After beating Clemson 62-56 to win the Charleston Classic, the UMass Minutemen have moved into the AP Top 25 men’s college basketball poll. UMass is ranked No. 24, and has a chance to creep up the poll if they remain undefeated.
UMass’ 6-0 start has translated into well deserved national attention. However, UMass has a relatively weak schedule, which is dangerous for a top-ranked team. Any given night, the Minutemen may lose to an unranked opponent, and will fall out of the Top 25. If this happens, it is important to remember UMass will remain a strong contender in postseason play.
UMass is led by center Cady Lalanne and point guard Chaz Williams. Lalanne is a junior averaging 17.8 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks per game. Williams is a senior averaging 16.0 points and 6.2 assists per game.
Skilled centers are rare in college basketball, and Lalanne will be able to exploit the majority of teams in the Atlantic 10 Conference. Good guard play is not a rarity in college, but it is essential to win close games. Williams can be counted on to make a key pass or three point shot when the game is on the line.
UMass has a chance to rekindle its winning ways, do you agree?