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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mark Chiarelli of the Daily Collegian spent some time with Raphiael Putney and talked to the fifth-year senior about how his time with Athletes In Action this past summer helped refocus his energy on making his senior season his best at UMass.
Raphiael Putney is a seafood guy.
Apart of the program Athletes in Action this summer, a religious-based basketball retreat, Putney traveled to Spain for a two-week stint and participated in the program's basketball tour while also finding time to enjoy the delicacies of overseas travel.
"My favorite part of Spain, it was the food," Putney said. "I'm a seafood type of guy so I love seafood.
"And also, just being around a group of guys from different college teams, there's a lot of players around the nation and you don't get a chance to meet them."
Putney's trip overseas offered more than the typical basketball tour.
Athletes in Action is deeply rooted in faith. As its website states, "Athletes in Action has been using sports as a platform to help people answer questions of faith and to point them to Jesus." For Putney, it was the perfect fit.
Read the entire story by clicking on the link below...
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.
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.
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.
After playing 10 of its first 15 games away from the Mullins Center, UMass returns to the 20-year-old facility for a three-game homestand over the next nine day. On Thursday, UMass will play host to Duquesne in game televised nationally by the CBS Sports Network (Channel Finder). The Dukes were the last Atlantic 10 opponent to play in Amherst when the Minutemen handed the visitors a 92-83 setback in the first round of the 2012 A-10 Championship.
Derek Kellogg has said on more than one occasion that Raphiael Putney is a key piece to UMass' success this season. Last year he averaged 10.1 points and 5.9 rebounds in 24.2 minutes per game. Putney is stronger than ever and still one of the most athletic players in the country.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has an article on his progress as he begins his fourth season with the program.
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.
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 email@example.com
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
CBS Sports College Basketball Insider Jeff Goodman has picked UMass to finish fifth in his conference countdown for the Atlantic 10. Goodman has the Minutemen, who were picked 12th in the A-10 preseason poll, finishing behind Xavier, Temple, Saint Louis, and St. Bonaventure. He also picks redshirt sophomore forward Raphiael Putney has his A-10 Breakthrough Player of the Year.
"The pressure is on Derek Kellogg in Year 4. He lost Anthony Gurley, but might finally have a true point guard with Hofstra transfer Chaz Williams. The young group from a couple of years ago -- juniors Freddie Riley, Sampson Carter, Javorn Farrell, Terrell Vinson and redshirt sophomore Raphiael Putney -- needs to go out there and prove itself."
Morgan and Putney are offering new life to this roller-coaster ride of a University of Massachusetts men's basketball season.
What they lack in experience, they are overcoming with their energy level, jarring a team that had seemed to be turning stale.
"They are bringing a freshness with their play and demeanor,'' UMass coach Derek Kellogg said as the Minutemen got ready for Wednesday's home game against Saint Joseph's.
"Their eyes are always on me, saying 'Put me in.' I like that.''
The Springfield Republican has a feature story on UMass redshirt freshman Raphiael Putney.
Ron Chimelis writes: as UMass approaches Wednesday night's game at St. Bonaventure, Putney is not the best of the Minutemen. But he might be the most intriguing.
Kellogg likes to compare the styles of current players with familiar players of years past. He was asked if Putney's style reminds him of any previous Minutemen.
"Not yet. But I think he's a good example of the value of redshirting,'' said Kellogg, whose player used the inactive 2009-10 season to add strength to his still-willowy, 180-pound frame.
UMass takes an 11-7 record (3-2 Atlantic 10) to St. Bonaventure (10-8, 2-3).
Be sure to join us for the Bud Light UMass Basketball Radio Show on Monday night at 7 p.m., at the Hangar Pub & Grille. Redshirt freshman Raphiael Putney will be the player guest. Listen on 100.9 FM WRNX If you can;t make it to the Hangar.
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.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a feature on redshirt freshman Raphiael Putney and the high hopes for him at UMass.
UMass fans have heard about Putney's athleticism since he arrived in Amherst, but because he redshirted last year in attempt to get stronger and put on weight, they've rarely had a chance to see it, until last Thursday.
"Putney, even though he's very skinny, is a world-class athlete who does some good things out there with his length and his athleticism," UMass coach Derek Kellogg said. "If we can put some weight on him, if we can get him to mature and become a grown man, I think he has a chance to be a special player at UMass."