Just Take A Minute: March 16-20Check back at the week that was.
Friday, Mar. 20
Happy Friday! This weekend features three spring sports opening their conference schedules, all away from home. Men's lax plays at No. 12 Loyola on Saturday while baseball opens at Richmond and softball travels to Dayton. Check out this JTAM for (among other things) some March Madness basketball and news on former hockey goalie Jon Quick who beat the top team in the Eastern Conference Thursday night.
In looking at other Mass Attack alums in the professional ranks, here is the contingent in the AHL: Matt Anderson (Chicago Wolves) (56 gms: 10g, 14a),
P.J. Fenton (Worcester Sharks) (44 gms: 4g, 8a), Mike Kostka (Portland Pirates) (67 gms: 4g, 19a), Mark Matheson (Milwaukee Admirals) (63 gms: 2g, 18a), Greg Mauldin (Binghamton Senators) (69 gms: 19g, 25a), Stephen Werner (Milwaukee Admirals) (37 gms: 7g, 8a).
Also in the ECHL are: Chris Capraro and David Leaderer. Capraro has 23 points (7g, 16a) in 27 games for the Charlotte Checkers while Leaderer has 11-20=31 in 63 games for the Trenton Devils.
There were a number of UMass connections to hit the courts for the opening day of the NCAA men's basketball tournament on Thursday. John Calipari and his Memphis Tigers survived a scare from Cal State Northbridge, but won, 81-70. Former guard Tiki Mayben and his Binghamton Bearcats also hung tough before falling to Duke.
Friday features first round matchups from Boston College (featuring former UMass great Al Skinner), Oklahoma State (former head coach Travis Ford), and Louisville Cardinals (former guard Rick Pitino). You can watch every NCAA Tournament game online for free. Just click here.
Speaking of Ford, check out this interview with Tennessee men's basketball head coach Bruce Pearl, who previews the matchup with Oklahoma State on Friday. He gives much praise to former UMass head coach Travis Ford, specifically noting his time at UMass as a key point in his coaching career.
Ron Chimelis of the Springfield Republican has this piece on Ford and the job he has done with the Cowboys this year.
NBA.com has a great feature with Marcus Camby remembering UMass' 1995-96 Final Four Team. It's a must read!
UMassAthletics.com Feature To Check Out: With every team hitting the road this weekend, be sure to follow all the action by watching live, listening live, and/or GameTracker. Click here for the webcasts page, which includes all the links you'll need.
Don't miss this: Head UMass men's basketball coach Derek Kellogg will be on Fox Sports Radio Friday at 12:45 p.m. to talk about the NCAA Tournament!
Thursday, Mar. 19
The NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament gets underway this afternoon so find a comfortable chair and kick back and watch some college hoops. Thursday night brings the return of former UMass star goalie Jon Quick to New England as the Los Angeles Kings battle the Boston Bruins at the TD Banknorth Garden. Just Take A Minute also has news on women's lacrosse and baseball's results.
Here is a preview of tonight's Kings-Bruins game with a good chunk of info on Jon Quick. Looking at the team itself, fans at the TD Banknorth Garden could see a local product between the pipes for Los Angeles. Jonathan Quick was recalled from Manchester on December 16th, and has quickly earned the starting job.
Quick the first of two former UMass stars playing for Los Angeles teams that will be playing Boston in the next couple of days. On Monday, Marcus Camby and the LA Clippers make their only appearance of the season in Beantown. Camby and his relationship with UMass and Derek Kellogg will be the subject of a lengthy feature by Marc Spears of the Boston Globe in the coming days.
UMass alum and current BC coach Al Skinner is the subject of a feature in the Boston Herald which talks about his days at UMass in the early 1970s.
In case you missed it, some UMass basketball foes had some great postseason games. Duquesne, who knocked UMass out of the A-10 Tournament, played an epic 116-108 double-overtime loss at Virginia Tech in the NIT. Aaron Jackson dropped 46 points for the Dukes. A-10 opponent, Richmond knocked off St. John's 75-69 in the CBI. Also in the CBI, Green Bay lost to Vermont, 76-72.
The UMass baseball team ended a five-game skid, holding on for a 4-3 win at VCU. The Republican includes it in its roundup.
UMassAthletics.com Feature To Check Out: Check out Jon Quick's player page from his days at UMass.
Don't miss this: Thursday night brings the return of former UMass star goalie Jon Quick to New England as the Los Angeles Kings battle the Boston Bruins at the TD Banknorth Garden.
Wednesday, Mar. 18
Wednesday is here, half-way done with the week. Today's JTAM has info on the softball team and the recent national polls where UMass is No. 23 in the NFCA Poll and No. 17 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll. This afternoon the UMass women's lacrosse team is in action at 3 p.m. at No. 13 New Hampshire and the baseball team finishes its southern trip at Virginia Commonwealth at 6 p.m. In case you missed it, check out the new and improved UMass.edu website.
Speaking of rankings, the UMass men's lacrosse team has the No. 8 Strength of Schedule according to Lax Power.com. Also of note, only Johns Hopkins plays more ranked teams than UMass. The Minutemen have nine of their 14 games against teams in this week's USILA Coaches Poll. Hopkins has 10 games against Top 20 teams.
Even though the men's lacrosse team is not in the Top 20 in the coaches or media poll, ESPN lacrosse expert Quint Kessenich has the Minutemen in his Top 20 at No. 19. He writes: They are the `tough luck' team of 2009, much better than their record indicates. Greg Cannella's squad visits Loyola on March 21.
Men's hoop coach Derek Kellogg continues to be a media pick for some NCAA Tournament analysis. On Friday, he will be guest on Fox Sports Radio around 12:45 p.m.
Don't miss this: The UMass women's lacrosse team is in action at 3 p.m. at No. 13 New Hampshire and the baseball team finishes its southern trip at Virginia Commonwealth at 6 p.m.
Tuesday, Mar. 17
Happy St. Patrick's Day and Happy Evacuation Day! Today's is an off day for most of UMass. We are also in the middle of spring break week for the students here in Amherst. Today's Just Take A Minute has a look at UMass connections with the men's NCAA Tournament. It also has a look at the women's basketball opponents to make the NCAA Tournament. There are also bits on swimming, baseball and lacrosse.
From the 2008-09 women's basketball schedule, the following teams made the NCAA Tournament bracket, as it was announced on Monday night: from the Atlantic 10 Charlotte, Temple and Xavier along with America East champion Vermont and Minnesota from the Big Ten.
In case you missed it, you can listen to Derek Kellogg's interview on Dale & Holley from WEEI on Monday afternoon. Kellogg thinks Arizona has a chance to pull off some upsets.
Ron Chimelis has a story on UMass' men's basketball staff and the loyalty of Vance Walberg to Derek Kellogg.
The UMass connections are at work as John Calipari prepares his Memphis Tigers to face Cal State Northridge in the NCAA First Round. The Memphis Commercial Appeal mentions The Tigers did get an immediate scouting report from Bruiser Flint, Calipari's former assistant at UMass, who now coaches at Drexel. Cal State Northridge lost to Drexel, 55-47, on Dec. 1.
The Boston Globe mentions that former UMass All-American Jon Quick is expected to start for the Kings against the Bruins this week. Kevin Paul Dupont writes: Quick may be the best thing to hit the LA net since Rogie Vachon (with all due respect to Kelly Hrudey).
The men's lacrosse team has fallen out of the Top 20 in the USILA Coaches Poll, but they are third among others receiving votes. Nine of UMass' 14 opponents are ranked: No. 2 Syracuse, No. 6 Hofstra, No. 12 Loyola (this Saturday's foe), No. 13 Hobart, No. 14 Brown, No. 16 Harvard, No. 17 Albany, No. 18 St. John's and No. 19 Georgetown.
UMassAthletics.com Feature To Check Out: Click here to reserve tickets for the men's basketball banquet hosted by the UMass Court Club on Wednesday, Apr. 8 at 6 p.m.
Don't miss this: Check back for the softball polls on Tuesday to see where the Minutewomen stand.
Monday, Mar. 16
Great effort by the hockey team as the Mass Attack came ever so close against the No. 4 Northeastern Huskies in what proved to be the final collegiate games for seven seniors. Up and down weekend for UMass teams as the men's lacrosse squad was stopped by a sensational effort from Brown goalie Jordan Burke. Minutewomen lacrosse fared well, topping Stony Brook earlier on Saturday. Monday's JTAM has stories on these games, not to mention baseball and softball. As an added bonus, read about UMass connections in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament!
The NCAA Men's Basketball bracket was unveiled on Sunday night and there are many connections to UMass. Former UMass guard Rick Pitino and his Louisville Cardinals are the overall No. 1 seed in the tournament. Former UMass coach John Calipari and Memphis is the No. 2 seed in the West region. Former UMass star guard Al Skinner and his Boston College Eagles are the No. 7 seed in the Midwest. Former UMass coach Travis Ford and his Oklahoma State Cowboys are the No. 8 seed in the East Region. If Ford gets through his first two games, he would playing in Boston for the East Regionals.
Also of note former UMass guard Tiki Mayben and his current team Binghamton are the No 15 seed in the East Regional and will face power Duke, on Thursday. Christian Grant-Fields mentions Mayben and the Bearcats as one of his upsets to watch.
Here is something interesting as well - four of the five teams UMass played in the NIT last season qualified for the NCAA Tournament this year: Stephen F. Austin, Akron, Syracuse and Ohio State. Only Florida didn't make the NCAA, but they will return to the NIT as a No. 1 seed.
Speaking of the NIT, the following UMass opponents from this season advanced to the postseason in the oldest tournament: Duquesne (playing at Virginia Tech) and Rhode Island (playing at Niagara).
Also the CBI field was announced and first off apparently you can be below .500 to make this tournament, which is weird. UMass opponents to make the tournament include: Richmond (hosting 16-17 St. John's), Green Bay (hosting Vermont), and Houston (playing at 13-17 Oregon State). Also of note former UMass broadcaster Bob Behler and Boise State will play at Stanford.