There hasn't been too much content regarding this game for two reasons. For one, it has been fun to follow along with the recruiting exrtravaganza that was this week, both in football and basketball.
But for two, it is because the Minutemen just aren't that good. In the preseason, way back when we didn't know how our freshmen would react and just how good of a coach Derek Kellogg would be, I circled this game as one where our freshman-ness would rear its head and we could fairly easily lose. Of course, now that the Minutemen have gone 1-5 in the regular season (although three of their losses have been by a combined 5 points, and one of them was an OT loss to Boston College) and our freshmen have far exceeded my expectations, especially that one kid who stole Chalmers' number, this one shouldn't be too close.
It should be a lot like the Kent State game, actually. I think Kent State is a better team, but we also had Allen Field House on our side that time, and while the 96% Kansas Sprint Center will certainly be biased, it won't be the same rockin' place like AFH.
However, UMASS isn't an absolutely terrible team. Chris Lowe (#14) is a ridiculous assist-man, averaging over six a game. Tony Gaffney (#24) is a tall, lanky white guy who is a masterful tipper. No, not waitresses, I'm talking basketballs around the rim. He will be a really good test for our young kids to work on that whole boxing out thing,
But, most of all, watch out fo #5 Ricky Harris, their top scorer. He is averaging more than 21 points a game, and is shooting about 43% from three-point range, so he should be a good test for Tyshawn Taylor or whoever else happens to be matching up on him.
So, in short, here is my summation of the Minutemen. They don't have too much of a shot to actually pull off an upset, but they have three really good players that could put enough of a scare in Kansas that fans will question why it is this close against a 1-5 team. Don't panic, this team has talent and much of the early-season losses can probably be attributed to the coaching change from Travis Ford to Derek Kellogg.
Still, I'm not too worried. Like, at all. Kansas 86 UMASS 71
And that is with a late, mini-run by the Minutemen.