Ross Catrow’s carefully curated takeaways from Friday’s win at the Atlantic 10 tournament in Brooklyn.
1. Offensive rebounds are a big deal
“A lot of their players are focused on rebounds. Some of their players, all they want to do is rebound.” Rashaan Holloway
UMass finished with 31 total rebounds and only four offensive rebounds. Meanwhile the Rams couldn’t stop rebounding (49 total, 20 offensive). Everyone (except Doug Brooks) had at least two rebounds with Tillman’s nine leading the group. These kind of numbers equate to a million more chances for points–which the Rams gladly took.
2. Melvin’s probably gonna be OK
Right at the end of the game, Melvin Johnson took a weird fall and hurt his ankle. Losing that kind of offensive firepower heading deeper into the tournament would…not be good. Luckily, Coach Wade said it appears he’ll be OK. I guess we’ll stressfully wait until tomorrow and see.
3. Speaking of offensive firepower…
VCU went 1-16 from range, but still managed to get four players in double figures–including Johnson, who led the team in scoring despite failing to connect on a single 3-pointer. The Rams attacked the rim and looked good doing it. It makes a Rams fan feel good that when the deep shots aren’t falling, the team can still score 85 points (see #1 for how to make that work).
4. Will Wade has many lineups and does not care what you think about them
After a dominating first half, Justin Tillman hardly saw the court in the second half. Jordan Burgess played for 29 minutes. Doug Brooks had a trillion (that’s the basketball nerd term for “one minute played with no other stats tallied”). Basically, Coach Wade will start and play whomever he pleases whenever he pleases. Just roll with it!
5. Rashaan Holloway is going to be a scary, scary man
Rashaan Holloway (6’11”, 335) played 29 minutes and had 16 points, eight rebounds, and two blocks. He takes up space like a mountain and sucks up defenders like a black hole. And he’s only a freshman! UMass’s postgame press conference was spent basically talking about how if Holloway lost some weight in the offseason he’d be real annoying to fellow A-10 teams for the next couple of years.