The UMass Athletic Department wishes everyone a Happy New Year! We hope the new decade brings lots of joys and excitement for UMass fans and followers. Today's edition, the first of 2010, has some stories on basketball, hockey and others. Find out if UMass' Jonathan Quick is named to the Team USA Olympic hockey team on Friday after the Winter Classic at Fenway Park.
In USA Today, NHL writer Kevin Allen predicts Team USA with Jonathan Quick holding down the U.S.'s third goalie spot. Yahoo Sports also has a look at the possible USA roster with Quick battling with Craig Anderson of the Colorado Avalanche for the final goalie spot behind Ryan Miller and Tim Thomas.
The Springfield Republican has a feature on the return of UMass alum Dante Milligan with the D-League's Springfield Armor. Four weeks after breaking his nose in a D-League game, Milligan will wear his mask as he returns to action Friday night when Springfield plays Iowa at the MassMutual Center.
Former UMass standout guard Anthony Anderson has returned to the Manchester Millrats of the Premier Basketball League.
As a Millrat in 2007-2008, Anderson was named the 3rd Best Minor Leaguer in the Country by ProBasketballNews.Com, was named the Most Valuable Player of the league, as well the MVP of the All Star Game. Since 2008 he has worked out for the Indiana Pacers, and has played professionally in Cyprus and Poland. "We are escstatic to have Anthony back with the Millrats. He is super-talented as well as unselfish and a great teammate and competitor" stated Millrats GM Ian McCarthy. "And I know our fans will welcome him back with open arms."
Check This Out On UMassAthletics.com: With the new year here check out the updated Calendar of Games for the month of January 2010.
Don't Miss This: On Friday, the Team USA Hockey team will be unveiled after the outdoor game at Fenway Park, UMass Jon Quick is expected to be named to the team. On Saturday, UMass hockey takes on defending NCAA champion Boston University at 4 p.m., the game will be televised live on ESPNU.
Tought night for the UMass teams, all three in action lost on the road. The No. 15 hockey team suffered a 4-1 loss to Bentley despute outshooting the Falcons by a wide margin, in the Toyota UConn Classic. The basketball teams both lost in the final seconds. The men's team dropped a 63-61 game at Davidson on two free throws with 4.1 seconds left. The women's squad lost at Delaware, 57-55 on a lay-up with 4.3 left.
UMass alum Dante Milligan is back with the Springfield Armor. The Springfield Republican has the story. Milligan started the season with the Armor but was waived after he suffered a broken nose during a game against the Maine Red Claws at home on Dec. 5. Since then, he has had surgery to repair the damage and is fully healed, the Armor said in a press release. Milligan will rejoin the Armor in time for Friday's home game against the Iowa Energy, the team said.
Another game on Saturday has deep UMass connections as Kentucky takes on Louisville. The
Kentucky Sports Report looks at how UMass alum Rick Pitino helped his alma mater to hire John Calipari back in 1988. Saturday's Kentucky-Louisville game has been nearly thirty-three years in the making. When many Kentucky fans think of Rick Pitino and John Calipari they see the once and current coaches at Kentucky. What they don't see are two careers paths that have intersected and have intertwined since the two met at Howard Garfinkel's Five Star camp in 1977.
The website Before It's News also has a look at the U of L - UK matchup with mentions of UMass.
In Connecticut, The Day has a story on former UMass basketball coach Travis Ford coming back to New England to coach against friend and current Rhode Island Athletic Director Thorr Bjorn. Oklahoma State and URI play Saturday at 2 p.m., at Mohegan Sun Arena on ESPNU.
Check This Out On UMassAthletics.com: Looking for the latest promotions at UMass games, visit the Promotions Page.
Don't Miss This: On Friday, the Team USA Hockey team will be unveiled prior to the outdoor game at Fenway Park, UMass Jon Quick is expected to be named to the team.
Take your pick at 7 p.m. tonight as all three UMass teams will be in action on the road. The men's basketball team takes on Davidson in North Carolina. The No. 15 hockey team goes for the Toyota/UConn Classic vs. Bentley in Storrs. The women's basketball team is at Delaware for the finale of the trio.
The UMass Sports Luncheon will be held on Wednesday at 12:15 p.m. in the Campus Center Room 1009. The guest speakers will be Recreation Director Zulma Garcia to talk about the new Center and Troy Flynn, the new general manager of the Mullins Center. Call 413-545-4290 for more info.
In the Daily Hampshire Gazette, Matt Vautour has a nice preview of today's UMass at Davidson game and the connection between Ricky Harris and former Wildcat star Stephen Curry, now with the Golden State Warriors.
There were references to UMass football by ESPN's Brad Nessler in Tuesday's Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando as Miami lost to Wisconsin, 20-14. Nessler spoke about former UMass head coach Mark Whipple (now Miami's offensive coordinator) last coached against Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema, when he was a coordinator at Kansas State. That came when UMass lost to the Wildcats in 2003.
According to the Denver Bleacher Report, the Broncos are looking at UMass' Vladimir Ducasse as a potential high draft pick. UMass offensive lineman Vladimir Ducasse is a very underrated prospect who could possibly fall to the Broncos in the second round, and if he does, they would be wise to jump at the opportunity to draft him. Ducasse is still developing in terms of his overall football awareness, and his level of competition is going to seriously increase when he makes the jump to the NFL, but this is a guy who has great natural talent and at 6'5" 330 pounds, he is an ideal fit to play guard in Denver's system.
Check This Out On UMassAthletics.com: For all the places to follow the UMass games tonight, visit the Watch & Listen page for all links to watch, listen and follow.
Don't Miss This: Three UMass games at 7 p.m., all on the road, tune that radio dial or computer to UMassAthletics.com to follow all of the action.
The Mass Attack is back on the ice this afternoon at UConn, as the No. 15 Minutemen take on No. 18 Union at 4 p.m. It's the hockey team's first action in more than two weeks. JTAM also has stories on men's basketball and the Springfield Republican's look back at the last decade of sports in the Pioneer Valley.
The Daily Hampshire Gazette has a look at the hockey team as they prep for the Toyota UConn Classic the next two days. "The challenge is staring us right in the face," Coach Toot Cahoon said. "This is the time when everyone is looking to see where we go. We have five consecutive games where we're not in our building. We need to make hay here against a difficult schedule."
Dick Baker has the Springfield Republican's preview of the games at UConn. He focuses on freshman Rocco Carzo in the piece.
USCHO.com also has an outlook on the two-day event.
UMass' Wednesday basketball foe Davidson moved to 5-8 with a 79-50 win over Penn on Monday night. Davidson has won three of its last four with the only loss being to Cornell in overtime. The Wildcats hit 13 3-pointers; it's the fifth time this season Davidson has netted 13 or more treys... The Wildcats held a 24-12 advantage in scoring off the bench... Davidson held its opponent under 40 percent from the field for the second straight game... The Wildcats' nine turnovers were a season low.
Matt Vautour has his weekly A-10 basketball notebook with a look at the league's top players from the past decade in the Daily Hampshire Gazette.
In the Springfield Republican, Ron Chimelis takes a look back at the decade of the 2000s in Western Mass with many references to UMass and its great triumphs from its teams.
The newest basketball polls are out and A-10 foe Temple has jumped to No. 18 in the Associated Press Poll and No. 19 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. Michigan State, which beat UMass earlier this year is No. 11 in both. Also receiving votes are foes in either poll are: Dayton, Memphis, Baylor, Cornell, Rhode Island, Seton Hall, Richmond and Charlotte.
Rhode Island faces a pair of former UMass coaches this week, starting with Drexel and Bruiser Flint tonight. The Providence Journal has a preview. On Saturday, at Mohegan Sun, Travis Ford and Oklahoma State take on the Rams at 2 p.m.
Welcome back to Just Take A Minute. Hope you had a wonderful holiday celebration. The UMass hockey team will hit the ice tomorrow at UConn as the Mass Attack takes on Union at 4 p.m., in a tournament hosted by the Huskies. JTAM has news on some UMass alums in action on the gridiron, hardwood and ice over the weekend.
The Union College website has a preview of their game vs. UMass on Tuesday. Union has a nine-game undefeated streak intact. The Dutchmen put the second longest unbeaten streak in the nation and in program history on the line when they go to the Toyota UConn Classic on Tuesday. The Dutchmen (8-3-5) will face its first ranked opponent since entering the top 20 on Dec. 7 when they square-off with 15th-ranked UMass (10-5-0) on Tuesday at 4:05 p.m.
Terrell Vinson's game-winning shot to beat Memphis last Saturday continues to gain attention. On the Disney Channel, Vinson's shot was named the No. 5 "Top Play" of the week on the weekend. Other plays included ones from Kobe Bryant and Lebron James, pretty good company huh?
The Stamford Advocate has a notebook on local prep grads who are performing well in college including UMass diver John Clark. The Staples HS grad took second place in 1-meter diving in a meet against Yale.
The New Haven Register mentions UMass' Vladimir Ducasse as part of potentially the best crop of Nutmeg State prospects in NFL Draft history.
In New Hampshire, Seacoast Online looks back at the year of 2009. UMass' Zack Simmons was the No. 6 story of the year. Simmons, a goalkeeper who wrapped up a standout collegiate career at UMass, signed a developmental contract with the New England Revolution in February and stayed with the squad through June, when he was "waived" so he could begin preparing to attend law school at Yale.
On the NFL gridiron, alum and Amherst native James Ihedigbo played a key role in helping the New York Jets playoff hopes stay alive. After Ihedigbo gave a hard hit Peyton Manning in the third quarter, the all-time great was pulled from the game as the Colts have already secured home-field advantage in the playoffs. The Jets went on to the 29-15 win and control their own destiny for an NFL playoff berth with a win over Cincinnati next week. He finished with one tackle.
Jeremy Cain returned to the state where he was a college star at UMass, but his Jacksonville Jaguars suffered a 35-7 loss at the New England Patriots. Cain snapped the ball five times in defeat.
In Arizona, the Los Angeles Kings suffered a 3-2 loss to the Coyotes. Jonathan Quick was in nets again but was defeated. On Christmas day the Los Angeles Times had a nice feature on Quick and how he has emerged as one of the top netminders in the NHL. Quick, who will be 24 next month, leads the NHL with 2,046 minutes 54 seconds' ice time and 34 starts.
Former UMass star bigman Marcus Camby is sidelined again with a left knee injury. But, his Clippers pulled off a stunning 92-90 win over the Boston Celtics on Sunday.
In the D-League, former UMass players Chris Lowe and Maurice Maxwell were in action with the Springfield Armor in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The team fell to 1-10 overall with a pair of losses to the Skyforce. Maxwell had six points in Sunday's 107-105 loss. Lowe played eight minutes and had two points and an assist.
Check This Out On UMassAthletics.com: Want to relive great moments from UMass Athletics? Visit the Photo Gallery page for all the best images from UMass teams.
Don't Miss This: Check out the latest hockey polls on Monday. See if UMass hangs at No. 15 in both.