• The Massachusetts men’s basketball team welcomes Miami (Ohio) to the Mullins Center for the final game before the start of Atlantic 10 play. Saturday’s game will start at 7:00 p.m.
• Fans unable to attend the game can watch online at UMassAthletics.com via the Atlantic 10 Digital Network with a simulcast of the UMass Sports Network audio broadcast.
• This is the 105th season of UMass Basketball. UMass has an all-time record of 1,218-1,072 (.537) in 2,290 games. UMass is 448-308 (.593) in conference games, including a 284-288 in Atlantic 10 play. The Minutemen have claimed 15 regular-season conference championships and five tournament titles.
• The 2013-14 season marks the sixth for head coach Derek Kellogg ... Kellogg starred as a point guard for the Minutemen from 1992-95, playing for coach John Calipari ... Kellogg spent a year as a graduate assistant with Bruiser Flint at UMass, two years at George Mason with Jim Larranaga and eight at Memphis with Calipari, culminating with the 2008 NCAA Runner-up season ... UMass’ win totals under Kellogg have gone 12, 12, 15, 25 and 21 last season with a second-consecutive NIT appearance.
GENERAL RPI & SOS INFO
• As we get ready to begin conference play, a check of the various RPI numbers shows UMass is ranked No. 1 by ESPN Insider RPI, No. 2 by CBS Sports, RealTimeRPI.com, StatSheet.com, No. 19 by Jeff Sagarin and No. 24 by Ken Pomeroy.
• The Minutemen’s strength of schedule is No. 1 by ESPN, No. 5 by CBS and RealTime RPI, No. 8 by Stat Sheet, No. 19 by Jeff Sagarin and No. 31 by Ken Pomeroy.
SERIES HISTORY WITH MIAMI & The MAC
• UMass and Miami are meeting for the second time in their basketball histories. The Minutemen escaped Millett Hall last season - 367 days ago - thanks to a missed RedHawk layup at the buzzer. Raphiael Putney led UMass with a season-high 20 points and four 3-pointers. Chaz Williams had 10 points and nine assists, while Maxie Esho added nine boards and a career-best four blocks. UMass dominated the boards with a 48-to-32 advantage including a 17-to-6 edge on the offensive glass.
• UMass is 13-5 all-time and has won seven-consecutive against current members of the Mid-American Conference. The record against those schools includes: 1-0 vs. Akron, 1-0 vs. Buffalo, 3-0 vs. Eastern Michigan, 0-2 vs. Kent State, 1-0 vs. Miami (Ohio), 3-0 vs. Northern Illinois, 3-0 vs. Ohio and 1-3 vs. Toledo.
UMASS TOUGH IN THE MULLINS CENTER
• UMass is unbeaten in the Mullins Center this year with a 4-0 record. Over the past three campaigns, the Minutemen are 14-1 in regular-season non-conference games in the facility with a current seven-game winning streak.
• The Minutemen have been strong during the winter break as well, winning their last nine non-league games when the classes are not in session.
60TH MULLINS SELLOUT & 58TH OVERTIME VICTORY
• UMass drew a capacity crowd to last Saturday’s 69-67 overtime win over Providence with 9,493 in attendance, marking the 60th sellout in Mullins Center history. It was the first since Dec. 2, 2006 against Boston College on a day that opened with an NCAA FCS playoff game against New Hampshire.
• It marked the second home sell-out of the season. On Dec. 7, UMass beat BYU 105-96 in front of a sold out MassMutual Center in Springfield with the crowd totaling 7,331. This is the first time UMass has had multiple sell-outs in a season since 1998-99 season.
• The overtime contest was the first for UMass this season and saw the Minutemen improve to 58-60 all-time in OT games. UMass has now won its last three games with ‘free basketball’ - two years ago at Mississippi State in the NIT, last season against Elon in Springfield and last Saturday over Providence.
UMASS RETURNS TO ASSOCIATED PRESS & COACHES POLLS FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 1998
• Following last Saturday’s 69-67 ocertime win over Providence before a capacity 9,394 crowd, UMass held steady in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls, coming in at Nos. 23 and 22, respectively this week. UMass received 160 points in the AP and 137 in the coaches poll.
• When the Minutemen debuted in the rankings this season, it ended a drought that dated back to Nov. 1998 in each poll.
• UMass has now appeared in the AP Poll 83 times and is 120-30 all-time as a ranked team. The Minutemen have been ranked in the top 10 48 times, the top five 31 times and No. 1 15 times (32-4).
CHAZ IS LIKE A FINE WINE, HE GETS BETTER WITH AGE
• Chaz Williams continues to impress with his on-court talents year-in and year-out. While his scoring has been consistently strong throughout his college career, his shooting percentages are at or near all-time highs and his assist-to-turnover numbers are at an all-time high.
Year MPG PPG FG% 3FG% FT% APG TPG A/TO Ratio
2009-10 31.7 9.8 .372 .389 .733 4.2 2.5 1.64
2011-12 34.9 16.9 .410 .419 .788 6.2 3.4 1.83
2012-13 35.3 15.5 .433 .333 .785 7.3 3.4 2.12
2013-14 34.4 15.3 .388 .414 .750 7.7 3.3 2.36
• He has 16 double-figure assist games in his career and 14 at UMass, one shy of Carl Smith’s record set from 1983-87.
CARTER & ESHO PERFORMING AT HIGH LEVELS
• Redshirt senior Sampson Carter and redshirt junior Maxie Esho are both making the 2013-14 campaign one to remember.
• Carter entered the year averaging 6.1 points per game over 102 appearances, but has played like a senior who wants to go out with a bang. He is scoring a career-best 12.8 ppg, while his shooting averages - .435 FG%, .359 3FG% and .765 FT% - are all career-highs or close to his season best.
• Esho, who has been described as the X-factor by head coach Derek Kellogg at times, is pro- ducing at a high level with 8.3 ppg and 5.7 rpg, ahead of his previous season benchmarks of 5.5 ppg and 5.0 rpg set last year. He has raised both categories each of the past two seasons and had three-consecutive double-figure scoring games for the first time in his career prior to the Florida State game. He also went off at Ohio with game highs of 16 points and 10 rebounds for his first career double-double. He became the sixth different Minuteman to lead the team in scoring this season.
UMASS PLAYING WITH A LEAD... A LOT
• Part of the UMass formula for success through 12 games has been to not fall behind. In 485 minutes, the Minutemen have trailed for a total of 56:39 - just 11.7 pct. of the season.
• Furthermore, UMass has used its pressing, attcking style to wear down opponents and pull away in the second half. UMass has only trailed for 14:44 of the second half this year, with 5:46 coming in the opener against BC, 4:40 at Eastern Michigan, 3:50 vs. Florida State and 0:28 vs. Providence. They are outscoring teams by an average of 37.8-33.3 in the first half and 41.5-36.7 in the second half.
SCORING POINTS IN BUNCHES
• UMass is averaging 80.2 points per game, which places it first in the Atlantic 10 Conference and 43rd nationally. The Minutemen set a school record when they surpassed 80 points in each of their opening five games. They have since accomplished the feat in eight of 12 games.
• The Minutemen recorded a season-high 105-point effort against BYU, which also featured a 50-point performance in each half for the first time since Jan. 24, 1995 at Duquesne.
UMASS POSTS TOP SHOOTING GAME OF KELLOGG ERA IN ROAD WIN OVER OHIO
• UMass entered last month’s game at Ohio having posted two of its three highest shooting games of the year in its two most recent contests. Going up against an Ohio team that ranked 11th nationally in field goal pct. defense (.372), the Minutemen recorded their best shooting night in more than seven seasons, connecting on .615 (32-for-52) from the floor. Additionally, the .643 (9-for-14) from three-point range was the highest since a .727 performance against Duquesne on Jan. 27, 2000.
CHAZ DID WHAT?
AND AGAINST THE NO. 9 RPI TEAM IN THE COUNTRY !?!
• It’s been well documented about Chaz Williams’ 32-point, 15-assist, 1-turnover day against BYU in early December. At the end of the day, he was responsible for 66 points out of the 105 for the Minutemen - or 63 percent of the scoring. The 15 assists are tied for the second-most this season.
• Williams is the first Division I player with at least 32 points and 15 assists in a non-OT game in the last 15 seasons. The only other player to reach those totals in a game in that span was Antawn Dobie (LIU) in 2003 in a double-overtime win versus St. Francis (NY).
KELLOGG AMONG UMASS TOP FIVE IN VICTORIES
• With 96 victories entering the Miami game, sixth-year head coach Derek Kellogg is in third place on the school’s career victories list. Jack Leaman won 217 over 13 seasons and John Calipari is second with 193 over eight years in Amherst.
RECAPPING THE CHARLESTON CLASSIC TITLE
• UMass improved to 6-0 on the season for the 12th time in school history but just the third time in the last 36 seasons (1995-96 & 2010-11).
• The Minutemen led Clemson 34-24 at the half in the title game. It was their largest halftime lead of the season. They have led in their last five games at the break.
• UMass had 40-plus rebounds for the sixth-consecutive game and out-rebounded their opponent for the fifth time. The Minutemen also turned 15 offensive boards into 19 second-chance points in the title game, while averaging 17.3 offensive boards and 18.3 second-chance ppg.
• The Minutemen improved to 81-69 all-time in regular-season tournaments, including a 11-8 mark in Derek Kellogg's six years at the helm after the tourney title.
• Prior to Sunday, the last regular-season tourney title for the Minutemen came three years ago when they defeated New Mexico State and TCU in Springfield for the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off crown; And the last 8-team event title came during the 1995-96 Final Four season. The John Calipari-coached Minutemen won the Rainbow Classic in Honolulu, Hawaii, with victories over NC State, USC and Syracuse.
Cady Lalanne NAMED CHARLESTON CLASSIC MVP, GRABS SECOND ATLANTIC 10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK
• UMass junior C Cady Lalanne was named the Charleston Classic Most Valuable Player and Atlantic 10 Player of the Week after averaging a double-double with 15.7 points, 11.7 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game in helping UMass capture the Charleston Classic championship.
• The Orlando, native opened the tournament with a 15-point, nine-rebound game in a win over Nebraska. He then followed with 12 points, 14 rebounds and a season-high four blocks against No. 19/20 New Mexico and its 7-foot All-America candidate Alex Kirk. In the title game against Clemson, he had a game-high 20 points, 12 boards and another four blocks in a career-high 36 minutes. He had double-doubles against the two toughest foes of the week.