UMass Athletics
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story focusing on some tweaks the UMass football team made this week during practice to change up its routine heading into the Kent State game. Blake Frohnapfel and Daniel Maynes are quoted on some of their pre-game rituals.

The website has announced it's preseason Atlantic 10 All-Conference teams. Cady Lalanne and Trey Davis were both honored from UMass, with Lalanne on the first team and Davis on the fourth team. The teams appear to be done with position played as a criteria, as opposed to doing a first team of the best five players and so on. Additionally, all 14 teams have at least one player chosen among the 20 selections.

Here's the CSM intro to their teams...
College Sports Madness is announcing the 2014 - 2015 Preseason All-Conference Men's Basketball Teams. The staff at College Sports Madness has picked the top men's basketball players from each conference. These players are expected to make significant contributions to their teams during this coming season and deserve significant recognition.

You can view the entire selection of teams here...

MSOC Recap From Wednesday's 2-1 OT Loss At Hartford

The men's soccer team had it's best offensive performance of the season on Wednesday night at Hartford, only to see the Hawks score the final two goals of the game, including the golden goal four minutes into overtime for a 2-1 victory. The loss was the fourth-straight for the Minutemen, who will return to Atlantic 10 play on Saturday against VCU at Rudd Field. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. and admission is free.

Matt Vautour has a preview in advance of tonight's UMass hockey season opener against Boston University at the Mullins Center at 7 p.m.

Read: UMass ready to drop puck vs Boston University, Hockey East, 2014-15 season

ESPN Goodman: A-10 Predictions

Jeff Goodman of ESPN posted his Atlantic 10 Conference preview on Thursday. He polled many of the 14 head coaches and offered a consensus of their thoughts on a variety of topics. It's an ESPN Insider article so, while I would like to give you the entire post, I will respect the subscriber rules as an Insider and give you the UMass stuff.

UMass is picked tied for 4th with Richmond. VCU got every first place vote.

His roundup of the coach's thoughts:
On the mystery team: "UMass. Without Chaz Williams and some of their veterans that really bought in, it'll be interesting to see if Derek Kellogg can keep that program where it can compete for one of the top spots in the league. Chaz was so tough, and looked like a great leader. I'm not sure they will be able to find someone who can do what he did."

Now most UMass fans will agree with his assessment about how important Chaz was to the team, but at the same time are anxious to see what the program will be like in the years A.C. - After Chaz. It's nice to see that a number of the coaches feel the same way.

ESPN Goodman: Derrick Gordon couldn't be happier

ESPN Senior Writer Jeff Goodman spent the day in Amherst on Wednesday, talking with Derrick Gordon about his summer and what the junior guard expected out of the upcoming season - his first as an openly gay Division I men's basketball player.

   AMHERST, Mass. -- UMass guard Derrick Gordon told ESPN that he would have quit basketball if he did not come out publicly as gay last April.
   The 6-foot-2 junior, who averaged 9.4 points last season for a UMass team that lost to Tennessee in the NCAA tournament, said he was beyond miserable and was on the verge of quitting the sport.
   "I was coming out or giving up basketball," Gordon told ESPN on Wednesday. "It was breaking me down."
   Gordon said he had lived with the secret since when he entered college at Western Kentucky. He transferred to UMass after his freshman season and rarely -- if ever -- hung around his teammates.
   "My secret," Gordon said in explaining why he was a loner in college. "I didn't want to be put in a situation where they found out."
   Gordon told his parents, brother and teammates just days before making a public announcement to ESPN that he was set to become the first active Division I men's basketball player to be openly gay. Gordon said the support he's received from everyone has been overwhelming, and that his life has completely changed, although the experience wasn't quite so easy for his twin brother, Darryl.

Read the complete story here...

PREVIEW: Field Hockey at Saint Joseph's

UMass field hockey hits the road to Philadelphia this weekend to face an Atlantic 10 foe in Saint Joseph's before a non-conference game at Columbia. The Minutewomen head to Saint Joseph's on Friday for a 3:30 p.m. game and travel to Columbia for a Sunday contest at 1 p.m. Check out some notes on the series with St. Joe's below:

 University of Massachusetts Field Hockey Game Notes
 Game 13 Massachusetts (5-7, 3-1) at Saint Joseph's (6-6, 2-2)
 Date | Time Friday, Oct. 10 | 3:30 p.m.
 Location Ellen Ryan Field; Philadelphia, Pa.
 Series History UMass leads, 28-4. Last meeting: UMass 9, Saint Joseph's 1; Oct. 20, 2013
 Live Statistics NeuLion
 Live Video Atlantic 10 Digital Network
 Team Information Massachusetts | Saint Joseph's
 Twitter @UMassFH   | @UMassAthletics  
 Instagram UMass Field Hockey

Master Tesfatsion of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune had this feature story on Minnesota Vikings offensive lineman and former UMass standout Vladimir Ducasse and his amazing journey to the NFL.

Mike Lowe of the Portland Press Herald has a feature story on freshman running back Andrew Libby. Libby is seeing a considerable amount of playing time especially considering he missed all of last fall, his senior season at Thornton Academy, after tearing his ACL.

Andrew Libby's position on the University of Massachusetts football roster is not listed as running back. Or wide receiver. Or even fullback. It simply says: athlete.  

"That's exactly what he is," said Marcel Shipp, the running backs coach for the Minutemen. "He plays special teams, he runs, he catches the ball, he can block like a fullback.

"He doesn't have a set position. He's just a guy who can make plays."  

Collegian: @UMassTennis prepares for first duel meet against UConn

Victor Pusateri of the Daily Collegian has a preview of the UMass tennis team's match on Thursday at Connecticut. This will be the first dual match of the fall season for the Minutewomen who have been very impressive in a pair of opening tournaments.

(Photo by Araz Havan)