Just Take A Minute: Aug. 25-29
Just Take A Minute: Aug. 25-29

Aug. 31, 2008

  Friday, Aug. 29

Friday is finally here and the weekend is just around the corner. Today a trio of UMass teams are in action, all on the road as the field hockey team travels to Boston College. The No. 13 men's soccer team is at Holy Cross and the women's soccer team takes on Maine in South Berwick. Of course, here on campus the students are returning to Amherst just in time for the football opener under the lights, Saturday at 6 p.m. against Albany.

  • With football season here, game previews are plentiful. Jeff Thomas of the Republican takes an in-depth look at the new lights at McGuirk Stadium, pointing out the large crowds which have come out for the four previous night contests. Thomas mentions more than 13,000 fans have come out on average for the night games since the first one in 2000.

  • In the Daily Hampshire Gazette, Matt Vautour takes a look at the UMass defense and how the Minutemen will look to fill the voids left by graduated Charles Walker, David Burris and Jason Hatchell.

  • The Sports Network has a complete preview of the CAA. Dave Coulson writes UMass also has some of the major players returning from its team that has earned back-to-back title shares and made it to the finals and quarterfinals. Coulson also has an in-depth preview of the the games in FCS this weekend.

  • John Packett of the Richmond Times-Dispatch looks at CAA Football with several mentions of the UMass team.

  • An article about "OnePlaybook" cites UMass and offensive coordinator Kevin Morris as one of the success stories using an online sports software package that allows sports coaches to manage team communications and materials in a secure forum from anywhere.

  • UMass football alums are in the news as Keron Williams is featured in a story in the Montreal Gazette. The story focuses on his second chance with Alouettes after getting cut by Calgary. James Ihedigbo made two tackles in the Jets' 27-20 win over the Eagles as he battles for an NFL roster spot. Brandon London made four catches for 40 yards in the Giants 19-14 win over New England.

  • The South Bend Tribune mentions current Minuteman offensive lineman Chauncey Incarnato in a story about former Notre Dame football players who have transferred from ND.

  • In his blog on the gazettenet.com, Vautour begins a series where he looks back to the 1998 NCAA Championship season in the gridiron. He is re-running weekly game stories from the '98 campaign. UMass lost its 1998 opener at Delaware, 33-30.

  • Rivals.com pegs the UMass basketball team as the 50th-best in the nation in its breakdown of the Top 65. They write about the Minutemen having the best backcourt in the Atlantic 10 and how the Minutemen don't want to settle for the NIT for a third year in a row.

  • In the Bleacher Report, they have a profile of the UMass basketball. The website ranks says that reason 72 to be pumped for the start of basketball season is the chance to watch UMass basketball celebrate its 100th year of existence by scoring 100 points a game.

  • The men's soccer team which opens Friday at Holy Cross are picked as the preseason No. 16 team by ESPN.com. Doug McIntyre also unveils his Preseason All-American Starting XI which features goalkeeper Zack Simmons. McIntyre writes: "Anyone who saw this guy almost single-handedly take unfancied UMass to the NCAA title game with an unreal display against Ohio State in the College Cup semis -- after his string of lights-out performances had gotten them there to begin with -- knows he's the best keeper in college by a country mile."

  • In preparation of the UMass men's soccer game at Boston University, the Terriers are planning a big tailgate for the Sunday night game at Nickerson Field. Several thousands of fans are expected for the 6 p.m. start on Sunday night. We hope to see many UMass fans out in Beantown to support the Minutemen. Of course, the last time in Boston, UMass men's soccer knocked off No. 1 Boston College on the way to the NCAA College Cup.

  • UMassAthletics.com Feature To Check Out: With the students returning to campus, he sure to visit the online store to pick up new merchandise for the 2008-09 seasons.

  • Don't miss this: What else could it be other than the UMass football opener against Albany on Saturday. A big crowd is expected for the first game under the new permanent lights at McGuirk Stadium. If you have not already bought your tickets, you can get them online or by calling 1-866-UMASS-TIX.

      Thursday, Aug. 28

    The days continue to be eventful here at UMass as the football season opener is just two days away. Join us at the Hangar Pub & Grill in Amherst tonight at 7 p.m. for the first UMass Football Radio Show of 2008. Head coach Don Brown will be joined by senior captains Liam Coen and Sean Smalls as host Josh Maurer announces his first UMass Sports Network event. If you can't make in person, listen on 100.9 FM or online. The show is the first after a new three-year extension has been reached between UMass and Clear Channel, which runs WRNX.

  • The Boston Globe has its season preview of UMass football on Thursday. The article focuses on UMass' vaunted secondary including the trio of preseason All-CAA selections.

  • Jeff Thomas of the Republican takes a look at the CAA on Thursday as UMass is picked to win the conference for the third year in a row.

  • If you missed it, NESN had a feature on the UMass football team. Visit their video page and scroll down the Top Video and Click "Cream of the Crop."

  • College Chalk Talk ranks Chris Lowe as the No. 3 best player in the Atlantic 10. Ricky Harris was ranked No. 8.

  • Howard Herman of the Berkshire Eagle chimes in with this article on the release of the 2008-09 men's basketball schedule in the 100th season of UMass basketball.

  • The Boston Globe has a sensational feature on soon-to-be UMass Hall of Famer Jack Foley. Marvin Pave takes a look at Foley and his great legacy at UMass and in central Massachusetts. The Hall of Fame dinner is on Friday, Oct. 3, join us at the Campus Center.

  • In Memphis, former UMass coach John Calipari has filled out his basketball staff after several members left to come to UMass as part of Derek Kellogg's staff. Former NBA star Rod Strickland has been named the Director of Basketball Operations. Also of note, the son of new UMass assistant coach Vance Walberg, Jason Walberg has been named the Assistant to the Recruiting Coordinator/Manager.

  • On ESPN.com, soccer writer Maria Burns Ortiz looks at story lines to follow in the 2008 men's soccer season. UMass' Zack Simmons, who was picked as a preseason First-Team All-American by Soccer America on Wednesday, is pictured in the article. Ortiz' No. 3 point of the feature takes a look at te Minutemen with: Can UMass Keep Rolling?.

  • UMassAthletics.com Feature To Check Out: We have launched a new page with comprehensive coverage of all UMass broadcast information, both on the air and internet. Please visit the page, to find all your links and information on UMass game coverage.

  • Don't miss this: Join us Thursday night at the Hangar Bar & Grill on University Drive in Amherst for the first UMass Football Radio Show of the season, at 7 p.m. The show will mark the UMass debut of the new "Voice of the Minutemen" Josh Maurer on the air as he hosts head coach Down Brown. Senior captains Liam Coen and Sean Smalls will be the player guests on the show. If you can't make the show, please listen on 100.9 FM WRNX or online through their website.

      Wednesday, Aug. 27

    Wednesday's Just Take A Minute features various stories on the UMass men's basketball schedule being released. Fans who want to hear more about the schedule can come to Wednesday 2008-09 Sports Luncheon debut at the Campus Center at 12 Noon. Derek Kellogg will be a speaker along with football coach Don Brown, so join us. Also, if you missed it on Tuesday night, NESN had a segment on the UMass football team which opens the season Saturday under the new lights at McGuirk Stadium. NESN SportsDesk re-airs Wednesday at 12 Noon and 12:30, so if you can't make the luncheon, watch NESN.

  • Ron Chimelis wrote about the schedule release in the Republican. In his story, Derek Kellogg said about the game in Springfield on Jan. 10: " We are ecstatic to be playing in Springfield, and we're going to do everything we can to market that game. I have no doubt it will be sold out, the toughest ticket in town. We want to show the rest of the nation that Springfield is indeed a basketball city".

  • In the Daily Hampshire Gazette, Matt Vautour looks at the basketball schedule. The articles looks at UMass playing big games vs. Kansas and Memphis along with the return to Springfield.

  • The Boston Globe has coverage on the schedule release as well.

  • The Springfield Republican has a front page photo of UMass football's first practice under the lights at McGuirk Stadium on Tuesday night.

  • The Boston Herald has its college football preview on UMass. John Connolly writes about how the Minutemen are staying focused even with all the preseason expectations.

  • The Herald also has a piece on UMass and New Hampshire being at the top of the CAA North again.

  • In the Gazette, Vautour takes a look at UMass' offense on the gridiron.

  • Also in the Republican, Garry Brown mentions the UMass men's soccer team in his Hitting To All Fields. He writes: "This time around, UMass men's soccer will get the attention it deserves."

  • In women's basketball news, former Minutewomen Katie Nelson has been named an assistant coach at the University of New Hampshire. Nelson is UMass' career-leader in 3-point field goals made.

  • UMass baseball great and former Cy Young Award winner Mike Flanagan is cited in an Associated Press article on a new format of an unbreakable wooden bat.

  • UMassAthletics.com Feature To Check Out: A neat PDF of the 2008-09 UMass men's basketball schedule can be downloaded on the site.

  • Don't miss this: Once again, UMass Sports Luncheons for 2008-09 kick off Wednesday afternoon at the Campus Center at 12 Noon. Join us in the Campus Center Room 1009 on the 10th floor as coaches Derek Kellogg and Don Brown will be speaking. Here is the full listing of all the luncheons for August and September.

      Tuesday, Aug. 26

    Tuesday means its only four days from the football season opener on Saturday at 6 p.m. under the new lights at McGuirk Alumni Stadium. Be sure to purchase your tickets to the game. The lights were turned on for the first time on Monday. Check out the football front page preview of the game against Albany to see the lights.

  • Sean Smalls continues to garner national attention. On Monday, he was featured as No. 2 under "Small Schools, Big Talents" on ESPN.com. Writer Bruce Feldman wrote that Smalls: "Smalls has emerged as one of college football's tougher one-on-one covermen and an integral part of a terrific secondary".

  • Matt Vautour wrote a preview of the CAA in the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

  • Following up on the MLL title win for the Rochester Rattlers and UMass alums Jeff Zywicki ad Jack Reid, Inside Lacrosse has an analysis of their title win. Quint Kessenich of ESPN writes about Zywicki being one of the Rattlers heros and how Jack Reid did wonderful work against Brendan Mundorf.

  • In a late item from the Olympics, UMass sophomore swimmer Dan Backler wrote for the Newburyport Daily News local newspaper during Michael Phelps run to his record eight medals. Check out his various stories here on this google link.

  • UMassAthletics.com Feature To Check Out: Be sure to ask your questions of UMass football coach Don Brown. He will answer them on Thursday night as part of the first radio show of the season. The show airs on WRNX 100.9 FM from the Hangar Pub & Grill with new Voice of the Minutemen Josh Maurer.

  • Don't miss this: The UMass football team will have their first night practice under the new lights at McGuirk Alumni Stadium on Tuesday night.

      Monday, Aug. 25

    Welcome back to Just Take A Minute ... It was an eventful weekend for UMass' teams as the official fall season got underway with the women's soccer team falling at Binghamton in overtime, 2-1. The field hockey team and men's soccer team play their final exhibitions games as the Minutewomen beat Boston University, 2-1 while the No. 13 Minutemen tied No. 11 Brown, 1-1, in a New England clash. It was also a huge weekend for several UMass alums. In lacrosse, Jack Reid ('06) and Jeff Zywicki ('05) keyed the Rochester Rattlers run to the Major League Lacrosse championship on Sunday as Big Z scored six goals in the 16-6 title win. Here's a look at several articles and tidbits from over the weekend.

  • Over the weekend, Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette had a feature on Victor Cruz and his long and winding journey to finally being a key factor for the Minutemen this season.

  • On Monday, Vautour took a look at the questions facing the 2008 UMass football team.

  • In the Republican, Jeff Thomas wrote about the UMass defense and how it looks to anchor the 2008 Minutemen. Thomas writes about all of the returning key members of the defense and some newcomers looking to make an impact.

  • The Eagle-Tribune has been running features on its local area football players. Mike McMahon wrote a profile of Boston College transfer Warren Wilson, who is in the mix for playing time at wide receiver for the Minutemen.

  • In preseason NFL action, UMass alums James Ihedigbo and Brandon London faced off as the Jets beat the Giants 10-7. Ihedigbo had a tackle for the Green and White while London did not make a catch in the loss.

  • Up in Canada, former UMass football All-American Shannon James and his Calgary Stampeders defeated the BC Lions, 36-29 as he made four tackles. James is third on the Stamps with 24 tackles as Calgary is 5-3 overall.

  • Thomas also wrote about UMass' No. 11 men's soccer team and how it looks to several seniors heading into 2008. Chris Brown is a large focus of the feature.

  • Hockey news from late last week, former Minutemen captain Marvin Degon has signed to play in the German Hockey League, according to Milbury-Sutton Chronicle. Degon played for the Hamilton Bulldogs of the AHL last season and had nine goals and 31 points in 78 games.

  • Former UMass 3-point shooter James Life has signed to play professional basketball in Argentina. According to the Sarasota Herald Tribune Life, Life signed with Ben Hur of the top Argentine League. Life played in England last season, his first as a pro after graduating from UMass in 2007.

  • UMassAthletics.com Feature To Check Out: The 2008 UMass Football Gameday Central has been launched. For all the information such as rosters, statistics, and up-to-date news visit the page throughout the 2008 season..

  • Don't miss this: The Atlantic 10 is expected to release the league's 2008-09 men's basketball schedule this week. Stay tuned to UMassAthletics.com for the latest news on the men's basketball team.