Updated: Feb 6, 2021
By Kevin McCaskill Jr.
Before the game started, word got out on Twitter that Dyondre Dominguez, Cairo McCrory and Kolton Mitchell would all be active tonight. That was a good sign.
A bad sign: Tre Mitchell and Noah Fernandes were out because of arm injuries.
Tre Mitchell = 🔑 to winning for UMass.
(UMass starting lineup against Fordham)
With the turmoil on the UMass roster and the new starting lineup, we could expect a rough start early in the game. The beginning of the game was rough, for both teams. Fordham is destitute of talent and UMass hadn’t played in almost two weeks.
UMass’ activity on the offensive boards kept the lead early over Fordham. UMass was up 1, 17-16, at the 7:16 mark in the 1st half. UMass had 7 offensive rebounds; Fordham had one.
The Minutemen ended the half on a 16-7 run from that point. They got contributions from Freshmen Ronnie DeGray III and Javohn Garcia. Senior Carl Pierre also chipped in a couple of buckets.
The Minutemen went into the half up 10, 33-23. They hadn’t played particularly well but they were quicker to the basketball and hit timely 3s. Also, Fordham isn’t a good basketball team.
The second half opened with a 6-2 by Fordham. Garcia missed a couple of shots. He played his typical “shoot first” game, even though tonight he had to be a “point guard”. Some of his bad shots lead to Fordham baskets.
Fordham cut the deficit to as low as 4, 37-33, but could never get any closer.
The biggest takeaway from this game was someone on the UMass coaching staff is going to have to talk to Garcia about his shot selection and decision making. He takes way too many bad shots. He is looking for HIS shot too much.
Garcia had a team high 14 points, on 13 FGAs. He also committed 7 turnovers. The team had 13 turnovers. He did make some good defensive and hustle plays.
Graduate transfer Mark Gasperini had a good game in a surprising start. He had 9 points (5/6 FT) and 5 rebounds.
The biggest game came from TJ Weeks. He had 13 points and 12 rebounds, no turnovers. He did shoot 10 3FGA but 🤷🏽♂️ a lot of them were open shots/shots he can hit.
Kolton Mitchell needs more minutes if Fernandes is out for the next game.
Dyondre Dominguez was a “DNP“ tonight. I have no clue why he has fallen to the 12th man when arguably he could be starting or at least be a regular contributor.
UMass skated by ⛸ a terrible Fordham team. The next UMass game is @ Rhode Island. Last year’s game there got testy. I expect the same this year.