From conference tourney play to NCAA action, here's a look at some of the top March moments in UMass history.
Derek Kellogg previews the Puerto Rico Tournament including Thursday's game against Providence
MBB VS. CANISIUS Photos by Thom Kendall '93
MBB vs. MANHATTAN Photos by Thom Kendall '93
MBB vs. SIENA Photos by Thom Kendall '93
MBB VS. AIC (EXH) Photos by Thom Kendall '93
MBB-NCAA 2ND ROUND DAY 2 Photos by Thom Kendall '93
Three-consecutive 20-win seasons. Three-consecutive postseason tournaments. An NCAA Tournament Second Round and top-20 national ranking. Five sellouts in 2013-14 and a 100 percent increase in home attendance over the past three seasons.
Based on those facts, Derek Kellogg has the UMass men's basketball program headed in the right direction.
UMass brought one of its own home to run the men's basketball program in 2008-09, the 100th season of UMass Basketball, and six years later has put the Minuteman program back on solid ground and poised for the next step.
Former Minuteman point guard and Springfield native Derek Kellogg was named the 21st head coach in University of Massachusetts men's basketball history, on April 23, 2008. The 1995 UMass graduate returned to his alma mater for his first head coaching job after serving as an assistant coach for 12 years, the last eight at the University of Memphis under former UMass head coach John Calipari. The energetic and hard-working Kellogg is largely credited for recruiting many of the Tigers which helped Memphis reach the NCAA Championship game in 2008 and eight consecutive 20-win seasons and eight consecutive postseason berths, and has continued his strong recruiting efforts at UMass.
In 2013-14 those efforts brought the program back to the national spotlight. UMass opened the year with 10-consecutive victories and collected the Charleston Classic championship as it rose to a top-20 ranking - its first time in the polls since early in the 1998-99 campaign. The squad eventually was slotted as high as No. 12 in the coaches poll and No. 13 in the Associated Press ledger and spent 10 weeks and played 15 games as a ranked team.
The year culminated with a No. 6 seed in the NCAA Tournament for a program that had not achieved that benchmark since 1998. Senior Chaz Williams capped his UMass career with a third-consecutive time as a First Team All-District and All-A-10 honoree.
UMass also continued its rise at the gate as it averaged 6,600 fans, putting season attendance numbers at a 100 percent increase over the past three years. The Minutemen sold-out four games at the Mullins Center when classes were in session and out for break. By year's end, UMass' home attendance had increased by 1,345 fans from 2012-13 to 2013-14, ranking 10th nationally. It was the second-consecutive year the Minutemen appeared in the top 30 for the largest increase from the previous year. The 6,600 home average was the highest since the 1998-99 campaign, while the single-season increase was the largest since moving into the Mullins Center midway through the 1992-93 year. It was also the eighth-highest average in school history.
Two years ago saw the Minutemen post 21 victories, including their second NIT appearance in as many seasons. Stellar point guard Chaz Williams picked up First Team All-Conference and NABC All-District honors for the second year, becoming the first to go back-to-back in both categories since Rashaun Freeman from 2005-07.
In 2011-12, UMass went 25-11 and advanced to the semifinals of both the Atlantic 10 Championship and the NIT. The Minutemen tied for fifth in the A-10 after being picked 12th in the preseason polls. Kellogg also installed the aforementioned up-tempo offense to go along with a pressure defense that resulted in a the team breaking the school record for steals, while ranking in the top five nationally in possessions per game.
Leading the way was Williams, who was named First Team All-Atlantic 10 and NABC All-District after averaging 16.9 points, 6.2 assists and 4.4 rebounds per game. Williams set UMass sophomore records for assists (231) and steals (81).
The Minutemen saw a resurgence at home as the team went 15-1 in Amherst while averaging 4,359 fans in 15 dates at the Mullins Center. Those numbers got increasingly higher as the season evolved to 5,411 for eight A-10 games and 6,614 for the last five regular-season contests. The Minutemen played before four crowds of more than 6,200 in the final six games, including a season-high 8,399 in the victory over Saint Louis.
Kellogg has also infused life into the community relations campaign among the entire basketball program. He serves as the Honorary Co-Chairman of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation for the Northern Connecticut/Western Massachusetts chapter, while participating with the entire team in the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes. He has also lent his time to the Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech and Baystate Children's Hospital of Springfield/Children's Miracle Network.
In 2010-11, Kellogg led UMass to its best start since the 1995-96 Final Four season as the Minutemen opened the year with a 7-0 mark. UMass also posted its first seven-game win streak since 1998. UMass finished 15-15 in 2010-11.
Kellogg finished his second season at his alma mater with a 12-20 record. But that including the Minutemen's first Atlantic 10 Tournament victory in eight years as UMass knocked off No. 6 seed Charlotte, 59-56. The Minutemen had lost its first tourney game in each season dating to 2002.
In his first season as the head coach at UMass, Kellogg led the Minutemen to a 12-18 record including an epic win over defending NCAA Champion Kansas in Kansas City before a nationally-televised audience on ESPN. UMass senior Tony Gaffney was honored as the Atlantic 10's Defensive Player of the Year in 2009 as well as being named to the A-10 Second Team. Gaffney led the A-10 in rebounding and averaged a double-double with 11.5 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. Gaffney was UMass' first player to average a double-double in 30 years. Ricky Harris was named to the Atlantic 10 Third Team after be averaged 18.2 points per game, the highest scoring average for any returning player in 2009-10.
Kellogg's first full recruiting class at UMass was named one of the nation's top classes in the nation and the consensus best class in the Atlantic 10 according to publications. The group of Sampson Carter, Javorn Farrell, Raphiael Putney, Freddie Riley and Terrell Vinson made up the highly-talented class. Vinson and Riley graduated last summer and were each 1,000-point scorers at UMass, Farrell graduated and is playing his final season at UTPA, while Carter and Putney are fifth-year seniors in 2013-14.
As a four-year letterwinner at Massachusetts from 1992-95, Kellogg played on four Atlantic 10 Conference regular season and tournament championship teams. The Minutemen were just the second team in NCAA history to win four-straight outright season and tournament championships. During his four-year career at UMass under Calipari, the Minutemen were 111-24, including 51-11 in the Atlantic 10, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament each year, including the Elite Eight in 1995. Kellogg was named the team's captain as both a junior and senior. He was named a 1995 Atlantic 10 All-Conference selection and was a three-time All-Atlantic 10 Academic honoree. On UMass' career lists, he is fifth in assists (453), seventh in all-time three-pointers (138), as well as seventh in three-point percentage (38.1). Kellogg played his high school basketball at Springfield Cathedral where he was a two-time Massachusetts All-State player and McDonald's honorable mention All-American.
Kellogg spent eight years on the Memphis staff under Calipari where he brought his "coach on the floor" mentality at UMass to the sidelines, and it has paid huge dividends for the Tiger program. In Kellogg's eight seasons in Memphis, he has helped lead the Tigers to eight-straight 20-win seasons and eight-consecutive postseason berths (2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008 NCAA; 2001, 2002, 2005 NIT). Prior to this recent run, the last time Memphis had eight-straight 20-win seasons was from 1982-89. This current stretch of eight-consecutive postseasons is a first for the Tiger basketball program, breaking the previous mark of six-straight postseason tournaments from 1988-93.
In 2007-08, Kellogg was an integral part of another magical Tiger campaign, which continued through the 2008 NCAA Tournament championship game. The NCAA Final Four appearance was the Tigers' first since 1985, and the NCAA title contest was the program's first since 1973. Memphis set an NCAA single-season record for victories with 38 wins (38-2 mark) and held down the No. 1 spot in both national polls for five-straight weeks during the season. The Tigers finished 2007-08 ranked No. 2 in both national polls, the highest final ranking in school history. Memphis also won a school-record 26-straight games, and swept the Conference USA regular season and tournament titles for a third-consecutive season.
The Tigers won 30 games for a third-straight year in 2007-08, becoming the second school in NCAA Division I history to accomplish the feat. Kentucky was the first to do so from 1947-49 and 1996-98. UCLA joined the elite group later in 2007-08. From 2005-06 to 2007-08, Memphis won 104 games (104-10 record) and tied the 1996-98 Kentucky squads for the most victories in a three-year period in NCAA Division I history.
In 2006-07, Kellogg helped lead Memphis to another record-setting campaign. The Tigers won 33 games for a second-straight season (33-4 record) and captured their second-consecutive Conference USA regular season and tournament titles. The back-to-back outright regular season crowns were a first for the Memphis program, and the consecutive tournament championships were the Tigers first since they won two-straight Metro Conference Tournaments in 1984 and 1985. Memphis advanced to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight for a second-straight year (2006, 2007), marking the first time in school history that happened.
The 2006-07 Tigers also pulled a first in Conference USA history. Memphis posted a perfect 16-0 regular season mark and captured the league's postseason tournament. The Tigers were the second squad in C-USA history to go 16-0 in the regular season as Cincinnati did so in 1999-2000. That Bearcat team, though, did not win the Conference USA Tournament title. The Tigers received a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament and finished in the top 10 in both national polls (No. 5/AP; No. 7/ESPN-USA Today).
Kellogg also played an integral role in the Tigers' 2005-06 remarkable season. Memphis posted a 33-4 record and won the Conference USA regular season and tournament titles. The conference regular season crown was the Tigers' second in three years. The 2005-06 Memphis squad earned the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament No. 1 seed and advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time since 1992. The Tigers finished the season ranked in the top 10 of both national polls (No. 4/AP; No. 6/ESPN-USA Today). Those final rankings were the highest in Memphis basketball history.
From when Kellogg joined the Memphis staff in 2000-01, the Tigers won the 2002 National Invitation Tournament championship, claimed a share of the 2004 Conference USA regular season crown and took home the 2002 and 2003 C-USA National Division titles. The Tigers have posted 219 overall victories (27.3 wins per year) and 101 conference wins (12.6 league victories per year) in his eight seasons. The eight years prior to that span, the Tigers had 140 total wins and 66 conference victories.
In addition to the 2006, 2007 and 2008 final national rankings, the Tigers also finished the 2003 (No. 19) and 2004 (No. 24) seasons ranked in the final Associated Press poll. Prior to the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons, the last time Memphis was ranked in the final polls in consecutive years was the 1984-85 and 1985-86 campaigns.
Kellogg was an off-campus recruiter for the Tigers, and also assisted in scouting opponents. His hard work -- especially on the recruiting trail -- gained him national recognition. In the summer of 2007, Rivals.com listed Kellogg (No. 7 spot) as one of the nation's 10 assistants "ready to move up." A year earlier in 2006, the same web site named Kellogg as one of the nation's top 25 recruiters, and HoopScoop magazine tabbed him as one of the nation's top assistant coaches.
Prior to joining Calipari's staff, Kellogg spent one season at Youngstown State. In his lone year at Youngstown State, Kellogg was a member of a coaching staff led by former UMass assistant John Robic that re-energized a community about Penguin basketball. Youngstown State finished fourth in the Mid-Continent Conference regular season standings, but were in first place in the league before losing their top scorer, Elmer Brown, with seven games left in the regular season. Youngstown State signed a freshman class which included three top-100 recruits during Kellogg's tenure.
Kellogg joined the Youngstown State staff after two seasons at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., where he worked for Jim Larranaga. The Patriots posted a 19-11 record during the 1998-99 season, captured both the Colonial Athletic Association regular-season and tournament championships and earned an automatic bid to the 1999 NCAA Tournament.
Kellogg began his coaching career at his alma mater. He was a graduate assistant and part-time radio broadcaster at UMass for the 1996-97 season. Kellogg also played a season with the Connecticut Skyhawks in the United States Basketball League in 1995.
Kellogg, 41 (born June 20, 1973), is a 1995 graduate of Massachusetts with a degree in Real Estate/Finance. In May of 2005, he married Nicole Flory, who graduated from UMass in 1997. The couple welcomed their first child Maximus Antonio Kellogg on April 28, 2008 (five days after he was hired at UMass). Kellogg's parents George and Ruth Kellogg currently reside in Belchertown, Mass.
THE DEREK KELLOGG FILE
Playing Career At UMass
R -- denotes conf. regular season title; T -- denotes conf. tournament title
What They are Saying...
"As happy as I was for Tony (Barbee) when he got the UTEP job two years ago, I am just as excited for Derek in getting this incredible opportunity at UMass. I recruited Derek to play at UMass, coached him there and had him as assistant here in Memphis the last eight years, so this is also a proud moment for me to see Derek get a chance to run his own program.
"The bottom line is that Derek is a winner and knows how to build a winning program. He was a winner during his playing days at UMass. He was a winner as an assistant at all his collegiate stops. I'm confident he will do the same at UMass as the head coach. Again, I can't say enough how excited I am for Derek and also the UMass community."
"The hiring of Derek Kellogg was an outstanding choice. I'm glad UMass decided to bring a member of its family back home. I know he'll do an outstanding job and he'll make the people in the valley proud."
"I am very excited for UMass and Derek Kellogg. I think this is a great hire and a great fit. Derek will continue with the excitement and energy which picked up during the run to the NIT Finals. I know Derek will do a great job and take UMass to new heights. I wish nothing but the best to him and the UMass program."
"I couldn't be happier for Derek and his family. As a proud UMass alum and former teammate of Derek's, I couldn't imagine anyone being a better fit for the job. No one will work harder or smarter than he will. Derek shares the fans' great passion and pride for UMass basketball. He will have the Minutemen battling for conference titles and postseason tournament appearances."
"Derek Kellogg will be a fabulous head coach. His greatest assets are his enthusiasm and passion for the game of basketball and working with players. He is a tireless recruiter and someone who relates well to both young athletes and to parents and administrators. I loved working with him and know he will do a great job at UMass."
"I think Massachusetts made a good decision to bring back one of its own. Derek Kellogg has a great love and passion for UMass. He has a great work ethic and he learned a lot at Memphis under former Minuteman coach John Calipari."
"Derek has proven during his time at Memphis that he is ready for this challenge. UMass needed a UMass man for this phase of the program and got the right one."
"I have known Derek's father George since we played basketball in high school together and I have known Derek since he was a child. Derek is known for a hard work ethic and great basketball mind. This hire by UMass highlights the talent in the Pioneer Valley."
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