losses: Cincinnati, URI, St. Bonaventure, Boston College, Saint Louis (2), Louisiana Lafayette, Georgetown, Vermont, Wake Forest, Dayton

Team Stats:                             UMass                            Richmond                     Conference Rank
Points Per Game                   71.7 (Tied-240th)             69.9 (270th)                         10th vs 11th
Rebounds Per Game            33.2 (294th)                    30.3 (344th)                 10th vs 13th
Assists Per Game                   15.5 (63rd)                     14.8 (107th)                 3rd vs 6th 
Points Allowed                      74.2 (230th)                     14.8 (107th)

Starting 5:

Grant Golden: #33 Forward, 6’10, 260 lbs
15.4 PPG    6.4 RPG    2.2 APG    .6 SPG    1.3 BPG    .496 FG%

De’Monte Buckingham: #11 Guard, 6’4, 230 lbs
12.3 PPG    7.1 RPG    3.3 APG    .9 SPG    .4 BPG    .422 FG%

Nick Sherod: #5 Guard, 6’4, 230 lbs
13.9 PPG    5.0 RPG    1.3 APG    .9 SPG    .391 3P%

Jacob Gilyard: #0 Guard, 5’9 160 lbs
10.9 PPG    2.3 RPG    4.0 APG    2.8 SPG    .346 3P%

Khwan Fore: 
10.4  PPG   3.2 RPG   2.6 APG   1.0 SPG    .447 FG%

Prediction:

72-70 UMass

Keys to the Game:
1. Push the ball in transition to tire the Spiders
2. Attack the basket with aggression and get to the foul line.
3. Contain Nick Sherod and Jacob Gilyard from three point land
4. With the return of Pipkins, must continue confident play and not rely on bailout possessions
5. Malik Hines winning/competing in his matchup for the Spiders best player Grant Golden

 

 

 

Opponent Previews: George Mason

Opponent: George Mason Patriots
League: Atlantic 10 Conference

Record: 13-15 (7-8)

Notable Wins: Saint Louis (15-13)
Other Wins:
Lafayette, Binghamton, Cal State Northridge, James Madison, North Carolina Central, Morgan State, Saint Josephs (2), George Washington, UMass, Dayton, Richmond,

Notable Losses: George Washington (13-15), La Salle (11-17), Fordham (9-18)
Other Losses:
Louisville, Rhode Island, Auburn, Penn State, Duquesne, VCU, St. Bonaventure, Davidson Louisiana Tech, Fresno State, William and Mary, Georgia Southern,

Previous Matchup:
80-72 OT: George Mason
Otis Livingston – 33 points, 9 assists
Luwane Pipkins – 15 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists

Team Stats:                               UMass                          George Mason        Conference Rank
Points Per Game                    71.6 (Tied-243rd)         71.6 (Tied-243rd)      9th vs 9th
Rebounds Per Game             33.0 (306th)                  36.7 (105th)                4th vs 10th
Assists Per Game                   15.5 (63rd)                    11.6 (Tied-308th)       3rd vs 14th
Points Allowed                       74.1 (226th)                  75.2 (252nd)

 Starting 5:
Otis Livingston II: #4 Guard, 5’11, 170 lbs
16.9 PPG    3.4 RPG    4.5 APG   1.0 SPG

Jaire Grayer:  #5 Guard, 6’5, 200 lbs
12.7 PPG    7.3 RPG    1.4 APG    1.4 SPG    .9 BPG    .401 3P%

Goanar Mar: #0 Forward, 6’7, 195 lbs
10.2 PPG   4.4 RPG   .9 APG    .6 SPG

Justin Kier: #1 Guard, 6’4, 183 lbs
11.6 PPG   4.6 RPG   2.3 APG    1.3 SPG

Ian Boyd: #32 Guard, 6’4, 215 lbs
8.2 PPG    4.4 RPG    1.2 APG   .6 SPG

Prediction:
75-71 UMass

Keys to the Game

1. Forcing the ball out of Livingston’s hands (primary ball handler and leading scorer)
2. Boxing out against one of the better rebounding teams in the conference.
3. Physicality and Intensity on the road.

 

Opponent Previews: Virginia Commonwealth (2/20)

Opponent: VCU Rams
League: Atlantic 10 Conference

Record: 15-12 (7-7)

Notable Wins: Duquesne (15-12), Saint Louis (15-12)
Other Wins: George Washington, George Mason, Grambling, North Florida, Appalachian State, Old Dominion, Bucknell, Winthrop, VMI, Fordham, La Salle, California, Dayton

Notable Losses: Dayton (12-14), Saint Josephs (12-14), George Washington (12-15), Richmond (2) (9-17),
Other Losses: Virginia, URI, Marquette, Michigan, Seton Hall, Texas, Davidson

Team Stats:                    VCU                               UMass                            Conference Rank
Points Per Game:   
      76.1 (109th)                  71.3 (248th)                      4th vs 8th   
Rebounds Per Game:    36.7 (Tied-107th)        33.1 (Tied-297th)         4th vs 10th
Assists Per Game:          15.1 (Tied-92nd)          15.4 (66th)                    5th vs 3rd
Points Allowed:               75.4 (261st)                  73.8 (Tied-223rd)

Starting 5:

Justin Tillman: #4 Forward, 6’8, 220 lbs
19.0 PPG   9.4 RPG    .4 APG   .4 SPG    1.0 BPG   .565 FG%

De’Riante Jenkins: #0 Guard, 6’5, 195 lbs
12.9 PPG    3.9 RPG    2.5 APG    1.4 SPG    .3 BPG    .432 3P%

Jonathan Williams: #10 Guard, 6’1, 200 lbs
9.5 PPG    2.5 RPG   5.7 APG    1.3 SPG    .384 FG%

Issac Vannn: #11 Forward, 6’6, 210 lbs
9.6 PPG    3.7 RPG    1.4 APG    1.2 SPG    .413 FG%

Khris Lane:  #21 Forward, 6’7, 245 lbs
7.1 PPG    3.9 RPG    .6 APG    .3 SPG    .3 BPG    .574 FG%

Key Role Players:

Malik Crowfield: #13 Guard, 6’4, 195 lbs
6.4 PPG    1.3 RPG    1.5 APG   .8 SPG    .366 3P%

Mike’l Simms: #1 Guard, 6’5, 220 lbs
5.2 PPG    2.2 RPG    1.0 APG    .7 SPG    .381 FG%

Prediction:
77-66 VCU

VCU has had a very uncharacteristic season for their program with no notable non conference wins and a few really disappointing losses. As a result, the team will fail to qualify for the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2012 unless they miraculously win the Atlantic 10 tournament. Still, the Rams remain one of the most feared teams in the entire conference due to their feisty havoc defense originally instititionalized by Shaka Smart as well as one of the A-10’s most versatile players in Justin Tillman. At just 6’8, Tillman leads the conference in rebounding and is fifth in scoring.

Key’s to the game
1. Containing Tillman and forcing more defensive minded players to become the offensive weapons.
2. Taking care of the ball and avoiding live ball turnovers.
3. Pipkins’ ability as a one man press break and his offensive efficiency against Johnathan Williams.

Opponent Previews: George washington

Opponent: George Washington Colonials
League: Atlantic 10 Conference

Record: 10-15 (3-9)

Notable Wins: Temple (15-10)
Other Wins: Saint Joseph’s, La Salle, George Mason, Princeton, Harvard, UNH, Hampton, Howard, Morgan State

Notable Losses: Rider (19-7), Richmond (9-15), George Mason (11-14)
Other Losses: Xavier, Miami,  URI, Florida State, Kansas State, Penn State, St. Bonaventure, VCU, Duquesne (2), Davidson (2)

Team Stats:                     UMass                                 George Washington
Points Per Game           71.0 (252nd)                       64.6 (334th)                                                  Rebounds Per Game    33.6 (Tied-276th)               32.8 (306th)
Assists Per Game          15.6 (63rd)                          12.7 (Tied-247th)
Points Allowed              73.1 (Tied-198th)               70.6 (136th)

Starting 5:

Yuta Watanabe: #12 Guard, 6’9, 196 lbs
15.6 PPG    6.4 RPG    1.4 APG   .8 SPG    1.6 BPG    .368 3P%

Jair Bolden: #3 Guard, 6’4, 205 lbs
11.7 PPG    3.3 RPG    3.1 APG    .9 SPG    .2 BPG    .324 3P%

Patrick Steeves: #10 Forward, 6’9 232 lbs
10.4 PPG    5.2 RPG    2.1 APG    .6 SPG    .4 BPG    .521 FG%

Terry Nolan Jr: #1 Guard, 6’2, 175 lbs
9.1 PPG    3.2 RPG    2.3 APG    1.6 SPG    .4 BPG    .316 3P%

Arnaldo Toro: #11 Forward, 6’8, 245 lbs
6.9 PPG    6.0 RPG    1.2 APG    .6 SPG    1.3 BPG

Key Role Players:

Bo Ziegler: 
6.4 PPG    2.2 RPG    .7 APG    .6 SPG    1.3 BPG    .617 FG%

Prediction:

74- 66 UMass

The Colonials, similar to the Minutemen, are one of the thinnest teams in terms of depth in the Atlantic 10, primarily featuring a roster of seven players. They are led by one of the only Japanese-born players in the country, Yuta Watanabe, who is among the most versatile players in the conference. Watanabe along with Jair Bolden are capable three point shooters but the rest of the roster really struggles to connect from beyond the line, an area UMass should capitalize on. The X factor for GW is Patrick Steeves, an undersized power forward who may be a mismatch nightmare on the interior. The colonials are near the A-10’s bottom in almost nearly every statistical category, despite excelling in rim protection (1st in blocks) and enter the contest with the worst record in conference play (3-9). An extremely winnable game on their home court, UMass should continue to do what they have done on the offensive end in the past couple games and focus in on their defensive strategy, especially in containing Watanabe.

Opponent Previews: Saint Josephs (2/10)

Opponent: Saint Joseph Hawks
League: Atlantic 10 Conference

Record:
9-14 (4-7)

Notable Wins:
St. Bonaventure (12-4), VCU (11-6), Princeton (7-8)
Other Wins: Dayton, Fordham, Bucknell, UIC, Maine, Sacramento State

Notable Losses:
Penn (16-6), Harvard (10-11), Toledo (17-7), UMass (11-13), La Salle (10-13),
Other Losses: Villanova, Washington State, St. Bonaventure, St. Johns, St. Louis, Davidson, Temple, George Washington, George Mason,

Team Stats:                         UMass                                   Saint Josephs
Points Per Game                71.0 (252nd)                        72.8 (Tied 215th)
Rebounds Per Game         33.7 (Tied-273rd)                37.3 (94th)
Assists Per Game               15.5 (Tied-66th)                  13.4  (202nd)
Points Allowed                   72.6 (Tied-184th)                74.0 (Tied-231st)

Starting 5:

Shavar Newkirk: #1 Guard, 6’0, 185 lbs
17.3 PPG    4.3 RPG    3.2 APG    1.7 SPG    .383 FG%

James Demery: #25 Forward, 6’6, 200 lbs
17.3 PPG    5.6 RPG    1.1 APG    1.3 SPG    .4 BPG    .460 FG%

Taylor Funk: #33 Forward, 6’9, 225 lbs
12.2 PPG    4.3 RPG    1.5 APG    .6 SPG    .5 BPG    .406 3P%

Chris Clover: #15 Guard, 6’3, 210 lbs
7.9 PPG    3.1 RPG    1.0 APG    .7 SPG

Pierfrancesco Olivia: #24 Forward, 6’8, 210 lbs
6.5 PPG    7.3 RPG    3.0 APG    1.0 SPG    .7 BPG

Key Role Players:

Nick Robinson: #5 Guard, 6’6, 195 lbs
5.8 PPG    4.5 RPG    2.4 APG    .8 SPG    .4 BPG

Anthony Longpre: #12 Forward, 6’10, 240 lbs
3.9 PPG    3.1 RPG    1.2 APG    .4 SPG    .3 BPG

Previous Matchup Highlight’s

Prediction:

70-67 UMass

UMass trailed by twelve at the half, but ultimately came away with a comeback victory when these teams met earlier this season. Since the matchup both teams have struggled to find consistency in conference play. After the defeat, the Hawks recorded two wins, but then went stale and come into this one riding a five game losing skid. On the other side of things, the Minutemen registered nearly the same record in that span, losing five in a row, before snapping the losing streak against Dayton last week. Regardless, UMass looks to carry momentum after a relatively long rest and they have the blueprint to do so once again.

They key will be containing the dangerous duo of Shavar Newkirk and James Demery who both rank top ten in the Atlantic 10 in scoring. Newkirk has struggled mightily from the field this season, but is extremely streaky and can get hot at any time. Luwane Pipkins paced the team with twenty-six points, but the major difference in the previous contest was the Minutemen’s ability to hit the three point shot. In fact, they outnumbered the hawks ten to four, with half of those threes coming from Carl Pierre. Saint Josephs is one of the best rebounding teams in the entire conference so it is important that Malik Hines does his job on the glass with contributions from the guards, notably Unique McLean

Opponent Previews: Dayton (2/3)

Opponent: Dayton Flyers
League: Atlantic 10 Conference

Record: 10-11 (4-5)

Notable Wins: St. Bonaventure (15-6), VCU (14-8), Davidson (11-9), Georgia State (16-6)
Other Wins: Richmond, Akron, Ohio, Ball State, Tennessee Tech, Wagner 

Notable Losses: Hofstra (13-9), Old Dominion (16-4), UMass (10-13), Penn (13-6), St. Joes (9-12),
Other Losses: Auburn, Saint Mary’s, Mississippi State, Duquesne, URI, Saint Louis

Team Stats:                  UMass                        Dayton

Starting 5:

Darrell Davis: #1 Guard, 6’5, 170 lbs
16.5 PPG    4.0 RPG    3.1 APG    .6 SPG    .394 3P%

Josh Cunningham: #0 Forward, 6’7, 233 lbs
16.1 PPG    8.7 RPG    1.6 APG    .8 SPG    .6 BPG    .677 FG%

Trey Landers: #3 Guard, 6’5, 224 lbs
9.0 PPG    4.8 RPG    1.4 APG    1.0 SPG    .4 BPG    .539 FG%

Jalen Crutcher: #10 Guard, 6’1, 161 lbs
8.2 PPG   3.0 RPG    3.7 APG    1.0 SPG    .343 3P%

Jordan Davis: #4 Guard, 6’2, 195 lbs
7.9 PPG    1.8 RPG    1.5 APG    .8 SPG    .419 3P%

Key Role Players:

Xeyrius Williams: #20 Forward, 6’9, 205 lbs
5.6 PPG    3.3 RPG    1.6 APG    .5 SPG   .6 BPG

Kostas Antetokunmpo: #13 Forward, 6’10, 197 lbs
4.6 PPG    3.0 RPG    .6 APG   .3 SPG   1.1 BPG    .581 FG%

Previous Matchup’s Highlights:

Prediction:

Umass snuck away with a close victory on a very tough opposing court the last time these two squads got together. At the time, Rashaan Holloway was serving the first game of what would turn into his season ending suspension and Matt McCall picked up his first career conference win. The Minutemen return to action riding a five game losing streak , but showing optimism and promise in their two point loss to URI earlier in the week. Dayton features a very dangerous two man punch in dangerous scoring options Darell Davis and Josh Cunningham who are extremely efficient from the offensive end. A major key will be limiting these two and forcing others to make plays while matching the defensive energy Dayton brings to the table each and every year. This responsibility falls heavily on Malik Hines’ presence in the paint, as he looks to follow up on his career performance against URI.  Despite the recent slide, UMass should feel upbeat about their performance against the Atlantic 10’s best and come out with the confidence to defeat a team they have the blueprint to beat.