Team preview: Massachusetts

Blue Ribbon Illustrated previews the 2003-04 college basketball season, exclusively on Insider.

Updated: November 6, 2003, 12:32 PM ET
Editor's Note: Insider has teamed with Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook, long known as the Bible of college basketball, to provide a comprehensive look at all 327 Division I teams.

In year three of his tenure at Massachusetts, coach Steve Lappas is clearly feeling some heat.

Lappas has been in the coaching business long enough to know that he needs to develop some stability in this program and more importantly, he needs to do some winning this winter. During his short UMass tenure, Lappas' team has suffered losses on and off the court. The Minutemen have a combined 24-34 record and have seen six players leave his program. This off-season's big defections were 6-1 sophomore shooting guard Mike Lasme (7.5 ppg in 2002-03), who left UMass to play point guard elsewhere, and 6-9 red-shirt freshman Stephen Briggs, a gifted big man who was booted off the team twice in less than a year.