Massachusetts vs. Siena - 11/14/14 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Siena Saints (0-0) at Massachusetts Minutemen (0-0)
College Basketball: Friday, November 14, 2014 at 7:00 pm (Mullins Center)
The Line: Massachusetts Minutemen -7.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The Siena Saints and Massachusetts Minutemen play Friday at the William D. Mullins Memorial Center.
The Siena Saints finished with a decent 20-18 record last season and the expectations are even greater with much of their team returning. Rob Poole and Brett Bisping, the only two Siena players to average in the double digits last year, are back and will shoulder much of the offensive load. Lavon Long and Marquis Wright should improve with another season under their belts, and Imoh Silas should slide back into the starting rotation after averaging 4.7 rebounds in just 16.8 minutes per game. The Siena Saints allowed just 1.02 points per possession last season in conference games, giving them a defensive effort to build on heading into this year. Seina should once again be a solid defensive team but it’s the consistency on offense that will determine just how successful the Saints will be.
USA TODAY Sports
The first task for the Massachusetts Minutemen is replacing explosive point guard Chaz Williams, who did just about everything for the team. Other than that, UMass appears to be in great shape. Cady Lalanne is more than capable of being this team’s best player after averaging 11.3 points and 7.9 rebounds last season. Also, Derrick Gordon, Trey Davis and Maxie Esho give Massachusetts an explosive core that’s going to be fun to watch and has the potential to win a ton of games. Even without Williams, the Massachusetts Minutemen are a super athletic team that wants to run up and down the court and score quickly. You’d like to see UMass improve a little bit on the defensive end this season after allowing 71.2 points last year. Overall, there’s no reason why the Massachusetts Minutemen shouldn’t be in the NCAA tourney conversation.
The Saints are 8-1 ATS in their last 9 non-conference games and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games. The Minutemen are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games and 0-6-1 ATS in their last 7 games overall. The Saints are 4-0 ATS in the last 4 meetings.
While I really like this UMass roster, it's going to take some time adjusting without its star point guard. The Siena Saints return all of their key players and should simply hit the ground running, as they look for a statement win early. I'm taking the Saints and the points, as this game should come down to the wire.