Minutemen Struggling

By David Scott - December 02, 2006

AMHERST, Mass. - Stephane Lasme and Rashaun Freeman have kept UMass in the game with 10 points each through the first 17:30 minutes, but BC has taken the air out of the Mullins Center with its 34-25 lead with 2:31 left in the first half.

. . . Through the first 12-plus minutes of the game, BC turned six UMass turnovers into nine points. Coach Travis Ford had expressed concern over his team’s turnover problems during the week (as well as his club’s free throw shooting ability).

. . . In the battle of point guards, BC’s sophomore Tyrese Rice has been out-playing Umass’s freshman, Tiki Mayben, including a drive-by reverse lay-up in the 4:00-area.

. . .To say the refs have been letting the boys play would be an understatement and that alone favors the beefy Eagles.

. . . BC is getting balanced scoring up and down the roster, led by 18 from The Seans (Marshall, with 10 and Williams with eight).

. . . BC gets a bad rap in football circles for “not traveling well,” and it often causes the football team to get a mediocre Bowl bid (they went to Boise last year). Well, the tradition lives, as BC has very few fans in the Mullins Center (and this place is only about a two hour drive from the BC campus). There’s a group of a about three fans directly behind the Eagles’ bench - and they do have a pom-pom, but beyond that the Maroon and White of UMass dominates the Maroon and Gold of BC.

. . . Ron Nathan is still the executive director of the UMass Court Club.

. . . Hang Time had the opportunity to sit down with UMass grad and BC Coach, Al Skinner, just before the season started. Over the course of tonight’s game, we’ll drop in some “Al on. . . UMass” highlights of that conversation. Much of what Skinner talks about is especially relevant for tonight’s game, the first to honor Skinner’s former coach, Jack Leaman.

Al on. . .Dr. J

HT: You talk about Julius, Dr. J as we know him now – what are some of your best memories of him.

AS: Probably the things I cherish most about the time we were in school we had was just when we’d work out together. We used to get up – he’d drag me out of bed, I’m not a morning person – it was an enjoyable time. We’d just play. He had a tremendous love for the game, as I did, and we just wanted to get better. I didn’t know, and he didn’t how, how good he was at that time. He knew he was good, he knew he was one of the best college players.

But I don’t think there was any anticipation that he was going to be as good as he was.

We played – and first of all, you’ve got to understand, there was no dunking at that time – he didn’t have that part of his game that he could really showcase.

But I’ll say this, after his junior year, when he had already decided to leave school, he went and played in a Pro-Am Tournament in Purchase, New York. And I went there with him and he started doing some stuff that I had never seen him do before like the dunks. So we were riding home in like a 1962 or 1963 Chevy and I remembered saying to him, “Where’d that come from?” – we had played a lot, but that wasn’t part of the game – he said, well, I could always do it, but I never had the chance, there was a lot of enthusiasm in him because now he was able to do some things that he had to curtail all this time.

Then, that’s when I knew the separation between him and I – there’s no way I could do some of the things he was doing. The finishes, the dunks, getting by people. I was like “Wow.” Not only did he have the fundamentals, but now he was starting to show the excitement that existed in his game.

Posted by David Scott at 08:13 PM on December 02, 2006

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