What are you gonna do when you get punched in the mouth? 

If you are the Minutemen basketball team you get up, dust yourself off, and get right back after it.

Coming off of a rather disturbing loss against Fordham, UMass head basketball coach Matt McCall did something you don’t see too much of in college basketball. He called out (and I hate the term “called out” because it kind of has a negative connotation even though it is what had to happen to improve- but anyways) his players and said not only was there basketball mistakes- but at times a deficiency in effort. I think any coach can live with a loss coming at the hands of a more talented team. But with the compete level of a team in question? Today’s game was absolutely huge in terms of the way the remainder of the season will likely play out.

And the Minutemen responded.

Obviously a win over the A-10 leading Wildcats is huge but I would argue that the way they won is what matters more in the big picture. They out-rebounded Davidson 36-27 with a particularly impressive 13-5 advantage on the offensive end. Do you think Coach McCall stressed the importance of all out hustle on the glass the past couple days? You would be a fool not to. Another aspect of this game you have to note is the disparity of fouls in the second half. I’m never a big blame the ref guy but the Minutemen were in the bonus in two shakes of a lambs tail. Kudos to the Amherst boys for not losing their cool mentally.

Obviously, I am a huge fan of the leadership right now at the coaching spot for the Minutemen. But at the end of the day, the players are the ones who have to get it done and there are a couple of guys particularly worthy of praise.

Carl Pierre:

-Led the way with 23 points

-8/12 from the field

-5/7 from beyond the arc

Keon Clergeot

-12 points

-Ice in his veins for the dagger three

 

Samba Diallo

-Led the way with 7 boards

-4 rebounds on the offensive end were crucial for the Minutemen

Is everything perfect now that UMass ball got a huge win? Of course not. But anyone who denies this isn’t a huge step in the right direction for an up and coming team shouldn’t be allowed to call themselves a fan of basketball.

What a game. What a win. What a day to be a Minuteman.

NNNN

 

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