Recently in Basketball Category
Well, we are starting to wade into the waters of championship week with seven different conference tournaments in progress on Tuesday and seven bids already awarded. The Atlantic 10 starts with an opening round game on Wednesday night and the quartet of first round action commences on Thursday. Here are a few conference previews from various national outlets. You may agrees with some and disagree with others. Either way, I know it's all part of two of the greatest weeks in our national sports scene.
For fans looking for tickets to see UMass take on Rhode Island in the Atlantic 10 Tournament on Thursday night, here are two links to purchase tickets.
Thursday, March 13, Session Two Tickets:1st Round: Session 2 - Brooklyn NY
All Session Package Through UMass Ticket Office:
UMass suffered a tough 64-62 loss to No. 17/16 Saint Louis on Sunday. As a result, the Minutemen finished the regular-season with a 23-7 record and tied for fifth with George Washington in the A-10 standings at 10-6. UMass will face Rhode Island on Thursday night at 9 p.m. at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Chaz Williams led all scorers with 20 points and became the UMass career assist leader. He also moved into 26th place on the NCAA Division I all-time list.
Despite a tough loss to St. Louis, there were plenty of UMass highlights in the game. Watch them here. UMass will open their bid for an A-10 title against URI on Thursday at 9:00pm.
Kainani Stevens of ABC40 has a recap of yesterday's loss to Saint Louis, but says UMass is still focused on making a run in the Atlantic 10 Tournament and the NCAA Tournament.
Denis Hamill of the New York Daily News has a feature story on Chaz Williams, his family and his Brooklyn roots.
One last time at the Mullins Center. It's Senior Day 2014 and the No. 17/16 Saint Louis Billikens are in town for a battle of Atlantic 10 heavyweights. Doors open at 12:30 p.m. today and we're giving away 9,000 rally towels.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story on the transition of the UMass basketball program thanks in part to seniors Raphiael Putney, Sampson Carter and Chaz Williams. The trio talk about the increased success of the program in their four years and how exciting a packed Mullins Center is to play in.
We're just posting this video again because we loved the atmosphere. Expect more of the same on Sunday when Saint Louis comes to town - 9,000 more rally towels will be on hand for the game.
Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story with UMass seniors Chaz Williams, Raphiael Putney and Sampson Carter where they share their favorite Mullins Center memories. Malone includes several video clips in the story as well.
Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story looking back at some of the great memories UMass seniors Chaz Williams, Raphiael Putney and Sampson Carter have as Senior Day approaches on Sunday.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette takes a look at the seeding possibilities for the Atlantic 10 Tournament as the final weekend plays out. UMass could finish anywhere between 2nd and 6th.
Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story following the Duquesne win featuring the possibility of the Atlantic 10 having six teams make the NCAA Tournament. Coach Derek Kellogg felt the win helped UMass' cause, but he also feels the league is strong enough to have five or six teams represented in the Big Dance.
Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a sidebar story on Raphiael Putney and Chaz Williams who each reached career milestones earlier this week in the win at Duquesne.
Putney hit the 1,000 point mark for his career, while Williams tied Chris Lowe for the program's all-time assist record.
Be sure to check out our UMass Hoops Fan Guide for the Saint Louis game. It has all the details you need for parking, traffic, seating, promotions and more!
Get there early and remember Daylight Savings Time begins on Sunday.
We expect with 9,000 Rally Towels, the game will look something like this!
Members of the UMass Amherst Hoop Band will be wearing T-shirts promoting the Krystle Campbell Scholarship Fund honoring the former UMass Boston student killed in the Boston Marathon bombing, when the men's basketball team plays Saint Louis at the Mullins Center on Sunday, March 9. The game will be televised on the CBS Sports Network. The fund was created by UMass Trustee Richard P. Campbell of Cohasset in memory of Krystle M. Campbell, 29, of Arlington.
The Boston Herald has a recap of last night's UMass men's basketball victory over Duquesne.
Michael Whitmer of The Boston Globe has a recap of last night's UMass men's basketball win over Duquesne.
Today marks the final road game of the regular-season as the Minutemen take on Duquesne in Pittsburgh at 7 p.m. The game is very important in terms of UMass maintaining its top four spot in the Atlantic 10 standings. If UMass wins both of its final two games, it will secure one of the four byes into the quarterfinals of next week's tournament. If they go 1-1 or 0-2, they will need some help to ensure not having to play until Friday of tourney week.
Tonight's game is not televised so you can listen to Josh and Tim on the radio or watch the Duquesne broadcast on the Atlantic 10 Digital Network All of the links are listed below.
Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a notebook today looking at the announcement of the 2014 UMass football schedule, a preview of the Hockey East playoff game for UMass at Vermont, an update on men's lacrosse moving up in the national polls and an announcement that NBC Sports has added several television games for the Atlantic 10 basketball tournament.
A whopping 109-62 win over New Hampshire on March 3, 1962 gave the UMass basketball team its first-ever Yankee Conference crown and its first NCAA Tournament Berth. The point total was a school record at the time as was the margin of victory. UMass fell in the NCAA First Round to New York University 70-50 in a game played at the Palestra in Philadelphia.
Join us tonight at Fathers & Sons on Memorial Ave. in West Springfield tonight at 7 PM for the Bud Light UMass Basketball Radio Show with Derek Kellogg. Voice of the Minutemen Josh Maurer will be joined by Coach Kellogg, freshman guard Demetrius Dyson and NCAA Executive Vice President of NCAA Basketball Dan Gavitt. They'll look back at last week's split with Rhode Island and Dayton, and preview this week's games at Duquesne and at home on Sunday against Saint Louis.
You can listen to the show live on 105.5 FM WEEI in Springfield, online at http://www.weei.com/umass
, or on your mobile device using the TuneIn App.
The Massachusetts men's basketball team suffered a disappointing 86-79 loss at Dayton on Saturday. While it wasn't an RPI crushing setback, it did move the Minutemen into fourth place in the Atlantic 10 standings with two games remaining. The top four teams in the finals standings will receive byes into the quarterfinals, something that could be extremely valuable considering the depth and quality of the entire league. Up next is a road game at Duquesne, who is coming off a road win at league leader Saint Louis on Thursday - meaning the Dukes will be at home with six days between games while UMass will be playing its second-consecutive tough road contest.
It's game day in Dayton for the Massachusetts men's basketball team. This is a big game for both teams - UMass can maintain pace in the Atlantic 10 race in its quest for the league title and a top four seed, while Dayton is has been projected as one of the first four teams on the outside looking in for the NCAA Tournament bubble. The game is televised nationally on ESPNU and follows the early hour of college basketball game day, so the game should have a daily large viewing audience.
Kevin Cullen of the Boston Globe has a feature today on UMass' Chaz Williams. Cullen looks at the significance of the current season the Minutemen are having and how opportunities missed last year are used as motivation for Williams.
Joe Dzuback is the Rush The Court correspondent for the Atlantic 10 Conference.He's also on twitter at @vbtnBlog.
In Wednesday's check-in on the A-10, he discusses team efficiency ratings, league player/freshman of the year and all-conference debates and possible tournament scenarios. He mentions UMass and GW making a run at VCU for the No. 2 spot in the league... not sure he realizes Saint Joseph's is alone in second and playing pretty well right now.
Read the entire article here...
UMass continued its recent dominance over Rhode Island, winning 70-67 at the Mullins Center. The Minutemen struggled to start the game but took control down the stretch, while dominating the glass all game long.
Next up is a trip to Dayton, where the teams will meet at 11 a.m. in a game televised nationally on ESPNU.
Michael Whitmer of the Boston Globe has a feature story on Trey Davis and how he has developed in his short time at UMass.
It's time for the final Wednesday home game of the season and it comes against Rhode Island tonight at 7 p.m. The Minutemen are looking for their fifth-consecutive win over the Rams and second-straight season sweep. The game is broadcast in Rhode Island and central Connecticut by Cox Sports (URI broadcasters). You can listen to Josh Maurer, Tim Collins and Jason Germain on the UMass Sports Network with a simulcast on the Atlantic 10 Digital Network (video stream broadcast).
We've also got a couple of nice promotions to remind you of. The Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) is still holding its food drive for the Amherst Survival Center. Please bring a nonperishable food item or items such as soap, shampoo and other necessities to the Mullins Center and drop them in the bins near the North and South entrances.
Also, if you are a student who wants to ensure you get a ticket to the March 9 finale against Saint Louis, come to tonight's game and pick up your "Early Bird Voucher" that will guarantee you a spot in the student section against the Billikens.
Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a preview of tonight's hoops match-up against Rhode Island. He focuses on what UMass' will have to do defensively to contain an explosive Ram offense.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a preview of tonight's basketball game against Rhode Island in the Mullins Center (7 PM). The match-up between the long-time rivals especially after UMass' late come-from-behind win earlier this year at the Ryan Center.
Mark Chiarelli of the Daily Collegian has a look at tonight's match-up between UMass and Rhode Island. In particular he highlights the superb guard duo for the Rams in Xavier Munford and E.C. Matthews.
Patrick Strohecker of the Daily Collegian has a story today on how UMass' more consistent guard play has been leading to better results for the basketball team this season and will be key as the regular-season winds down.
After doing media interviews, Maxie Esho shows off his skills by dunking over UMass basketball media director Brian Henry.
UMass head coach Derek Kellogg recaps his team's big win over VCU and talks about the competition level in the Atlantic 10 Conference this season on Inside College Basketball - SiriusXM College Sports Nation.
Jason Schwartz of BostonMagazine.com has a Q&A today with UMass basketball coach Derek Kellogg. They discuss the season, the future of UMass basketball and Kellogg's relationship with his mentor John Calipari.
Listen to head coach Derek Kellogg today at 12:30 pm ET when he joins Chris Childers (@ChildersRadio
) and Mateen Cleaves (@Mateen_Cleaves
) on the Inside College Basketball from Sirius College Sports (@SiriusXMCollege). The show can be heard on Sirius XM 91 from Noon-3 pm ET.
Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a notebook today talking about the ups-and-downs of the season with Derek Kellogg, previewing the upcoming game against Rhode Island and looking at the AP and USA Today national polls that were released yesterday with UMass once again receiving votes.
Taylor Snow has a photo slideshow on the Daily Collegian's website featuring some of their best photos from last Friday's win over VCU for the men's basketball team.
Join us tonight at The Hangar in Amherst tonight at 7 PM for the Bud Light UMass Basketball Radio Show with Derek Kellogg. Voice of the Minutemen Josh Maurer will be joined by Coach Kellogg, junior center Cady Lalanne and ESPN.com writer Jeff Goodman.
You can listen to the show live on 105.5 FM WEEI in Springfield, online at http://www.weei.com/umass
, or on your mobile device using the TuneIn App.
Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a profile piece on Derrick Gordon and his role on the UMass basketball team. The transfer guard played a pivotal role in the win over VCU last Friday.
Marty Dobrow of ESPN Boston has a look at UMass' win over VCU last Friday, how the sold out Mullins Center created a special atmosphere and where the team can go from here.
NBC22 had highlights and a look at the atmosphere of the Mullins Center for the UMass basketball team's win over VCU last Friday.
The Atlantic 10 Indoor Track & Field meet begins today over in Rhode Island, but last night UMass and VCU put on a 94-foot, end-to-end track meet on the hardwood that resulted in the Minutemen collecting another RPI top-50 win as they beat the Rams 80-75. Chaz showed the national television audience why he is on every major player of the year award list and the UMass faithful put on one heckuva show inside the Mullins Center. Let's enjoy this for a bit and then come back against Rhode Island on Wednesday night at 7 p.m..
Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a feature on Cady Lalanne and his importance to the UMass basketball team in the final five games of the regular-season.
Mark Chiarelli of the Daily Collegian has a feature on how the UMass basketball team is preparing to deal with VCU's high pressure "HAVOC" defense.
Patrick Strohecker of the Daily Collegian has an editorial today looking at what tonight's game against VCU can mean for the Minutemen.
Stuart Elliott of the New York Times has a story covering the Atlantic 10 Conference's new branding campaign for basketball - WhoWantsNext - which is aimed at educating fans and the public of the league's tremendous basketball programs.
The campaign includes print media, an online video, commercials, magazine spreads and social media activities for fans.
John Rothstein (@JonRothstein) of CBS Sports.com has a couple of UMass and Atlantic 10 hoops mentions in his latest Triple Threat article online.
He lists Friday's VCU-UMass game among his three games he's looking forward to watching...
3. VCU at UMass (Friday, 7 PM ET)
It seems like every week the Rams have a brutal road game. VCU beat the Minutemen twice last season and it's no secret that these two teams push the pace as much as anyone in the Atlantic 10. If you love helter-skelter type basketball, this is the game for you. Look for Derek Kellogg to use three-guard sets with regularity featuring Chaz Williams, Derrick Gordon, and Trey Davis in an effort to offset the Rams' vaunted HAVOC defense.
And he feels the league can get more than four teams in the NCAA Tournament - something he didn't think he would ever write...
2. The Atlantic 10 has a legitimate chance to get more than four teams in the NCAA Tournament.
How does a league lose Temple, Xavier, Butler, and Charlotte and still be in this position? It's a good question. We're still three-and-a-half weeks away from Selection Sunday but right now it looks like barring any major collapses the Atlantic 10 should again be well represented in the NCAA Tournament. Saint Louis, VCU, UMass, and George Washington have all posted marquee wins this season and Saint Joseph's has quietly joined the bubble conversation at 17-7 overall and 7-3 in A-10 play. Dayton and Richmond are also very much in the mix as well, giving the Atlantic 10 seven teams with a fighting chance for the field of 68.
Read the full article here...
Here's the podcast from Monday night's Bud Light UMass Basketball Show. Head coach Derek Kellogg talked with hosts Josh Maurer and Tim Kenney about last week's games against George Mason and George Washington, and offered up a preview of this Friday's sold out home game with VCU. Sampson Carter was the player guest after he averaged 18 points in last week's contests.
Here are the recaps from Saturday's big 67-61 road win over George Washington. Sampson Carter tied his career high with 20 points to lead a total team effort at the Smith Center. The Minutemen fought through injuries to both point guards, foul trouble to just about everyone except Derrick Gordon and a loud, hostile environment to bounce back and move into fifth place in the Atlantic 10 standings with five games remaining.
It's game day in the nation's capital for UMass. The Minutewomen take on the GW women at 11 am, followed by the men's teams at 2 pm. The men's game could go a long way in determining possibly first round byes in the Atlantic 10 Championship, which starts March 12. Both teams are 19-5 overall and enter with RPI numbers in the 20s - UMass at 21 and GW at 29 = according to rpiforecast.com.
The game will be broadcast by Comcast SportsNet Mid Atlantic and SNY (channel finders below) and streamed on the A-10 Digital Network for free.
Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story today on Chaz Williams be named a top-30 finalist for the Naismith Award which is given annually to the best collegiate player in the nation.
Here are the recaps and reaction from Wednesday's 91-80 loss to George Mason. The Minutemen had some nice performances from Trey Davis and Sampson Carter, along with flashes of strong play from some other contributors, but were unable to get past the Patriots for a second time this season.
UMass will continue "George Week" as it heads south to face George Washington on Saturday afternoon. The 2 p.m. tip at the Smith Center in D.C. will air on SNY, Comcast Mid-Atlantic, The Comcast Network and be streamed on the A-10 Digital Network. The Minutewomen will face the GW women at 11 a.m. in the front end of the doubleheader.
Tonight at 7 pm, UMass welcomes George Mason to Amherst for the second meeting of the season. Tickets are still available using the phone number and link below. The game was not selected for television so the viewing option if you can't make it to the Mullins Center is to watch online at the A-10 Digital Network.
Stephen Hewitt (@steve_hewitt
) of the Daily Collegian
has a very touching piece on former basketball standout and NBA player Lari Ketner and his fight against cancer.
Read the entire article here...
It's game day and another big road contest. Sunday's game at URI marks the start of the second half of Atlantic 10 play and the chance to gain some ground on the league leaders. URI is only the second team with a losing record that UMass has faced this season, but the Rams are 8-3 at home and play up to their competition. Expect a passionate crowd but a good number of friendly faces with a large UMass fan base expected for this one.
UMass got a solid 40 minutes of play and used a couple of first-half runs to build a double-digit lead on La Salle en route to a 79-67 win over the Explorers.
Here's the podcast from Monday night's Bud Light UMass Basketball Show. Head coach Derek Kellogg talked with hosts Josh Maurer and Tim Kenney about last week's games at St. Bonaventure and Saint Joseph's, while previewing the La Salle home game on Wednesday. Derrick Gordon was the player guest.
Saturday was a tough one for the Minutemen. They fought back from a 17-point hole and tied the game on two occasions, but couldn't quite get over the hump and take the lead. On top of that, junior Maxie Esho was injured with around four minutes to play in the first half when he caught an elbow in the head going for a rebound. The team has lost three of its last four but is undefeated at home and returns to the Mullins Center on Wednesday to face La Salle. Tip off is at 7 p.m.
It's game day for the Minutemen on Hawk Hill! UMass will look for a season sweep of Saint Joseph's and try to snap a two-game road losing streak. The game is nationally televised on CBS Sports Network with Brent Stover, Steve Lappas and Jon Rothstein on the call.
Here are some recaps from Wednesday's 78-65 loss at St. Bonaventure. The Minutemen appeared ready for another strong comeback when Trey Davis knocked down a three from the right win and brought UMass to with 55-54. But the Bonnies answered with a banked-in 3-pointer to ignite an 11-2 run and keep the Minutemen at bay. Trey Davis had a career-high 18 points.
Listen to head coach Derek Kellogg this evening at 5:00 pm ET when he joins Mark Packer (@MarkPacker) and Steve Lappas (@stlappas) on College Sports Today from Sirius College Sports (@SiriusXMCollege). The show can be heard on Sirius XM 91 from 3-6 pm ET.
With the calendar hitting on Jan. 29, it seems only appropriate to remind fans of what happened on campus 21 years ago today. It's our little Throw Back Thursday (on a Wednesday) to get you pumped for tonights road game at St. Bonaventure.
Good morning from a very cold Olean, N.Y. where the temperature this morning (at 8 am) is minus-8. UMass will face St. Bonaventure tonight at 7 p.m. and look for the season sweep, as just 18 days ago they erased a 13-point deficit
with nine minutes to play. The game is not televised but the link to St. Bonaventure's portion of the Atlantic 10 Digital Network is below. They offer it for free according to their pre game info
Here's the podcast from Monday night's Bud Light UMass Basketball Show. Head coach Derek Kellogg talked with hosts Josh Maurer and Tim Kenney about last weeks games at Richmond and the home win over Fordham, along with this week's games at St. Bonaventure and Saint Joseph's. Seth Berger was the player guest. The freshman from Seattle talked about the season, life in the Pacific Northwest (not the west coast), and gave his choice for the Super Bowl - SPOILER ALERT: His father's entire family for the past few generations is from Denver.
Zach Schonbrun of the New York Times stopped by campus a couple of weeks ago and spent some time with coach Kellogg and some members of the university and basketball program. His story was published in today's paper.
AMHERST, Mass. -- Shortly after Derek Kellogg was hired at Massachusetts in the summer of 2008, he toured the surrounding countryside, popping into restaurants, coffee shops and bars across the Pioneer Valley to shake hands, and to promote and reminisce about the Minutemen.
He was a local product who had starred at UMass under Coach John Calipari during its heyday in the mid-1990s, back when Mullins Center rocked and N.B.A. scouts routinely visited. His sanguine message to the community in 2008 was that he could bring those days back.
It was, Kellogg reflected recently, "a tough sell."
Fans had a right to seem skeptical. After Calipari left for the Nets in 1996, the program tumbled, cycling through three coaches in 12 years while reaching the N.C.A.A. tournament only twice. Recruiting dried up and attendance dipped, ranking 92nd in the nation in 2007, with fewer than 6,000 fans a game.
Kellogg slicked his hair back like Calipari, and he seemed to breathe the same fire on the sideline, but his early results at UMass were mediocre at best. It was difficult to shut out the negativity; already, there was grumbling that another coaching change was necessary. The administration, though, stuck with him.
Read the entire story here...
It was a wonderful day at the Mullins Center on Sunday as No. 13/12 UMass defeated Fordham 90-52 in the most lopsided game in the series history. The regular rotation did what they had to do in taking apart the Rams defensively and capitalizing on the offensive end. And the freshmen saw considerable playing time and made numerous strong plays. Next up are a couple of big road game at St. Bonaventure and Saint Joseph's. The Bona game is not available on TV, just the Atlantic 10 Digital Network web stream. The Saint Joe's game is a 6 p.m. start on the CBS SN this Saturday.
The UMass men's basketball team returns home for a brief one-game stint before another two games in enemy territory next week. But first, we've got a sold out Mullins Center for the 61st time to welcome Fordham to town today at Noon. You can watch the game on NBC SN or online via their video stream (you'll need your cable provider info). Plus, we're honoring the newest class of the UMass Hall of Fame at halftime so make sure you stick around for some of the greatest to wear the maroon and white in their particular sports.
The Massachusetts men's basketball team suffered s 58-55 loss at Richmond on Wednesday night, losing its first road game of the season. UMass is now 16-2 on the year and 3-1 in Atlantic 10 play. It will host Fordham at the Mullins Center on Sunday at Noon.
Game three of the three-game road trip happens tonight at Richmond. The Spiders are 7-2 at home and have won four of their last six on the year. This will be a good test for the Minutemen who enter having won all four road games and are looking for the first 4-0 start in A-10 play since 1998.
Head basketball coach Derek Kellogg will be a guest on the Tim Brando Show this morning. He is scheduled to go on around 10:15 am Eastern time. The show airs on CBS Sports Network from 9 am-Noon.
Scott Gleeson (@ScottMGleeson), a national college hoops writer for USA Today wrote a nice story on the basketball program and what coach Kellogg goes through to maintain the success throughout the season. He also spent some time with Chaz and got his thoughts on how he is the engine that makes the team go, and how his teammates feed off his energy.
Kentucky coach John Calipari has watched former player and assistant coach Derek Kellogg grow -- like a proud parent. Kellogg, the Massachusetts point guard turned head coach, served on Calipari's staff at Memphis for nine seasons before taking over at his alma mater in 2008.
The way Calipari sees it, however, Kellogg's been a head coach for longer than he thinks.
"When he was a player, he never came off the floor. All the players loved him so much," Calipari told USA TODAY Sports by phone. "He's doing the same thing as a coach that made him such a great player. He's making everybody better."
Kellogg often turns to his mentor for words of wisdom, reaching out to him 4-5 times a week -- whether it be texts or long phone calls -- although recently he's been seeking more tactical advice.
One challenge Kellogg wasn't fully ready for as a head coach? Preparing his nationally ranked team to play with a target on its back. The Minutemen (16-1, 3-0) have exceeded expectations and are one of the country's most surprising success stories, vaulting to No. 12 in the USA TODAY Sports Coaches Poll on Monday. That's the highest ranking for the program since 1996 -- back when Calipari was still roaming the sidelines.
Read the entire article by clicking the link below...
No. 16/15 UMass led from wire to wire in a tough, but steady performance at Elon on Saturday night. Cady Lalanne controlled the paint and they didn't have an answer for the length of Maxie Esho and Raphiael Putney. And then you add Chaz doing most of his damage in the second half, and in the final 7-plus minutes as well. Now its back to Atlantic 10 play with a tough one at Richmond on Wednesday night.
They said it... Quotes from the press conferences
"It was a very good win for us on the road," UMass coach Derek Kellogg said. "I've got a lot of respect for Elon. This was a very good, tough, full 40 minutes for us. Going on the road and playing a good RPI game is always good if you're trying to be an NCAA tournament team. I was nervous coming in, I knew (Elon) could beat us. When they made a run, it was never like they took the game over. It was more along the lines like they were fighting to come back."
-- UMass head coach Derek Kellogg
"UMass is nationally recognized for a reason. I thought our guys played hard. I think we did not play as clean as we needed to offensively."
-- Elon coach Matt Matheny
"That's not the way you want to start. We want to be the team that punches the other team in the mouth and today we got punched. We were right there. Every time we got it to seven, they had an answer for us."
-- Elon senior guard Sebastian Koch
"This was definitely one of the longest teams we've played. In practice, we can't replicate exactly what they're going to do."
-- Elon senior forward Lucas Troutman
UMass heads to the Piedmont region of North Carolina to face Elon Saturday night. The game marks the final regular-season non-conference game of the season. It is not available on TV so the options are to listen to the UMass Sports Network with Cody Chrusciel and Tim Collins on the call or watch the Elon online broadcast for $8.95. The link for both is below.
Just another night in the Atlantic 10 for the Minutemen who improved to 3-0 in league play for just the sixth time over the past 20 seasons. UMass led for periods of the first half and then trailed by two at the half. George Mason led for much of the second half until the third comeback in three games happen. UMass erased a five-point deficit with 41 seconds left to win its fifth-consecutive game, 88-87, and head into the weekend as one of only three undefeated A-10 teams with Saint Louis and La Salle.
UMass opens a 3-game road trip Wednesday at George Mason. This should be a good test for the Minutemen as they play their first A-10 game away from home.
If you can't make it to the game in person, don't forget about the Mohegan Sun Watch Party
at the Bow and Arrow Sports Bar from 6-9 p.m.
UMass used a 26-8 run over the final nine minutes and made some strong defensive plays down the stretch to pull out a 73-68 win over St. Bonaventure on Saturday afternoon.a
It's an early tip today on this gray January Saturday, but that shouldn't dampen your spirit for the No. 19 team in the country. Head on out to the Mullins Center today for some exciting basketball. Here are the preview stories from around the region to get you pumped for the game. UMass has lost its last two to the Bonnies so lets make some noise today and stop that streak!
USA TODAY Sports' Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) and Eric Prisbell (@EricPrisbell) catch you up on the teams, players and story lines that have marked this college basketball season so far. By now you probably know you're going to see some UMass mentions in the story... and you're right!
So here's what they said about the Minutemen...
TEAMS THAT ARE SURPRISINGLY STRONG
Mass: The Minutemen are No. 5 in the RPI largely because of 5-foot-9 guard Chaz Williams, a senior who averages 15.5 points and 7.7 rebounds. They have played the nation's 10th-toughest schedule, which is highlighted by no particularly weak non-league opponents.
They also make a mention of UMass and George Washington in their 'GLASS SLIPPER TEAMS'...
Speaking of the A-10, both UMass and George Washington have been pleasant surprises thus far. The Minutemen are ranked for the first time in 15 years, thanks to potential All-American candidate Chaz Williams. GW has found success in coach Mike Lonergan's third season by relying on a couple of smart transfer pickups - most notably, Maurice Creek and Isaiah Armwood.
Read the full article by clicking the link...
Listen to head coach Derek Kellogg today at 1:15 pm ET when he joins Jason Horowitz (@HorowitzJason
) and Bruce Pearl (@coachbrucepearl
) on the Inside College Basketball from Sirius College Sports (@SiriusXMCollege). The show can be heard on Sirius XM 91 from Noon-3 pm ET.
Rush the Court.net correspondent Joe Dzuback has his update on the Atlantic 10 as we finish off the first round of games tonight. He likes the Minutemen but also recognizes the overall strength of the league.
UMass outscored Saint Joseph's 18-5 to close the game as the Minutemen improved to 13-1 on the season and 1-0 in Atlantic 10 play. Maxie Esho's steal and throw down dunk put the team ahead and then they had a pair of textbook defensive stops to come away with the victory.
Paul Gotham of the basketball web site Pickin Splinters wrote the following article on Derrick Gordon.
Derrick Gordon grabbed headlines recently. The redshirt sophomore's putback gave Derek Kellogg's then No. 22 UMass Minutemen a 69-67 victory over rival Providence. Gordon's bucket with 1.1 seconds left in overtime lifted UMass to consecutive last-second victories over the Friars.
The attention was overdue for a player who Kellogg insists is a key piece for the Minutemen who have the NCAA Tournament in their sights for the first time in more than a decade.
"He's a tough kind of role guy who will do everything for the team," Kellogg said during the weekly Atlantic 10 conference call. "Those types of guys are important. At times they don't get the recognition they deserve."
Read the full article here...
Well, the start of Atlantic 10 play is upon us. The second season begins tonight against longtime rival Saint Joseph's.
Here's the podcast from Monday night's Bud Light UMass Basketball Show. Head coach Derek Kellogg talked with hosts Josh Maurer and Tim Kenney about last Saturday's win over Miami and previewed the start of Atlantic 10 Conference play. Maxie Esho was the player guest. Did you know he is the second leading scorer over the past six games, at nearly 12 points per contest.
Minneapolis Star Tribune writer Ameila Rayno (@AmeliaRayno) spoke with Derek Kellogg and Chaz Williams last week about the UMass resurgence this season.
UMass improved to 12-1 on the season with a 73-65 win over Miami (Ohio) on Saturday. A number of players had strong performances - Chaz Williams looked to score more in the first half. Raphiael Putney regained some of his outside shooting touch. Trey Davis was a 50 percent shooter again. Maxie Esho did a little bit of everything from scoring to assists to defense. But now its onto to Atlantic 10 play - the second season. That begins Wednesday night against Saint Joseph's at 7 p.m.
No. 23 UMass overcomes poor performance to beat Miami (Ohio) | GazetteNet.com
Bench steps up for UMass in win over Miami (Ohio) | GazetteNet.com
Sloppy Minutemen hold off Miami (OH) 73-65 for 12th win | MassLive
UMass tops Miami (Ohio) despite inconsistent play | Daily Collegian
UMass basketball continues to get valuable contribution from bench | Daily Collegian
Maxie Esho helps UMass turn back Miami of Ohio | Worcester Teleram
Chaz Williams leads UMass over Miami (Ohio) | ESPN.com
UMass pulled out a thrilling 69-67 overtime win against Providence on Saturday, delighting the sellout crowd of 9,493 as it improved to 11-1 on the season.
A few years ago ESPN developed the BPI, which is a lot like the RPI but also takes margin of victory into account, among other items. In the latest BPI release, UMass is No. 5 with the second most difficult schedule nationally. Here's what Ryan Feldman of ESPN.com had to say about the consistent play of the Minutemen.
UMass stays consistent
Massachusetts lost to Florida State on Saturday, but the Minutemen -- ranked No. 2 in BPI entering Saturday's game -- are still No. 5 in BPI.
The Minutemen have played the second-toughest schedule according to BPI, and they've been quite successful against that schedule. They're 7-1 against the BPI top 100, including 4-1 against the top 50. Only Wisconsin has more top-50 wins this season, with five.
UMass has faced three teams outside the BPI top 100, each of which ranks between 150 and 200, and has defeated each of those teams by at least 13 points.
UMass ranks as the fourth-most consistent team in the country in terms of variance, in relation to variance in BPI game score.
Read the full ESPN Insider article here...
CBS Sports analyst Seth Davis (@SethDavisHoops
) has put out his initial list of the nation's top seniors, "not based on their pro potential, but their current abilities. If you want to read about who's got next, read it elsewhere. I prefer to talk about who's got now." He lists Chaz at number six this week.
6. Chaz Williams, 5-9 guard, UMass
Last week: 11 points, 11 assists vs. Ohio; 10 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists vs. Florida State
f you haven't seen this little dude in action, do it soon. Williams has incredible quickness and a wonderful long-range touch (41.5 percent from three), but the best thing about him is his feel for the game. He knows how to change speeds, manage the offense and set up his teammates. The only reason I have him this low is because he did not have a good week.
UMass suffered its first loss of the season on Saturday, a 60-55 defeat to Florida State in the Orange Bowl Basketball Classic. The Minutemen had season lows for points (55), field goal percentage (.333), 3-pointers made (1), 3-point field goal percentage (.067) and assists (8). Florida State wasn't much better statistically as it also produced season lows in points (60), field goal percentage (.369), 3-pointers made (1), 3-point field goal percentage (.143), free throws made (11) and free throw percentage (.611).
In a quick check of the various RPI numbers this morning, shows UMass is still No. 2 in ESPN and CBS, 18 in Sagarin and 22 in KenPom. The RPIForecast (live-rpi.com) site also has the Minutemen No. 2 as well.
Today marks the final game before the holiday break and its a big one. UMass and Florida State for the seventh time in history and the second time in the last three years. UMass has its game plan for FSU's height and length. FSU has its plan for UMass' speed and pressure. This should be one of the more exciting games of the day nationally.
Florida State will be wearing turquoise uniforms in an effort to raise awareness for bringing sport to Native American and Aboriginal youth. UMass will be in maroon.
Julian Benbow of the Boston Globe paid a visit to western Massachusetts last week and spent some time with head coach Derek Kellogg and senior G Chaz Williams. Both mention the disappointment of missing the NCAA Tournament last season and how that has served as one of the motivating factors for this season's team and goals.
Joe Dzuback (@vbtnBlog
) is the Rush The Court correspondent for the Atlantic 10 and he posted his thoughts on the season and a few all-conference teams at this point in the season.
Dealing With Expectations
Forgive me if six weeks and 10 games (more or less) into this season I am a little dizzy from all the twists and turns. Most understood Massachusetts would be good, especially with Chaz Williams' decision to take his last season of eligibility in Springfield, but undefeated? VCU would be nicked in the non-conference schedule -- that much was a given -- but three losses that include a 14-point loss to Florida State on a neutral court and a loss to Northern Iowa? That is a surprise.
He has Chaz, Dwayne Evans, Tyreek Duren, Treveon Graham and Juvonte Reddic on his first team.
Read about those five and all of his A-10 thoughts by clicking the link below...
Chaz Williams was a guest on Friday's ESPNU College Basketball Podcast with Andy Katz (@ESPNAndyKatz
) and Seth Greenberg (@SethOnHoops
). They both had some nice things to say about Chaz during and after the interview on twitter. The interview with Chaz begins about the 22 minute mark. Ohio State head coach Thad Matta was also on the show.
Maxie Esho had a career game and seemed to be everywhere, while Chaz Williams posted another double-digit assist performance as UMass was in total control for nearly the entire game in a 83-71 win at Ohio. The Minutemen are 10-0 for the fourth time in school history and head down to the Sunshine State for a Saturday contest with a big, physical Florida State team on Saturday. As some have learned, the game will be on NESN in New England, along with a number of FOX Sports affiliates. We'll have that release later this morning. For now, enjoy reading about win number 10.
Mike DeCourcy (@tsnmike
) of the Sporting News also has a countdown for unbeaten men's basketball teams.
Here's what he wrote about UMass...
Best wins to date: LSU, vs. New Mexico, vs. BYU
Next big challenge: Saturday vs. Florida State in Sunrise, Fla.
Streak ends here: vs. Florida State
Breakdown: The Minutemen adapted quickly to the NCAA's new emphasis on eliminating hand-checks. Point guard Chaz Williams would be tough enough to defend if tackling were permitted, but trying to stay in front of him simply by moving one's feet nearly is impossible. That said, Florida State is the nation's No. 24 defense. The Seminoles will be closer to home and should be able to make that matter.
This is a slide show on their site so you'll have to click through to get to the Minutemen...