Thumbnail Sketches Of 1960s Players For Saturday's Celebration
Jan. 2, 2009
Jim Babyak - 1964-65 through 1965-66 - # 14 - A 6 foot 3 inch swingman from Easthampton, Babyak blossomed as a junior, scoring 424 points, good for 17.7 per game. Babyak reached the 20 point mark six times in the first eight games during the 1965-66 season. A strong free-throw shooter, Babyak led the team with a .796 percentage as a junior, winning the Samuel B. Samuels award for highest free throw percentage. Babyak didn't return for his senior season, but had he come back, it would have been as a captain as he had been elected co-captain elect.
Peter Bernard - 1961-62 through 1963-64 - # 40 - The diminutive Bernard, a 5 foot 8 inch guard from Brockton, became the second-ever African American to play for Massachusetts. Bernard made his mark immediately, averaging 12.3 points per game as a sophomore member of the 1961-62 team that became the first ever to reach the NCAA tournament. A co-captain as a junior, Bernard averaged 8.9 points per game. A first team Yankee Conference selection as a senior, the co-captain blossomed, leading the Minutemen with 19.5 points and 3.9 assists per game while earning the first-ever George "Trigger" Burke award as team MVP.
Dennis Chapman - 1968-69 through 1969-70 - # 40 - A Baltimore native who transferred to UMass as a junior, Chapman averaged 11.3 points and 7.6 rebounds per game for the Yankee Conference champion squad of 1968-69. Chapman averaged 5.5 points and 4.4 rebounds per game for the 1969-70 team that advanced to the N.I.T.
Joe DiSarcina - 1966-67 through 1968-69 - # 10 - One of the all-time great playmakers in Massachusetts basketball history, the 5 foot 11 inch Somerville native led the team in assists in each of his three seasons. The two-time co-captain and Yankee Conference first-team selection graduated with the record for most assists in a single game, season and career. DiSarcina's 6.7 assists per game still rank as the most per game in UMass history.
John Dreyer - 1966-67 through 1968-69 - # 14 - A 6 foot 5 inch reserve from Cranford, NJ, Dreyer's finest moment as a Minutemen may have came when he recorded a 7 point, 4 rebound effort during an 84 to 63 win over Syracuse in his senior season.
Tim Edwards - 1963-64 to 1964-65; 1966-67 - # 54 - Edwards, from Duquesne, PA, burst onto the scene when he came off the bench to explode for a 23 point, 21 rebound effort against Rutgers in just his second varsity game. Edwards finished his sophomore season with 10.8 points and 9.6 rebounds per game. In addition to improving his scoring average to 16.7 points per game as a junior, Edwards shattered the school record for rebounds (330) and rebounds per game (14.3) set by Charlie O'Rourke just one season before. After a one year absence, Edwards returned and in spite of just being 6 foot 4 inches tall, he manned center for UMass and manned it exceptionally well, breaking his own mark for rebounds in a season with 342 (13.7 per game). Just the fifth player in school history to surpass the 1,000 point mark, Edwards also left as the all-time leader in rebounds (903) and rebounds per game (12.5).
Robert Eichorn - 1957-58 through 1959-60 - # 52 - The 6 foot 1 inch Adams native played three seasons for the Redmen and really put it together as a senior, averaging 14.1 points per game in conference play on his way to being named second-team Yankee Conference. Eichorn's finest individual performance came late in his senior year when he erupted for 35 points before the Cage crowd in a game against New Hampshire. Eichorn, who also played baseball, was named the 1960 Senior Athlete of the Year.
Ray Ellerbrook - 1967-68 through 1969-70 - # 12 - A native of Hawthorne, NJ, Ellerbrook was a three-time Yankee Conference selection. As a sophomore, the 6 foot 1 inch guard averaged 15.2 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. In arguably his best season, Ellerbrook led the Redmen with 18.0 points, 2.9 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game. As a senior, Ellerbrook averaged 16.5 points, 2.6 rebounds and a team-high 5.2 assists per game. A steady scorer, Ellerbrook finished his career with 1,224 points per game, good for fourth all-time when he graduated.
Gary Gasperack - 1965-66 through 1967-68 - # 42 - Gasperack, a 6'4" forward from West Springfield, averaged 5.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per game in a sophomore campaign in which he saw his scoring average increase as the season grew long. Gasperack averaged 4.4 points per game as a senior, culminating his career with 12 points on the first ever senior night in school history.
Jim Girotti - 1965-66 through 1967-68 - # 34 - A 6 foot 5 inch forward, Girotti scored 10 points in a 104 to 66 win over New Hampshire on February 17, 1966. Girotti had a strong stretch as a senior in which he helped lead UMass to wins over Holy Cross and New Hampshire.
Paul Gullicksen - 1963-64 through 1964-65 - # - Gullicksen, from Quincy, put forth some strong efforts in his years with UMass. As a sophomore, the 6 foot 4 inch Gullicksen followed up an 11 point, 11 rebound game versus URI with an even stronger 15 point, 15 rebound effort the next evening in leading UMass to a win over American International College. Gullicksen opened up the 1964-65 season with a 15 point, 11 rebound performance versus B.U.
John Lisack - 1964-65 through 1966-67 - # 22 - Lisack, a 6 foot 3 inch forward from Allendale, NJ, scored 148 points as a sophomore, including 21 versus Boston College. A strong free throw shooter, Lisack won the Samuel B. Samuels award as best free throw shooter as a sophomore and shot better from 80 percent from the charity stripe as a senior. Lisack averaged 9.3 points per game during a senior season in which he was named second-team Yankee Conference.
Bob Murphy - 1964-65 through 1966-67 - # 24 - A 6 foot 3 inch guard from North Andover, Murphy was co-captain of the 1966-67 Redmen. Murphy averaged 6.6 points per game as a senior.
Richard Perkins - 1965-66 through 1967-68 - # 52 - A reserve guard, the 6 foot 3 inch Perkins scored 10 of his 12 points during the 1966-67 season in two games, versus Maine and Army.
Dick Samuelson - 1967-68 through 1969-70 - # 44- The 6 foot 6 inch Samuelson manned the center position for the Redmen for three seasons. Samuelson, averaged 5.1 points and 4.4 rebounds as a sophomore, including a 12 points, 13 rebound effort in a victory over Holy Cross. After averaging 4.3 points and 3.4 rebounds per game as a junior, he closed out his career with 4.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per game.
Richard Starsiak - 1967-68 through 1968-69 - # 14 - The 5 foot 10 inch Starsiak, a reserve guard, had his finest moment in a UMass uniform versus the reviled Huskies of UConn when he scored a career-high 11 points in helping the Redmen to an 85 to 70 victory on February 15, 1969.
Frank Stewart - 1964-65 through 1966-67 - # 44 - The 6 foot 4 inch Stewart, a native of Lynnfield, won the George Henry Richards award as most improved player. After averaging 7.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game as a junior, Stewart led the Redmen as a team captain his senior year, in which he averaged 5.0 points and 3.3 rebounds per game.
Billy Tindall - 1965-66 through 1967-68 - # 20 (1965-66), # 32 (1966-67 and 1967-68) - The 6 foot 5 inch Tindall began assaulting the record books as soon as he arrived at UMass, averaging 14.9 points and 11.0 rebounds per game as a sophomore, including a 33 point effort versus American International College on January 4th. As a junior, Tindall averaged 17.2 points and 10.9 rebounds per game and was named all-Yankee Conference and to the All District team for the New England region. As a senior, Tindall averaged 19.6 points and 12.0 rebounds per game and put forth perhaps the best single game performance in program history when he scored a still-standing school record 41 points to go along with 17 rebounds in a 96 to 58 trouncing of Vermont. Tindall would later be drafted in the 13th round of the NBA draft by the Cincinnati Royals, becoming the first-ever UMass player selected in the draft.