Tuesday, January 15, 2013
UMass' backcourt hit
By Matt Giles
Jesse Morgan has had a wildly inconsistent junior season. The UMass guard has enjoyed spectacular outings against Ohio and Northeastern, but his accuracy from the field has dipped from game to game (evidenced the Miami tilt where Morgan connected on just three in ten attempts). However, Morgan is still an explosive offensive player whose offense rating eclipses 100, but the guard will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL; according to Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette, Morgan injured his knee against Saint Louis and will have surgery in the coming weeks.
It will be interesting to see how coach Derek Kellogg tweaks his lineup with Morgan. One would assume Freddie Riley would see more minutes, and the guard did play most of the Fordham contest, scoring eleven points from the field. However, Kellogg might also move Cady Lalanne into the starting lineup and try to maximize the length in the Minutemen's roster. Lalanne has also been inconsistent since returning from an early-season suspension, but he did score 18 points in the loss to the Billikens. Without Morgan, though, UMass might suffer a three-point shortage; 57 percent of Morgan's field goals came from beyond the arc, and he made nearly 36 percent of those threes. The squad heavily depends on the perimeter game, posting a three point field goal attempts percentage that is among the nation's top fifty but the squad will have to find a way to redistribute those points.