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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
ABC40 was on location this morning at Barnes Airport as the Minutemen departed Western Mass for Raleigh, N.C. Derek Kellogg spoke about the excitement of finally getting on the road for the NCAA Tournament.
The Minutemen officially departed the Bay State for North Carolina this morning as UMass gets ready for Friday's NCAA match-up in Raleigh. Tons of news items covering the Minutemen this morning as we get closer to tip-off.
Michael Whitmer of the Boston Globe has a feature today on the Minutemen's Derek Gordon who reached the NCAA Tournament with Western Kentucky as a freshman before transferring to UMass. Gordon's experience in tournament play will certainly be beneficial to the squad this weekend.
Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican writes that UMass will focus on improving its game during the early part of this week until the Minutemen find out exactly who they will play on Friday in the NCAA Tournament. Iowa and Tennessee play on Wednesday night in Dayton with the winner making the trip to Raleigh to face UMass.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story in today's paper about the UMass basketball team using certain negative critiques in the media as fuel and motivation for Friday's NCAA Tournament game against either Iowa or Tennessee in Raleigh, N.C.
Casey Viera of ABC40 has a look at the UMass basketball team which returned to practice on Monday to begin preparation for the NCAA Tournament. UMass will play either Iowa or Tennessee on Friday afternoon in Raleigh, N.C.
UMass head coach Derek Kellogg will appear on a pair of national shows today - one on satellite radio and another on national television - to talk UMass hoops and the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament.
Derek will be on the Tim Brando Show this morning at 9:30 am ET as part of Sirius College Sports daily lineup. The show can be heard on Sirius XM 91 from 9 am-Noon ET.
This evening after practice, he will be a guest on CBS Sports Network's "Bracket Breakdown" show, which airs from 4-6 pm ET. Derek is scheduled to call in at 5 pm for a live interview.
It wasn't pretty but games with the Rams this season haven't been. Instead they have been sloppy like a pig in the mud. But Chaz and Co. found a way and Thursday that way was with defense and free throws. URI led by 9 before UMass cut the lead to three with just under eight to play. Then both teams teams went cold for four minutes until Putney made a steal and layup to with 3:55 left to cut it to one. Trey scored a pair and URI tied it with a free throw of its own. Then Chaz made a pair of free throws and followed two URI missed freebies with a huge 3-ball from the top of the key. It was all UMass the rest of the way.
While you enjoy last night a little more this morning, take a read at some of the articles and highlights below. Tonight's a different animal with GW and their 1-3-1 defense. UMass will have to be patient and be smart after playing such a tough game last night. The game is televised nationally on NBC SN. You can use the NBC Sports Channel Finder to see is its available in your area, use their NBC SportLive Extra streaming web sitestreaming on their mobile app.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Scott Coen of the Springfield Republican spent some time with Derek Kellogg this week and found out the coach's thoughts on his feelings towards Springfield basketball, the play of Chaz Williams and the fact that the season is only 25 percent complete, with a lot of work left to do before the calendar turns to March.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette examines the P.A.I.N. concept of the 2013-14 men's basketball team. Read the article and then let us know your favorite part of P.A.I.N.? Tweet us @UMassAthletics and let us know which part and why.
In case you missed Monday's UMass Basketball Radio Show, the podcast is now available as Josh Maurer, Coach Kellogg and Trey Davis break down the BYU win in Springfield and look ahead to Saturday's game against Northern Illinois.
A panel of USA Today sports writers picked which teams they thought were the most surprising ones after the first month of the 2013-14 college basketball season.
The group picked four teams which included Villanova, Wisconsin, North Carolina and UMass.
Paul Gotham, Pickin Splinters.com: At 8-0 the UMass Minutemen are the most surprising team in college basketball this season simply because most fans will be surprised by their record. The Minutemen have won 20 or more games in each of the last two seasons, but the strength-of-schedule card was played as the reason why UMass didn't get a spot in the NCAA tournament. Derek Kellogg and his staff have put together an ambitious schedule with what will be six games, before conference games begin, against schools from "power" conferences. Not to mention the Minutemen have also beaten New Mexico and BYU. It won't be long before the country gets its introduction to Chaz Williams. The 5-9 point guard is like Barry Sanders on hardwood bobbing and weaving, switching directions and finding daylight where others would swear there is nothing but darkness. Add in Cady Lalanne averaging a double-double, Sampson Carter getting it done around the basket, and the Minutemen will dance their way into living rooms across America in March.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story on freshman Seth Berger who is hoping to get extra work on the court during the winter session break to help prepare for the second half of the season.
Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story on how Derek Kellogg and the men's basketball team are balancing game prep and exams this week as the Minutemen prepare for Northern Illinois on Saturday.
Join us tonight at The Rumbleseat Bar & Grille in Chicopee 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, sophomore guard Trey Davis and Danny Ainge of the Boston Celtics.
In this week's edition of the UMass Sports Insider, we profile men's basketball center Cady Lalanne and head coach Derek Kellogg breaks down the junior's dominant first month of the season. Plus, take a look back at basketball's success in Springfield over the years and a big win in early December at Eastern Michigan. We'll also look back at men's basketball putting on a clinic at the Basketball Hall of Fame over the summer and find out what UMass student-athletes think is the worst part about being a freshman.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story today on how Chaz Williams' mix-up with BYU's 6-foot-10 center Eric Mika in defense of one of his teammates motivated the Minutemen in Saturday's win over the Cougars.
Wow, what a great day Saturday was for basketball in Springfield. From the sellout crowd of 7,331 to Chaz Williams' record-setting day and a national TV audience, just about everything went right for the Minutemen as they improved to 8-0 for the first time since 1995-96. Enjoy your Sunday and have a read at some of the stories below and don't forget about next Saturday's game with Northern Illinois. It's a 3 p.m. tip in the Mullins Center. Get your tickets here.
Also, the Bud Light UMass Basketball Show will be live from The Rumbleseat Bar & Grille (482 Springfield Street) in Chicopee Monday night from 7-8 p.m. You can submit your question for coach Kellogg via the Ask the Coach feature at UMassAthletics.com or via twitter to @UMassSportsNet.
Steve Buckley of the Boston Herald authored an article in Friday's edition about the return of the Minutemen basketball program to the national landscape. He talks about how Chaz Williams met a fan at a mini golf course and Derrick Gordon's new nickname.
Longtime UMass journalist Marty Dobrow stopped by practice last weekend and spend some time with Derek Kellogg and a few of the student-athletes to discuss the state of UMass basketball.
Here's an excerpt from the piece:
It is heady stuff for a program that has been in hoop hibernation for a decade and a half. As senior Sampson Carter ambled out of the locker room onto the court on Sunday, he admitted that the feeling was sweet, indeed.
"This is definitely where I wanted to be," he said. "I actually dreamed this and imagined this spot for a long time. To finally be here is a great feeling."
UMass hasn't exactly come from nowhere. Sixth-year head coach Derek Kellogg has built the program back to respectability in recent years (25 wins in 2011-12, 21 last year, both ending in the NIT). This year, though, the Minutemen felt primed for another level and have let it be known that nothing short of a return to the NCAA tournament would be acceptable. After preseason workouts, reputed to be especially intense this year, star senior point guard Chaz Williams said the team was ready to pounce. "It was like, 'Let us out of the cage, let us out of the cage!'" he said.
Read the entire article by clicking the link below...
Longtime Springfield Republican writer and UMass follower Ron Chimelis (@ronchimelis) published a column on Derek Kellogg and how his program has turned the corner. He mentions that the patience has paid off for MinuteFan Nation and how fans need to remember that a quick fix isn't always an overnight process.
Read the entire article by clicking the link below...
UMass won its first road game of the season, 69-57, over a tough Eastern Michigan group on Tuesday night. The Minutemen played strong defense and got a balanced scoring night from across the roster. Once again, five players hit for double figures in scoring, while Cady Lalanne had a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds, and Raphiael Putney finished with a game-high 15 points and nine rebounds.
As the team makes its way to Ypsilanti, Mich. for Tuesday's game at Eastern Michigan, we've got a few of the stories that have been written over the last four days on the men's basketball team, including some more on the expectations that will come with being ranked in the Top 25. And when the polls come out, we'll be sure to update where the Minutemen stand this week.
Vin Parise (@VinParise) from CollegeBasketballTalk caught up with UMass head coach Derek Kellogg, who sits at 6-0 this season with a win in the Charleston Classic.
CBT: If I would have looked into a crystal ball in October and told you that UMass would be Top 25 before Thanksgiving; would you have believed it?
Kellogg: I knew we had some strong pieces in place and we would be better but I am a little surprised, in a very good way, that we are playing this well so early. I knew Chaz Williams would be our leader, but our other guys have been just as great.
CBT: When did it hit home that you guys could be a really good basketball team?
Kellogg: When we beat #19 New Mexico, I started to look at this group a little different. The way we had our press going and the way we played offensively - I felt we had the ability to play a high level of basketball. I'd love to be able to bottle that up now for the rest of the season.
Gary Parrish (@GaryParrishCBS) of CBS Sports.com spoke with Derek Kellogg on Monday about his time in Amherst as the head coach of the Minutemen and what's his six years have been like thus far.
Here's an excerpt from the article...
Which brings me to UMass.
Good luck telling UMass that rankings don't matter.
"It's been great," UMass coach Derek Kellogg told me late Monday, a few hours after the Minutemen officially entered the Associated Press poll for the first time in 15 years. "My phone -- text messages, emails, calls -- has been going all day. It's just been crazy."
So, yeah, the rankings matter.
But I'm not here to hammer that point again, at least not now, because I'd rather spend the rest of this column writing about UMass and Kellogg and how, sometimes, patience pays off.
That's the lesson here, right?
UMass hired Kellogg in 2008 to replace Travis Ford, and, honestly, it was a no-brainer move. Kellogg was a former UMass player who graduated from the school in 1995, and a hotshot assistant who had been working under his former coach, John Calipari, at Memphis. I'm not sure if anybody else was even considered, but, if so, it was a waste of time. Kellogg seemed like the right guy for a variety of reasons. He deserved the job and he got the job.
Then the process of rebuilding UMass began.
It hasn't been simple.
Click the link below to read the entire article...
UMass claimed the Charleston Classic title last night with a 62-56 win over Clemson. Cady Lalanne was a beast all week and earned Most Valuable Player honors after he posted two double-doubles and averaged 15.7 points, 11.7 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game. The Minutemen are off for a week until traveling to Eastern Michigan next Tuesday, Dec. 3.
UMass used a couple of big runs, including a game-ending 20-4 stretch over the final 7:54 to upset No. 19/20 New Mexico in the semifinals of the Charleston Classic. The Minutemen wore down the tired legs of the Lobos after they had played a very physical double-overtime game with UAB just 24 hours earlier. It was P.A.I.N. at its finest.
UMass is now 5-0 and will face 5-0 Clemson in the championship game on Sunday night at 9 p.m. on ESPN2.
UMass outlasted a late rally from Nebraska to advance to the winner's side of the Charleston Classic. Gordon ended the game with 22 points and five rebounds as he showed the fans what his game is all about. He was just three shy of his career-high of 25 from his Western Kentucky days. The Minutemen also got solid scoring from the other four starters and Maxie Esho joined the group of six in double figures. Before we get to any of the previews for the game with New Mexico, here are some recaps and thoughts on yesterday's action.
Every weekday, Andy Katz and a group of college hoops experts from ESPN discuss the comings and goings of the hoops world. Wednesday's installment contains some thoughts on the Charleston Classic from Katz, Dana O'Neil and Myron Medcalf and how they think things could shake out for the Minutemen.
3. Which team -- New Mexico, UMass, Nebraska, Georgia, Clemson, Davidson, Temple or UAB -- has the most to gain in the Charleston Classic beginning Thursday?
Andy Katz: UMass. The Minutemen are off to a terrific start and wins over Nebraska and New Mexico to get to a final where they should be favored will land the Minutemen in the Top 25 and on their way toward building an NCAA tournament résumé.
Dana O'Neil: This is big for UMass. This is the year it's supposed to come together for Derek Kellogg's team, but the Minutemen need some good quality wins out of conference to prove their worth. Playing against this field allows it. Chaz Williams could turn some heads in Charleston.
Myron Medcalf: I think it's UMass because the Minutemen began the year with three wins, including a victory over SEC sleeper LSU. In the second round of the Charleston Classic, UMass might get a shot at New Mexico. A win over the Lobos would boost UMass' NCAA tourney résumé and push the program into the Top 25, assuming they win the tournament's championship too.
Chaz Williams and Cady Lalanne both posted double-doubles as a quartet of UMass players reached double figures in scoring. UMass fought through a tight first half to take an eight-point lead at the break. The Minutemen extended the margin to as many as 18 at one point before cling with a 16-point win.
UMass is now 3-0 for the third time in the last four seasons and has scored at least 85 points in all three games. The last time a UMass team opened a season with three games of 80 or more was the 1991-92 season. It is also just the fourth time that has happened in school history.
Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) posted his latest Triple Threat article and lists UMass among three teams that have impressed him early.
Here is the chunk on the Minutemen...
Derek Kellogg told me over the summer that this is the year he believes he can lead his alma mater back to the NCAA Tournament and he's certainly got them headed in that direction. The Minutemen had a tremendous second-half comeback against Boston College on Sunday and then beat a very talented LSU team Tuesday in Amherst. Chaz Williams looks like the best guard in the Atlantic 10 and big man Cady Lalanne has also emerged. Noticeably more svelte than he was a year ago, Lalanne is averaging 21 points, 9.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks through UMass' first two games.
UMass put on a nice show in its second game of the season, defeating LSU 92-90 in front of more than 5,000 fans on Tuesday morning. The crowd was rockin' and so were the Minutemen, who debuted new gray jerseys for their second-consecutive ESPN Tip Off Marathon game.
The Massachusetts men's basketball team gave fans their first look at the 2013-14 edition in Tuesday night's exhitibion. As with most exhibitions, there were some bright spots and some not so bright spots. Sampson Carter's 20 points in 20 minutes was solid. Derrick Gordon showed off some of his fast break moves to the basket that fans have been waiting for since her transferred from Western Kentucky. Cady Lalanne and Maxie Esho combined for 24 points, 16 rebounds and three dunks.
In regards to the tighter hand-checking and block/charge calls with the rules changes, there were 37 fouls and 49 free throws taken, so we didn't have one of the games that have been popping up around the country with 80 fouls and a matching number of freebies, so that was nice. I think most fans will agree that it was a good first game and the coaching staff has some things to work on before, and after, the season-opener with Boston College on Sunday. It is early and the team will improve as the season progresses.
The UMass basketball team will welcome Springfield-based American International to the Mullins Center for an exhibition game tonight, beginning at 7:00 p.m. This will mark the first chance for the Minutemen faithful to get a look at the 2013-14 squad before Sunday's official opener against Boston College in the Coaches vs. Cancer Boston Tip Off at the TD Garden.
The doors will open at 6:00 p.m. tonight. Please remember to make sure you include the bar code on the bottom portion of your season ticket. Mullins Militia members can get in at 5:45 p.m. via the South entrance when they show their current membership card.
There has been a decent amount of talk lately about the rules changes coming this season on the men's basketball front. UMass men's basketball beat writer from MassLive Dan Malone (@Daniel_Malone) spent some time discussing the rules with head coach Derek Kellogg. The most obvious changes fans and players will see are in the form of hand-checking and the always controversial block/charge calls. In an attempt to increase scoring and freedom of movement (that's a term the officials are using now), defending players will not be allowed to put hands or arm-bars on an offensive player. Additionally, once an offensive player has started his upward move to pass or shoot, a defensive player cannot draw a charge unless already set.
Below is a chunk of what he wrote...
AMHERST - College basketball fans who like high-scoring games look like they could be in for a treat this season.
New for 2013-14 is a set of defensive hand-checking rules put into effect by NCAA to do just that -- limit physical play, especially on the perimeter, and help generate more offense.
Specified tactics under the new rules that will draw automatic fouls from officials include putting two hands on an opponent, keeping one hand or forearm in extended contact with an opponent, jabbing at an opponent with an extended hand or forearm and using an arm bar to block an opponent from moving.
The rule changes, not surprisingly, have coaches across American divided, some supportive and others skeptical. While higher point totals would likely lead to increased interest and better, more exciting games, many coaches are concerned about the potential for trigger-happy referees sending their star players to the bench earlier in games with foul trouble.
"The best way to increase scoring and make the game better is to create situations to get more shots," Kansas coach Bill Self told ESPN. "More free throws doesn't make the game better."
Still, others are cautiously optimistic about the new rules.
"I think it's good for the game," Kentucky coach John Calipari told reporters in early October. "But we're all wondering whether they will make the same calls in January, February and March that they make in November and December. I think they are convinced they are."
University of Massachusetts men's basketball coach Derek Kellogg was somewhere in between.
Dan Malone spoke with Derek Kellogg about the ability to leave wins and losses in the rear-view mirror while focusing on the next game or task in front of you.
"Every season, whether it's a success or whatever it is, we quickly turn the page," Kellogg said. "For me it's always what's next. We look back to make sure any pitfalls don't happen again and any good stuff we try to replicate and duplicate. But, really, as soon as the game ends, guys are home for a while and we started working again for this season."
In case you missed it, on Friday CBS' collection of college basketball writers released another of their summertime updates, or Conference Catchups. Matt Norlander penned the Atlantic 10 edition and came up with the following nuggets on UMass.
In his team commentary in 140 characters or less...
Massachusetts: I think the Minutemen are set for a very big year. Derek Kellogg has made the team progressively better in the past five seasons. Now comes a league title.
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.
UMass head coach Derek Kellogg and senior forward Terrell Vinson spent Tuesday in Boston participating in the second Commonwealth of Massachusetts Men's Basketball Media Day. All six head coaches from the state's Division I program - Boston College, Boston University, Harvard, Holy Cross, UMass and Northeastern - were in attendance.
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.
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.
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.
With the fall sports season hitting the midway point, that means hoops and hockey are ratcheting up workouts in anticipation of their seasons. Here are a few preseason articles from area writers on last week's men's basketball practice.
UMass beat writers Matt Vautour (Daily Hampshire Gazette) and
Harry Plumer (Springfield Republican) were in attendance at basketball practice
Tuesday at the Cage and filed a pair of reports on what they saw.
Don't forget, you can reserve your season tickets right now by calling the UMass Ticket Office at 1-866-UMASS-TIX.
** 5 Game Packs go on sale beginning Monday, Oct. 1. ** Single-game tickets will go on sale Monday, Oct. 15. ** Group tickets of 15 or more may be purchased through the UMass Group Sales Office for as low as $8/ticket by contacting Jason Blanchette at 413-577-0340 or firstname.lastname@example.org
By Brian Henry on August 28, 2012 4:41 PM
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.
Last night, head men's basketball coach Derek Kellogg was a guest on Inside College Basketball, aired nationally on SiriusXM Radio Channel 91. Here is a link to a clip from the show where the fifth-year coach talks about the journey at UMass since his return.
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!!!
Yesterday we posted a video interview (see below) with head coach Derek Kellogg about
the work his program has done with sport psychologist Joe Carr. Today, UMass
beat writer Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has an in-depth story
about Dr. Carr's visit, dubbed "Brotherhood 2.0."
The Minutemen adopted the word a year ago when they met
with sports psychologist Joe Carr for preseason meetings that helped bond the
team and coaching staff together. On Tuesday, Riley and the rest of the UMass
players again met with Carr for "Brotherhood 2.0" sessions.
"Dr. Carr was a big part of the success we had last
year," UMass coach Derek Kellogg said. "It helped formulate our team,
and defined roles and the bonding of the brotherhood that we had."
"In July we have more time to implement the things we
want to implement and the new guys are getting a taste of how serious this is.
We want to do something special," he added. "It's been good for those
guys to get acclimated. It's been great to get to know them on a personal
level. It's a comforting kind of atmosphere where you know everyone in there is
there for you and part of your family."