It's a busy weekend for the UMass teams. The men's basketball squad "hosts" La Salle in Springfield on Sunday at 2 p.m. The women's basketball team hosts Rhode Island at the Mullins Center on Saturday. The No. 16 hockey team travels to New Hampshire for a Saturday tilt and a Sunday game at Northeastern on Sunday (ESPNU). JTAM also has news on the hiring of Ed Matz as the new women's soccer head coach.
The Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story on UMass' hiring of Ed Matz as the new coach of the women's soccer program. "I want a program with high expectations that puts emphasis on winning and demands the best from its coaches," Matz said. "That's why I came to UMass. I want to take UMass back to the level of success it enjoyed nearly a decade ago." The Springfield Republican mentions the hiring as well.
In the Springfield Republican, Ron Chimelis has a column on the connections between Derek Kellogg and his mentor -- his high school coach Kevin Kennedy. From 1987-91, Kennedy was Kellogg's mentor at Cathedral High. Nearly 20 years later, Kennedy goes to every UMass game he can, and talks with his former pupil often.
Sunday's basketball foe La Salle fell to 7-7, just like the Minutemen with a 66-62 loss to Xavier on Thursday at Tom Gola Arena in Philly. Senior Rodney Green led the Explorers with 20 points, with 16 coming after intermission.
In his blog, ESPN.com's Andy Katz has high praise for two UMass basketball opponents: Cornell and Seton Hall.
The Laconia Citizen has a preview of Saturday's Hockey East showdown at UNH.
USCHO.com has a look around Hockey East with lots of mentions about the Mass Attack.
Scott McLaughlin of InsideHockey.com has the national points and assists leader James Marcou as his No. 1 candidate for the Hobey Baker Award this week. Coming in at No. 6 on the 10-player list is Casey Wellman who is second on the team in scoring and leads the country in goals per game. Only UMass and Minnesota-Duluth have two players listed among the top-10 players on the weekly watch list.
Speaking of the Hobey Baker award, fan poll voting is scheduled to begin today. To vote for James Marcou or Justin Braun, UMass' two nominees for college hockey's ultimate individual honor, go to www.hobeybaker.com and click on the Vote For Hobey icon in the top right corner.
UMass' Jon Quick is a major part of a wonderful feature in the New York Times. "For a long time, it's been, do they have that goaltender?" said Mark Hardy, a former Kings defenseman and longtime assistant coach. "When your goalie (Quick) is at the top of his game, it has a very calming effect on your team. It's very hard to go out there and play the game when you're always worried about making a mistake."
The Salem News has a feature story on Hockey East Director of Public Relations Pete Souris, who has helped to put together the Hockey East doubleheader at Fenway Park tonight. It mentions that UMass will supply the stat crew for the games including media relations office members John Sinnett and Jillian Jakuba.
The NLL's Boston Blazers are set to start action soon and former UMass All-American Sean Morris continues to be a star for the indoor lacrosse team that plays at the TD Garden. The Boston Globe has a feature.
Lots of football news from Virginia. Former UMass head football coach Jim Reid was officially hired as the defensive coordinator at the University of Virginia. The Associated Press has the story on the former Minuteman leader.
Off the field, and in the community, the Amherst Bulletin reports a fundraiser for the Amherst Survival Center, in which guests get to have a meal and return home with a handcrafted bowl, is taking place for the second time. The second annual Empty Bowls Dinner will be Tuesday from 4 to 8 p.m. at The Pub, 15 East Pleasant St. Like in its first year, those who attend will eat a hearty soup, fresh baked bread, salad and cider, all of which will be served by celebrity waiters. The waitstaff is expected to include University of Massachusetts men's head basketball coach Derek Kellogg, UMass football coach Kevin Morris and UMass chancellor Robert Holub.
In final preparations for the New York Jets playoff game with the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday, UMass alum James Ihedigbo has comments on his team in the New York Daily News. "Whether you're a scout team guy or a starter, you feel like part of the common goal," James Ihedigbo said. "When you understand your teammates and connect, it changes things drastically. I understand the type of personality that you have and how you joke off the field. On the field, I can kind of anticipate what you're thinking and communicate better."
Check This Out On UMassAthletics.com: Six new Auctions have been posted on the site. They are mostly men's basketball memorabilia. Also the auction for riding on the Zamboni at the Jan. 15 hockey game ends on Friday.
Don't Miss This: Four games this weekend in New England for UMass teams: Saturday at 2 p.m. - Women's Basketball vs. URI at Mullins; Hockey at UNH at 7 p.m. On Sunday - Men's Basketball vs. La Salle at the MassMutual Center in Springfield at 2 p.m. The hockey team plays at Northeastern at 8 p.m., on ESPNU to finish up weekend action.
Coming off a thrilling last-second shot to beat Fordham in the A-10 opener, UMass basketball coach Derek Kellogg has his weekly radio show on Thursday at 7 p.m. Come on out to Stackers in Amherst for the Bud Light UMass Basketball Radio Show and meet the coach and members of the Minutemen. Earlier on Thursday Kellogg will take part in an event in Springfield with Mayor Sarno and Congressman Neal to promote Sunday's game at the MassMutual Center.
Former UMass basketball star and final cut of the Los Angeles Lakers Tony Gaffney was at Wednesday's game vs. Fordham. According to the Springfield Republican, Gaffney is hoping to sign an NBA 10-Day Contract in the near future.
The men's basketball team is back in action at the Mullins Center for the first time in nearly a month as the Minutemen host their A-10 opener vs. Fordham tonight at 7:30 p.m. The women's team welcomes Harvard at 5:30 p.m., in the first game of a doubleheader. The UMass Sports Luncheon takes place at 12:15 p.m., today in the Campus Center Room 1009. Derek Kellogg and Toot Cahoon are the featured speakers.
Ron Chimelis of the Springfield Republican has a preview of tonight's UMass-Fordham game. "This league is going to be a battle," UMass coach Derek Kellogg said.
"I feel pretty good about us, going into Atlantic 10 play. The players have been working hard at practice, buying in to what we're doing and taking a little ownership of their team."
At the game, UMass will honor Hall of Famer Ray Ellerbrook at halftime. One of the school's all-time sports stars, Ellerbrook played baseball and basketball at UMass from 1967-70. In October, Ellerbrook was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame.
A former 27-year director of recreation in Northampton, he is currently the executive director of Look Park in Florence.
A big game of note on the non-conference schedule tonight is UMass opponent Memphis playing at Syracuse. The Syracuse Post-Standard has a look.
In his ESPN.com blog, Andy Katz picks another UMass opponent - Cornell, as his Team of the Week. On Wednesday, Cornell plays at top-ranked Kansas at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN360.com. Katz breaks down how the Big Red could pull of the stunner.
In D-League action, the Springfield Armor lost to the Dakota Wizards last night, 110-103 in Boise, Idaho. Former UMass player Maurice Maxwell scored 18 points with 11 of them coming in the final quarter. Maxwell scored nine of Springfield's first 11 fourth-quarter points to help the Armor take a 90-86 lead.
Another UMass foe got back in the win column last night as Boston College dismantled NJIT, 89-32 at Conte Forum.
In his weekly college notebook in the Springfield Republican, Dick Baker mentions tonight's UMass-Harvard women's basketball game at 5:30 p.m. Harvard is 7-4, and is 5-0 against in-state teams. The Crimson were 19-10 last season, finishing second in the Ivy League to Dartmouth.
ESPN has released its 2010 lacrosse television schedule. 57 games will air on the family of networks. That includes UMass playing in the ESPNU Warrior Lacrosse Invitational, organized by ESPN Regional Television. The event will take place at Rentschler Field in Hartford, Conn., on Saturday, April 24, and will showcase No. 18 UMass vs. No. 13 Georgetown at and No. 17 Denver vs. Fairfield.
Major League Lacrosse has announced its 2010 season schedule. Many UMass alums will be in action as the slate gets underway on May 15.
There are no UMass Athlete birthdays today.
Check This Out On UMassAthletics.com: If you are a huge UMass fan, get B-Line, the Desktop Communicator. Its a FREE software program that provides a higher level of interaction with the team website. It has a "Cliff Notes" version of the team website with links back to the official site for the full story. Pop up alerts notify you of breaking team news, new media releases and special offers. This streamlined program will not slow down your computer's speed or hinder performance.
Don't Miss This: Here's your UMass daily schedule: 12:15 p.m. - Campus Center for the UMass Sports Luncheon to hear speakers Derek Kellogg and Toot Cahoon along with Athlete of the Week Casey Wellman ... 5:30 p.m. - UMass women's basketball vs. Harvard at the Mullins Center ... 7:30 p.m. - UMass men's basketball vs. Fordham at the Mullins Center. Enjoy cheering on the Maroon & White.
Today's JTAM brings news on basketball freshman Freddie Riley, who looks like he's ready to return to action after minor knee surgery. The Bud Light UMass Hockey Radio Show returns tonight at 7 p.m., at the Hangar where the No. 16 Mass Attack will be discussed. Congrats to former "Voice of the Minutemen" Bob Behler, who called last night's 17-10 Fiesta Bowl win for the Boise State Broncos over TCU, in Arizona.
Kudos to Bob Behler, now in his second season as the radio voice of Boise State after nine years at UMass. Behler had the honor of calling last night's Boise State 17-10 win over TCU in the Fiesta Bowl.
UMass' Olympian Jonathan Quick continues to shine. He made a career-high 45 saves last night in the Los Angeles Kings' 6-2 win over the San Jose Sharks. "He (Quick) did a great job for us," Kings' defenseman Drew Doughty told reporters. "Even though we got six goals, if (Quick) didn't play as well as he did tonight they easily could have had six as well."
ABC40 TV has a story on Springfied native Gavin Lessard, the 8-yard old. In front of close to 40,000 people on Friday, Gavin wore the jersey of L.A. Kings goalie and former UMass Minuteman Jonathan Quick as the 2010 Olympic hockey team was announced at the Winter Classic at Fenway Park.
In the Daily Hampshire Gazette, Matt Vautour has his weekly Atlantic 10 basketball notebook with a look at the league's NCAA Tournament hopes as non-conference plays nears its end.
With three former UMass basketball players in the line-up, the D-League's Springfield Armor lost at the Idaho Stampede, 111-88 last night in the D-League Showcase. Maurice Maxwell had 14 points for the Armor, who are now 2-14.
Future UMass women's hoop player Kelly Robinson is mentioned this story in YourNabe from the New York Post. Robinson had 10 points for Francis Lewis in the Big Apple Recruiting Christmas Classic at Bishop Ford Sunday.
Thinking about softball? The Seattle Times has an exclusive chat with Washington softball star Danielle Lawrie, who became a common name to UMass fans last spring. During the Huskies' run to the national title, she broke a UW single-game record when she struck out 24 batters in a 15-inning victory over UMass in the NCAA Regionals.
There are no UMass Athlete birthdays today.
Check This Out On UMassAthletics.com: Get involved with the UMass Athletic Association. The mission of the UMAA is to encourage the involvement and financial support of alums, parents, and friends to enhance the UMass athletic program. Its objective is to provide the additional resources necessary for the University's student-athletes and coaches to compete successfully - regionally and nationally - thereby allowing them to do their part in bringing honor, national recognition, and high public regard for the University of Massachusetts.
Don't Miss This: Come out and join us at the Hangar Pub & Grille for the return of the Bud Light UMass Hockey Show at 7 p.m.
Happy New Year and welcome back to Just Take A Minute. Check out our new daily feature this year of UMass athlete birthdays here in JTAM. Lots of stories on former UMass hockey star Jon Quick making the Team USA Olympic Hockey Team. Also UMass alum James Ihedigbo had a sack in the New York Jets' playoff-clinching win over Cincinnati on Sunday night. JTAM also has stories on the weekend games for the hockey and women's hoops teams.
Kudos to UMass alums general manager Mike Tannenbaum, assistant coach Brian Smith and safety James Ihedigbo of the New York Jets for winning their way into the NFL playoffs with a 37-0 thumping of the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday night. The teams will rematch next Saturday at 4:30 p.m., in the first game of the postseason. Ihedigbo had a sack and forced fumble in the final minutes.
In the New York Daily News Mike Lupica mentions Tannenbaum and all his moves to aid the Jets this season.
Former UMass head football coach Jim Reid will be named the new defensive coordinator at Virginia. NBC29 has the story. Reid spent six seasons as the head coach of the Minutemen starting in 1986. He has coached at various stops including Richmond, the Miami Dolphins and others. He will work under former Richmond head coach and new UVA head man Mike London.
The ecade_part_3.html">Newark Star-Ledger has a look at the top women's basketball players from New Jersey in the 2000s including a nice mention of Kristina Danella. The paper cites: She stood 6-1, but Danella could play it anyway she wanted. If she chose to go inside, Danella operated like she was 6-4, dominating smaller defenders and completely owning the boards. If you wanted to see what she had from the perimeter, play off her just a hair and watch her transformer into a 5-8 sharpshooter, raining 3-pointers with the ease of a layup. And, go ahead and foul her because Danella made a living at closing out contests from the line. She hit 263 of 314 free-throw attempts as a senior, including a 25-of-28 showing in a 43-point performance that keyed a triumph over Christ the King.
The men's basketball team will open A-10 play against the Fordham Rams on Wednesday night at the Mullins Center. Fordham comes in with a 2-10 record after a 78-54 loss at Hampton on Sunday.
Check This Out On UMassAthletics.com: With the new year here check out the updated Calendar of Games for the month of January 2010.
Don't Miss This: Weekly league honors will be handed out on Monday. Check out the latest hockey polls on Monday. See if UMass hangs at No. 15 in both.