The Republican's Ron Chimelis writes about Luke Bonner's return for Saturday's game against Hofstra. UMass is 1-0 with Bonner playing and was leading at Southern Illinois when he was injured.
In his column the Boston Globe's Dan Shaughnessy mentions UMass' win over Kansas and what a great day for Newton North alums Anthony Gurley and Lex Mongo it was: Nice day for Newton North basketball alums last Saturday. Corey Lowe (now a 1,000-point scorer) went for 19 in Boston University's narrow loss to 12th-ranked Notre Dame, while Anthony Gurley played 27 minutes and scored 5 points in UMass's upset of defending national champion Kansas. Lex Mongo is also on the UMass roster. Lowe, Gurley, and Mongo were teammates on the North squad that won back-to-back state championships (53-1) in 2005 and '06.
From Toledo, here is a note from the Toledo Blade which Rocket coach Gene Cross talks about UMass: "UMass is much better than [its] record indicates, and I feel that we're better than our record indicates," Cross said. "I mentioned to our guys today about Kansas and UMass. I said, we beat a pretty good team. That probably means we're a pretty good team, but you have to believe it. If you don't believe it, then you're not."
From Alabama, Jacksonville State's 6-game win streak ended on Wednesday in a 75-48 loss to UAB.
UMassAthletics.com Feature To Check Out: Today is the last day to purchase an item in the Official UMass Online Store and ensure it will be received before Christmas if the order is going East of the Mississippi. Overnight shipping is available until Dec. 22.
Don't miss this: Join us at the Hangar Pub & Grill for the Bud Light UMass Basketball Show tonight at 7 p.m. Listen to men's coach Derek Kellogg at 7 p.m. and women's coach Marnie Dacko at 8 p.m. Player guests will join both coaches.
Best wishes to UMass alum and former coach Bill Bayno. The head coach at Loyola Marymount is taking a leave of abscence because of what he says is "a serious medical condition" related to job stress. The 45-year-old Bayno signed a five-year deal to coach the Lions in April after an eight-year absence from college basketball. He began a leave of absence on Nov. 23.
On FoxSports.com, Tony Gaffney is mentioned for his breakout season: Speaking of triple-doubles from big men: After three subpar seasons, UMass center Tony Gaffney is having a breakout year, posting 12.4 points, 12.9 rebounds, and 5.4 blocks. His latest performance of 13 rebounds and six blocks led UMass to an upset over Kansas.
Remember Jacksonville State? Well the Gamecocks are now 6-1 this season including a win at UMass back on Nov. 24. Tonight JSU takes on UAB in a chance to show how good they are. The Gamecocks are riding a 6-game win streak and are off their best Division I start ever.
In hockey news, UMass' next home opponent will have one of its top guns in the lineup as Cornell welcomed back forward Riley Nash, who was among the final 16 cuts for Team Canada's team for the upcoming World Junior Hockey championships. To participate in the tournament, Nash would have had to miss both of Cornell's games at the Florida College Classic and a tough non-conference road game at UMass on Jan. 4.
UMassAthletics.com Feature To Check Out: Need a last-minute gift idea? Purchase a UMass Hockey Stocking Stuffer. Fans can purchase four tickets for just $30 to either the Jan. 4 game against No. 10 Cornell OR the Jan. 9 game against Hockey East rival New Hampshire. Both games will offer some of the best collegiate hockey in the country!
To order the Stocking Stuffer Ticket Package, stop by or call the Mullins Center Box Office at 866-UMASS-TIX (866-862-7784).
Don't miss this: Join us for the UMass Sports Luncheon on Wednesday at the Campus Center Room 1009. The guest speakers are basketball coaches Derek Kellogg and Marnie Dacko along with Associate Athletic Director for Media Relations Jason Yellin. The cost is $10 for a full lunch.
Tuesday, Dec. 16
Final exams are in full swing at UMass. Check out news from the Atlantic 10 as the first media conference call was held on Monday morning. The A-10 has five top 50 teams in the RPI. JTAM has some more stories on the Kansas game from Saturday.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette reports Luke Bonner will play Saturday vs. Hofstra.
From out in Kansas, the NCAA has ruled technically the UMass-Kansas game held in Kansas City doesn't break Jayhawks homecourt win streak as the game wasn't played at Phog Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence. Check out the details.
UMassAthletics.com Feature To Check Out: Bid on new UMass has many new auctions including several items from the historic win over Kansas.
Monday, Dec. 15
Coming off the first non-conference win over a ranked team outside of the state Massachusetts since the 1996 NCAA Elite Eight, the UMass men's basketball continues to gain national attention -- being named The Team Of The Week by ESPN's Andy Katz on Sunday. The Minutemen captured a 61-60 thriller over No. 25/23 Kansas on Saturday before an ESPN audience. Head coach Derek Kellogg was interviewed nationally by ESPN's Fran Fraschilla after the game as well as on ESPN Radio and Fox Sports Radio. The basketball team is featured in numerous articles on today's JTAM.
In Andy Katz' ESPN.com "Weekly Watch" UMass is featured as the "Team Of The Week." It also includes ESPN's highlights of the game. Katz begins: The Minutemen turned their season around with a stunning one-point win over Kansas in Kansas City on Saturday. With a 3-6 start, UMass has a ways to go to get an at-large berth. But once Luke Bonner returns from a knee injury, this squad could be dangerous for Xavier, Temple and Dayton -- the new projected top three in the Atlantic 10 race.
Here is the weekly A-10 Notebook from the league. It features snipets on the Minutemen's win over Kansas as well as some info on Tony Gaffney, who has opened his senior year in grand style. He has recorded five double-double performances - the first of his career - thru the Minutemen's first nine games.
UMassAthletics.com Feature To Check Out: Trying to plan your winter break and want to take in a UMass game, check out the composite schedule which shows all UMass games in a calendar format.
Don't miss this: Monday brings the selection of the UMass/Dinn Brothers Athlete of the Week. Also on Monday, the Atlantic 10 holds its first media teleconference for basketball coaches. Be sure to check back on UMassAthletics.com for a full transcription.