Daily Collegian Coverage Of Hoops In Springfield - UMass Athletics

Daily Collegian Coverage Of Hoops In Springfield

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Check out coverage from the Daily Collegian as the school paper takes a look at this weekend's Hall Of Fame Tip-Off in Springfield.


UMass to play in the birthplace of basketball


By: Herb Scribner | November 18, 2010 | ShareThis

Hannah Cohen/Collegian

The Massachusetts men's basketball team will have its first set of games away from the Mullins Center this weekend.

Even so, the Minutemen (2-0) will travel just about 30 minutes away from Amherst to compete at the Mass Mutual Center in downtown Springfield where they will play New Mexico State on Saturday.

"They play some high-level basketball," UMass coach Derek Kellogg said. "They're enormous in the post, they're athletic on the wing. They're a big time college basketball team."

The game against the Aggies (2-0) comes off the heels of an impressive 73-65 victory over Sacred Heart on Wednesday night.

UMass will look to see a similar game from high-profile players like Anthony Gurley and Sampson Carter, both of whom led the squad in points with 18 and 17, respectively.

Additionally, Daryl Traynham might get a better look on the court as he continues to impress as the season unfolds. Against the Pioneers (0-3), Traynham dished out four assists to compliment his 11 points and four rebounds. The starting point guard for the Minutemen, Gary Correia, scored three points throughout the game.

One of the biggest improvements this year is center Hashim Bailey, who will get time against NMS as Kellogg plans on starting the senior right from the opening whistle. Kellogg insisted that Bailey's presence and size down in the paint will help the Minutemen against the Aggies.   

Right from the start of the season, NMS has produced a winning record that has barely been challenged at all as it won five of its six preseason games, including a 102-74 smashing over the Canada-based Kia All Stars team.

So far in non-conference play, NMS finished off Louisiana, 92-76, and in-state rival Western New Mexico, 95-62.

Forward Chad Carter is one of the top prospects of the Aggies that the Minutemen will have to keep under pressure if they are to escape with a victory. Carter scored 14 points in 32 minutes against the Mustangs and exemplifies Kellogg's aforementioned athletic ability of the wing players.

Saturday's game against NMS is just one of the contests that UMass will play at the birthplace of basketball. On Monday, the Minutemen will take on TCU as a part of the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament.

The Horned Frogs have started their season in winning fashion, going undefeated in their first three games played. While they defeated Rogers State, 70-53, in an exhibition game, they followed the win up with an 86-62 victory against Jackson State and a 20-point win against Southern Methodist.

The tournament is a combined effort from both Kellogg and the Hall of Fame as a way to bring the sport back to its birthplace.

"This weekend, it's going to be the epicenter of college basketball," Kellogg said.

When Kellogg and the Minutemen were asked to join up with the tournament, it was an easy decision to help continue the campaign that Kellogg has begun at UMass.

"For us, it was a no-brainer," Kellogg said. "It's everything I've been trying to do with the program."



Minutemen getting it done differently in post-Harris era


By: Herb Scribner | November 18, 2010 | ShareThis

Hannah Cohen/Collegian

One of the main questions for the Massachusetts men's basketball team as they entered the season was who was going to pick up the 20-point hole that Ricky Harris left town with.

So far into the season, the scoring for the Minutemen has come from many different players.

"It's hard to predict points," UMass coach Derek Kellogg said.

In the opening game against Rider, senior guard Anthony Gurley got off to a hot start with 31 points, which was to be expected, as many saw him entering a leadership role for the squad.

While Gurley's 31 was just nearly 20 points more than his average last season, which would account for the missed 20 of Harris, sophomore guard Freddie Riley picked up his game and scored an additional 24 en route to UMass' 77-67 victory.

On Wednesday against Sacred Heart, it was a similar story, as Gurley once again put on a show to score a team-high 18 points throughout the contest. Once more though, there was someone right beside him with a high amount of points.

This time, sophomore forward Sampson Carter picked up the extra points, scoring 17 on the Pioneers (0-3). The scoring duo of Carter and Gurley earned the team a 73-65 victory and kept UMass undefeated through its first two games.

Even point guard Daryl Traynham, who comes off the bench for the Minutemen, bucketed 11 points while dishing out four assists.

Additionally, junior Matt Hill got a good look during the game against Sacred Heart, adding a career-high six points to the Minutemen tally, which made him the second player that night to break his career-best in scoring.

Against New Mexico State, who historically is not an easy team to beat, UMass will look to add even more scorers to the list as they continue to fill last seasons left-open holes.

"I'd like to really spread it out," Kellogg said. "We know we need a balanced effect and a balanced attack. We can definitely be a little more balanced."

A possible player to add to the balance could be the injured Javorn Farrell, who may make his return to the Maroon and White this weekend. While Kellogg did mention that Farrell would help the attacking side of the Minutemen squad, he could not confirm or deny if the Farrell will suit up against the Aggies.

Kellogg also said that he was looking to add some big men down low against NMS, which Kellogg said looks "the best [it] ever has."

The addition down in the post will come in the form of senior center Hashim Bailey, who Kellogg confirmed would start against New Mexico.

Bailey's presence will help the Minutemen get some size advantage down low, according to Kellogg, which should open up the lanes for the other players to dump some baskets over New Mexico.

The scorers for UMass will get two opportunities to impress during the Maroon and White's battles in Springfield. Aside from the Aggies, the Minutemen will take on Texas Christian, which also boasts an undefeated record so far this season.


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