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July 2012 Archives

UMass At The Olympics: Updates From Over The Weekend

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Former UMass women's basketball standouts Tamara and Alisha Tatham and UMass field hockey assistant coach Shannon Taylor began action at the Olympics over the weekend.

Canada dropped a close game with Russia, 58-53 on Saturday. Tamara Tatham played 25 minutes and totaled four points, five rebounds and two steals. Alisha Tatham saw nine minutes of action.

Canada Women's Basketball Remaining Schedule
Monday, July 30 vs. Great Britain - 3:00 PM EST
Wednesday, Aug. 1 vs. France - 4:00 AM EST
Friday, Aug. 3 vs. Brazil - 9:30 AM EST
Sunday, Aug. 5 vs. Australia - 9:30 AM EST

Taylor and USA Field Hockey dropped a 2-1 decision to Germany yesterday. She played 52 minutes and had one of USA's seven shots.

USA Field Hockey Remaining Schedule
Tuesday, Aug. 31 vs. Argentina - 2:00 PM EST
Thursday, Aug. 2 vs. Australia - 5:45 AM EST
Saturday, Aug. 4 vs. New Zealand - 2:00 PM EST
Monday, Aug. 6 vs. South Africa - 5:45 AM EST

Live streaming coverage of all events can be found here via NBC.

Summer Shootaround: Atlantic 10

| No Comments | No TrackBacks senior writer Andy Katz recently completed his Summer Shootaround series where he and his associates breakdown the various conferences around the nation. The Atlantic 10 version hit cyberspace on Monday so here is the link.

Happy reading and remember fall sports will start reporting sooner than you think. Go Minutemen!!!

Amherst College has announced Whitney Mollica Goldstein has been named as the program's softball interim head coach following two seasons as an assistant. Mollica Goldstein was a four-year standout at UMass from 2006-09, where she was a three-time all-Atlantic 10 selection and the 2006 A-10 Rookie and Player of the Year.

Here is an excerpt from Amherst's release:

Mollica Goldstein played a pivotal role in helping Amherst transform from a 14-16 team in 2011 to a 36-6 team in 2012, marking the 10th best single-season improvement in NCAA Division III history. Last year's Amherst squad got off to a 22-0 start en route to its first playoff berth since 2006, its first NCAA tournament appearance since 1999, and its first NFCA national ranking since 2000.

"I would like to thank Athletics Director Suzanne Coffey and the administration for allowing me this very exciting opportunity," said Mollica Goldstein. "I am very fortunate to work alongside great people who have made my time at Amherst so welcoming. I have enjoyed being a part of such a special institution where a healthy blend of academics and athletics allows us to compete on a national scale in all aspects."

Amherst saw drastic one-year improvements in virtually every statistical category last year, including batting average (from .264 in 2011 to .324 in 2012), earned run average (2.88 to 1.86) and fielding percentage (.945 to .959). Eleven players from the 2012 team will return next year--including the entire pitching staff--with four members of the Class of 2016 also ready to join the squad.

"I'm excited about the future of Amherst Softball," Mollica Goldstein said. "With a focus on strong pitching, timely hitting, and solid defense, I think our 2013 squad will bring the passion, mentality, and drive for a successful season. Last year helped ignite the fire we needed to continually push for postseason play."

Read the complete release here.

Freeman & Carter To Play Professionally In Europe

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Former Minutemen hoops stars Rashaun Freeman and Sean Carter have signed with a pair of professional teams in Europe. 

Freeman will return to France and play for JSF Nanterre after spending the last two seasons in Belgium, Puerto Rico and Israel. Read about his signing at Euro Basket

Carter's professional career will begin in Hungary. The recent UMass grad will play for Factum Debrecen. The team is located in Debrecen, the second-largest city in the country behind Budapest, with a population of approximately 200,000. Read about Carter's signing on the team web site (you may need to utilize the Google translator).

MassLive: Micheletto Getting Comfortable In New Digs

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Harry Plumer of the Springfield Republican caught up with hockey head coach John Micheletto yesterday to talk about his first week on the job at UMass:

John Micheletto hasn't even had a chance to clean his new office.

But he was working on that Monday morning, among other things, on his first full day in the Mullins Center as UMass hockey's new head coach.

"I'm rearranging a little furniture," Micheletto said by phone. "Dusting and cleaning ... it's a nice little setup here."

The first week after accepting a new job is a stressful one for a coach, with time split between the start of a new job and the logistics of leaving the old one. Putting items in storage, getting a "For Sale" sign in the lawn of the old place and finding a new one to call home all take time and effort out of what a new coach really wants to be doing: Figuring out his first steps in taking over a program.

Continue reading UMass coach John Micheletto getting comfortable in new digs

Podcast Of Coach Micheletto On Average Joe Show

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In case you missed it, The Average Joe Show of 1450 ESPN The Hall has posted a podcast of new UMass hockey head coach John Micheletto's interview from last Monday.

It is available in streaming and downloadable formats.

Wellman Traded To Florida Panthers

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Former Minuteman center/right wing Casey Wellman has been traded from the New York Rangers to the Florida Panthers in exchange for Florida's fifth round selection in the 2014 National Hockey League Entry Draft:

"Casey is a young, highly skilled forward who adds more depth to our team," Florida Panthers Executive VP & General Manager Dale Tallon. "He can play both center and right wing and we feel he has the ability to play in a top line role within our team. We look forward to his contributions to our club."

Read more of the announcement by the Florida Panthers

Yesterday we posted a video interview (see below) with head coach Derek Kellogg about the work his program has done with sport psychologist Joe Carr. Today, UMass beat writer Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has an in-depth story about Dr. Carr's visit, dubbed "Brotherhood 2.0."

The Minutemen adopted the word a year ago when they met with sports psychologist Joe Carr for preseason meetings that helped bond the team and coaching staff together. On Tuesday, Riley and the rest of the UMass players again met with Carr for "Brotherhood 2.0" sessions.

"Dr. Carr was a big part of the success we had last year," UMass coach Derek Kellogg said. "It helped formulate our team, and defined roles and the bonding of the brotherhood that we had."

"In July we have more time to implement the things we want to implement and the new guys are getting a taste of how serious this is. We want to do something special," he added. "It's been good for those guys to get acclimated. It's been great to get to know them on a personal level. It's a comforting kind of atmosphere where you know everyone in there is there for you and part of your family."

Read the complete story on the Gazette web site.

Coverage Of Micheletto's Hiring

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New England Hockey Journal: It's good to be King

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The cover story of this month's New England Hockey Journal is a fantastic piece on UMass hockey's own Jonathan Quick:

For those of us in New England, when Jonathan Quick received the Conn Smythe Trophy as MVP of the playoffs on the night of June 11 -- right before he and the Kings took turns lifting the Stanley Cup high above their heads -- he became the latest local boy to make good. Really good, in fact.

After Tim Thomas wrapped up his magical playoff run with the Bruins in 2011, we thought no goaltender could ever come close to replicating such a spectacular postseason. Just one year later, folks are saying the same thing about Quick.

The Hamden, Conn., native carried the eighth-seeded Kings to glory, going 16-4 during a playoff run that saw Los Angeles bulldoze over the top three seeds in the Western Conference before dispatching the New Jersey Devils in six games in the Stanley Cup finals.

For those of us who fulfill our duty of rooting for our fellow natives of this region, it's not just Quick's dominance that makes his story such a special one. We've seen countless New Englanders shine on the big stage in every major sport. When it comes to hockey, hardly a year goes by that a Hockey East alumnus isn't playing an integral role for the eventual Stanley Cup champion.

But upon further examination, those Hockey East products who have won it all have long come from the teams that rarely budge from the upper echelon of the league. While the likes of Boston College, Boston University and, to a lesser extent, Maine and New Hampshire have been mass-producing future NHLers for decades now, the University of Massachusetts never had had a Stanley Cup champion or certainly a bona fide NHL superstar to call its own until 2012.

Quick was the Minuteman who changed all that.

Read More: From NEHJ: It's good to be King

Congratulations to UMass women's basketball alumni Tamara and Alisha Tatham who have helped the Canadian Senior Women's National Team earn an Olympic berth, capturing the 10th and final spot in the field at the 2012 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

Matt Vautour has this nice feature on the Tatham sisters in today's Daily Hampshire Gazette:

As the final seconds ticked off the clock in Ankara, Turkey, the magnitude of what was happening started to hit the Canadian women's national basketball team. Japan's 14-2 run in the fourth quarter had fallen short and for the first time since Sydney in 2000, Canada was going to the Olympics.

When the final buzzer sounded of the 71-63 win, the women converged on each other. Some shouted, some cried happy tears and included in the pile were University of Massachusetts alumni Tamara and Alisha Tatham.

"I was almost speechless. It was like 'Oh my god, we're going to the Olympics.' We were all jumping around. People were crying," Tamara said. "It really didn't sink in until a couple hours later. It's a great feeling."

Her younger sister agreed.

"The last minute was pretty emotional for me and the other girls. The time was ticking away and we knew we had it in the bag," Alisha said. "I shed a few tears and was pretty emotional. A dream of mine had finally come true. I was excited about that."

Read More: UMass alumni Tamara and Alisha Tatham to lace up for Team Canada

Marcus Camby Rejoins The Knicks

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The New York Knicks have acquired former UMass All-American Marcus Camby in a sign-and-trade deal with the Houston Rockets, according to multiple sources. The 38-year-old Camby will rejoin the team he played for from 1998-2002.

Camby, 38, agreed Monday to rejoin the Knicks in a deal that sends three players and two second-round draft picks to Houston, according to a person with direct knowledge of the move. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because neither team has announced the trade. Yahoo Sports reported that Camby's deal was for three years and $13.2 million with $10 million guaranteed.

Lanpher Named Women's Basketball Head Coach At NJIT

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The New Jersey Institute of Technology has just announced that Steve Lanpher has been named as the school's new women's basketball head coach. Lanpher spent the last two seasons as an associate head coach for the Minutewomen under head coach Sharon Dawley after coming to UMass from Vermont where he had spent four years on Dawley's staff.

Here is an excerpt from NJIT's release, which includes a quote from Coach Dawley:

At UMass, Lanpher has assisted Coach Dawley in the first two years of work toward building a championship-quality program in the rugged Atlantic 10 Conference.

"Steve is a great guy and I'm going to miss him and his family," said Dawley, the UMass head coach of her former top assistant. "I'm thrilled that he's getting this opportunity to take over his own program. He's passionate about basketball and developing great relationships with the student-athletes. He's passionate about them excelling in the classroom, as well as on the basketball court."

Read the full release here: NJIT Names Steve Lanpher Head Coach of Women's Basketball

Dainton Re-Signs With Springfield Falcons

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Goaltender Paul Dainton became the latest UMass hockey alum to sign a new contract as he inked a one-year AHL deal with the Springfield Falcons for 2012-13.

In his first season as a pro, Dainton played in 28 games for the Falcons and posted a record of 13-12-1 with a .893 save percentage and a 3.11 goals-against average. has coverage of Dainton's signing: Columbus Blue Jackets sign goalie Paul Dainton

Earlier this week, Alex Berry signed with the Hershey Bears for 2012-13 and Matt Irwin received a one-year extension with the San Jose Sharks, while Mike Kostka joined the Toronto Maple Leafs organization.

Jorge Castillo of The New Jersey Star-Ledger has a Q&A with former Minuteman Julian Talley who is an undrafted free agent for the New York Giants. The piece outlines some of the similarities between Talley and Victor Cruz.

Lasme To Play NBA Summer League With Boston

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Former UMass star Stephane Lasme will be back in the US looking to make an impression on NBA teams. He has signed to play in the NBA Summer League with the Celtics. He spent last season in Spain, leading Obradoiro CAB with 10.9 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game.

His last action in America came during the 2010-11 season when he was the final roster cut of the Celtics before undergoing successful surgery for a stress fracture in his left foot. Following rehab, he played for Boston's D-League team, the Maine Red Claws, where he averaged 7.0 points and 6.0 rebounds in 10 games off the bench in March and April of 2011.

Camby With Options As NBA Free Agency Heats Up

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Former UMass All-American Marcus Camby has plenty of options in the coming weeks as NBA free agency hits full stride. The unrestricted free agent who spent last season with Portland and Houston, has listed as many as six teams - Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks, Houston, Miami Heat, New York Knicks and San Antonio Spurs - on his list of places he would like to play for his 17th NBA season.

The Associated Press had a great piece on UMass hockey senior Eddie Olczyk and his brother Tommy, who both attended Carolina Hurricanes' rookie conditioning camp last week:

The Carolina Hurricanes have reunited another set of brothers - and this time it's not the Staals.

College players Tommy and Eddie Olczyk, sons of former NHL player and coach Ed Olczyk, are getting their first on-ice taste of the NHL this week during the Hurricanes' rookie conditioning camp.

And in a remarkable coincidence, the Olczyks' reunion came less than a week after the Hurricanes brought the Staals together, trading for center Jordan Staal, the younger brother of team captain Eric.

"Any (time) brothers get a chance to play together, it's something that drives them," Tommy Olczyk said. "It's something that excites them."

Eddie is 23 and a senior at the University of Massachusetts, while 21-year-old Tommy will be a sophomore at Penn State - and is the spitting image of his father. They haven't played together since they spent half the 2007-08 season on the same junior team in Sioux City.

"Any time we have a chance to, whether it's in the summertime or at an opportunity like this, it's great," Eddie Olczyk said.

Read more via Eddie, Tommy Olczyk on ice together at Carolina Hurricanes' rookie conditioning camp