Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

As we head into tonight’s hopeful spanking of the surprisingly weak Superfrauds (home losses to Rhode Island, Harvard, St Joe’s and (wait for it) Northern Iowa) I think we need to reevaluate our goals.

After watching the first home game against Cornell, i thought this team was absolutely done for. We couldn’t rebound, couldn’t run, and our supposedly genius dribble drive offense looked suspiciously like the patented “dribble at the top of the key until the shot clock gets to 6 and then drive and hope to get bailed out by a foul” used by every mediocre coach in the NBA.

However after seeing the Memphis game and looking at the talent of this team, i think we can be alright, and have something to build on. But if we are building for the months (glass half full) and years (glass half empty) ahead, we need to address the Ricky Harris problem.

Ricky is our only senior and we all love him, but frankly he has hurt this team this year more than his talents have helped. Ricky is a shoot first scorer. and thats cool, but winning teams at any level of competition don’t compete for anything with a selfish leader. There is a reason the Pistons, who are 11-17 this season, won’t start their highest paid player. Maybe Ben Gordon wasn’t meant to start. Well maybe Ricky Harris isn’t the type of player to start.

What does the team gain for starting Ricky? He isn’t a great defender by any stretch, and Anthony Gurley has proven that he can get his own shot and score when absolutely needed. Bringing Ricky off the bench would only make him more effective, letting Ricky wreck havoc on a tired opponent and padding his scoring average. Plus, as a 6th man, his minutes would likely stay the same.

This is never going to happen of corse, and I’m actually quite fine with it. Ricky hasn’t been terrible this year, just inconsistent. I’ve just always been weary of “senior Leadership”. It doesn’t mean much when the entire organization is trying to find itself.

I know DK is testing the waters for his players, but the current rotation is doing a disservice to every young player on the team. Currently, there are 10 players averaging more than 10 minutes a game, with another averaging 7.2, with no one averaging over 30. Kellog needs to realize that there is a difference between a deep team and a team when everyone has similar abilities. The big three of Harris, Gurley and Vinson need to be logging over 30 a game, with the emphasis on Vinson who will be the undoubted leader of this team by next year (with my hope that he takes charge as the season progresses). DK needs to decide which freshman are getting the minutes and let them learn and get experience then let the bench guys take the minutes in practice, Right now, this team looks like a sampler.

Lastly, and most enraging to me, is the insistence of putting Big City in the game so much. I get it, i really do, he is a fat black dude who seems nice and stands out in the crowd of big men. But honestly, he kills us when he is in. If we ended up losing the Memphis game, while Ricky Harris would have gotten the blame, the true goat would have been Big City. His upside does not offset the the fact he can’t hit a fucking free throw! Those misses down the stretch almost swung the game and while I know DK will throw his in again, it will be cringing every second of it.

Hopefully the momentum from the Memphis game will help us beat BC tonight

Go UMass!

-Matt

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