College Hoops Player of the Day for Saturday, December 7, 2013
With a 105-96 win over BYU, the Massachusetts Minutemen are off to an 8-0 start, their best since the 1995-96 season when they went 26-0 before taking a loss.
Senior point guard, Chaz Williams, was, as usual, the smallest player on the court, but put larger foes to shame with career highs in points and assists, scoring 32 while dishing 15 times to teammates.
Williams was 9-for-14 overall, including 5-for-7 from three-point range, making all nine of his free throw attempts. The Cougars took an early lead, but that was quickly erased by Massachusetts by the midpoint of the first half. Once they had the lead, the Minutemen did not give it up, leading by as many as 17 points in the second half.
Ranked 21 last week, UMass figures to move up when the new poll is released on Monday. They've already topped a couple of ACC teams (Boston College and Clemson) and have a win over a ranked opponent, beating then-#19 New Mexico, 81-65, two weeks ago.
Last season, the Minutemen were knocked out of the NIT tournament by Stony Brook, 71-58, but are clearly looking for an NCAA tourney appearance this time around.