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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.

ABC40 Preview:

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.

One more win and we are going to the World's Most Famous Arena but its going to be a tough game going into Drexel's Daskalakis Athletic Center where coach Bruiser Flint's team has won 18-consecutive at the DAC. Tip-off is at 7 pm on ESPN (Bob Wischusen and LaPhonso Ellis) and on all four affiliates of the UMass Radio Network (Josh Maurer and Tim Kenney). While you get amped up for the game here are some articles from various outlets in Mass and Philly.

Previews Of UMass At Drexel In NIT Quarterfinals

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Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a nice story today on redshirt freshman center Andrew McCarthy. Vautour talks about the anticipated matchup with McCarthy's brother's team, NJIT, and Coach Kellogg talks about how the 7-footer could help the Minutemen against some of the bigger post players on the schedule.

Vautour also hits on a few other interesting topics in the notebook, including a possible appearance by Marcus Camby in Amherst, the closed scrimmage against Drexel, advice for Chaz Williams from Edgar Padilla, and Tony Gaffney and Ricky Harris facing each other in Germany.

Walk-on big man Andrew McCarthy hopes to see some action for Minutemen - Hampshire Gazette
Philadelphia Inquirer sports writer Mike Jensen says Bruiser Flint would be a good fit for Penn State because of his recruiting base and his experience with working at a state school like UMass. Ed DeChellis just left the Nittany Lions to take over at Navy.

They can't just go hire a "recruiter" who doesn't know how to coach. Good recruiters quickly become bad recruiters if players see they can't teach the game.

So here's the answer: Hire Bruiser Flint. I thought Flint was the right guy last time - and still do. He'll get players from Philly and New York, and he'll make them better. My bet is this won't happen since Bruiser hasn't gotten Drexel to the tournament - which seems to be the prerequisite for moving up - but he's perfect for this job. Sure, Penn State can go after a hot coach, but Virginia Commonwealth's Shaka Smart is too hot, for instance, to settle for Penn State. Bruiser would have to go for it and is just as good a coach, with important state-school experience at UMass.


Former UMass head coach Bruiser Flint is the subject of an interesting story in the Daily Press of Virginia: Flint reflections. He talks about fellow former UMass head coach John Calipari, whom he succeeded with the Minutemen, as well as current CAA foe VCU. Flint just completed his 10th season as the head coach at Drexel in Philadelphia.

"I've coached in two leagues - the A-10 and the CAA," he said. "Both of those leagues have sent teams to the Final Four. There hasn't been another A-10 team since I left the league, but there's been two teams in the CAA since I've been in the league. I must be the good luck charm."

Drexel's Flint Uses UMass Experience With Dragons

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The Philadelphia Inqurier has a story about how former UMass head coach and current Drexel head man Bruiser Flint is using some knowledge to help him with the Dragons.

"He said, 'If you can't get length, get girth,' " Flint said with a laugh as he thought about the wisdom Jack Leaman imparted.

Republican: Kellogg & Flint Connect Through Texting

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Ron Chimelis has a nice feature in the Springfield Republican about UMass coach Derek Kellogg and Drexel coach Bruiser Flint. The former UMass guard and Minuteman coach connect via texting. Check out the story.

"Derek Kellogg and I talk once or twice a week. And, we text,'' said Bruiser Flint, whose Drexel Dragons beat Northeastern 63-58 in Saturday's doubleheader opener at TD Garden.