NEW YORK – My look at some of the best and worst performances and happenings from Massachusetts’ 79-74 victory over Temple in Friday’s Atlantic Ten tournament quarterfinal at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn:
Best performance: How could anyone not give this award to Chaz Williams? The Minutemen’s point guard toyed with the defenders Temple kept running at him. The 5-foot-9 speedster ended with a game-high 28 points to go with five assists and two steals. The Brooklyn native went 10-for-10 from the foul line.
Worst performance: At one point, I thought strongly about giving this award to Anthony Lee. But that was before I learned the Temple center played with concussion-like symptoms. His teammate, Khalif Wyatt, doesn’t have the same excuse. That’s why Wyatt, the A-10 player of the year, gets the award. While scoring a team-high 19 points, Wyatt made just 4 of 19 shots. He missed 12 consecutive shots during one stretch. He also had a team-worst four turnovers.
Best defensive performance: This award goes to Maxie Esho. The UMass forward finished with a game-high two blocked shots. The 6-foot-8 reserve forward helped out in guarding Wyatt on the wing. Just his defensive presence was a huge benefit the Minutemen.