The huge weekend of UMass action gets underway tonight as the No. 16 UMass hockey team begins its home-and-home with defending National Champion No. 4 Boston College, in Chestnut Hill. Then its a "Super Saturday" with a trio of big UMass games in Amherst. The men's soccer team begins its play in the NCAA Tournament against Harvard at 12 Noon. Then its off to McGuirk Stadium for the final football game of the season against Hofstra. Finally, its over to the Mullins Center for the hockey rematch with BC at 7 p.m.
In Tony Gaffney's neck of the woods on the Southcoast of Boston, the senior is featured after his huge game at Memphis where coach John Calipari called him the best player on the court with the the No. 13 Tigers.
John Calipari and his Memphis Tigers are in San Juan for the Puerto Rico Tip-Off where they received a visit from Edgar Padilla, the former UMass point guard. Padilla was on hand to watch the Tigers beat Chattanooga, 83-71 on Thursday.
CollegeSoccerNews.com has previews of the NCAA First Round match-ups and files this info on UMass: Massachusetts struggled early on in the season but they seem to have righted the ship and have been playing very well of late. Minuteman goal keeper Zack Simmons is clearly among the best at his trade in the country.
UMassAthletics.com Feature To Check Out: Anytime you are trying to find out when UMass teams are playing check the composite schedule with every team listed. Its the perfect way to plan your UMass attendance.
Don't miss this: Saturday is one of those special days in Amherst with three games on tap: men's soccer in the NCAA Tournament First Round vs. Harvard at 12 Noon followed by the football team's finale vs. Hofstra at 2:30 p.m., and finally the hockey team's showdown with Boston College at 7 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 20
Tonight is the final Bud Light UMass Football Show With Don Brown. Guests will be seniors Liam Coen and Courtney Robinson. Please send your questions for Coach Brown for the final time to: Ask The Coach. If you can't make it out, you can always listen on 100.9 FM or online at UMassAthletics.com. JTAM includes stories on UMass basketball's signing of Sampson Carter to an NLI along with news on men's soccer, football, hockey and women's basketball. There are features on football's Liam Coen and hockey's James Marcou.
Former UMass All-American basketball player Gary Forbes is preparing for his D-League debut in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The Argue Leader has info and a quote from Forbes who hopes the league is a stepping stone to the NBA: "You're trying to show where you're at," said Forbes, a 6-7 swing from UMass who has impressed with his scoring ability. "These guys are definitely teaching little things, little tricks of the trade. I'm taking everything in."
Also from the Republican, soccer goalkeeper Zack Simmons was named the National Academic All-American of the Year, Jeff Thomas writes.
If you get a chance visit the the Learning Commons on the Lower Level of the Du Bois Library on campus during normal library hours through December 19, 2008. Exhibit: "UMass Football Memories" features an array of photographs, brochures, artifacts, and other football-related materials from the Special Collections and University Archives Department at the UMass Amherst Libraries.
Down in Florida, former Minutemen Brandon London is talking about his Miami Dolphins' poor job on special teams in the Palm Beach Post. "He's fed up with it," London said of coach Tony Sparano. "We're fed up with it. Every guy in this locker room is fed up with how we look right now."
London is also mentioned in UMass alum Mike Reiss' Patriots notebook in the Boston Globe, writing: London has fit in nicely with the Dolphins, according to Sparano. Calling him "an arrow-up" player because he keeps improving.
In Canada, as the Montreal Alouettes prepare to play the Calgary Stampeders, UMass alum Keron Williams was selected to the CFL Players Association All-Star team after racking up 10 sacks. The Gazette in Montreal has a story on Williams. He talks about the honor saying: "This definitely means more to me from a football perspective, although I don't know if this one gets all the publicity. This one shows more accomplishment ... the respect you have."
UMassAthletics.com Feature To Check Out: Today is the last day of UMass' Official Auctions. You can still bid on the big item of sitting on the UMass men's basketball team bench for the Boston College game on Dec. 6.
The first-ever Bud Light UMass Basketball Show With Derek Kellogg takes place tonight at the Hangar Pub & Grill at 7 p.m. Be sure to join us for DK's first radio show. You can send questions for him as part of Ask The Coach. You can listen on 100.9 FM or at UMassAthletics.com. The show moves to its new regular night, Thursday, after Thanksgiving. Also catch the women's basketball team at the Mullins Center at 7 p.m. vs. New Hampshire.
UMassAthletics.com Feature To Check Out: There is a little more than a day left in this round of UMass' Official Auctions. You can still bid on the big item of sitting on the UMass men's basketball team bench for the Boston College game on Dec. 6.
Don't miss this: Tonight is the first episode of the Bud Light UMass Basketball Show With Derek Kellogg. Join us tonight at 7 p.m., at the Hangar Pub & Grill. You can send your questions for Coach Kellogg as part of Ask The Coach. Make sure to join us there, have some wings, and hear coach preview the big weekend on tap! You can always listen on 100.9 FM or online at UMassAthletics.com. The show will move to its new permanent night of Thursdays after Thanksgiving. Also catch the women's basketball team at the Mullins Center at 7 p.m. vs. New Hampshire.
Tuesday, Nov. 18
zzzzzzz....It was a late night staying up to watch coach Derek Kellogg and the Minutemen face former bench boss John Calipari and his Memphis Tigers, but it was well worth it. Monday also featured the announcement of the NCAA men's soccer field, which
UMass cracked for the second-consecutive season. Congrats to Sam Koch and the Minutemen as they try to duplicate last year's magical run to the College Cup. They host the Harvard Crimson at 12 noon on Saturday at Rudd Field, leading into a sensational tripleheader day (football hosts Hofstra in the season-finale at 2:30 and hockey plays host to defending national champion Boston College at 7 p.m. at the Mullins Center). Hockey bench boss Don "Toot" Cahoon will have his weekly radio show at the Hangar Pub & Grill tonight at 7 PM. Special guest host Brock Hines will join coach along with player guests Jordan Virtue and Will Ortiz. Make sure to join us there, have some wings, and hear coach preview the big weekend on tap!
Tony Gaffney was included on the honor roll of Scout.com's A-10 Notebook. As it reads, "Massachusetts senior forward Tony Gaffney averaged 11 points, 11 rebounds and 4.5 blocks in a pair of contests in the 2K Sports Classic."
Interesting note from New Hampshire, the Division III Plymouth State Panthers have made the NCAA Playoffs. The last time they made it UMass' Don Brown was their head coach in 1995.
The Vermont Cync included a story on the Catamounts women's basketball team, who opened their season with a win over the Minutewomen on Friday.
Five Boro Sports in New York mentioned UMass women's basketball's comeback 71-68 win over Manhattan on Sunday afternoon at the Mullins Center.
UMassAthletics.com Feature To Check Out: Check out UMassAthletics' Memphis game blog from Monday night/Tuesday morning.
Don't miss this: Hockey bench boss Don "Toot" Cahoon will have his weekly radio show at the Hangar Pub & Grill tonight at 7 PM. Special guest host Brock Hines will join coach along with player guests Jordan Virtue and Will Ortiz. Make sure to join us there, have some wings, and hear coach preview the big weekend on tap!
Monday, Nov. 17
Tonight UMass basketball will be in the national spotlight as the 2008 NIT National Finalist Minutemen take on the 2008 NCAA National Finalist Memphis Tigers at midnight from the FedEx Forum. The game will air on ESPN and there are plenty of storylines to follow, most notably Derek Kellogg coaching his alma mater against the coach who tutored him at UMass and then mentored him as an assistant at Memphis, John Calipari. The team arrived in Memphis on Sunday on a charter flight and and had a busy day. After a lunch of southern fried chicken from Gus', the Minutemen practiced at the Finch Center on Memphis' campus, ate some famous BBQ for dinner and checked out the site where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated.
Here is ESPN's article on its marathon of basketball. It includes that fact that the UMass-Memphis game will be simulcast on the ABC SuperSign in Times Square in New York City. If you are in the Big Apple check it out.
The Boston Globe's Stan Grossfeld, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist, wrote a feature on men's soccer back-up goalkeeper Chris Piekos who served in Fallujah, Irag as a Marine Special Forces Recon Team Leader. The article is entitled Called to protect: In Iraq or Amherst, Piekos has mates' backs and is the bulk of the the sports section front page.
"The Marine reconnaissance team leader, now 24, is a walk-on this year after completing two tours of duty in Fallujah, Iraq, where some of the fiercest fighting in the Iraq War takes place. Piekos, a sophomore, hasn't seen any game action this season because he's behind an All-American, Zack Simmons. But he was in the middle of a lot in Iraq, hunting down Al Qaeda operatives and killing, by his own count, 50 insurgents."
UMassAthletics.com Feature To Check Out: There five new UMass Auctions with more than three day remaining. Most notably you can win a chance to sit on the actual team bench for the Boston College basketball game on Dec. 6. Also, you can win a chance to ride on the zamboni at a hockey game. They are also auctions for autographed John Calipari and Stephane Lasme items.
Don't miss this: Two big events on Monday. First at 6 p.m., the NCAA men's soccer tournament bracket will be unveiled at 6 p.m. on ESPNEWS. After losing the A-10 championship to Dayton, UMass is hopeful of an at-large berth. Then at midnight eastern, the big match-up of UMass at Memphis begins ESPN's college basketball marathon. The Minutemen led by UMass alum Derek Kellogg take on the Tigers guided by former UMass coach John Calipari. He sure to watch on ESPN or listen on the UMass Sports Network.