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MBB Gameday Preview: Northeastern, 11/26/14

The Massachusetts men's basketball team returns home for a non-conference matchup with in-state rival Northeastern on Wednesday afternoon. Tip off is at 2 p.m. and the game is not televised. It will be web streamed on UMassAthletics.com via the A-10 Digital Network for as little as $4.95. Josh Maurer will also have the call on the UMass Sports Network, beginning at 1:40 p.m.

Massachusetts (4-1) vs (rv/nr) Northeastern (4-0)
 Date Wednesday, Nov. 26 at 2:00 p.m. (ET)
 Location Amherst, Mass. | Mullins Center
 Tickets 866-UMASS-TIX |  Ticket Info
 TV watch None
 Radio  105.5 FM WEEI (Springfield/Amherst), 1440 AM WVEI (Worcester)
 Listen Online | Use the TuneIn App for Mobile Devices to listen
 Online Video watch A-10 Digital Network ($)
 Live Stats gametracker Live Stats
 Game Notes
 Massachusetts (pdf) | Northeastern (pdf)
 Social Media
  @UMassAthletics | Live Game Blog


Derrick Gordon currently leads the nation in free throws made and is second in free throw attempts. Dan Malone of MassLive recently sat down and talked with him about his success in getting to the line and his success rate once there.


Freshman guard C.J. Anderson talked with Dan Malone about his first career basket that came on a 3-pointer against Florida State Sunday afternoon at the Mohegan Sun Arena.


Maroon Musket: Derrick Gordon Showing Improvement at the Line

Derrick Gordon is leading the country in free throws made (37) and is second in free throws attempted (44), while ranking 172nd with an 84.1 percentage. Although that is a misleading stat because the minimum to qualify for the rankings is 2.5 makes per game. Either way, anyone who has watched DG shoot free throws last year and this year will tell you that his stroke and results are night-and-day from each other.

Nick Canelas of MaroonMusket.com has an article on DG at the line and how much effort he has put in to that part of his game since last season.


Zach Coleman stories after Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament

MBB Recaps From Sunday's 75-69 Win Over Florida State

MBB Recaps From Saturday's 81-68 Loss To Notre Dame

MBB Gameday Preview: vs. Notre Dame, 11/22/14

CBS Sports.com: UMass Is Like A Cat

Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports has his latest 'Observations' piece and UMass and Cady Lalanne are mentioned. Rothstein speaks highly of Cady and writes:

UMass is like a cat -- it always seems to land on its feet. The Minutemen have trailed at halftime in each of their first three games but are undefeated. The biggest reason why? Fifth-year senior Cady Lalanne. The 6-10 big man is averaging 16.3 points, 12.0 rebounds and 4.3 blocks. That's gaudy, gaudy stuff.

Read the entire article here...

MBB Recaps From Tuesday's 77-68 OT Win Over Manhattan

UMass and Manhattan went back-and-forth all game long... until the Minutemen controlled the overtime session with a 16-7 margin and came away with their third-consecutive win on the year and in ESPN Tip-Off Marathon games 77-68.




MBB Gameday Preview: Manhattan, 11/18/14

It's time for morning hoops again. This year, ESPN (2) is back and will televise UMass and Manhattan at 11 a.m.

Massachusetts (2-0) vs Manhattan (0-1) 
 Date Tuesday, Nov. 18 at 11:00 a.m. (ET)
 Location Amherst, Mass. | Mullins Center (9,493)
 Tickets 866-UMASS-TIX |  Ticket Info
 TV watch ESPN2 (Sean McDonough and Tim Welsh)
 Radio  105.5 FM WEEI (Springfield/Amherst), 1440 AM WVEI (Worcester), 1200 AM WXKS (Boston, Worcester, Manchester, Providence); Listen Online | Use the TuneIn App for Mobile Devices to listen
 Online Video watch ESPN3 / WatchESPN
 Live Stats gametracker Live Stats
 Game Notes
 Massachusetts (pdf) | Manhattan (pdf)
 Social Media
  @UMassAthletics | Live Game Blog


Sports Illustrated college basketball writer David Gardner has an article on the family bond between Derrick Gordon and his brothers Darryl and Mike, along with his life as a college basketball student-athlete.

Gardner spent time in New Jersey with the Gordon family and in Amherst with the men's basketball program for the piece.


MBB Recaps From Sunday's 71-62 Win Over Boston College

MBB Gameday Preview: Boston College, 11/16/14

Game two on day three of the 2014-15 season is upon us in the form of the second Coaches vs. Cancer Tripleheader at the TD Garden in Boston. UMass and Boston College meet on the historic parquet today at 3 p.m. as both teams look to improve to 2-0 on the young season.

Massachusetts (1-0) vs Boston College (1-0) 
 Date Sunday, Nov. 16 at 3:00 p.m. (ET)
 Location Boston, Mass. | TD Garden
 Tickets 866-UMASS-TIX |  Ticket Info
 TV NESN
 Radio  105.5 FM WEEI (Springfield/Amherst), 1440 AM WVEI (Worcester), 95.9 FM WATD (South Shore), 1200 AM WXKS (Boston, Worcester, Manchester, Providence); Listen Online | Use the TuneIn App for Mobile Devices to listen
 Online Video watch ESPN3/Watch ESPN
 Live Stats gametracker Live Stats
 Game Notes
 UMass (pdf) | Boston College (pdf)
 Social Media
  @UMassAthletics | Live Game Blog


MBB Recaps From Friday's 95-87 Win Over Siena

On Friday night the UMass men's basketball team opened the 106th season in school history with an exciting 95-87 victory over Siena at the Mullins Center.

The 'Big Four' as coach Kellogg referred to the veteran group of Trey Davis, Maxie Esho, Derrick Gordon and Cady Lalanne all scored in double figures to lead the Minutemen. Davis took over the role of the team's starting point guard after the departure of Chaz Williams and had a career-high of 28 points. Cady Lalanne blocked a career-high six shots despite only playing five minutes in the first half due to foul trouble.




ESPN Boston: UMass preview: Questions to answer

Longtime UMass writer Marty Dobrow was on campus earlier this week for an ESPN Boston preview of the Minutemen and spoke with head coach Derek Kellogg, along with a few student-athletes about the upcoming season.


MBB Gameday Preview: Siena, 11/14/14

It's game day in Massachusetts! Finally, the wait is over and we can get this hoops season started. The Minutemen open the 106th season of men's basketball against Siena tonight at 7 p.m.

Tickets are still on sale so contact the Mullins Center Box Office at 866-UMASS-TIX via phone or online through Ticketmaster. 

Massachusetts (0-0) vs Siena (0-0) 
 Date Friday, Nov. 14 at 7:00 p.m. (ET)
 Location Amherst, Mass. | Mullins Center (9,493)
 Tickets 866-UMASS-TIX |  Ticket Info
 TV None
 Radio  105.5 FM WEEI (Springfield/Amherst), 1440 AM WVEI (Worcester), 95.9 FM WATD (South Shore), 1200 AM WXKS (Boston, Worcester, Manchester, Providence); Listen Online | Use the TuneIn App for Mobile Devices to listen
 Online Video watch Atlantic 10 Digital Network ($)
 Live Stats gametracker Live Stats
 Social Media
  @UMassAthletics | Live Game Blog


We've reached the end of Dan Malone's play features as he counts down the days until today's season opener. The final Minutemen bio is on senior Maxie Esho.


Mark Chiarelli of the Daily Collegian spent some time with Derek Kellogg in his office that overlooks the Mullins Center and talked about a lot of things - How he got into coaching, what loyalty means to him and how last season played, out among other things.


Mark Chiarelli of the Daily Collegian has a feature story on the path that Derek Kellogg has taken in his six previous years at UMass.


Daily Collegian sports editor Mark Chiarelli has a nice feature article on Derrick Gordon in today's Basketball Preview issue of the campus newspaper.


Andrew Cyr of the Daily Collegian has a nice feature article on Cady Lalanne in the campus newspaper's basketball preview issue.


MassLive.com writer Dan Malone has a Siena injury update from this week on the Saints' starting center Imoh Silas.


Albany Times Union: A look at UMass, Siena's opening foe

Mark Singelais is the Siena beat writer for the Albany Times Union and spoke with UMass head coach Derek Kellogg on Wednesday morning. He offers up this preview of the Minutemen in advance of Friday's season opener.


Worcester Telegram: UMass men's basketball looks to go deep

The Worcester Telegram & Gazette has a preview article on the 2014-15 men's basketball season.


Today's player preview from Dan Malone in MassLive.com is on junior transfer Jabarie Hinds.


Dan Malone of MassLive.com has another player preview and today's selection is Derrick Gordon.


Boston Globe: UMass's Derrick Gordon at peace after coming out as gay

Kevin Dupont of the Boston Globe has a profile piece on Derrick Gordon and how at peace he is with his life after coming out as gay in April.


Putney Has Solid Debut For NBA D-League RGV Vipers

Former UMass forward Raphiael Putney competed in his first-ever NBA D-League preseason game on Monday night for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. Putney was a free agent addition to the Houston Rockets affiliate following the D-League Draft on Nov. 1

RGV defeated Fuerza Regia -- one of the top teams in the Ligo Nacional de Baloncesto Profesional, Mexico's top professional league -- 133-101 at the State Farm Arena in Hidalgo, Texas. Putney started the second half and finished with 13 points -- third-highest on the team -- on 3-for-6 shooting from the floor, 1-of-3 from outside and 6-of-7 at the FT line. He also grabbed five rebounds with two assists, two blocks and three turnovers in 22 minutes. Check out the complete box score here.

The Vipers had 16 players in training camp and need to be down to a maximum of 10 active players and 2 inactive players by Thursday. That does not include affiliates assigned by the Rockets. The Vipers have three of those - forwards Akil Mitchell and Tony Bishop Jr., and guard Gary Talton. They waived three players on Tuesday and are now at 13.

The 2014-15 regular season begins Friday, Nov. 14 when the Vipers host the Austin Spurs at home.

Boston Globe: 2014-15 UMass men's basketball preview

The Boston Globe posted its college basketball preview capsules of the seven Division I teams on Tuesday and here's what they wrote about UMass.

Coach: Derek Kellogg (seventh season, 109-85).
2013-14: 24-9 (10-6 in Atlantic 10, tied for fifth). Starters: G Derrick Gordon, 6-3, Jr. (9.4 ppg); G Trey Davis, 6-0, Jr. (9.2 ppg, 2.5 apg); C Cady Lalanne, 6-10, Sr. (11.3 ppg, 7.9 rpg); F Maxie Esho, 6-8, Sr. (8.9 ppg, 5.0 rpg). F Seth Berger, 6-7, So. (0.4 ppg).
Key reserves: G Jabarie Hinds, 5-11, Jr. (transfer); F Zach Coleman, 6-7, Fr.; G Donte Clark, 6-4, Fr.; F/C Tyler Bergantino, 6-9, Jr. (0.9 ppg, 1.5 rpg).
Outlook: A repeat of last season would be surprising, but the Minutemen will still be tough, especially if Lalanne continues to improve and uses his great physical skills to become an all-league-caliber player. Gordon needs to increase his scoring output and Davis has to be a calm influence. Depth could be a problem.

Joe Sullivan can be reached at jtsullivan@globe.com.
UMass head coach Derek Kellogg will stick with the starting lineup he used in the exhibition game against AIC back on Oct. 30 at the Mullins Center. The seventh-year Minutemen leader stated that Trey Davis, Derrick Gordon, Seth Berger, Maxie Esho and Cady Lalanne will have their names called on Friday by Matty G. Dan Malone of MassLive reports as such in today's article.


Scott Gleeson (@ScottMGleeson) of USA Today has a profile piece on junior guard Derrick Gordon, where, in it, the Plainfield, N.J. product talks about his relationship with his twin brother Darryl, his personal life and the outlook for the 2014-15 basketball season. 


Today's player preview from Dan Malone of MassLive.com is on sophomore shooting guard Demetrius Dyson.


Dan Malone of MassLive.com has another player preview, this time on junior guard Trey Davis.


MassLive: If healthy, great expectations lay ahead for Zach Coleman

MassLive writer Dan Malone has a player preview of redshirt freshman Zach Coleman.


Maroon Musket: Kellogg says "We're a Long Way From Home"

Nick Canelas of the Maroon Musket has a recap of what Derek Kellogg has taken away from last Thursday's men's basketball exhibition win over AIC and what he hopes to gain from future practices before the season begins.


Maroon Musket hoops scribe Nick Canelas says Zach Coleman is healthy and ready to contribute to the Minutemen this season.


Daily Hampshire Gazette writer Matt Vautour has an update on Zach Coleman's health, among other things.


Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports published his list of 20 players he feels are 'under the radar' guys who will have breakout seasons this year. With the amount of Atlantic 10 games he sees in person, there are a fair amount of players from other league schools on his list (Mo Allie-Cox of VCU, Shawn'Dre Jones of Richmond and Scoochie Smith of Dayton), along with a trio of players who UMass will see in non-conference play this season (Zack Auguste of Notre Dame, Jarquez Smith of Florida State and Rich Williams of Manhattan).

Here's what he had to say about Trey:
Trey Davis, UMass: Derek Kellogg is going to need everyone on his perimeter to do more this season following the departure of Chaz Williams. Now a junior, the 6-foot Davis showed moments of promise last season as a sophomore and scored in double figures in four consecutive games from Feb. 21-March 5. If UMass is to have a chance to return to the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive season, it needs 12-14 points a night from Davis.

Check out the entire list here...

Daily Hampshire Gazette writer Matt Vautour spent some time with Tyler Bergantino earlier this week and talked about his role on this year's team, his timeline at UMass and how his body has changed over the course of his career.

     AMHERST -- Few players in college basketball are as secure in their specific role as Tyler Bergantino.
     Barring an injury, the 6-foot-9 Floridian is unlikely to unseat Cady Lalanne as the starting center and as it is looking less and less likely that either freshman Malik Hynes or Rashaan Holloway gets eligible, there's nobody else on the roster physically capable of taking his backup spot.
--------------------------
     "I was about 250 and solid. Now I'm back to 235, trying to get lean muscle," Bergantino said. "I worked on my body over the summer. I'm more explosive, I'm faster. I'm in better condition. I think that's what my game was really lacking the past couple years. My problem was knowing how hard to go at the tempo we would play."

Read the entire article here...

MBB Recaps From Thursday's 120-71 Exhibition Win Over AIC

MBB Gameday Preview: Exhibition vs. AIC, 10/30/14

The Massachusetts men's basketball team will play host to American International College Thursday at 7 p.m. in its lone exhibition contest prior to the start of the much anticipated 2014-15 season. The game will be shown online at UMassAthletics.com via the Atlantic 10 Digital Network with Josh Maurer and Jason Germain on the call.

Massachusetts vs. American International - EXHIBITION
 Date Thursday, Oct. 30 at 7:00 p.m.
 Location Amherst, Mass. | Mullins Center
 Tickets  Admission is free | Call 866-UMASS-TIX for 2014-15 regular-season ticket info
 TV watch None
 Radio  None
 Online Video watch Atlantic 10 Digital Network ($) | Packages range from $4.95-$99.95
 Live Stats gametracker GameTracker
 Social Media
  @UMassAthletics | @UMassBasketball | @CoachKellogg
 Promotions Select-A-Seat | Halloween Costume Contest


Trey Davis spoke with Dan Malone about how offseason ankle surgery has helped the junior guard get over lingering pain that had persisted for close to four seasons after injuring it on his recruiting visit to George Washington during his senior year of high school.


Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette spoke with head coach Derek Kellogg about Jabarie Hinds' role of either starting or coming off the bench.


Dan Malone of MassLive.com has a starting lineup update as junior transfer Jabarie Hinds may not start, but that he's okay with that.


Mark Chiarelli of the Daily Collegian has a starling lineup story focusing on the opportunity for Seth Berger to take a shot at starting Thursday's exhibition game against American International.


   The Greater Springfield Convention and Visitor's Bureau announced a partnership with the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame to promote the 2014 Hall of Fame Holiday Showcase game between UMass and Florida Gulf Coast on Sunday, Dec. 7.
   Michael Hurwitz of the Western Massachusetts Sports Commission announced that business and restaurants in the downtown Springfield area will decorate their buildings for the event.
   A special Hall of Fame Tailgate was also announced that includes free admission to the Hall of Fame Museum and appearances by the UMass band, cheerleaders and Sam the Minuteman mascot.
   Fans can purchase tickets to the game and use the promo code: TAILGATE to get a FREE pass to the Hall of Fame Tailgate. This offer is valid with purchase of the $41 and $22 tickets only and is limited to the first 300 people so secure your pass today!



Outsports: Derrick Gordon is ready for his coming out season

Cyd Zeigler (@CydZeigler) of OutSports.com has a story on what things Derrick Gordon may face on and off the court this season, along with how his relationship has changed with his teammates over the past six months. 

     A year ago, University of Massachusetts shooting guard Derrick Gordon was contemplating his retirement from basketball. Hiding deep in the closet, Gordon had isolated himself from his teammates, choosing to spend each night alone in the gym or in his bedroom.
     Six months ago he came to a crossroads in his life: Quit basketball or come out as a gay man. He chose the latter, making him the first active Div. 1 male athlete in basketball, baseball, football or hockey to come out publicly. As Robert Frost one said, "That has made all the difference."
     Since coming out publicly and to his team last April, his relationships with his teammates have transformed. Whereas they suspected he was gay a year ago, Gordon taking the bold step of coming out liberated both him and his teammates. They now spend countless hours together on and off the practice court. Gordon no longer shies away from them, and according to Gordon they embrace him, inviting him to dinner, parties and to spend hours playing video games in their dorm rooms.
     "When I see that it tells me they want me to be around and it makes me a lot more comfortable," Gordon told Outsports. "The gay thing doesn't even run through their heads. They don't care about it at all."

Read the entire article here...

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette spoke with UMass sophomore Seth Berger on Tuesday after practice and has an update on how the wing from Seattle is feeling after shin and wrist injuries.


Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has an article on the progress of freshman guard C.J. Anderson.

     AMHERST -- C.J. Anderson was about a stride behind Trey Davis when he hit midcourt in a 5-on-5 drill at UMass men's basketball practice.
     Anderson was on defense when a teammate deflected a pass sending the ball bouncing quickly toward the opposite end of the floor.
     By the time Anderson passed Davis it was too late to secure the ball, which bounced over the baseline out of the bounds. In one motion, the freshman leapt, grabbed the ball and caromed it off Davis to give his team possession.
     Watching from the sideline, UMass coach Derek Kellogg smiled quickly, before resuming the action.
     Anderson's "best attribute is he wants to win," Kellogg said. "Every drill we've done that's competitive he tries to win."

Read the complete story here...

Dan Malone of MassLive talked with Derek Kellogg about what lengths the seventh-year UMass coach is going to during the preseason to figure out which lineups and combinations he may use to begin the season.

Kellogg mentions that playing in more 5-on-5 situations helps develop the players' conditioning into the type of defense and offensive pace he is looking for.


Derrick Gordon has spent a good deal of time in the offseason working on his outside shooting and free throw attempts. And Dan Malone of MassLive has an in-depth look at DG's shot practice routine and the counsel he sought from head coach Derek Kellogg.


Sports Illustrated Hoops Preview: Atlantic 10

Sports Illustrated writer Dan Greene has a preview of the upcoming Atlantic 10 men's basketball season. He also mentions a collaboration on a statistical projection system developed between economist Dan Hanner and writer Luke Winn that can predict the leading scorer and rebounder for any team in the country.

They pick UMass to finish tied for third (with GW) and an 11-7 league mark. VCU and Dayton are 1-2, with Richmond and Rhode Island tied for fifth at 10-8, and La Salle and St. Bonaventure tied for seventh at 9-9.

Their outlook on UMass in 68 words (or less) is as follows...
Shooting guard Derrick Gordon, who became D-I's first openly gay men's player when he came out in April, will likely take on a bigger role in the Minutemen's uptempo attack, which lost relentless star Chaz Williams. And keep your eyes on the frontcourt, where senior Cady LaLanne provides strong rebounding and shot-blocking and athletic classmate Maxie Esho should take kindly to his first starting role.


Recapping UMass' 2014 A-10 MBB Media Day

UMass head coach Derek Kellogg was among the 14 head men's basketball coaches from around the Atlantic 10 who participated in the annual media day at the Barclays Center on Tuesday. The day began with the Minutemen being picked to finish fourth in the preseason poll for the second-consecutive year. Here are some stories from UMass beat writers, along with some national articles and from writers in other member schools markets.



Campus Insiders Interview...



ESPN: 10 observations on UMass Hoops

Jeff Goodman has 10 observations on his ESPN Insider Blog. Goodman was at practice last week to watch the Minutemen as they get ready for 2014-15. His main question - can UMass sustain the success it had last season.

The website CollegeSportsMadness.com 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...

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...

Matt Vautour of the Daly Hampshire Gazette spoke with Derrick Gordon on Monday about the transition the junior guard has gone through since coming out in April as the first openly gay Division I men's basketball player.


Dan Malone of MassLive spoke with head coach Derek Kellogg about the similarities and differences between last year's 24-win team and the prospects of this year's team.

Dan also chatted with DK about how the level of expectations are changing after ending the program's NCAA Tournament drought last season. 

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette visited with a few members of the men's basketball team on Monday evening and wrote about the return to the court for transfer Jabarie Hinds and redshirt freshman Zach Coleman.


Collegian: UMass basketball still fueled by NCAA Tournament defeat

Mark Chiarelli of the Daily Collegian spoke with senior Cady Lalanne and junior Derrick Gordon about the disappointment of last season's loss to Tennessee in the NCAA Tournament and the outlook for the 2014-15 team.


Daily Collegian sports editor Mark Chiarelli spent some time at historic Curry Hicks Cage on Saturday and took in part of the men's basketball team's first practice of the season. He also wrote about the optimistic outlook that comes with the start of the 2014-15 season.


Reaction To UMass Basketball Schedule Announcement

The Atlantic 10 and UMass announced the 2014-15 men's basketball schedule and league TV agreements on Wednesday. The schedule by the numbers includes:
* 31 games - 13 non-conference and 18 A-10 games
* 17 games against teams that participated in the postseason last year
* 17 games with teams that won at least 20 games a year ago
* 13 contests slated for national TV and web stream
* 6 games against New England schools
* 3 games against Boston-area schools




Daily Hampshire Gazette beat writer Matt Vautour has a story on the personal battle with ALS former basketball star Mike Babul has been facing for just over a year.


ESPN.com: 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 Hoophall.com 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

Reaction To Tip Off Marathon Announcement

ESPN officially announced the schedule for the 2014 College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon on Monday. The Minutemen will be appearing in the event for the third-consecutive season and fourth overall. UMass and Manhattan will meet at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 18 at 11 a.m. in the Mullins Center. Here are some stories that spotlight various games in the event, which actually runs approximately 29 hours if you went from start to finish for all 19 men's and women's games on the schedule.



More On Davidson Joining The Atlantic 10

Yesterday we linked to a story Dan Malone wrote on MassLive.com and today we've got a collection of stories from Davidson on how the move has been perceived in North Carolina.


And here is Davidson's home page for it's conference move...

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican takes a look at the new Atlantic 10 logo scheme which the league officially announced on Monday afternoon. The updated brand gives the conference a more modern feel which symbolizes its growth as a basketball power.

new-a10-logo.jpg

Welcome to Davidson as the 14th member of the Atlantic 10

Today marks Davidson's first day as the newest member of the Atlantic 10 Conference giving the league 14 members now. Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story on the school's addition and what that means to UMass fans.

Former UMass hoops standouts Luke Bonner and Anthony Gurley both participated in The Basketball Tournament earlier this month, making strong runs in the inaugural $500,000 bracketed event before falling short in the quarterfinals and semifinals. Luke authored the following on his experience.

    I felt like I had been hit by a truck. My left calf twitched, an unrelenting ache lived somewhere within my right ankle, and the thought of stairs made me quiver. I fidgeted on my barstool unable to escape the discomfort.
    We were driving back to New Hampshire following an overtime loss in the semi-finals of The Basketball Tournament (TBT), a startup 32-team, single-elimination, $500,000 winner-takes-all tournament in Philadelphia. The first of its kind. And the finals are Saturday.
    We exited 95 in New Haven, Connecticut and stopped at the first sports bar we could find. Game Two of the Spurs vs. Heat series was on -- my brother (Matt Bonner) was playing on the biggest stage basketball has to offer, the NBA Finals. Meanwhile, I tried to make sense of the past month: temporarily escaping my sedentary office lifestyle to play in one of the most unique, bizarre and mind-boggling basketball tournaments few but hardcore basketball fans even knew about.
    But I'm getting ahead of myself -- the story of how I got there is a trip itself.

Read the entire article here...

UMass basketball head coach Derek Kellogg will be the featured guest at Thursday's Valley Blue Sox game when he throws out the first pitch. The Blue Sox will be hosting the Plymouth Pilgrims with a 6:30 p.m. start at Mackenzie Stadium (500 Beech Street, Holyoke, Mass.).

This will be the first-ever first pitch opportunity for the right hander from Springfield.


After a pair of strong seasons with Greek power Panathinaikos, former UMass basketball star Stephane Lasme (@Slasme) will take his talents to Turkey, where he has signed a 2-year contract with Anadolu Efes SK (@AnadoluEfes) in Istanbul. The link on the team site wasn't working this morning so here's what was written on the EuroBasket site.




Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican looks at the final attendance results of NCAA basketball from this past season. With an increase of 1,289 fans per home game at the Mullins Center, UMass had the 10th best increase in attendance nationally. With an average of 6,544 fans per home game, UMass ranked 77th nationally in home attendance, 4th in the Atlantic 10, and posted its best figure since the 1998-99 season.

USA Today has compiled a list of the top 20 point guards available for the upcoming NBA Draft with UMass' Chaz Williams being among the group. Williams has been working out for several teams over the last few weeks in hopes of improving his draft stock or earning a spot on a team as a free agent.

20. Chaz Williams, Massachusetts

  • Overall rank: 99.
  • Height: 5-9. Weight: 175.
  • Year: Senior
  • 2013-14 statistics: 15.8 ppg, 7.0 apg, 1.5 spg
  • Comments: Williams is speedy and crafty and averaged more than six assists in three seasons at Massachusetts after starting his college career at Hofstra. He can score from all three levels. But at 5-9 he probably will have to take the longer approach and make a team as a free agent.
  • Projection: Undrafted.




Recent UMass guard Chaz Williams was invited to workout for the Golden State Warriors on Saturday. Following the practice, the Brooklyn native sat down with Warriors TV where he discussed his game and his busy schedule.


He followed the Golden State event with tryouts in Milwaukee on Sunday and Cleveland on Wednesday. The NBA Draft is Thursday, June 26. Some of those not selected will be invited to participate in the Samsung NBA Summer League, July 11-21 in Las Vegas.

The Massachusetts men's and women's basketball programs spent a couple of hours conducting a youth clinic at Belchertown High School to benefit Jessica's Boundless Playground.

More than 100 area children from across western Mass. participated in various individual drill stations and overall camp games during the event, before enjoying a pizza party to wrap up the night's activities.





Jason Kates of the Daily Collegian spoke with a pair of former UMass basketball players who will participate in The Basketball Tournament, which begins today in Philadelphia.


     Two former Massachusetts basketball players will soon return to the court to compete with various former professional and collegiate players for a significant grand prize.
     Luke Bonner and Anthony Gurley will both participate in The Basketball Tournament, a 32-team basketball tournament based out of Philadelphia. The tournament, which stretches from June 6-8 with the championship game being held on June 28, is comprised of 32 different teams competing in a single-elimination setup for a $500,000 grand prize.

Read the full article here...

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story on Chaz Williams and Raphiael Putney as they continue to work out for NBA teams in hopes of being drafted or signing as free agents. The duo have each had several team workouts and say the feedback they have received has been encouraging.

James Crepea of the Montgomery Advertiser has a story on former UMass basketball great and Auburn head coach Tony Barbee who is reportedly in discussions with John Calipari about rejoining his mentor at Kentucky.

 "He and I are talking about coming with us, so that's an option for him," Calipari said during last week's SEC Spring Meetings in Destin, Florida. "I know there's some NBA opportunities he may go after and he may take a year. He's got three years to figure out what he wants to do. He'll be a head coach again but I think he'll have options."

Former UMass big man Stephane Lasme (@Slasme) scored a game-high 17 points, grabbed nine rebounds and made the game-winning free throws with two seconds left to lift Panathinaikos to a 67-65 win over Olympiakos Sunday and force a decisive game five in the Greek League finals. That game will be played on Wednesday night.


EuroBasket Highlights from game 4 - Lasme is No. 11 in green...

Lasme was also named to the All-Euroleague Second Team last month. He has averaged 10.8 points and 4.9 rebounds this season. Here is the highlight video from Panathinaikos, along with one from Euroleague Basketball below.


Dan Malone of MassLive wrote the following article on what folks took away from Chaz Williams' pre-draft workout with the Boston Celtics on Monday.


NESN Recap of Chaz Williams' Boston Celtics Workout

Chaz Williams was among a number of guards invited to the Boston Celtics' practice facility in Wharham on Monday. A host of Boston-area media were on hand to watch the group, which also included Semaj Christon (Xavier), Bryce Cotton (Providence), Nick Johnson (Arizona), Russ Smith (Louisville) and Xavier Thames (San Diego State), among others.

NESN's Ben Watanabe (@BenjeeBallgame) posted a brief synopsis of the invitees - his words on Chaz are below...
Chaz Williams, UMass (PG, 5-9, 175) -- His intangibles are off the charts, but so is his stature -- as in, it doesn't reach high enough to make it onto the chart. In a workout filled with undersized players who will have difficulty breaking into the two-round draft, Williams was the smallest in attendance. But the diminutive Minuteman possesses point guard skills many of his competitors lack, averaging better than six assists per game in each of his three seasons in Amherst.



Watanabe also wrote a piece that shows Williams' drive to turn NBA doubters into believers.
    Chaz Williams is in the midst of a whirlwind trek back and forth across the country, working out for any NBA teams that will allow him onto their court. And he cherishes every minute.
    Whereas many of the top prospects in the 2014 NBA draft can't yank their names out of workouts fast enough, Williams would try out at the local playground if a professional scout were watching. The 5-foot-9 point guard out of UMass knows the odds are stacked against him, which is why he is doing everything he can to be seen.
    "As much as possible," Williams said Monday after his latest workout, with the Boston Celtics. "It's 'Chaz Williams, the little guy,' so here's my opportunity to prove to everybody, well, I'm little, but I can compete with the best of them. I just want to get out here and show everybody as much as I can."
    No player in college basketball last season was more tenacious than Williams, who averaged 15.6 points and 6.9 assists per game for the Minutemen, the first-round NCAA tournament victim of the Tennessee Volunteers. 


CSNNE: UMass' Williams hopes for opportunity in NBA

Former UMass basketball star Chaz Williams had a workout with the Boston Celtics on Monday. A. Sherrod Blakely (@SherrodbCSN) of Comcast SportsNet New England spoke with Chaz after his recent workout and wrote how the 5-foot-9 guard knows his role at the next level and will embrace any opportunity he is afforded.

The Celtics' Director of Player Personnel Austin Ainge had the following to say about the Brooklyn native...
"Chaz is a special player. He is exciting and great ball handler and had a very good career. The good thing for Chaz is, he is short but he is pretty strong. And he gets into guys and fights."

You can read the entire story here...

CBS Sports.com writer Matt Norlander (@MattNorlander) posted a conference catchup piece on the Atlantic 10 for men's basketball.

He mention's Derrick Gordon announcing he was gay as one of the top offseason story lines...
1. Derrick Gordon becomes first active men's D-I player to announce his homosexuality
It's one of the three or four biggest headlines of the offseason, and how often can we say the A-10 contributes that? Big news. Positive news. And you can't help but wonder how this story plays out once the games begin in November (hopefully in the best way). This headline of course reverberated beyond college hoops. And maybe it speaks to the news cycle, how long this offseason can feel, or how accepting -- generally speaking -- society has grown with the subject, but doesn't Gordon's story feel four of five months old? In fact the news broke less than two months ago. Gordon, who averaged 9.4 points and 3.5 rebounds last season, followed in the footsteps of Michael Sam. And his decision to announce he's gay will likely encourage others in the sport to eventually do the same. Gordon will be a junior next season. He'll also likely start and be a key factor in getting UMass back to the NCAA Tournament.

He also summarizes each team in 140 characters or less. Here's what he posted about the Minutemen...
UMass: Gone is the team's best player, Chaz Williams. Minutemen fans got a taste of real success. Next season's team has questions galore but burgeoning talent.


Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story on Chaz Williams who worked out for the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday and will head to work out for the Boston Celtics on Monday. One of Williams' best games of the year came in front of Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge this year in a 31 point, 15 assist performance against BYU in Springfield.

Rothstein: Five under-the-radar transfers to watch in 2014-15

Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) has been a busy guy lately, breaking out a number of top 5, top 10, underrated and overrated lists on the CBS Sports.com Eye On College Basketball site. Today's list is the top 5 Under the Radar Transfers to Watch in 2014-15... which is headlined by UMass rising junior Jabarie Hinds. He has this to say about the top-50 recruit from Mount Vernon, N.Y. who played two seasons at West Virginia before transferring to UMass last summer.

Jabarie HindsJabarie Hinds, UMass
A former Top 50 recruit out of high school, Hinds will be a perfect replacement for Chaz Williams in the Minutemen's high-octane attack. The 5-foot-11 point guard is made for open court basketball and that's just what Derek Kellogg implements on a daily basis. Hinds was somewhat confined during his two-year stretch at West Virginia and should give UMass a dynamic troika on the perimeter along with Derrick Gordon and Trey Davis. Hinds averaged 7.4 points in each of his two seasons in Morgantown.


Read the complete CBS Sports story on the other four under-the-radar transfers here...

UMass MBB Mentioned In CBS Sports.com Observations

Jon Rothstein (@JonRothsteinhas a good chunk of thoughts on the Atlantic 10 in his latest 'Observations' piece on CBSSports.com, including placing the Minutemen back into the underrated category.

He writes...
    4. Don't assume an Atlantic 10 downturn: Last summer, this conference was supposed to be down and forgotten. Instead it had a landmark season. The Atlantic 10 lost Temple, Butler, Xavier and Charlotte last year but managed six NCAA tournament teams after earning five spots in the 2013 field of 68. This league repeatedly has shown it can absorb defections, and don't be surprised if that's the case again next season.
    Programs like Saint Louis and Saint Joseph's will retool after losing the bulk of their cores from last year, but VCU, Dayton and others look primed to be a nuisance on a nightly basis. George Washington lost Maurice Creek and Isaiah Armwood to graduation but return a strong quartet of juniors in Joe McDonald, Kethan Savage, Patricio Garino and Kevin Larsen. McDonald and Savage never were healthy last season and it will be interesting to see how they respond after an off-season of rehab.
    Richmond has one of the country's more electrifying players in undersized combo guard Kendall Anthony, and Dan Hurley has Rhode Island primed to make a jump after big-time additions during the late signing period. The Rams looked like a 20-win team last summer but the loss of starting center Jordan Hare (personal reasons) before last season took away their main defensive anchor. Hare's impending return and the addition of a Top 75 recruit in combo guard Jared Terrell give Hurley two starting caliber players who could be difference makers.
    Two more underrated programs? UMass and La Salle. The Minutemen have the A-10's best big man in Cady Lalanne (11.3 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2.2 blocks last season), while the Explorers have arguably the league's best frontcourt combo: Jerrell Wright and Steve Zack.
    The Atlantic 10 isn't like some other leagues where there are "built-in wins." For the most part, every team is a tough out, and the 10th or 11th best team is this conference often is ahead of the 10th or 11th best team in another conference. Snagging six NCAA bids will be awfully hard to achieve, but history proves completely writing it off wouldn't be wise.

Check out the complete article which includes some scheduling info for Dayton...

ESPN: Look back, look ahead: Atlantic 10

ESPN.com writer Eamonn Brennan (@eamonnbrennan) has a quick look back and look ahead of the Atlantic 10 men's basketball season. He doesn't mention a ton about UMass, but says the team "looks solid moving forward." I tend to agree. But you can read what he has to say using the link below...


Jim Kinney of the Springfield Republican has a story on the Champions Center which includes its updated completion time-table of Spring 2015. The 53,000 square foot facility is expected to be a huge asset for both the men's and women's programs.

Reaction To Derrick Gordon Announcement

Massachusetts sophomore Derrick Gordon announced he was gay on Wednesday, becoming the first openly gay Division I men's basketball player.


Social Media Reaction
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Jack Leaman's Legacy Can Be Felt Tonight In Indianapolis

Around 9:45 pm Eastern Time tonight, Kentucky and Louisville will meet in an NCAA Tournament Round of 16 game in Indianapolis. Two coaches with deep UMass ties in John Calipari and Rick Pitino will direct their respective teams in their own, unique ways. And there will be subtle nuances they gained during their time in Amherst with the Minutemen's all-time winningest men's basketball coach Jack Leaman.

Here are a few stories that have been written on the duo's associations with Jack, who compiled 217 victories from 1966-79 and spent a total of 37 years associated with the University.


George 'Trigger' Burke: The dean of Quincy hoops

The Patriot Ledger in Quincy has a nice feature on former UMass basketball great George "Trigger" Burke.

    QUINCY - It was no surprise to see Quincy lawyer George "Trigger" Burke at Friday's Boston Amateur Basketball Club tournament at Quincy High, checking out the ninth-, 10th- and 11th-grade talent, just as Quincy High coach Dave Parry and North Quincy High coach Kevin Barrett were.
    After all, if any man's name is synonymous with Quincy hoops, it is Burke, and as he is quick to point out, he's been happy to donate money to both high schools' programs, even though he is a 1950 Quincy High grad. But it might have been a little surprising to find Burke at the Barclay's Center in Brooklyn two weekends ago, although he thoroughly enjoyed the trip to the new arena.
    "What a beautiful arena," Burke said from his Hancock Street office. "And out front they had these giant pictures of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce!" Burke wasn't there to catch up on former Celtics, although he is one himself, but rather to receive yet another honor for his own basketball exploits. In conjunction with the Atlantic 10 Tournament, the conference honored a select few former players from its schools with the Atlantic 10 Legends Award.
    "They asked the schools to nominate people from their past, and UMass nominated me," Burke explained. "Of course, in those days there was no A-10 - we played in the Yankee Conference - but it was nice recognition from the school and the A-10."

Read the entire article here...

NCAA Tournament All-Access Day Two Recap

UMass spent Thursday with another practice at NC State, an open workout at the PNC Arena, met the media and wrapped things up with a pep rally at the Sheraton hotel in downtown Raleigh. And UMass alum Julius Erving paid a visit to the team and offered them a message about life and basketball.



MBB Gameday Preview: NCAA 2nd Rd vs. Tennessee, 3/21/14

It's here! 16 years in the making and the UMass Minutemen will make their ninth appearance in the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament today at 2:45 p.m. against Tennessee. Here are the previews of the game.

No. 6 Massachusetts (24-8) vs. No. 11 Tennessee (22-12)
 Date Friday, March 21 at 2:45 p.m. (EST)
 Location Raleigh, N.C. | PNC Arena
 Tickets  Click here
 TV watch CBS
 Radio  105.5 FM WEEI (Springfield), 1440 AM WVEI (Worcester)
 Satellite Radio  Westwood One Broadcast | Sirius XM 91 | Listen live on TuneIn App
 Online Video watch CBS March Madness Live App 
 Live Stats gametracker Live Stats
 Social Media
  Twitter.com/UMassAthletics
 Game Notes Massachusetts Notes | Tenn Notes | News Clips | 2013-14 Media Guide



Fans and alumni around the state, in New York, Denver and San Francisco will have the opportunity to join fellow Minutemen on Friday afternoon to see UMass take on Tennessee in the NCAA Tournament. Check the link below for information on Watch Parties and other events scheduled by the Alumni Association. The events are free to attend, but a registration is preferred.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story discussing the return of UMass basketball to the NCAA Tournament and the journey that has taken place.

Thursday's NCAA Tournament Coverage Of UMass Basketball

NCAA Tourney Day One Recap

Check out the all-access video and photo gallery from the travel day to Raleigh, including hotel check in and practice at NC State's practice facility.

President Obama Picks UMass Basketball To Win On Friday

President Obama filled out his official NCAA Tournament bracket and picked UMass to beat either Iowa or Tennessee on Friday in the NCAA Tournament.  He did pick Duke to beat the Minutemen, but even the President isn't perfect every time!

Out of the six A-10 teams in the tourney, he has UMass, Saint Louis and VCU advancing to the round of 32.

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