Busy day on tap for Friday when it comes to the UMass teams. The nationally-ranked softball team is slated for two games in Georgia, starting with an 11 a.m. tilt vs. Mississippi State. The track teams will compete in the New England Championships during the day. At 7 p.m., at night, the hockey team looks to get back on the winning track at #7 Boston College. The men's hoops and men's lacrosse teams will be traveling to Ohio by plane.
No UMass student-athlete birthdays today.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story on the hockey team and its fight for a spot in the Hockey East playoffs.
On Sporting News.com, Dennis Dillon mentions Ducasse as a low profile player who has high hopes. "If he gets through the drills OK and handles himself in interviews, he'll have a chance to help himself."
From the combine, here is a quote from San Francisco 49ers General Manager Scot McCloughan: "The kid out of UMass Ducasse caught my eye."
Check This Out On UMassAthletics.com: Pick up your favorite UMass photo as a gift in the UMass Photo Store.
Don't Miss This: Its an action packed day for UMass events. The softball team kicks off the schedule with an 11 a.m. game vs. Mississippi State in Columbus, Ga. The track teams compete in the New England Championships starting at 1:30 p.m. At 6:30 the softball is back in action vs. NC State and finally at 7 p.m., the hockey team faces #BC at Conte Forum.
The Bud Light UMass Basketball Show returns to Derek Kellogg's hometown tonight. Join us at 350 Grill in Springfield, located at 350 Worthington Street tonight at 7 p.m. Also at 7 p.m., at the Mullins Center, the women's hoop team hosts Senior Night as Saint Joseph's comes to town for the final home game of 2009-10. Also, listen to the UMass Lacrosse Show at 5 p.m., on WMUA 91.1.
UMass' Saturday opponent Dayton, suffered a 49-41 loss at Temple last night. The Flyers stand 18-9 overall and 7-6 in the A-10 after the defeat. In the first half, the Flyers went 8 1/2 minutes without a point. The Dayton Daily News takes a deeper look at the Flyers' struggles. Dayton also had a school-record low for points in a half with 13 at halftime.
SeaCoastOnline has a story on former UMass lacrosse player Vinny LoBello, who has been named the new head coach of the Kennebunk High School boys' lacrosse team, taking over for longtime coach Charlie Burch. LoBello and Burch are longtime friends and LoBello has been an assistant coach under Burch on two different occasions.
The San Francisco Chronicle mentions Vladimir Ducasse with the following line: Other guys to look at the combine include UMass tackle Vladmir Ducasse, who's a high-risk raw player with Michael Oher-type talent.
In a story of speculation, the Blue Gold News wonders if UMass could move to FBS Football. The story focuses on what might happen should a team leave the Big East for the Big Ten.
The Washington Post has a look at the Washington Nationals pitching staff including UMass Hall of Famer Ron Villone.
Check This Out On UMassAthletics.com: Do you have kids? Are they in the UMass Kids Club? If not signup now, here's all the latest in on the UMass Kids Club.
Don't Miss This: Here's the evening schedule: 5 p.m., listen to the UMass Lacrosse Radio Show on 91.1 WMUA. At 7 p.m., come to Senior Night for women's basketball vs. St. Joe's .... and be sure to bring a radio to listen to the Bud Light UMass Basketball Show from the 350 Grill in Springfield at 7 p.m.
Hello snow! Waking up to a white morning? The UMass campus is opening at 5:30 PM, today due to the weather conditions. Today's UMass Sports Luncheon has been postponed due to the delayed opening. The women's lacrosse team is still scheduled to play Boston University this afternoon, but stay tuned to UMassAthletics.com for more details. JTAM also has updates on the national softball polls which include the Minutewomen.
The Daily Collegian also has a story on the weekly honors garnered by Alexis Venechanos' squad.
USA Today has its look at the Top 64 NFL Draft Prospects including UMass' Vladimir Ducasse. Writer Frank Cooney ranks him No. 51 with the following synopsis: There is little doubt Ducasse has rare size and skills, but there is no consensus on where his talent might be best used in pro football. At the Senior Bowl, scouts delighted in watching him line up at all of the offensive line positions and then even take a shot on the defensive side. His natural strength and athletic ability give him tremendous upside.
The Dallas Morning-News cites NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock, who says Ducasse could be drafted in the first round.
The Worcester Telegram & Gazette has a great feature story on former staffer Brian Gorman, who is the head coach at Becker College. When Gorman entered the Elms College gym in Chicopee a couple of weeks ago, he looked up and saw UMass coach Derek Kellogg sitting a few rows behind the Hawks' bench. Gorman, who served under John Calipari at UMass when Kellogg played there, thought it was pretty cool Kellogg was spending his night off watching the Hawks.
UMass' next foe Dayton takes on Temple tonight in a huge battle for top seeding in the A-10. The Dayton Daily News has a preview.
The St. Louis Globe Democrat has a look at Saint Louis after the Billikens topped UMass last Sunday, as they make a push for a A-10 Tourney top seed.
The Springfield Republican has its weekly college wrap-up with a nice section on the men's lacrosse team. Dick Baker focuses on Bobby Hayes, who already has seven goals after scoring only 14 last year. "He's in a different spot on the extra man now," UMass coach Greg Cannella explained because of graduations. "He's a real leader for us on the extra man, he had one (Saturday) and three last week, so that's helping him."
Former UMass assistant coach Jake Coon enters his first season as the head coach at RIT. Check out the season preview on the Tigers website.
TRACK & FIELD
The Worcester Telegram has a mention in its "Campus Notes" of UMass junior Stephanie Aguguo of Shrewsbury finished fourth in the long jump and fifth in the triple jump while achieving personal bests in both events.
The UMass For Haiti Auction ends this evening at 6 p.m. Be sure to get your last bids in on items including several Vladimir Ducasse signed jerseys. Ducasse will take part in the NFL Combine this weekend in Indianapolis. JTAM also has a look at the national polls where UMass continues to garner national attention. Kudos to alum Tony Barbee and his UTEP Miners for being ranked for the first time. Plus news on hockey and more.
Sports Illustrated.com has a look at non-BCS players invited to the NFL Combine led by UMass' Vladimir Ducasse. The tackle's picture is featured in this article with the following analysis: Vladimir Ducasse, UMass, T: Ducasse, mentioned by us as one of the top tackles in the nation last September, heads into the combine as the highest rated non-BCS prospect. He played well at the Senior Bowl but did not wow scouts. Ducasse's ability to turn in a good overall workout will affirm he is an offensive lineman capable of playing in a variety of systems at the next level.
The Worcester Telegram & Gazette has a story on Holy Cross' quarterback Dominic Randolph which mentions how he will throw at UMass' Pro Day on March 25 at McGuirk Stadium.
Congrats to UMass alum Tony Barbee and his UTEP Miners, who are ranked No. 25 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. Also of note Michigan State is No. 14, Temple is 18th and Richmond 24th. Baylor, Cornell and Xavier also receive votes. In the AP Poll, UTEP is first in others receiving votes. Ranked UMass foes include: No. 14 Michigan State, No. 20 Temple, No. 23 Richmond and No. 24 Baylor.
WEEI.com has a look at the tremendous season for the Atlantic 10 conference. The Atlantic 10 has been somewhat of a forgotten conference over the past several years. However, 2010 has brought some national attention, and respect, back to the A-10. The piece has a retro 1996 picture of UMass led by John Calipari.
In the Springfield Republican, Dick Baker has a story on how UMass hockey has broken its all-time single-season attendance record. The final figures are in, showing a total of 79,690 fans attending 15 home dates for an average of 5,313.
UMass' Jon Quick, who is serving as a back-up goalie for Team USA in the Olympics, is mentioned in this story in the Enterprise News.
The Eagle Tribune has a bit on Merrimack goalie Joe Cannata who was named Hockey East Pure Hockey Defensive Player of the Week. Cannata led Merrimack to a sweep over UMass, making 42 saves for his first shutout of the season in a 3-0 win and stopped 63 of 64 shots on the weekend.
In the newest hockey polls, UMass is not ranked. Here is the USCHO.com Poll with Hockey East squads: No. 7 Boston College, No. 11 New Hampshire, No. 16 Maine, No. 18 Vermont and No. 20 BU. The Mass Attack is getting seven votes.
SWIMMING & DIVING
The Daily Collegian has the complete recap of the swimming and diving A-10 Championships as UMass took their 12th men's title.
TRACK & FIELD
The Daily Collegian has the recap of the A-10 track and field championships at Rhode Island.
UMass is up to No. 14 in the USILA Coaches Poll. UMass opponents in the poll include: No. 11 Hofstra, No. 12 Georgetown, No. 13 Delaware, No. 17 Harvard and No. 19 Brown. In the Inside Lacrosse Media Poll, UMass hangs at No. 18. Foes comes in at No. 11 Hofstra, No. 12 Harvard, No. 13 Georgetown, No. 16 Brown, No. 17 Delaware and No. 20 Albany.
Welcome back to Just Take A Minute this Monday morning. It was a mixed bag over the weekend for UMass' teams. Congrats to men's swimming team for winning the Atlantic 10 Championship! The hockey and basketball squads had a tough time. The freshly-started spring teams had a solid weekend as the lacrosse teams both won while the tennis team picked up a pair of victories.