UMass Wraps Non-Conference Sked At CCSU, Monday
UMass Wraps Non-Conference Slate At Central Connecticut
The 8-4 UMass men's basketball team finishes its non-conference schedule on Monday night at Central Connecticut State (7-5) with a 7 p.m., game at Detrick Gym in New Britain, Conn., 60 miles south of Amherst. The Minutemen are back in action just three days after ending a four-game losing streak with a 71-54 win over Boston University on Friday afternoon.
Junior forward Matt Hill will be playing just 12 miles from his home in Middletown, Conn. This game in New Britain continues UMass' local circuit where UMass' playing 21 of its 29 scheduled games wthin 90 miles of Amherst including games in Boston and Springfield.
The Minutemen are playing their first game in New Britain since March 13, 1950, which was the first meeting between the teams. That game, a 68-47 victory by CCSU marked the first-ever postseason game in UMass' history, coming in the NAIA Tournament. UMass leads the all-time series, 5-3.
The game can be heard on the UMass Sports Network on 100.9 FM WRNX in Western Mass, 830 AM WCRN in Central Mass and 1510 AM The Zone in Eastern Mass. Josh Maurer will call the action with Tim Kenney as color analyst. Live streaming video, audio and GameTracker statistics are also available on UMassAthletics.com with links from CCSU BlueDevils.com
Gurley Nets 1,000th Point at UMass
Beantown native Anthony Gurley scored his 1,000th career points at UMass in Friday afternoon's win over Boston University. Gurley has scored 1,217 in his career overall including 199 at Wake Forest, where he began his career and 1,018 at UMass. Gurley became the 42nd player to score 1,000 points at UMass. Gurley is currently third in the A-10 and 21st in the NCAA in scoring average with 20.6 per game as a senior. He has scored at least 12 points in every game this season and has led UMass in scoring in 11 of 12 games.
Series History With Central Connecticut
UMass leads the series 5-3 after winning the last meeting, 79-55 on Dec. 22, 2007 at the Mullins Center. After holding a 34-33 halftime lead, the Minutemen outscored the Blue Devils, 45-22 in the second half to pull away with the victory. Five Minutemen reached double figures in points. The Minutemen finished with 18 blocks on the night, the most blocks since Jan. 3, 1995 when they had 20 vs. West Virginia. Ricky Harris led the Minutemen with 15 points and Etienne Brower had 13. Gary Forbes and Max Groebe had 11 each while Dante Milligan added 10.
The previous four games were all played at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn. On Dec. 9, 2006, UMass posted a 79-66 win at the Mohegan Sun. The combination of Rashaun Freeman (23 points and 10 rebounds) and Stephane Lasme (19 and 14) combined for 42 points and 24 rebounds. UMass rallied from a 30-30 halftime tie to win.
Prior to that 2006 win, CCSU had won two in a row, each of which were decided by one point: 53-52 on Dec. 9, 2003 and 46-45 on Dec. 2, 2002. The first game at Mohegan Sun came as UMass defeated CCSU 64-49 on Dec. 15, 2001.
Before the 2007 game, the last time CCSU came to Amherst was on Dec. 9, 1993, a 90-63 victory at the Mullins Center.
CCSU won the first meeting between the two clubs 68-47 on March 13, 1950 in the NAIA Tournament. That game was played in New Britain as UMass' first postseason game.
Back In The Swing Of Things
Last Friday, UMass returned to the court after an eight-day layoff with a 71-54 win over Boston University. That started a more normal run of UMass games after just four games in four weeks for UMass. Prior to the BU game, UMass lost to No. 24 UCF (64-59) on Dec. 22, at the Mullins Center. Friday's game vs BU finished a four-game homestand, spanning 23 days. Prior to the enlongated periods between the recent games, UMass played seven games in 17 days including a stretch of five games in 11 days (Nov. 17-27), when UMass went 5-0.
After Monday's game at CCSUB, UMass then opens the A-10 schedule against Dayton on Sunday, Jan. 9. That game will be televised nationally on CBS College Sports with a 2 p.m., tip-off from the Mullins Center.
Best Starts In UMass History
The 7-0 start this season was the best since the 1995-96 team. UMass started with a school-record 26 consecutive wins on to the way to a 35-2 season and an NCAA Final Four appearance.
UMass also had a 7-0 mark in 1968-69.
Here are the best starts at UMass: 1995-96 (26-0); 1933-34 (12-0 undefeated season); 1970-71 (11-0); 1973-74 (9-0); 1925-26 (9-0); 1977-78 (8-0); 2010-11 (7-0); 1968-69 (7-0); 1975-76 (6-0); 1971-72 (6-0); 1956-57 (6-0).
The program started 5-0 in 1991-92 (Derek Kellogg's freshman season) and 1930-31.
One Of The Final 22
Prior to the loss to Boston College at the TD Garden on Dec. 4, at 7-0 UMass was one of the final 22 undefeated teams in NCAA Division I. The Minutemen were also the last unbeaten team in the Atlantic 10.
The loss to BC also saw the end the longest win streak for UMass since 1998. The seven-game run was the longest since the Minutemen won 10 games in a row from Jan. 3-Feb. 1, 1998.
Gurley, A Big Man On Campus
Senior guard and Boston native Anthony Gurley is third in the Atlantic 10 in scoring with a 20.6 points per game average, 21st in the NCAA. He has led UMass in scoring in 11 of 12 games this season, with at least 12 points in every game this year.
Gurley became the 42nd player in UMass history to scored 1,000 points. He stands 40th with 1,018. Gurley scored his 1,000th career point with his final field goal against Rider and now has 1,217 in his career with 199 coming at Wake Forest and 1,018 at UMass.
He led UMass in scoring in the first six games this season including 24 vs. Holy Cross (11/27), 22 points vs. AIC (11/24) and 18 points in the win over Sacred Heart (11/17). He now has scored in double-figures 61 times in his career and has reached 20 points 16 times, six times this year, most recently vs. Boston University (12/31) with 21.
Gurley scored a career-high 31 points to serve a part of the two-headed offensive attack in the big rally against Rider (11/12) With 31 points in the opener, Gurley tallied the most points by a UMass player in a season debut since Marcus Camby netted 32 against Kentucky in the 1995-96 season opener. Gurley was named to the Atlantic 10 Weekly Honor Roll on Nov. 15 for his performance.
Ready Freddie Filling It Up
Sophomore Freddie Riley is second on the team in scoring with a 10.6 points per game average. He tallied a career-high 28 with 23 coming in the second half alone in the win over Rider (11/12). He passed his former high of 22 vs. La Salle (1/10/10). Riley scored in double-figures for the 13th time in his career with 28. Riley also scored more than 20 points for the third time.
He added 10 points vs. TCU for his second game this season in double-figures and added 17 in 17 minutes vs. Holy Cross (11/27). He netted 14 in his last contest vs. Seton Hall (12/11).
UMass Calls Upon Sampson
Sophomore Sampson Carter had the best game of his two-year career with a 17-point, 8-rebound effort vs. Sacred Heart (11/17). The Baton Rouge native is averaging 10.0 points and 5.6 rebounds in 12 starts. He was in double-figures for three games in a row with 14 vs. Holy Cross (11/27). Carter set a career-high with 10 rebounds vs. Seton Hall (12/11). Last season, Carter averaged 4.3 points and 3.4 rebounds in 32 games.
Junkyard Dog Farrell Returns With Vengeance
After missing the first two games of the season with an ankle injury sophomore swingman Javorn Farrell has returned to the lineup and been an instant impact player. He is averaging 9.4 points and 3.4 rebounds in 10 games with double-figures in four of his first five efforts this season. He notched a career-high 25 points in leading UMass to the win at Quinnipiac (12/1). He had scored 15 points in his first game, vs. New Mexico State (11/20) and followed that up with 10 points vs. TCU (11/22).
Take The Charge! Traynham Draw `em
Freshman Daryl Traynham has returned from a stress reaction in his left foot and been an instant contributor on offense and defense. The guard out of Upper Marlboro, Md., has drawn a team-high six charges in his nine games, with all six coming in his last five contests. He drew three charges vs. Boston College (12/4) and two more vs. Maine (12/8).
Traynham is also adding to the offense with 5.0 points and 3.3 assists per game in his college debut. Traynham drew his first college start vs. No. 24 UCF on Dec. 22.
Matt Climbs The Hill, Adds Energy
Junior Matt Hill has become a key cog in UMass' success early this season. The fourth-year player, who has battled injuries in Amherst, is playing more than ever before and has become a factor off the bench with energy. Hill played a career-high 20 minutes and scored a career-best six points in the win over Sacred Heart (11/17). When he entered the game vs. Rider (11/12), the game changed as he helped lead the 22-point comeback with grit and defense in 14 minutes.
Dynamic Scorer Morgan Joins Team
Jesse Morgan joined the Minutemen on Dec. 19 and played in his first game just days later vs. No. 24 UCF (12/22). The former Seton Hall NLI signee became eligible after the end of the first semester after meeting NCAA eligibility requirements. Morgan can play all three guard positions. Nicknamed, "Takeover," Morgan averaged 28 points per game as a senior at Olney High School in Philadelphia, the third most among all players in the city.
Return To The Cage, a Huge Success
UMass played its first regular-season game at the Curry Hicks in 6,511 games, dating to the Final "Rage In The Cage" on Jan. 29, 1993 with an 83-76 win on Nov, 27, 2010. UMass is now 360-212 in 572 all-time games at the Cage from 1932-93 and the game this season.
UMass "extended" its winning streak at the Curry Hicks Cage to 15 games with a 17-year gap. The streak spans back to the 1991-92 season as the Minutemen won their final 14 games before moving to the Mullins Center in Feb. 1993.
First Undefeated Tournament Since 1995
With a 4-0 mark in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off, UMass captured undefeated regular-season tournament since the 1995 Rainbow Classic. That year, the Minutemen took the crown in Honolulu with wins over NC State, USC and NC State with a 3-0 mark.
This year, UMass swept the Hall of Fame Tip-Off with wins over Rider (77-67), New Mexico State (71-57), TCU (67-48) and AIC (83-56). It marked the first four-game sweep in a tournament in school history.
34-POINT SWING IN WIN OVER RIDER
UMass rallied for its largest comeback since the 2008 NIT Quarterfinals vs. Syracuse when the Minutemen also rallied from down 22 points in the second half. UMass was down by 22 with 16:24 left in the second half (46-24) and rallied to win by 10. The game included a 34-point swing in a 15-minute span as the Minutemen led by 12 75-63 with just over a minute left. The last time UMass rallied from as large a margin was on March 28, 2008 in the NIT Quarterfinals as the Minutemen came back from a 54-32 with 14:37 left in the second half to post an 81-77 victory on the way to the NIT Finals.
LAGUERRE SIGNS NLI WITH UMASS
Explosive guard Jordan Laguerre (pronounced LUH-garry) has signed his National Letter Of Intent to join the UMass Basketball program for the 2011-12 season. The 6-2, 175-pounder is currently in his second season at the New Hampton School in New Hampshire. Laguerre is a lefthander with an explosive first step, incredible leaping ability, and a scorer's mentality.
"I am excited to have Jordan join our growing UMass basketball family," said third-year head coach Derek Kellogg. "I have truly enjoyed watching Jordan play over the last few years as he has become quite a player and a person. Jordan has a tremendous competitive nature and an intensity on the floor that will push us to win basketball games. He is a great addition to the building process of UMass basketball both on and off the court."
The Manchester, N.H., native averaged 14 points per game as a junior and is expected to take an even more dominant role in the offense this season.
"It's close to home. They have a good environment and I really like the coaches and players," Laguerre said about coming to UMass. "I've gotten to play with them over the last couple years, and I'm really looking forward to going there and getting stronger physically and as a player."
Forbes Makes NBA With Denver Nuggets
Former UMass star basketball player Gary Forbes made the opening day roster of the Denver Nuggets and drew his first NBA start on Nov. 3 vs. Dallas, where he guarded All-Star Dirk Nowitzki. He scored a pro-best 19 points vs. his hometown New York Knicks on Nov. 16 to go along with a career-high nine rebounds. The 2008 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year became the seventh UMass player to play in the NBA joining current Portland Trailblazer Marcus Camby in the league. Forbes averaged 10.1 ppg in the preseason to earn a spot with the Nuggets. In 27 games this season (through Dec. 29), he is averaging 5.8 points and 1.8 rebounds.
"He's an NBA player," Denver forward Carmelo Anthony said. "He's got an NBA body, a guy who's willing to learn. He's just a good addition to the team."
At UMass, Forbes was named the 2007-08 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year and a first-team all-conference selection. Forbes had a sensational senior season in 2007-08, finishing as the A-10's co-scoring champion with 610 points (20.3 ppg) along with Temple's Dionte Christmas. The New York native led the Minutemen to the NIT Championship game at Madison Square Garden, averaging 14.8 points in five NIT games, 17.5 in NIT Final Four, and was named to the NIT All-Tournament Team.
Close To Home
UMass's schedule in 2010-11 is a local one for fans as the Minutemen will play 21 games within 90 miles of Amherst. In addition to the 14 games at the Mullins Center, UMass will host Holy Cross at the Curry Hicks Cage on Nov. 27 for a 15th game in Amherst.
UMass will also play three games down I-91 in Springfield. Two in the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off on Nov. 20 and 22 along with a regular-season home game vs. La Salle on Jan. 15. UMass has played home games in Springfield in each of the last three seasons since Kellogg was hired in 2008.
The Minutemen will play at the TD Garden for the second year in a row, against Boston College on Dec. 4 as part of the Boston Tip-Off Classic. That game will air on Comcast SportsNet New England as part of a doubleheader with Drexel, coached by former Minuteman bench boss Bruiser Flint, battling Northeastern in the first game. The event will benefit the Boston Children's Hospital.
UMass also plays two road games within 90 miles at Quinnipiac in Hamden, Conn. on Dec. 1 and at Central Connecticut on Jan. 3 in New Britain, Conn.
UMass Alum Leading UMass
Derek Kellogg, in his third season, is the first UMass alum to serve as the head coach of his alma mater since Tom McLaughlin, who coached the Minutemen from 1981-83. Kellogg graduated from UMass in 1995 where he was an All-Atlantic 10 selection in 1995. McLaughlin graduated from UMass in 1973 where he was one of three future head coaches on the team. He was joined by former Boston College head coach Al Skinner and current Louisville coach Rick Pitino.
Kellogg is not the only current head coach from the UMass rosters in the mid-90s as Tony Barbee is in his first year as the head coach at Auburn. Coaching at Texas-El Paso last season, Barbee led the Miners to the NCAA Tournament.
Prior to McLaughlin, the last UMass alum to lead his alma mater was Lorin Ball (Class of 1921), who coached the team from 1945-52.
FOLLOW THE TEAM ONLINE
Looking for all the latest news on the Minutemen and Coach Kellogg? There are several ways to keep tabs on all of the updates on the squad.
Your first and Number 1 source is UMassAthletics.com. The official website of the UMass teams features news, stats, profiles, videos, photos, auctions, live audio, live video and so much more. Visit every day when you get home for a complete recap story, box score, video highlights, photo gallery and postgame press conference from this and every game.
Our daily blog "Just Take A Minute" has all the latest news from the media along with special information. Its updated several times each day.
Follow the teams and Coach Kellogg on Twitter. Get the news instantly for all Minuteman and Minutewoman teams by following @UMassAthletics. For the latest on the basketball team and Coach, follow him at @CoachKellogg.
The UMass Facebook page is very active, become a fan today at Facebook.com/UMassAthletics. You can also follow Coach Kellogg on his Facebook.com/CoachKellogg account.
Also, UMass has a very comprehensive YouTube page with video highlights, features, interviews and press conferences. Visit today at YouTube.com/UMassAthletics.
KELLOGG'S MISSION 1000
UMass head coach Derek Kellogg has made it his personal mission to get more interest in the UMass basketball program. Along with the athletic department, MISSION 1000 was launched in September to garner more attention. Close to a dozen events have been held throughout the state of Massachusetts to spread the word of UMass basketball with an emphasis of being more involved in the community.
As part of MISSION 1000, UMass head coach Derek Kellogg, his staff and players hand-delivered season tickets to patrons throughout Western Massachusetts. They were greeted with excitement of fans from Amherst to Springfield.
UMass' exhibition game vs. Brandeis on Nov. 4 was a benefit for The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. Fans brought 2 cans of nonperishable food to the Mullins Center to gain admission in place of a ticket price. More than 1,000 cans were donated.
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