UMass Opens A-10 Play vs. Fordham At Mullins
UMASS (6-7) vs. FORDHAM (2-10)
UMass Opens Atlantic 10 Play vs. Fordham At Mullins Center
The Minutemen come into the conference with a 6-7 record in non-conference action while Fordham is 2-10. UMass comes off a pair of tough losses each of the last two Wednesdays on the road; falling at Boston College (79-67) on Dec. 23 and at Davidson (63-61) on Dec. 30.
UMass has won five home games in a row including the game played at the TD Garden in Boston on Dec. 19. UMass pulled off the dramatic 73-72 win over Memphis three weeks ago. UMass' last game at the Mullins Center was an 81-58 win over Grambling on Dec. 11.
There is no television coverage of game, but live streaming video is available along with audio and gametracker. The UMass Sports Network with Josh Maurer and Tim Collins and Glenn Wong will cover the game on WRNX 100.9 FM in Western Mass as well as WCRN 830 AM in Central Mass, 1060 AM in Boston and 95.9 WATD on the South Shore. The pregame begin 30 minutes prior to tip-off.
Ray Ellerbrook To Be Honored
Before the 2008 loss, UMass had won seven home games in a row in the series. Overall, for games played in Amherst, the Minutemen lead the series 13-3, with a 10-2 mark at Mullins. The Minutemen have won 11 of the last 13 games in Amherst, dating to 1973.
Before the 2007 win, UMass had not won at Rose Hill since Feb. 16, 2000, an 81-72 Minuteman win at Rose Hill. Overall, in games played at Rose Hill, Fordham leads, 8-7. The schools also met once at Madison Square Garden, with the Minutemen recording a 73-47 victory on Feb. 6, 1996.
The Rams have not won consecutive games in the series since taking three straight from 1970-72.
The teams first met on Dec. 13, 1967 at Fordham, with the Rams winning by a score of 77-66.
UMass coach Derek Kellogg will coach against Fordham for the second time. As a player at UMass from 1991-95, the Minutemen won an NCAA Tournament game in Worcester, 85-58 in 1992.
Last Game vs. Fordham - Feb. 11, 2009
The Rams dropped their 11 game in 12 to fall to 3-18 overall, 1-8 in the Atlantic 10. Jio Fontan led Fordham with 19 points.
UMass picked up its second wire-to-wire win this season, the other being the 97-81 win over Hofstra on Dec. 20, 2008. Leading by 29 at halftime, UMass continued to pile on in the second half leading by at least 25 for almost the entire stanza.
Bonner's fourth trey of game gave UMass a 35-point advantage with 16:28 left in the half and a 67-32 lead.
The Previous Two UMass-Fordham Games
THREE SEASONS AGO (FEB. 15, 2007): Two unlikely heroes emerged as UMass won at Fordham for the first time in seven years, 74-59 on Feb. 15, 2007 at Rose Hill Gym. Brandon Thomas scored a season-high 12 points while Dante Milligan, playing on his 23rd birthday, had nine points and a career-high 11 rebounds. Senior Stephane Lasme a game-high 18 points, 10 rebounds and seven blocked shots. The Minutemen improved to 18-7 overall and 8-3 in the Atlantic 10. UMass took over in the second half as they outscored the Rams, 44-32. Lasme had 12 in the half while Gary Forbes scored all 11 of his points in the period. The Minutemen opened the half outscoring Fordham 26-9 to go up by 20 points at 56-36 with 7:27 left in the game on a Milligan lay-up.
Shooting Tells The Story
In UMass' six wins, the Minutemen are shooting 49.0 from the floor overall and 35.2 from 3-point range. In the seven losses UMass is 35.3 on all field goals and 27.3 from beyond the arc.
On defense, in the six victories, UMass is holding foes to 39.3 overall and 29.4 from 3-point land. In the seven defeats, opponents are shooting 48.7 percent overall and an amazing 44.1 from trifecta land.
It has translated to a scoring margin of 79.5 to 64.0 in the wins and a mark of 82.1 to 66.7 in the losses.
UMass is 6-0 when shooting above 40 percent this year and 0-7 when shooting below 40 percent in 2009-10.
UMass is 6-0 when shooting a better percentage than its opponents and 0-7 when being outshot.
Crashing The Boards
Since Dec. 11, UMass has outrebounded it opponents 48.3 to 31.3 (193-125).
Win Over Memphis Gets Attention
Harris & Gurley Leading The Way
Harris continues to move up the UMass career scoring charts with his 17.1 average this season. He is eighth with 1,552 points and closing in on No. 7 Donald Russell (1,558). He has scored in double-figures in 23 games in a row, in 76 of his 110 career games and in 73 of his last 78 games dating to his sophomore season. Harris passed the two legends of UMass basketball on the career scoring list this season. Harris moved by Julius Erving (1,370) and Marcus Camby (1,387) in the game against Cornell.
Harris was named the A-10 Co-Player of the Week on Dec. 7 after he led UMass to a 2-0 week (Dec. 2-5). Harris had exactly 19 points, six assists and three rebounds in each UMass win that week (vs. Quinnipiac and at Holy Cross. The Baltimore native shot a blistering 68 percent from the floor (13-of-19) and made a stellar 7-of-13 3-point field goals.
Gurley scored in double-figures in 12 of 13 games this season, with the first five off the bench and the last eight as a starter. He is second on UMass in scoring with a 16.9 points per game average. He is also shooting very well with a 46 percent mark from the floor. He had at least 13 points in 12 of 13 games this season. He had his first career double-double at Boston College (12/23) with 23 points and a career-high 10 rebounds. Against No. 2 Michigan State (11/28), he tied his career-high with 24 points. That came on the heels of 19 vs. Rutgers (11/27). He had 21 points vs. Arkansas-Fort Smith (11/21).
Freshman Showing Strong In Debuts
Vinson has six games overall in double-figures including 21 vs. Memphis (12/19) and 20 points vs. Grambling State (12/11) in addition to having three in a row from Nov. 18-24. Vinson became the first UMass freshman to post a double-double and a 20-point, 10-rebound game since Rashaun Freeman in 2003-04, when he had 20 points and 11 boards vs. Grambling.
Vinson earned national attention with his game-winning basket to upset Memphis (12/19), 73-72. He scored a career-high 21 points along with nine rebounds in the stunning win over the Tigers. He was named the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week and UMass Athlete of the Week. His game-winner was the ESPN SportsCenter No. 1 Play of the Day on Dec. 19 and No. 6 Play of the Week for that week as well.
Riley has four games in double-figures including 12 at Holy Cross (12/5).
Sampson Carter is averaging 5.4 points and 3.8 rebounds with double-figures in three games. Javorn Farrell is averaging 3.8 points and 3.2 rebounds including a career-best 10 rebounds vs. Grambling State (12/11) in just 11 minutes of action.
Harris Shoots Up 1,000-Point List
In the Cornell (11/18) game he passed three players on the all-time list including the two greatest stars in UMass history in Julius Erving (1,370) and Marcus Camby (1,387). He also went by Clarence Hill (1,369).
Against UAFS, he went by Edwin Green (1,393) with 18 points.
He is the 40th player to score 1,000 points in his career.
Harris has scored in double-figures in 76 of his 110 career games including 73 of the last 78 dating to his sophomore year.
With a similar season to his previous two, where he averaged 18.2 points per game, Harris would finish with right around 2,000 points. That would place him third behind Jim McCoy (2,374) and Monty Mack (2,183). Among the players he could pass are No. 6 Tony Barbee (1,643), No. 4 Rashaun Freeman (1,744) and No. 3 Lou Roe (1,905).
Harris has continued to be prolific scorer in his career at UMass. In 2009, he was named a Third-Team All-Conference selection. In 2008, he was named the A-10 Chris Daniels Most Improved player.
Harris is leading returning scorer in the Atlantic 10 with a 18.2 scoring average and led the team in scoring in 18 of 30 games in 2008-09. He scored 20 or more in 10 games. Harris was fourth in the Atlantic 10. He dropped a season and career-high 35 points on BC (12/6/08). The 35 points were good for the 13th most in school history and only six behind the school record of 41 held by Billy Tindall on Feb. 10, 1968 vs. Vermont. It was also Harris' second ever 30+ point scoring effort.
Harris Rises on 3-Point, FT Lists
He stands fourth in career made 3-pointers (235) and attempts (654).
Among the players he passed last season was his current head coach Derek Kellogg (138 makes and 362 attempts). Next on both lists is Carmelo Travieso (245 of 666).
Harris eighth in made free throws with 323 in history. He has moved past Julius Erving (322) and Marcus Camby (308) this season.
This season, Harris 27-of-84 from 3-point range this season and 38-of-50 from the foul line.
He shot 38.7 from beyond the new extended-distance arc last season, making 87-of-225 from 3-point range in 2008-09.
Harris, who is tied Carmelo Travieso for the single-season mark for made treys with 104 (in 2007-08), is rising on the career charts.
Harris' 87 made 3-pointers last season finished tied with James Life for sixth-most in a single-season.
Harris also 11th on the career 3-point field goal percentage list (35.9).
Visiting The Commonwealth
UMass is now 4-0 at the TD Garden with the win on Dec. 19. It was UMass first game at the building since 1997, when the Minutemen took on Boston College in the Commonwealth Classic. It is the second year in a row that UMass is playing a game in Springfield.
UMass is 6-2 overall in the Commonwealth this season.
UMass Quick Hits For 2009-10
UMass has one of the youngest teams in the country as UMass features the top recruiting class in the Atlantic 10 with five freshmen. The Minutemen are also welcoming two transfers who will be eligible this season in Sean Carter from Oregon State and Hashim "Big City" Bailey from Memphis. Sophomore Trey Lang also returns to the team after not playing in 2008-09, giving UMass eight newcomers for this season's roster
UMass returns just 36.1 average points. In looking at it by percentages, UMass returns 49.1 percent of its scoring with Harris leading the way. UMass lost nearly all of its rebounding with the graduation of 2009 Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Year Tony Gaffney, the final cut of the NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers. UMass has just 24.3 percent of its rebounding returning as Gaffney grabbed 10.2 per game.
UMass Alum Leading UMass
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.
Harris, Riley, Vinson Earn
In the first preseason men's basketball magazine, Lindy's, UMass men's basketball is being praised for the A-10's top recruiting class. Senior guard Ricky Harris is also gaining honors as he was named to the A-10's First Team and the league's "Most Entertaining" player.
Lindy's picks UMass to finish fifth in the A-10 behind Dayton, Xavier, Richmond and La Salle. The magazine mentions: "Ricky Harris is an absolute scoring machine and coach Derek Kellogg has a killer group of newcomers." It finishes with UMass "Will get better as the season progresses and will be a team nobody wants to draw in the A-10 Tourney."
Lindy's calls UMass' incoming class the "Best group of recruits" in the league. "Massachusetts coach Derek Kellogg made a name for himself as a recruiter under John Calipari at Memphis, and he proved that he could do it on his own at his alma mater in Amherst. He scored a key early pledge from Freddie Riley, and in the late signing period nabbed a big-time combo forward in Terrell Vinson. Aside from those two, Kellogg got pledges from a pair of small forwards in Sampson Carter and Javorn Farrell, as well as a super athletic power forward Raphiael Putney."
In the UMass team profile, Lindy's cites Anthony Gurley under "Keep An Eye On." The mag says: "Gurley will display his all-around talents in the backcourt, largely because he has to as the Minutemen do not have a true point guard with experience."
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