Homecoming For Kellogg, As UMass Faces Dayton In Springfield
UMASS (5-8) vs. DAYTON (14-1)
Homecoming For Kellogg, As UMass Faces Dayton In Springfield
In celebrating the 100 Seasons of UMass Basketball, Saturday's game marks the 109-year anniversary of UMass' first-ever varsity basketball game. The Massachusetts Agricultural College beat the Northampton YMCA, 14-9 on Jan. 10, 1900. That proved to the Aggies only win in a 1-3 season.
Since returning to his alma mater, Derek Kellogg has made a major impact in his hometown, working with mayor Domenic Sarno to start a youth basketball program in the city of Springfield where UMass players worked with young children during the summer. Kellogg has also been very active in the community with various efforts in his hometown. Kellogg graduated from Springfield Cathedral in 1991 and went on to a four-year career with the Minutemen, winning four A-10 titles and reaching four NCAA Tournaments.
UMass is playing at the newly-refurbished MassMutual Center for the first since Nov. 25, 2005, when the Minutemen lost the final Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic to UAB, 86-77. All-time, UMass is 38-23 in the building formerly known as the Springfield Civic Center including a 13-3 mark since 1990. During Kellogg's career as a player, UMass was 8-1 in games in Springfield.
Saturday's game can be heard on the UMass Sports Network across the state. Flagship station WRNX 100.9 (Springfield) carried the game along with 830 AM WCRN in Worcester/Boston and 95.9 WATD in Marshfield/Boston. "Voice of the Minutemen" Josh Maurer, will call the action with former Minuteman Tim Collins.
UMass Playing In Springfield
Saturday's game against Dayton will be UMass' first in Springfield since the 2005 Tip-Off Classic, which UMass lost to UAB, 86-77 on Nov. 25, 2005. That was the only UMass game played at the arena since the Minutemen lost to Lafayette, 54-52 on Dec. 21, 2002.
UMass' last win in Springfield was against Oregon on Nov. 27, 2001 as the Minutemen beat the Ducks 62-58. Oregon had three players on that squad who turned pro: Luke Ridnour, Luke Jackson, and Chris Christoffersen.
The Minutemen played their entire home schedule at the Civic Center during the 1984-85 season -- as the Curry-Hicks Cage was being renovated. That is the only year in 97 seasons that UMass has not played its home schedule on campus.
UMass is 13-3 since 1990 in the building. The first ever game there was played on Dec. 28, 1970 as UMass defeated Fairfield 95-82.
FlashBack: UMass In 1994 Tip-Off
The Series With Dayton
The last game in Massachusetts between the teams came three seasons ago, as UMass ended a five-game losing streak in the series with a 66-47 victory on Feb. 25, 2006 at the Mullins Center. That day was an emotional one as the court at the facility was named in honor of Jack Leaman. Prior to that win, Dayton had won five straight in the series. The previous victory for the Minutemen came at the Mullins Center on Jan. 18, 2001 (62-57).
This will be the first game in the series not played on one of the team's homecourts.
For games in Dayton, UMass is 3-4 with that only wins coming in 1999 in overtime, 59-57, on Jan. 28 and last season.
For all games played at the Mullins Center, UMass leads the series, 4-3. Dayton had won two in a row before the UMass win in 2006. Dayton won those two trips to Amherst on Jan. 29, 2002 (83-68) and Feb. 8, 2004 (66-59).
UMass Dousts Dayton Streaks In Last Two
Two seasons ago, UMass ended Dayton's home dominance in 2006-07, handing the Flyers their first loss after a 14-0 start at UD Arena, winning 77-69 on Feb. 22, 2007. The win was also UMass' first at Dayton since 1999. Gary Forbes led UMass with 23 points while the senior inside force of Stephane Lasme (14 points, 12 rebounds, five blocks) and Rashaun Freeman (15 points, 12 rebounds) combined for 29 points and 24 rebounds.
Gaffney Among The National Leaders
Gaffney is having a breakout senior season averaging a double-double with six double-doubles this season after none in his career in 81 games entering the season. He also had grabbed at least seven rebounds in 12 of 13 games and at least 11 in nine of the 13 games. His most recent double-double came in the win over IUPUI (12/27).
Gaffney has three games with 15 or more rebounds, most recently at Houston (12/30) with 16. He also had 19 at Memphis (11/17) and 18 vs. Boston College (12/6).
Gaffney nearly had triple-doubles in back-to-back games on Dec. 6 and 10. In those contests he has a combined 32 points, 29 rebounds and 17 blocks. Against Holy Cross, (12/10), he had 17 points, 11 rebounds and eight blocks. That followed a titanic effort vs. Boston College (12/6) with 15 points, 18 rebounds and a career-high nine blocked shots.
Some of Gaffney's best performances of 2008-09 have come against national powers. At #25/23 Kansas (12/13), he posted 13 rebounds and six blocks. Against Boston College when he had 15 points, 18 rebounds, and a career-high nine blocked shots, his put-back of a missed Chris Lowe free throw sent the game to overtime, giving UMass a chance for its second-straight win over BC. Another outstanding game came at Memphis (11/17), one which Memphis John Calipari called him the best player on the court. Against the No. 13 Tigers, Gaffney scored 16 points and grabbed 19 rebounds along with five blocks. It was his second career double-double. He opened the year with 16 points and 13 rebounds against Arkansas-Monticello (11/11).
Gaffney played 32 or more minutes in the first nine games, all more than any game he previously played at UMass, and that many in 12 of 13 games. He set a career-high in minutes, playing 43 of the 45 against BC. He played a then career-high 39 minutes when he had his third double-double with 20 points and 13 rebounds along with eight blocked shots vs. Jacksonville State (11/24) in the home opener. The 20 points were also a UMass high. He scored 20 while at Boston University against Stony Brook in 2006.
Lowe Moving Up Assists Chart
In the final 17 regular-season games, Lowe would need to average 4.3 assists to get the record before any possible postseason. With his current average of 6.1, he would break the record in 12 games from now (Feb. 22 at Saint Joseph's.)
Lowe is tied 21st in the NCAA with 6.1 assists per game, and is tied with Duquesne's Aaron Jackson in the A-10. He has led the league in assists in each of the last two years and would become the first player to lead the A-10 in assists for three years in a row.
Lowe has five 10-assist games this season and 11 in his career, all in the last two seasons (all in the last 26 games). Lowe has 10 or more assists in four of the last seven games, most recently with 10 each vs. Hofstra (12/20) and IUPUI (12/27). Lowe has 53 assists in the last seven games (7.6 per game). In the last seven games he also had 12 vs. Holy Cross (12/10) and 11 against Boston College (12/6). That total of 53 came after he had 15 total in the previous five games.
The Mount Vernon, N.Y. product became the fourth player with 500 career assists at UMass after he gained five against Jacksonville State (11/24). He passed his coach Derek Kellogg (453) most recently at the end of last year.
With a career-high 14 against La Salle (3/5/08) - part of the sixth triple-double in UMass history (14 pts, 10 reb), Lowe moved past UMass Hall of Famer Joe DiSarcina (431) into fifth. Last season, he also passed two illustrious coaches who played at UMass: BC Coach Al Skinner (320) and Louisville coach Rick Pitino (329).
With his 214 assists last season, Lowe had the third-best single-season in UMass history after passing Smith (212), Smith (191), Alex Eldridge (174) and Rick Pitino (168).
Harris Hits 1,000th Career Point
Next on the list for Harris to pass are No. 32 Alex Eldridge (1,053), No. 31 Shannon Crooks (1,074) and No. 30 Jack Foley (1,081).
Harris has picked up where he left off last season, when he was named the A-10 Chris Daniels Most Improved player. Harris is leading UMass with a 19.2 scoring average and led the team in scoring in eight of the first 13 games with 20 or more in six games. Harris is 45th in the NCAA in scoring per game. He dropped a season and career-high 35 points on BC (12/6). 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. Two games prior, he netted 27 at Green Bay (11/29) and had 24 points at Southern Illinois (11/12).
Harris Rises on 3-Point Charts
Harris, who tied Carmelo Travieso for the single-season mark for made treys last year with 104, is rising on the career charts. Harris stands sixth in career made 3-pointers with 161 and fifth in career attempts with 444. With four treys at Green Bay, he passed Edgar Padilla (136) and his coach Derek Kellogg (138). Next on the list at No. 5 is Lorenzo Sutton (178). On the attempts list, Harris is fifth, passing Sutton(424), James Life (425) and Edgar Padilla (431) after passing Kellogg (362) earlier this season. Next on the attempts chart is Rafer Giles (592).
Harris had his streak of 26 games in a row with at least one 3-pointer ended in the loss to Vanderbilt (1/3).
UMass 5-1 Vs Defending NCAA Champs
UMass head coach Derek Kellogg has been a part of three of the wins over the champ as a player in 1993 and 1994 and the head coach in 2008 vs. Kansas.
On Dec. 9, 2004 as the Minutemen downed No. 7 UConn at the Mullins Center, 61-59 as Rashaun Freeman scored with seconds left to lift UMass to the historic win. The game marked the first time a defending champion visited the Mullins Center.
UMass knocked off North Carolina, 91-86, in overtime on Nov. 24, 1993 in the semifinals of the Preseason NIT at Madison Square Garden.
One year later, UMass thumped Arkansas, 104-80, on Nov. 25, 1994 in the Tip-Off Classic at the Springfield Civic Center.
That win over No. 1 Arkansas is symbolic, as it vaulted UMass to the No. 1 ranking in the AP poll for the first time in school history. Last week was the 14-year anniversary of the school's first No. 1 ranking, as the Minutemen played their first game as the No. 1 team on Dec. 3, 1994.
UMass' only loss against a champ came on Nov. 22, 1999, as the Minutemen lost to UConn at Gampel Pavilion, 79-65, on Nov. 22, 1999.
Notes On UMass' Win Over Kansas
UMass won a non-conference game against a ranked team, away from Massachusetts for the first time since it beat Georgetown in the 1996 NCAA Elite Eight on March 23, 1996.
For head coach Derek Kellogg the win was sweet as his Minutemen picked up their first win over a ranked team under his watch in just his ninth game as a head coach. The previous fastest UMass coach to beat a ranked team was Bruiser Flint, who beat then-No. 19 Boston College in his 17th game as the head man on Jan. 18, 1997. Kellogg also gained a win against Kansas, the team which downed Memphis in the 2008 NCAA title game when Kellogg was an assistant for former UMass coach John Calipari.
UMass beat a non-conference ranked team on the road for the first time since win at #21 Louisville on March 2, 1996, 62-59.
UMass beat a non-conference ranked team for the first time since topping UConn, 61-59, on Dec. 9, 2004. Since that game, UMass is 4-7 against ranked teams (1-1 this season, losing at Memphis).
UMass last beat a ranked team at #14 Dayton on the road last season, 82-71 on Jan. 16, 2008.
The Minutemen have won the last two games against Kansas, winning at the Mullins Center in 1999. All-time Kansas leads the series, 3-2. All five games have been played in different states (New York, California, Kansas, Massachusetts and Missouri).
100th Season Of UMass Basketball
The following players were on hand for the BC game: Don Akerson, Frank Barous, George "Trigger" Burke, John Edgar, Dick Eid, Wray Gunn, Paul Kollios, Ned Larkin, John MacLeod, Condon McDonough, Ed McGrath, George Morin, Alex Norskey, Bill Prevey, Bill Stephens and William Walsh.
The 1960s Celebration was held at the Vanderbilt game on Jan. 3. Here are the players who attended: Jim Babyak, Peter Bernard, Dennis Chapman, Chuck Demers (trainer), Joe DiSarcina, John Dreyer, Robert Eichorn, Ray Ellerbrook, Gary Gasperack, Jim Girotti, Paul Gullicksen, John Lisack, Bob Murphy, Richard Perkins, Ed Rubin (manager), Dick Samuelson, Rich Starsiak, Frank Stewart and Billy Tindall.
In looking back at UMass basketball, the program started with its first season in 1899-1900 with the first game played on Jan. 10, 1900, a 14-9 win over the Northampton YMCA.
The program had several hiatuses in its history as, this is the 100th season with the program starting 109 years ago. UMass did not field a team in 1900-01, 1909-10 to 1915-16 and during World War II in both 1943-44 and 1944-45.
Under the leadership of John Calipari, the Minutemen become A-10 Tournament Champs five consecutive times (1991-92, 1992-93, 1993-94, 1994-95, 1995-96). Overall, UMass has appeared in the NCAA Tournament eight times, in addition to those five A-10 title years (1961-62, 1996-97 and 1997-98). They have two appearances in the Elite Eight (1995, 1996) and a Final Four appearance (1996). Last year UMass, went 25-11 in reaching the NIT Championship game. It was UMass' 10th NIT appearance including each of the last two season.
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.
UMass 6th; Harris & Lowe Honored
UMass Gets Preseason Honors
Lindy's predicts that the Minutemen will finish fourth behind St. Joseph's, Temple, and Xavier. It mentions the good news as "Derek Kellogg returns to his alma mater and has plenty of perimeter firepower." Lindy's includes Harris on the First Team All-Conference while recognizing Chris Lowe with "Top Playmaker" in its honor roll.
Athlon sports predict that the Minutemen will finish fifth, trailing Xavier, Temple, Charlotte, and Dayton, while earning their third-consecutive NIT berth. Like Lindy's, Athlon predicts Harris to be a First-Team All-Atlantic 10 performer. Replacing A-10 player of the Year Gary Forbes will be a challenge, but Athlon says "Wake Forest transfer Anthony Gurley should give Kellogg another wing scorer.
Sporting News wrote that with Gibbs on board (to go along Lowe, a senior), "the Minutemen should be able to play at breakneck speed." It predicts that the best shot-blocker in the conference will once again come from UMass (Tony Gaffney), while Lowe is deemed the "best passer." Sporting News identifies three-point shooting as a big asset as "Together, Harris and Gurley give UMass a pair of solid three-point threats."
Rivals.com has pegged Anthony Gurley as the No. 3 overall impact transfer in all of Division I.
UMass Back To National Prominence
The team would not disappoint as it used a magical postseason run to reach the NIT Finals, highlighted by topping the Syracuse Orange at the Carrier Dome in the quarterfinals while beating defending National Champion Florida at Madison Square Garden in the semifinals. UMass eventually succumbed to Ohio State in a hard-fought finals game, 92-85.
The Minutemen had two six-game winning streaks (Dec. 18 through Jan. 2 and Feb. 17 through Mar. 8) along with the four-game streak in the NIT (Mar. 18 to April 1).
The Minutemen picked up their 20th win of the season on March 5 with the 100-63 win over La Salle. It marked the 14th time in history that UMass reached the mark and second year in a row after going 24-9 in 2006-07. The last time UMass won 20 in back to back seasons was 1994-95 (29-5) and 1995-96 (35-2).
With 25 wins, UMass reached the fifth-most wins in school history passing the 2006-07 team (24-9) and the 1992-93 squad (24-9). Fourth on the list is 28 wins set in 1993-94.
In 2006-07, UMass picked up its 20th win of the season on Feb. 21, 2007 beating St. Bonaventure, 83-44. The win gave the Minutemen their first 20-win season since 1997-98 when UMass went 21-11. Prior to that season, UMass last won 20 or more when they set the school record for wins with a 35-2 record during the Final Four season of 1995-96.
In the first round, UMass posted a solid 80-60 win over Southland Conference champion Stephen F. Austin on March 18 at the Mullins Center. Dante Milligan had a career game in UMass' NIT First Round win over SFA, as he had 24 points, nine rebounds and seven blocked shots. A-10 Player of the Year Gary Forbes added 19 points and the league's Most Improved Player Ricky Harris had 16 points.
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