Home » Columns » Currently Reading:

If Lalanne reaches his potential, UMass can as well

November 11, 2013 Columns No Comments
umass

BOSTON – Make no mistake: Chaz Williams is the engine that makes UMass go. That’s been clear for his first two seasons in Amherst, and he reminded anyone who may have forgotten about that on Sunday. But if UMass is going to contend in the Atlantic 10, as many expect, they will need someone to complement him. The most likely candidate is Cady Lalanne, and that was evident in UMass’ 86-73 win over Boston College.

The Minutemen have a veteran group, and while expectations have always been high under Derek Kellogg, this year it makes sense. If you felt the team underachieved in recent years, that’s understandable to a degree since they have had talent. They have shown flashes of how good they can be, but haven’t put it all together just yet.

Now the talent that Kellogg and his staff recruited there has had time to develop, others have overcome injuries, and they have a top player at the most important position who is also the locker room leader. They add a player whose intangibles are big in Derrick Gordon, a transfer from Western Kentucky. And with that, Lalanne could be a big difference-maker if he stays healthy and on the court.

There hasn’t been much doubt about what Lalanne can do. He’s about 6’9″, 253 pounds and has a 7-foot-3 inch wingspan, and he moves well for that body. He wasn’t eligible his true freshman year in 2010-11, then showed promise in 14 games a year later, hauling down 14 rebounds in one of his first games and averaging 5.6 rebounds in less than 15 minutes per game before a foot injury shelved him for the rest of the season. Last year, the numbers were better in just over 22 minutes per game, but he was also suspended for 12 days after being arrested on campus, missing a game at Northeastern.

The potential has been there, but now is the time for him to start reaching some of it. He is their best post player by a wide margin, and he’s put on 25 pounds since arriving on campus. The body is more mature, but now he has to be, and Sunday’s 27-point, 12-rebound effort is a good start.

“I expect a lot out of Cady. I’ve seen what he’s capable of doing,” said Kellogg. “I expect him to play like he did every time out, maybe not 27 and 12, but with the same ferocity around the basket.”

Lalanne was 12-15 from the field, and he was big in the second half when UMass took over the game. Boston College used a strong start to the second half to turn a four-point halftime lead into a 44-36 lead before a timeout, and after that the Minutemen dominated. UMass went on a 29-8 run, led by Williams (20 points, including 5-5 from long range) and Lalanne, who was 9-10 from the field in the second half and also blocked three shots on the afternoon.

The Minutemen have other talent in the frontcourt, but none is the true post player Lalanne is. Raphiael Putney has always been a “potential” guy but hasn’t consistently moved towards realizing it, while Sampson Carter is a nice complementary player who can play some of both forward spots. Maxie Esho is probably better at the wing given his athleticism, which he showed one time on Sunday when he made a tough dunk while getting fouled, and sophomore Tyler Bergantino was a bit player last season that they are also counting on for more.

Carter might be the other X-factor for this team as he can play off Lalanne up front. He did that successfully on Sunday, scoring 12 points and grabbing eight rebounds. He won’t blow anyone away with athleticism, but he isn’t lacking it, either, and he and Lalanne have built a chemistry together going back to when they were rehabbing from injury two seasons ago.

“We sat out together, we were hurt together so we rehabbed together,” said Carter. “We weren’t just on the court together, we were off the court together, bonding and pushing each other every day.”

UMass turns right around to take on LSU on Tuesday morning in a game that is part of the ESPN College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon. There, the Minutemen will need Lalanne against a team that includes an underrated big man in LSU’s Johnnie O’Bryant. But that will be a familiar theme all season, regardless of whether the opposing team has a good big man, as Lalanne gives the team something they otherwise don’t have. In Sunday’s win he showed how valuable he can be.

Comment on this Article:







Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville

Advertisement


Your Phil of Hoops

Gbinije’s long journey may still have the ending many expected at one time

May 31, 2016 by

author_kasiecki

Michael Gbinije seemingly fulfilled the potential many thought he had, though he traveled a circuitous route to get there. Will it end up in the NBA Draft, or will he have to fight harder to make a roster?

The wait is over for Stony Brook

March 12, 2016 by

stonybrook

Stony Brook is finally going to the NCAA Tournament, and the story of tragic endings – and all that goes with it – is a thing of the past.

Saturday Notes – February 27, 2016

February 28, 2016 by

author_kasiecki

The last Saturday of exclusively regular season play seemed to follow the script of many others. We look at notes from many of the day’s games of consequence.

Hoopville Archives

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Also, keep track of players who have declared early for the NBA Draft.

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

hoopguy-yellow

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale preview

June 24, 2016 by

hoopguy-cyan

We look ahead to the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, held at a familiar location in Boston.

At the 2016 Boston Shootout, host BABC has a big day

June 8, 2016 by

hoopguy-cyan

Sunday was a big day for the host program at the 44th Boston Shootout

2015 Boston Back to School Showcase recap

September 18, 2015 by

hoopguy-cyan

The Boston Back to School Showcase gave high school teams from three states and north of the border a chance for a couple of early games. We take a look back at the day and a few who stood out.

2015 Hoopville Spring Finale Notes

June 30, 2015 by

hoopguy-divisionII

We look back at more from the 2015 Hoopville Spring Finale, where some of the championship games were worth the price of admission.