UMass Athletics

Daniel Malone of the Springfield Republican is nearing the completion of his UMass football top-25 players to watch in 2014 countdown. Junior cornerbacks Randall Jette and Trey Dudley-Giles hold down the No. 4 spot on the list. Malone sees the duo as the likely starting cornerbacks in 2014 and expects Jette and Dudley-Giles to cause havoc for opposing offenses in the secondary.

UMass football top 25 players to watch in 2014: Randall Jette & Trey Dudley-Giles |

Former University of Massachusetts men's lacrosse all-American Jack Reid (@GorillaMagilla) is nearing completion of an extended fundraising effort for the St. Baldrick's Foundation (@StBaldricks). The seven-week endeavor culminates in a St. Baldrick's signature head-shaving event follow the Boston Cannon's game against the Rochester Rattlers on Saturday, Aug. 9, when Reid and five additional members of the Cannons will get bald to stand in solidarity with kids with cancer.

As of Thursday, Aug. 7, Reid, along with teammates Matt Smalley, Jordan Burke, Brodie Merrill, Eric Hagarty and Boston head coach John Tucker, have combined to raise nearly $15,000 for St. Baldrick's and the battle against children's cancer.

Donations can be made online via the event's page available on the St. Baldrick's website.

Sarah Toland of Sports Illustrated has a feature on Detroit Lions safety and UMass alum James Ihedigbo as part of the Behind The Body series. Ihedigbo talks about what it takes to build a body which can withstand an NFL season while operating at peak performance. Along with his workout schedule, Ihedigbo also talks about the nutritional aspect of preparing for the season.

Tim Twentyman of has a story on defensive coordinator Teryl Austin and his praise of the Lions' starting safeties which includes UMass alum James Ihedigbo.

Austin pushed hard for the team to sign Ihedigbo as a free agent this year for that very reason and he's seeing the benefits early in camp.  

"I know what Dig (Ihedigbo) brings to the table," Austin said. "Not just because I know him, but I think it benefits us and that's why we brought him here."

The Brantford Expositor out of Brantford, Ontario, took a look at incoming UMass hockey freshman Brandon Montour's progression through his hockey career and what the future holds for the Anaheim Ducks' second round draft pick:

Read: Brandon Montour looks to next step post-NHL draft Hall of Fame Tip Off Classic Bracket Analysis

ESPN revealed it's analysis of the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic Wednesday. While it's not much of a bracket for the teams in the Naismith side of the event, since a number of the teams are scheduled to play other regular-season games against each other, it is always fun to see what the folks at ESPN think of the Minutemen and their chances against other marquee programs.

While the Noon tip off times were already announced earlier this summer, we have now learned that the Notre Dame game on Saturday, Nov. 22 will be on ESPN 3 and the Florida State game a day later will be on ESPN U.

TICKET UPDATE: Tickets for the neutral site rounds of the 2014 Hall of Fame Tip Off at Mohegan Sun will go on-sale this coming Friday (8/8) at 10:00 a.m. Visit for more info. 
Naismith Bracket games
Courtside - $125
Lower Level Sideline - $60
Lower Level Corner - $35
Upper Level Center - $35
Lower Level End Zone - $15
Upper Level Corner/End Zone - $15

So, here's a link to the Hall of Fame Tip-Off analysis from ESPN

The UMass Sports Network put together this recap of Monday's preseason camp opener for the UMass football team. Bernard Davis, Kassan Messiah and Coach Whipple each talk about how it felt to get back on the field to prep for the season.

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette looks at the defensive line which is one of the youngest units on the defensive side of the ball. The group is anchored by senior nose tackle Daniel Maynes and received a boost when Sha-ki Holines transferred to UMass last fall after initially enrolling at UConn.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican ranks offensive tackle Tyrell Smith as his No. 5 player to watch for 2014. While Smith is still a young player as a redshirt sophomore, his move to tackle will be key for UMass' success this year after losing veterans Anthony Dima and David Osei.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican takes a look at the UMass football team wide receivers and the impact the addition of Jalen Williams and Alex Kenney will make to the group. Williams impressed during the spring, while Kenney adds raw speed and experience after playing four years at Penn State.