Ebene News – US – Refreshed after the break, UMass welcomes George Mason in return for Atlantic 10

UMass senior guard Carl Pierre gathers his teammates in his loss to Bryant last week at the Mullins Center UMass hosts George Mason on Wednesday CHRIS TUCCI / UMASS ATHLETICS

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Last time around, the Minutemen allowed Bryant to shoot 582 percent from the field – 69 percent in the first half – and couldn’t keep up with a late return

“Our approach in this game was that we were on Christmas break Our guys were looking forward to it,” said UMass coach Matt McCall “We knew how dangerous they were Our numbers defensively have to be improve considerably “

That was over a week ago Some of the Minutemen went home for the holidays Others spent time with the coaches and their families They got together again on Sunday and started massaging the issues that plagued them in their first four games

“We’ve been putting a lot of emphasis on defense over the last three or four days. We’ve tweaked some things and we’re doing things differently defensively now,” said McCall. “We’re making progress, and that’s what we have to do “

The first workout back from vacation is usually sluggish, with many players recovering from a trip UMass has brought renewed enthusiasm after their free time

“In most cases the energy level is not what you would call high Our guys, man on the 26th were amazing They were bouncing,” said McCall “They had a lot of effort and energy They have been rejuvenated “

The Minutemen (2-2, 1-0 Atlantic 10) are now directing that energy into the conference game They host George Mason at 6 pm (NESN, 1055 FM) on Wednesday The Patriots (4-2), who play their Atlantic 10 opener, lost 68-65 to Norfolk State on Saturday

“It was really disappointing,” George Mason coach Dave Paulsen said after the game “We didn’t have the composure we needed”

McCall singled out three areas that differentiated UMass’s wins from his losses: altruism, effort, and rebound The Minutemen averaged 175 assists per game in their wins and 14 in each loss They allowed 135 more points per game in their wins than in losses

Two of those areas will come together on one of George Mason’s strengths: the offensive rebound The Patriots lead the A-10 with 125 offensive rebounds per game and grab 367 tables per fight, third in the UMass league is 10th to 33 years old8

“We have to make sure we end possessions with rebounds, play hard,” UMass sophomore TJ Weeks Jr told me

They will also face two high scoring guards Jordan Miller leads the team with 165 points per game, while Javon Greene scores 118 ppg

He’s 21 averaging 8 points per game against the Minutemen in the previous two years, including 32 in a home win last year

UMass snapped an eight-game losing streak to the Patriots in the teams’ previous game on February 9 The Minutemen will bring the conference No 1 offense (855 points per game) and top scorer (Tre Mitchell, 225 ppg) in the match

“It was good for everyone to take a step back Our players have been through a lot since August I was happy that our players were able to go home, those who were able to,” said McCall “We needed the practice time There were many areas we needed to improve on We did this in the last couple of days Satisfied with our approach in practice “

THE BRIDGE MAY NOT BE FULL – UMass may not have its full roster against the Patriots Kolton Mitchell was still in COVID protocol on Tuesday, quarantined and awaiting negative testing, McCall said He pointed out that this does not mean Mitchell has or had the virus, but that the team is implementing their guidelines after returning to Florida for vacation He will be able to play if he produces another negative test on Wednesday

OFF AND RUNNING – Wednesday marks the start of the UMass conference program proper The Minutemen are largely scheduled for two games a week until early March, barring any COVID complications This will be a far cry from the four games played by UMass in the first month of the season due to his quarantine and subsequent scheduling issues

“You are really able to get into a rhythm in terms of preparation,” said McCall. “You know what’s going to happen”

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UMass Minutemen Men’s Basketball, George Mason University, University of Massachusetts Amherst, College Basketball, UMass Minutemen & Minutewomen

Ebene News – USA – Refreshed after break, UMass welcomes George Mason back to Atlantic 10 play

Source: https://www.recorder.com/UMass-basketball-returns-from-break-to-face-George-Mason-38047356