The Atlantic 10 held its annual men's basketball media day on Thursday at the brand new Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The building is only a week old and looks outstanding. They were still set-up for Jay-Z as the part owner of the Brooklyn Nets was continuing his run of concerts to open the facility.
UMass was picked to finish fifth in the preseason poll, which was made up of all 16 coaches and a media member from each area in the A-10 membership, totaling 30 voters. Additionally, Chaz Williams was selected to the preseason first team.
Security was pretty tight so nobody was allowed inside the arena bowl but everywhere else the coaches and media went was very impressive. Here are some articles from UMass beat writers Harry Plumer and Matt Vautour, along with stories from around the league. I also posted a Storify link that summarizes as many tweets from media, coaches and administrators at the event as I could find.
After much anticipation, game day is finally here as UMass and Stanford will meet tonight at 7 PM in the NIT Semifinals in Madison Square Garden. Lots of great previews and features on the Minutemen who have been in the media spotlight due to the program's history with Madison Square Garden and a certain point guard who hails from Brooklyn.
After rallying back from a 17-point second-half deficit, UMass now has a date with Madison Square Garden. The Minutemen came-from-behind last night to defeat Drexel 72-70 in Philadelphia. Terrell Vinson scored 14 of his 18 points in the second half leading a Minutemen charge as UMass closed the half shooting nearly 71 percent from the floor.
UMass will face tonight's winner of the Stanford/Nevada quarterfinal game next Tuesday at 7 PM. The game will be televised live from New York City on ESPN2.
Led by Jesse Morgan and Chaz Williams, UMass overcame a five-point halftime deficit using a 15-0 run to start the second half in its 77-71 win over top-seeded and No. 21 Temple on Friday afternoon in the first game of the Atlantic 10 Tournament Quarterfinals. UMass will play St. Bonaventure on Saturday at 1 PM. It will be televised nationally on the CBS Sports Network.
Looking back on last night's Atlantic 10 Championship First Round win over Duquesne, a number of UMass players performed super on Tuesday, helping them earn its second trip to Atlantic City for the quarterfinals in the last three seasons. Here are some recaps from various media outlets. Don forget, you can still get tickets to Friday's game with top-seeded Temple, which tips at Noon. Click Here to Purchase A-10 Tournament Tickets.
Chaz Williams led four Minutemen in double figures with his outstanding 29-point, nine-assist effort in Tuesday's big win over Xavier. Next up is a tough road game at Dayton on Saturday night at 6 p.m. on the CBS Sports Network. So while the team rests up for that one, here are a few recaps and sidebars about last night's game.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a preview this morning of tonight's men's basketball game at Rhode Island with both teams coming off big wins. UMass beat Saint Louis last Saturday at the Mullins Center, while the Rams took down Dayton on the road.
In Andy Katz's blog on ESPN, he again noted that UMass was a team that impressed over the weekend with its win over Saint Louis to retain the No. 1 spot in the Atlantic 10.
Massachusetts: Derek Kellogg survived a difficult stretch at his alma mater and has come through to the top of the standings. The Minutemen, behind Hofstra transfer Chaz Williams, beat Saint Louis and won at Richmond this past week. UMass is in a three-way tie for first in the A-10 with La Salle and St. Bonaventure.
Greg M. Cooper/US PresswireChaz Williams has helped UMass tie for first place in the Atlantic 10 conference.
Following the win on Saturday over Saint Joseph's to improve to 14-4 overall and 3-1 in the Atlantic 10, Andy Katz mentioned UMass in his weekly blog on ESPN.com.
Massachusetts:Derek Kellogg has an infusion of transfers and finally some maturity on this team. The Minutemen are atop the standings in the A-10 with Dayton and Xavier after dropping Charlotte and Saint Joseph's.
• What do we make of the Atlantic 10?
Is the league really good or really average? The jury is still out. Xavier lost to La Salle, which lost to Dayton, which lost to St. Bonaventure, which lost to Duquesne, which lost to Saint Joseph's, which lost to Charlotte, which lost to Saint Louis, which lost to Temple, which lost to Richmond.Who's on first? I don't know, third base? OK, actually it's a three-way tie atop the standings with UMass, Dayton and Xavier all at 3-1. The Musketeers, who have reeled off three in a row after their gigantic skid, seem to be finding their footing. But what to make of everyone else is the question for the league. Perennial tourney entrant Temple is all over the map. Saint Louis, which appeared to be making strides under Rick Majerus, has lost three of its last five. And UMass, winner of eight of nine, is finally turning things around under Derek Kellogg, but doesn't have much to hang a nonconference resume on.
A highlight reel fast-break dunk by Raphiael Putney garnered national attention following the UMass men's basketball team's 72-61 come-back win over Saint Joseph's on Saturday. As impressive as the dunk itself was, Chaz Williams' between-the-legs pass to Putney was equally as sensational making this a true high-flying highlight. It also warrants that the play was all started by a great blocked shot by Maxie Esho that allowed the Minutemen to get out on the fast break.
UMass erased a 17-point deficit from the first half to improve to 10-0 at home with a 71-62 win over Saint Joseph's on Saturday. Chaz Williams led the way for the Minutemen with 22 points, while Raphiael Putney made national headlines for his highlight reel dunk that landed as the No. 8 Top Play of the Day on Sports Center.
UMass and Saint Joseph's meet today for the 60th installment of the series on the hardwood with some early implications in the Atlantic 10 standings. Both teams enter the game coming off Wednesday wins and stand at 2-1 in the league rankings.
Thanks to clutch free throws down the stretch, the UMass men's basketball team was able to hold off Charlotte on Wednesday night to remain a perfect 9-0 this season in home games with an 85-75 win over the 49ers. The Minutemen return to action on Saturday (4 PM) against Saint Joseph's.
Andy Katz of ESPN listed 12 games to watch this weekend including UMass' game at La Salle on Sunday at Noon.
UMass at La Salle (2 ET): That's right -- UMass at La Salle. Dr. John Giannini has the 11-4 Explorers playing much better than expected; the same can be said for Derek Kellogg and his 12-3 Minutemen. La Salle has won nine of its last 10, and its victory over Xavier really gave this team credibility. Massachusetts has won six in a row and is looking for a key road win in the A-10.
A pair of double-double's by Terrell Vinson and Raphiael Putney combined with 20-points and nearly a triple-double from Chaz Williams paved the way as the UMass men's basketball team defeated Fordham last night in the Mullins Center in the Minutemen's Atlantic 10 opener.
The Daily Collegian has a pair of stories on the men's basketball team as the Minutemen enter the final game of the regular-season at Fordham on Saturday, at 1 p.m. The Minutemen need a win to secure the No. 7 seed and home game in the A-10 Tournament.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette, has calculated the scenarios for the A-10 Tournament involving UMass. The Minutemen can still finish anywhere from 7th to 11th place. The Minutemen can secure the No. 7 seed and a home game with a win on Saturday, thus they control their own fate. Here are the breakdowns from GazetteNet.com:
IF THE ATLANTIC 10 TOURNAMENT STARTED TODAY
If the Atlantic 10 Tournament started today, here's how it would look:
* UMass beat St. Bonaventure and Dayton giving the Minutemen the No. 7 seed.
* Dayton beat St. Bonaventure giving the Flyers the No. 8.
* La Salle beat Saint Louis giving the Explorers the No. 10.
* George Washington beat URI giving the Colonials the No. 5
First-round games at home sites: No. 12 Saint Joseph's (3-12) at No. 5. George Washington (9-6) No. 11 Saint Louis (6-9) at No. 6. Rhode Island (9-6) No. 10 La Salle (6-9) at No. 7 UMass (7-8) No. 9 St. Bonaventure (7-8) at No. 8 Dayton (7-8)
*1. Xavier 14-1 - at SLU-- Has clinched first *2. Temple 13-2 - vs. La Salle -- Has clinched second *3. Richmond 12-3 - vs. Duquesne - Has clinched third +4. Duquesne 10-5 - at Richmond - Could finish 4-5 - +5. George Washington 9-6 - vs. Dayton - Could finish 5-6 +6. Rhode Island 9-6 - at SBU - Could finish 4-6 +7. UMass 7-8 - at Fordham - Could finish 7-11 +8. Dayton 7-8 - vs. GW - could finish 7-10
+9. St. Bonaventure 7-8 - vs. URI - Could finish 7-11 +10. La Salle 6-9 - at Temple - could finish 8-11 +11. Saint Louis 6-9 - vs. Xavier could - could finish 8-11 12. Saint Joseph's 3-12 - at Charlotte - could finish 12-13 13. Charlotte 2-13 - vs. St. Joe's - could finish 12-13
^14. Fordham 0-14 - vs. UMass
* Clinched a first round bye + Clinched Tournament berth ^ Incapable of earning a tournament berth
If they finish in a three-way tie the order would be: Involving UMass: 1. UMass (2-0), Dayton (1-1), St. Bonaventure (0-2) 3. UMass (2-1), Dayton (1-1), La Salle (1-2) 4. UMass (2-1), St. Bonaventure (1-1), La Salle (1-2) 5. La Salle (2-1), Saint Louis (1-1), UMass (1-2) 6. Saint Louis (2-1), UMass (1-1), Dayton (1-2) 7. Saint Louis (1-1), UMass (1-1), St. Bonaventure (1-1), - SLU get higher seed because it would have had to beat Xavier to be tied.
FOUR TEAM TIE BREAKERS 1. UMass (2-1), Saint Louis (2-2), Dayton (2-2), St. Bonaventure (1-2) 2. UMass (3-1), Dayton (2-1), St. Bonaventure (1-2), La Salle (1-3) 3. St. Bonaventure (2-1), La Salle (2-2), UMass (2-2), Saint Louis (1-2) 4. Saint Louis (2-2), UMass (2-2), Dayton (2-2) La Salle (2-2), - SLU get higher seed because it would have had to beat Xavier to be tied.
FIVE TEAM TIE-BREAKER
1. UMass (3-2), Dayton (3-2), St. Bonaventure (2-2), La Salle (2-3), Saint Louis (2-3)
UMass basketball battled the three-time defending A-10 Champions, but lost 73-67 in overtime on Wednesday. Still, the Minutemen hold fate in their own hands when it comes to hosting a first-round A-10 Tournament game. A win on Saturday at Fordham OR several other scenarios would result in a home game to start the postseason. Read about the Temple game and the postseason situation here:
UMass basketball faces perhaps its stiffest test of the season as the three-time defending A-10 Champion Temple Owls comes to the Mullins Center for a huge contest on Wednesday night. Here are the previews.
The Atlantic 10 coaches don't seem to love the current format of the league's conference tournament, which starts next week, but a better format with a 14-team field remained elusive. Read about in the Daily Hampshire Gazette: Atlantic 10 men's hoop tourney format could be stronger
The thirteenth installment of the A-10 Quick 10 - a video feature where we sit down with the men's basketball coaches of the Atlantic 10 and ask the questions you always wanted to know, were afraid to ask or never thought of. A glimpse into the life of an A-10 coach...
Get to know Massachusetts head coach Derek Kellogg:
On the UMass Basketball Radio Show, head coach Derek Kellogg gave an update on the injury statuses of Sean Carter and Freddie Riley. Carter is nursing a hyper-extended elbow and Riley is hurting with a right foot/ankle swelling.
Both players are "questionable to out" according to coach.
In the Daily Hampshire Gazette, Matt Vautour has a college basketball notebook. He leads with the latest projections for the NCAA Tournament field which do not favor many fan-favorite smaller schools. He also touches on the 10-year anniversary of the Oklahoma State plane crash and the Atlantic 10 Game of the Week.
Listen to what UMass head coach Derek Kellogg and all of the Atlantic 10 coaches had to say about their teams on the weekly Atlantic 10 Conference Call. Charlotte's Alan Major also talks about the upcoming game with the Minutemen.
Neither of those seemed like a definite for anyone who saw the University of Massachusetts junior center writhing in pain on the floor late in the second half of Sunday's 55-50 win over Dayton.
Carter, who was poked in the eye during a scrum for a loose ball, immediately brought both hands to his injured eye and spent several moments squirming in pain.
But he was back at practice Monday and other than a couple of stitches around the eye and a blood spot on the white of it, he proclaimed himself no worse for wear and ready to play at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Xavier.
Here are stories on the UMass basketball team as the Minutemen prepare to face Sacred Heart tonight at the Mullins Center. The Daily Collegian ran its 2010-11 season preview with tons of coverage on the Maroon & White.
The Atlantic 10 Conference is firmly entrenched as one of the top mid-majors in college basketball. Last season, the teams that were expected to contend for the league title did just that, with Xavier and Temple leading the way. Both of those squads finished with a 14-2 conference mark, tying for the A-10 regular season crown.
2010-11 Atlantic 10 Preseason Accolades
First Team Lavoy Allen, Temple
Kevin Anderson, Richmond
Andrew Nicholson, St. Bonaventure
Damian Saunders, Duquesne
Chris Wright, Dayton
Second Team Juan Fernandez, Temple
Chris Gaston, Fordham
Tu Holloway, Xavier
Delroy James, Rhode Island
Shamari Spears, Charlotte
Third Team Chris Braswell, Charlotte
Cody Ellis, Saint Louis
Chris Johnson, Dayton
Lasan Kromah, George Washington
Aaric Murray, La Salle
All-Defensive Team Lavoy Allen, Temple
Kevin Anderson, Richmond
Dante Jackson, Xavier
Andrew Nicholson, St. Bonaventure
Damian Saunders, Duquesne
All-Rookie Team C.J. Aiken, Saint Joseph's
Langston Galloway, Saint Joseph's
Jordan Latham, Xavier
Rob Loe, Saint Louis
Juwan Staten, Dayton
Preseason Poll (# first place votes), Total Points 1 - Temple (19), 350
2 - Xavier (3), 325
3 - Richmond (3), 311
4 - Dayton (1), 310
5 - Rhode Island, 233
6 - Saint Louis, 223
7 - Charlotte, 218
8 - Duquesne, 172
9 - La Salle, 133
10 - George Washington, 130
11 - Massachusetts, 126
12 - Saint Joseph's, 91
13 - St. Bonaventure, 80
14 - Fordham, 28
Interesting summer reading on ESPN.com with a look at the Atlantic 10 and "Best Case/Worst Case" scenarios. Check out the info on UMass.
Best case: The heights of Minutemen past are still a ways off, but if UMass can make up for the loss of senior guard Ricky Harris with a pair of lanky sophomores (Terrell Vinson, Freddie Riley) and a couple of talented incoming recruits (guard Jesse Morgan, forward Maxie Esho), they should improve over last year's ugly 12-20 record.
Worst case: Harris was unquestionably the team's go-to player -- he ranked eighth in the nation in percentage of possessions used and 11th in percentage of his team's shots -- and unless fellow high-usage guard Anthony Gurley becomes much more efficient, the Minutemen are more likely to suffer another sub-standard season.
Report has a summer look at the Atlantic 10. The report mentions:
UMass will be improved and should win more than five conference games
but may not be able to jump into the top half of the league.