Happy Friday! Another huge weekend of UMass Athletics is upon us. It all begins tonight at 7 p.m. as the Mass Attack returns to Hockey East action, hosting rival UNH at the Mullins Center. Then on Saturday is the homecoming we've all been waiting for as men's basketball coach Derek Kellogg returns to Springfield at 1 p.m. This JTAM has stories on both hockey and basketball.
UNH hockey is getting two key players back (Blake Kessel and James van Riemsdyk) for the weekend home-and-home with the Minutemen. Both played in the Junior National Tournament for Team USA. The two are extremely talented as Kessel (brother of Boston Bruins star Phil) was a sixth round pick by the New York Islanders in 2007 and van Riemsdkyk was selected second overall by the Philadelphia Flyers, also in '07.
USCHO.com has its weekly look at Hockey East mentioning that UMass: UMass's results from the first half resembled a see-saw rhythmically going up and down.
Check out the latest mention of UMass All-American goalie Jonathan Quick. In this Los Angeles Kings analysis in The Press Enterprise, it reads "Goalies Erik Ersberg and Jonathan Quick now give them a chance to win, rather than just playing well enough to lose."
UMassAthletics.com Feature To Check Out: We need your support this weekend! Call 1-866-UMASS-TIX for tickets or click here to order tickets to Friday's hockey game, and here to order tickets for Saturday's men's basketball game. Let's make it a weekend to remember!
Don't miss this: Two great games in less than 24 hours! What more needs to be said? Check out the Mass Attack as it hosts UNH at 7 p.m. on Friday. Then head 1/2 hour south on Saturday as the men's basketball team hosts Dayton at 1 p.m. at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield. Tickets are still available, but if you can't make it, remember to watch Saturday's action live on CBS3.
Thursday, Jan. 8
Thursday is big day to focus on UMass men's basketball coach Derek Kellogg. The Springfield Republican has a front page feature on Kellogg's life as the favorite son in his hometown. The paper also has a look at the press conference held to promote Saturday's game at the MassMutual Center. On Thursday night, be sure to come out to the Bud Light UMass Basketball Show at the Hangar Pub & Grille to meet Coach Kellogg and listen to the radio show at 7 p.m. You can ask both Coach Kellogg and women's Coach Marnie Dacko in Ask The Coach. There is also news on Springfield seeking future Atlantic 10 Basketball Tournaments.
The front cover of the Republican features It's homecoming Saturday for Derek Kellogg as a lead news story on Thursday. It has comments and stories from various people who grew up with Derek and have known him since he was a tot.
UMass alum Andrew Merritt has his weekly Hockey East notebook on hockeyjournal.com. He mentions UMass, with this key stat: The Minutemen are 9-1-0 when scoring three or more goals this year, and 0-7-1 when they don't reach that mark.
UMassAthletics.com Feature To Check Out: Keep checking for UMass Auctions. Right now you can bid on a chance for a Behind the Scenes Hockey Tour Fan Experience.
Don't miss this: Thursday night marks the return of the Bud Light UMass Basketball Shows on WRNX 100.9 FM or online. Send your questions for head coaches both Derek Kellogg and Marnie Dacko, fans can Ask The Coach. The show airs at 7 p.m. from the Hangar Pub & Grille.
Wednesday, Jan. 7
Today will be an eventful day in Western Mass when it comes to UMass. Down in Springfield, a press conference at the MassMutual Center will be held where head coach Derek Kellogg and Mayor Domenic Sarno will talk about the Minutemen playing in the city. That event will take place at 11:30 a.m. in the box office lobby of the arena. In Amherst, the UMass Sports Luncheon has been cancelled as UMass has closed its campus due to the snowy and icy weather. Just Take A Minute also has plenty of news on basketball.
Get an advance listen to Mayor Sarno on podcast on Masslive.com as he talks about various sessions including UMass basketball.
In the Springfield Republican, Garry Brown begins his "Hitting To All Fields" with a mention of UMass' game in Springfield: Just sitting and wondering if UMass can win in the Birthplace of Basketball.
Looking ahead to Saturday's foe, Dayton pulled off a 45-40 win over Miami (Ohio) on Tuesday night at UD Arena. The game was a physical war according to the Dayton Daily News.
According to RealtimeRPI.com, the UMass men have the 55th most difficult schedule in the NCAA. That will raise as the Minutemen face No. 39 Dayton.
From Monday, Matt Vautour had this Atlantic 10 notebook kicking off with info on the much-improved St. Bonaventure Bonnies.
On Day 1 of the D-League Showcase, former UMass star Gary Forbes was a star. He scored 30 points as his Sioux Falls Skyforce lost to Albuquerque, 115-108. Forbes sporting a black headband is featured in the front of the Skyforce website.
NBC 22 has posted videos of its Top Plays Of The Year. It includes play number 4, in the NCAA softball regionals, UMass outfielder Carly Normandin makes an over-the-wall catch, which turned into a double-play in a win against Stanford. You can watch the video here. Also, they have videos for Top Performances Of The Year. The UMass basketball team garners the 2nd best performance of 2008. UMass overcame a 22 point deficit on the road at Syracuse in the NIT quarterfinals. Watch that here.
UMassAthletics.com Feature To Check Out: Looking ahead to Thursday's Basketball Radio Shows, fans can Ask The Coach for both Derek Kellogg and Marnie Dacko. The show airs at 7 p.m. from the Hangar Pub & Grille.
Don't miss this: Wednesday morning's press conference at the MassMutual Center will be featured on all of the local news channels this evening along with local newspapers.
Tuesday, Jan. 6
Tuesday means the Bud Light UMass Hockey Show is back, so be sure to join us at the Hangar tonight at 7 p.m. If you can't make it, tune to 100.9 WRNX or click here to listen online. This JTAM has stories on men's basketball, hockey, and even a UMass soccer reference.
The UNH hockey team had a huge 5-4 comeback win over Maine on Sunday, its final game before facing the Minutemen twice next weekend.
UMass hockey alum Thomas Pock was in action on Monday night as his Islanders fell to Edmonton, 3-2. He has a goal and two assists in 32 games this season.
Another former All-American in the NHL is Jon Quick, who continued his tremendous play on Saturday, stopping 31 of 32 before winning in the shootout as his Los Angeles Kings topped Philadelphia, 2-1. It looks like he has earned himself the starting goaltender position as he has started the last five games and is set to start tonight against Anaheim. Teammate Sean O'Donnell had rave reviews in a story on the Kings' website. Here is a snippet: "He has been great...All you want from your goalie is to make the stops you are supposed to make and give your team a chance to win. Making the unbelievable saves that he has been making is just a bonus."
The A-10 Men's Basketball Notebook on Scout.com mentions St. Bonaventure's Andrew Nicholson, who blocked a program-record nine shots at Bucknell on Dec. 30. It also ties for the most blocks in a Division I game all year, a mark that none other than Tony Gaffney reached vs. Boston College on Dec. 6.
Men's basketball's win at Kansas keeps looking better and better. The Jayhawks topped No. 18 Tennessee on Saturday night by a 92-85 final. Kansas improves to 10-3 on the season with its only losses coming to UMass, Syracuse, and Arizona.
UMass was mentioned in a soccer interview with former Saint Louis star Kyle Patterson, who is at the MLS Combine. He notes how the Atlantic 10 is improving. He says, "I've learned that there are no easy games in collegiate soccer. The standard is improving every year. Our conference is evidence that the teams are improving. Charlotte, UMass and Dayton were all in the top 25 at some point of this season as well as us."
UMassAthletics.com Feature To Check Out: Check out the photo gallery form the Vanderbilt men's basketball game, which was the Leaman Legacy Game Day and 1960's Celebration. There are many pictures from alums who returned for the festivities.
Don't miss this: The Bud Light Hockey Show is back so don't miss it! Be sure to join us at the Hangar tonight at 7 p.m. If you can't make it, tune to 100.9 WRNX or click here to listen online.
Monday, Jan. 5
BUY TICKETS: Hockey Vs. UNH On Friday | MBB Vs. Dayton On Saturday
Happy Monday! It was a tough weekend for the UMass teams, but its the start of a new week and new beginning as the squads get into the nitty-gritty of conference schedules next weekend. The hockey team hosts New Hampshire on Friday. The men's basketball team "hosts" Dayton in Springfield on Saturday and the women's basketball team heads to Fordham to open A-10 play. JTAM has several stories on UMass alums and former coaches.
UMass alum Gary Forbes will be featured in the NBA D-League Showcase which starts Monday and runs through Thursday. Also Forbes has a chance to be signed to an NBA 10-day contract as they begin to be handed out on Monday so look for Forbes to earn one soon.
ESPN's Andy Katz mentions UMass in his Weekly Watch saying: The Minutemen blew an opportunity to beat an SEC team by getting blown out at home in Amherst by Vanderbilt, 78-48.
In the AFC Wild Card playoffs, UMass alum Brandon London made an NFL career-best four catches for 38 yards as the Miami Dolphins lost to Baltimore, 27-9. London had the final catch of the game for te Phins as part of his four. Coming into the game for the whole year he had three catches for 30 yards. London being a UMass alum was mentioned on the TV broadcast on CBS and on radio on Westwood One.
Former UMass football head coach Mark Whipple and his current squad, the Philadelphia Eagles advanced in the NFL playoffs, beating the Minnesota Vikings, 26-14 and will play the New York Giants next weekend.
Don't miss this:Derek Kellogg will have his weekly Atlantic 10 Teleconference on Monday morning. Look for a full transcript on the web later in the day. Also, check back for any weekly awards, including the UMass Athlete of the Week for the last few weeks.