With the summer in full swing around the country, that means that various 'best of' and 'top 10' lists start popping up from various organizations. Today's comes from Parks Smith, who writes for Mid Major Madness. He lists his top 10 mid-major point guards to watch this season. Of course, Minuteman fans have grown accustomed to seeing Chaz Williams on the lists and he writes the following about the UMass senior...
Simply put, Chaz Williams is the most exciting player to watch in the Atlantic 10. Despite only standing 5'9 the Hofstra transfer has a tenacious appetite for scoring averaging nearly 16 points per game and also lead the A10 in assists a year ago averaging just over 7 per game. Can Williams get the Minutemen back to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1998?
Along with Williams, Harvard's Siyani Chambers and VCU's Briante Weber, who UMass faced a year ago and will battle again this season, are also on the complete list here.
UMass basketball rising seniors Raphiael Putney and Chaz Williams have begun their journey to Spain with Athletes In Action. The duo flew to Spain via Houston and London over the weekend and have started practice with their nine teammates. You can follow along during their trip - which goes from May 18-June 2 - via the online blog at AIA Blogs - Basketball - Spain or through some photo postings on the AIA Facebook Page.
Here's an excerpt from the first entry from across the pond...
We are wrapping up our first day in Madrid while eating dinner at the Nuevo Boston Hotel. We spent most of the day in the airport getting to know each other and waiting until 15 minutes after our gate closed in London to finally board the plane. We cut it close but God prevailed. Our first practice went very well. The players chemistry grew tremendously from the airport to the court. They guys were talking, complemeting and holding each other accountable in a positive way.
Leslie Albrecht of DNA Info caught up with Chaz Williams last week and talk about his return to Brooklyn and being able to play in front of family and friends.
When Bishop Ford High School graduate Chaz Williams got his first look at the Barclays Center a few months ago, he snapped some photos on his cell phone and wondered if he might get a chance to play there some day.
That day came sooner than expected, as Williams, a junior point guard at the University of Massachusetts, prepares to come home to his native Brooklyn next week for his first game at the Barclays Center, just 2 miles away from where he was a top scorer for the Bishop Ford Falcons.
UMass pulled out another close one on Wednesday, defeating La Salle, 61-60, at Tom Gola Arena to improve to 4-2 in Atlantic 10 play. The Minutemen got 17 points from Raphiael Putney and the game-winning layup by Chaz Williams with 8.1 seconds left to snap a four-game losing skid at La Salle.
UMass will look to come away from its 2-game road trip with a split when it faces Fordham at Rose Hill Gym on Sunday afternoon. Following a 70-62 loss at Saint Louis that ended UMass' seven-game win streak, the Minutemen will take on a talented Rams squad that is 3-1 at home and won three-straight in the Bronx. The game will be televised by the YES Network (Channel Finder) with tip-off set for 1 p.m. Sunday's game will mark the end of a stretch of four of five games on the road for UMass. The Minutemen will open a three-game homestand on Thursday night against Duquesne.
Other players on the list that are on UMass' schedule or could face the Minutemen in Puerto Rico include: No. 5 Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State), No. 10 Lorenzo Brown (NC State), No. 15 Tim Frazier (Penn State), No. 18 Vincent Council (Providence), No. 20 Rotnei Clarke (Butler), No. 24 D.J. Cooper (Ohio), No. 37 Kwamain Mitchell (Saint Louis), No. 38 Kevin Dillard (Dayton), No. 41 Trae Golden (Tennessee) and No. 42 Semaj Christon (Xavier).
Joseph Staszewski of the Brooklyn Courier chatted-up Chaz Williams and head coach Derek Kellogg over the past week and wrote the following article on the hometown kid and his journey to UMass, bringing his "New York City toughness and Brooklyn swagger" to the program.
Paul Gotham of the basketball site Pickin Splinters wrote a piece on the path the program has taken in four years under coach Derek Kellogg. He also touches on the progress junior guard Chaz Williams has made in two seasons, while making note that the 5-9 Brooklyn dynamo's potential is still climbing.
New York Post sports writer Zach Braziller penned an article on UMass junior guard Chaz Williams and St. Joseph's big man Halil Kanacevic on how they started their careers at Hofstra before transferring to their current Atlantic 10 schools. Both were named to the league's preseason all-conference teams at last week's media day in Brooklyn.
...Two of them -- city products UMass point guard Chaz Williams and St. Joseph's forward Halil Kanacevic -- have developed just as he envisioned when Pecora landed them at Hofstra, crowns jewels to his recruiting class.
Now juniors, they were predicted by Atlantic 10 coaches to be a few of the best players in the conference on Thursday during the league's media day at the Barclays Centers in downtown Brooklyn, and keys to their respective teams, both picked to finish in the top four of the A-10.
"It speaks volumes for how good those kids are as players," said Pecora, who is entering his third season at Fordham. "Chaz is one, if not the best, point guards in the league and Halil is probably the best passing big man in the league."
CBSSports.com and its collection of college basketball writers released their votes for regular-season champions among the top conferences, including the Atlantic 10.
The group composed of Jeff Goodman, Doug Gottlieb, Gary Parrish, Matt Norlander and Jeff Borzello combined to select four different winners. Goodman chose UMass, Gottlieb had Butler, Parrish and Borzello has VCU, while Norlander likes Saint Louis.
Rob Dauster of College Basketball Talk put out his list of ten men's basketball programs on the rise entering the 2012-13 season.
UMass: UMass basketball history is limited to, more or less, two people. Julius Erving played for the Minutemen from 1968-1971 before going on to become Dr. J. The other person is John Calipari, who took over a program in 1988 that had 10 straight losing seasons. In his fourth year, he led UMass to the Atlantic 10 regular season and tournament titles, advancing to the NCAA tournament. He would accomplish that feat for five consecutive years, which culminated in his run to the 1996 Final Four, riding on the shoulders of Marcus Camby, before leaving the program. Bruiser Flint took over and led the Minutemen to two more NCAA tournaments, but they've only won one A-10 title -- the 2007 regular season -- since then. Outside of those seven consecutive NCAA tournaments, UMass has been to one. Ever. In 1962.
That could change this season, as Derek Kellogg has put together arguably the best team in Amherst since the late 90′s. The Minutemen return all but one member of their rotation from last season, including Chaz Williams, who is one of the most exciting and underrated point guards in the country. They also bring back Sampson Carter and Cady Lalanne, both of whom were injured for much of last season. The Atlantic 10 is going to be a rugged league this season, but UMass has the horses to make a run at a top four finish.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has an update on basketball practice and some notebook items about the preseason. He has quotes from Chaz Williams and Freddie Riley about the excitement leading up to the season, along with info from coach Kellogg on scheduling and early games.
AMHERST -- Before his sophomore season, University of Massachusetts guard Freddie Riley was frustrated about everyone's lack of optimism surrounding the Minutemen. Preview magazines, newspaper articles and even fans had low expectations for the 2010-11 squad and Riley took it to heart.
Two years later, coming off the team's run to the National Invitation Tournament's semifinals, there's a positive vibe surrounding the Minutemen. The preview magazines that are already out and national websites are projecting UMass to finish among the top teams in the Atlantic 10 and perhaps reach the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1998. There's a buzz on campus among students greater than at any previous time.
National college basketball writer and television announcer Jon Rothstein offered up his thoughts on UMass as it prepares for the 2012-13 season. Leading off with a note on junior PG Chaz Williams' infectious energy that envelops the entire team.
Chaz Williams is a like a magnet. The undersized point guard has an infectious personality -- and it's easily noticeable if you're in the gym with him for even just a matter of moments. The 5-9 Williams was one of the best players in the Atlantic 10 a season ago and figures to be so again thanks to the biggest weapon he has -- his heart.
There's no question that folks who follow UMass and the Atlantic 10 regularly are well aware of the type of game-changer Chaz Williams is on the court. Now, with more and more preseason publications touting the junior point guard among the top players nationally, folks are starting to take notice.
National sports publisher Athlon has put out a list of the top ten sleeper teams that it believes will return to the NCAA Tournament this season. Among the teams are coach Kellogg's Minutemen.
The Atlantic 10 is undergoing a changing of the guard of sorts. Butler and VCU are in, and Temple and Xavier are in stages of starting over. UMass could be poised to pounce. Thanks to the arrival of 5-9 point guard Chaz Williams from Hofstra, UMass had its first winning season under Derek Kellogg. The Minutemen's core players were sophomores and juniors last season, including forward Sampson Carter, who averaged 8.6 points and and 3.9 rebounds in an injury-shortened season.
ESPN.com senior writer Andy Katz recently completed his Summer Shootaround series where he and his associates breakdown the various conferences around the nation. The Atlantic 10 version hit cyberspace on Monday so here is the link.
Happy reading and remember fall sports will start reporting sooner than you think. Go Minutemen!!!
Jon Rothstein, who covers the Atlantic 10 for CBS Sports Network, put out a good summertime piece on what to be excited about in the A-10 this season. His first item listed is on UMass junior PG Chaz Williams and the potential his play, along with the rest of the team, can bring the Minutemen.
1. CHAZ, CHAZ, AND MORE
Chaz Williams took the conference by storm in his first season in the Atlantic-10
and only figures to be more of a menace in 2012-13. Potentially the Preseason
Conference Player of the Year, Williams should give UMass coach Derek Kellogg
one of the league's best back courts with he and talented wing Jesse Morgan, a
6-foot-5 wing who seemed to get better every team he took on the floor. If big
man Cady Lalanne can stay healthy and form a potent baseline with Terrell
Vinson and Raphiael Putney, the Minutemen should be in position to compete for
a conference title and a berth to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in a
quite a while.
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.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a feature piece on Terrell Vinson and his clutch performances in big games for the UMass basketball team.
Terrell Vinson's highlights aren't likely to end up on SportsCenter's top 10.
The University of Massachusetts men's basketball team has its share of breathtaking dunks and enough alley-oops to potentially be called Lob U. Chaz Williams has gotten well-deserved attention for his game-changing speed and program-changing leadership and Raphiael Putney's improved game and freakish athleticism have made him a fan favorite and a media star.
But with the game on the line, or in Saturday's case the season on the line, the Minutemen have looked to Vinson and more often than not, the junior has delivered.
Here are a few recaps from Massachusetts and Mississippi newspapers on Tuesday's big road win over Mississippi State in the NIT First Round. The UMass-Seton Hall second round game will be played at Walsh Gymnasium on the SHU campus but we are waiting on the NIT to assign a date and time. So while we wait, take a look at some of these stories and keep on cheering on the Minutemen.
Here are some recaps following the tough 84-80 loss to St. Bonaventure in the Atlantic 10 Championship semifinals. UMass will learn its postseason fate Sunday night and be sure to check back with us for all of the important details.
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.
The regular season is over so that means its time to reset the records and open March Madness. UMass opens Atlantic 10 Tournament action tonight against Duquesne. Tip-off at the Mullins Center is 7 p.m. The game is not televised so grab some friends and cheer on the team as they go for their 15th home win of the year. In the meantime, here are some previews to wet your appetite.
Jesse Morgan and Sean Carter blistered the nets on Saturday to help lead UMass past Rhode island 89-83 on Senior Day at the Mullins Center. The Minutemen collected their 20th win of the season and finished the Atlantic 10 regular-season tied for fifth at 9-7. UMass will be the No. 8 seed in this week's A-10 Tournament and will host No. 9 seed Duquesne Tuesday at 7 p.m. But in the meantime, here are a few article recapping the triumph over the Rams.
CBSSports.com senior writer Jeff Goodman was among the national writers in attendance at Tuesday's 80-73 win over Xavier and was more than impressed with how the Minutemen program has progressed during the tenure of head coach Derek Kellogg. He writes in his column about the importance of Chaz Williams to the UMass program.
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.
Behind Jesse Morgan's career-high 24 points on 6-of-7 from long range, the UMass basketball team benefitted from two big scoring runs to defeat St. Bonaventure, 76-67, at the Mullins Center on Wednesday night. The win kept the Minutemen near the top of the Atlantic 10 standings at 7-3, heading into Saturday's contest at Saint Joseph's.
Ron Chimelis of the Springfield Republican has a story on UMass being able to bounce back this season from tough games. UMass has not lost back-to-back games this season and that, according to Chimelis, is a strong indication of UMass' growth over previous seasons.
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.
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.
UMass overcame an 11-point second-half deficit to pull out an 82-78 win over Siena on Friday night in the Hall of Fame Holiday Showcase at the Mass Mutual Center. Freddie Riley continued his streak of hot shooting draining six three-pointers for 20 points, while Chaz Williams tied his career-high with 22 points (20 in the second half).
It was an offensive explosion as UMass routed Boston College 82-46 last night at Conte Forum. It marked the single largest win margin ever in the series between the two schools as the Minutemen improve to 4-0 on the year.
Check out the very well written story by frequent UMass basketball beat writer Marty Dobrow, who writes on ESPN Boston about UMass' start to the season and the parallels between this season and the last one the Minutemen opened at the Curry Hicks Cage, including the point guard position.
The men's basketball team improved to 2-0 on Monday night with a 83-67 win over Northeastern at the Mullins Center. Sophomore point guard Chaz Williams led the way again for the Minutemen, recording the first double-double of his career with 20 points and 10 assists, both tying career-highs. Terrell Vinson (14) and Sampson Carter (12) both reached double-figures for the second game in a row. Check out coverage of the game below.
Check out Stephen Hewitt's headline story in the Daily Collegian's basketball preview edition previewing the Minutemen's 2011-12 season, which highlights the fact that Derek Kellogg's UMass team is a new-look squad in many ways going into the season, from style of play, attitude, new players, new roles, and more.
"I think we're looking pretty good," said Chaz Williams. "I think we'll be better than a lot of people expect. But there's always room for improvement. I feel like we can get better every day. Every day we come to practice with an open mind. That's something that will make us and take us to another level."
Stephen Hewitt of the Daily Collegian writes in Thursday's basketball preview edition about redshirt sophomore Chaz Williams, in his first season eligible to play for the Minutemen, taking over the role of point guard for head coach Derek Kellogg, someone who knows a thing or two about playing the point at UMass. The story focuses on how the 2010 CAA All-Rookie selection at Hofstra will be in charge of running the Minutemen's new up-tempo attacking style of play.
"I expect to do some things I haven't gotten to do in the past," said Williams. "A lot of things that will make my teammates better and a lot of things that'll help us win games.
"I want to help bring some excitement back to UMass," he added.
Jackson Alexander of the Daily Collegian has a story in Thursday's basektball preview issue on the four new Minutemen that will be taking the court this season. Freshman Caddy Lalanne, redshirt sophomore transfer Chaz Williams, and redshirt freshmen Maxie Esho and Andrew McCarthy all have to opportunity to contribute to the Minutemen in 2011-12 at various levels. Alexander provides some insight into how each could make a contribution.
Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe has a terrific feature in Wednesday's issue on redshirt-sophomore point guard Chaz Williams and what the transfer from Hofstra brings to the Minutemen going into the 2011-12 season. Washburn talks about how head coach Derek Kellogg needs a floor general to lead his new up-tempo attack with "fearlessness and heart that exemplified those 1990s teams."
"He may have found such a conductor in Chaz Williams, a 5-foot 9-inch sophomore transfer from Hofstra, whose Brooklyn upbringing is apparent from the moment he speaks. He brings a New York bravado to Amherst, and his leadership and passion are exactly what Kellogg believes will push the Minutemen back among the elite teams of the Atlantic 10."
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story on Derek Kellogg indicating at UMass media day on Friday that the starting five for the Minutemen's season opener this Friday against Elon at the Curry Hicks Cage could be Chaz Williams, Freddie Riley, Javorn Farrell, Raphiael Putney, and Sean Carter. The Minutemen played their second and final closed scrimmage of the season on Saturday at Seton Hall.
Vautour also points out some jersey number changes for the Minutemen this season. Check out the online roster.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette takes an in-depth look today at the UMass men's basketball lineup and who could potentially take over more of a scoring role for the Minutemen in 2011-12. Vautour goes through each player, saying why he's a candidate to increase his scoring, and what could possibly prevent that. An interesting read for UMass fans.
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.
Ron Chimelis of the Springfield Republican has a nice story in Monday's edition and on MassLive.com on redshirt sophomore Chaz Williams moving into the point guard role for the Minutemen this season. Chimelis points out how Williams will be relied upon by Derek Kellogg to run the team's new offense, based more on transition and playing up-tempo.
"Everything coach tells me, I try to take into consideration and instill into my own game," said Williams, a redshirt sophomore from Brooklyn, N.Y., who sat out last season after transferring from Hofstra.
"Like a rocket shot out of a cannon, Williams might be the fastest player in college basketball from circle to circle with the ball in his hands. The former Hofstra guard should add an instant burst to UMass and blend nicely on the perimeter with Javorn Farrell, Freddie Riley, and Jesse Morgan. Look for Minutemen coach Derek Kellogg to have his best squad yet in Amherst -- one that can peak late in the season if they get a productive year out of big man Raphiael Putney."
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a great feature in Friday's edition on UMass basektball point guard Chaz Williams, who will be eligible to play this season after sitting out last season following his transfer to UMass from Hofstra, where he played his freshman year. Vautour writes how the redshirt sophomore will be relied upon for leadership and to spur the offense during the 2011-12 season.