Breaking down UMass, BYU basketball's next opponent

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 4 2013 8:34 p.m. MST

The Cougars hit the road on Saturday to face their third ranked opponent of the young 2013-14 season as they face No. 21 UMass at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Mass.

UMass earned its first AP Top 25 ranking since the 1998-99 season after upsetting No. 19 New Mexico and beating Clemson to win the Charleston Classic. Clearly, this team deserves BYU’s full attention.

From Chaz Williams to Cady Lalanne, here’s everything you need to know about the Minutemen.

Lafe Peavler is a sportswriter intern at the Deseret News. Follow him on Twitter @MasterPeavler

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flatlander
Omaha, NE

If they only beat Nebraska by 6 UMass should not be too tough for the Y.

Kralon
HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA

It would have been nice to have some info on how UMass plays as they supposedly play as fast or faster than BYU. Should be a fun game to watch, go Cougars!

Louisiana Cougar
Pineville, LA

Tough game against a very solid opponent with an excellent coach.

BYU will need to hit their free throws, defend inside and the three-point line, and stay out of foul trouble to have any kind of a chance.

Tyler Haws needs to have a good game. Carlino and Bartley need to avoid throwing up shots from the perimeter too early in the shot clock.

Looking forward to seeing Mika play against a very good center.

RockOn
Spanish Fork, UT

Love the fact they're playing a significant schedule. However, a win...? That will be very tough if the keys are 1) free throws, 2) the bigs staying out of foul trouble, 3) 3 pt shooting. And 4) defense. Can't say the Cougs have even approached "acceptable" levels in the consistency of any of these challenges.

I suspect we'll find Cougar advantages in steals, drives to the basket, fast breaks and mid-range jumpers.

It's going to be tough and should BYU win, it will be a significant win.

Glad to have these test games.

DEW Cougars
Sandy, UT

@Kralon - I only saw few minutes of this Clemson game online. I can't judge how fast they play but I kept hearing from comentary saying Clemson can't figured out how this UMass Defense play. And there are three other games you can view online with espn.

LEDSFW
Las Vegas, NV

I don't look at comparison scoring much. Yes they beat Nebraska but also seemed to be having an off-night. UMass is a very good team and worthy of it's ranking. They deserve their rank. BYU is on the road and at times has difficulty hitting from the outside which they absolutely must do to win. Having said that, if three of five guards have superb shooting nights and the other two dish assists well, rebound and get turnovers (any combination of the five) then BYU needs only to have Mika and Austin play well and keep out of foul trouble to have a chance. It will all come down to hitting the wide open shots. Will BYU be able to shoot 46% OTR? If so I think they can win. If they don't, it will be another close loss to a ranked team they could have defeated.

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