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ONE man's opinion

Post by anewfan » Thu Apr 10, 2003 7:43 pm

Taken from a USA Today report on the A-10 2003/2004 season;


GETTING INSIDE— UMass coach Steve Lappas is hoping that youth will be served as soon as next year.

Lappas took over a program that needed rebuilding from Bruiser Flint, so Lappas — who has successfully rebuilt at both Manhattan and Villanova — went with a youth movement in 2002-03. Down the home stretch of the regular season, the Minutemen were starting two freshmen, one sophomore, one junior and one senior.

The results were forgettable for the most part as UMass (11-18 overall) finished with a 6-10 Atlantic 10 record, and a fourth-place East Division finish, for the second straight year.

As one would expect, the young Minutemen were much better in the friendly confines of the Mullins Center, where they sported an 8-6 record. But even the homecourt wasn't enough in the first round of the A-10 tourney on March 10, when the Minutemen's season ended with an 85-74 loss to George Washington.

"Wait 'til next year" is a tired phrase, but UMass is clearly a work in progress.

Skinny sophomore big man Gabe Lee showed flashes this year, as did ultra-athletic freshman two-guard Mike Lasme. Point guard Anthony Anderson will be the team's on-the-court leader next year and Jeff Viggiano is a piece to the puzzle.

They'll be joined by three newcomers in big men Rashaun Freeman and Stephen Briggs, who both sat out this year, and highly touted guard Art Bowers. Freeman is 260 pounds and Briggs is 240 pounds, so both should help a UMass squad that had its problems on the backboards this season.

NOTES, QUOTES— THE GOOD NEWS: The Minutemen have some talented young player, all of whom were able to get their feet this year (i.e. Gabe Lee, Mike Lasme). Plus, more help is on the way in the person of 6-4 high school senior Art Bowers from St. Benedict's (N.J.). How good is Bowers? He's considered one of the top 50 players in the high school Class of 2003 and chose the Minutemen over Wake Forest, Pitt, Rutgers and DePaul.

THE BAD NEWS: Leading scorer and rebounder Jackie Rogers (12.7 ppg, 5.5 rpg) is graduating, which isn't good news for a program that has struggled to score in Steve Lappas' two seasons.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "One thing about these guys this year, we cannot fault their effort. They have scratched and clawed all season." — UMass coach Steve Lappas

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL— KEY RETURNEES: Four of five starters will be back, although prize freshman Art Bowers could bump someone from the lineup. All of the returnees have work to do. Gabe Lee desperately needs to add bulk, so he'll need to get extra helpings of food in the school cafeteria and then live in the weight room this offseason. Mike Lasme needs to get healthy after suffering from nagging injuries, while Anthony Anderson needs to add a consistent three-point J to his offensive arsenal.

THE COACH: Steve Lappas is on decent footing, thanks to his success at building up Manhattan and Villanova. But the natives are getting restless and are staying away from home games in droves. Lappas needs to continue to add quality pieces to the puzzle (Bowers is a nice get), but he needs a top-drawer point man to eventually replace Anderson.


—The Minutemen will replace from the 2002-03 squad: seniors Jackie Rogers and Micah Brand, and junior Raheim Lamb, who said he plans to transfer. The trio combined for 22.8 points and 11.5 rebounds per game this season. The departure of the threesome means there aren't any players from the Bruiser Flint era.

Lamb reportedly was considering a transfer to a Division II school. The 6-foot-6 Lamb left the team following an 82-76 win over St. Bonaventure on Feb. 15 for "personal reasons" and didn't play after that.

—Freshman guard Mike Lasme pressed on despite a series of nagging injuries this year. The 6-1 Lasme has suffered from an ankle, a wrist and an elbow injury, but refused to come out of the starting five.

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Post by harbo » Thu Apr 10, 2003 10:01 pm

The two players that get the most mention are Bowers and Lasme. Combined with AA, that should be some backcourt.

:( :( :( :( :(

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Post by InnervisionsUMASS » Fri Apr 11, 2003 12:46 am

what is the date on this article???? obviously it cant be all that recent

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Post by anewfan » Fri Apr 11, 2003 7:19 am

Try 4-09-03. The problem is the writer did not have all the facts!!

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Post by philosopher » Fri Apr 11, 2003 3:00 pm

:lol: Okay, dude was asleep at the wheel.

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