UMass Back In Springfield To Host La Salle On Sunday
UMASS (7-7, 1-0) vs. La SALLE (7-7, 0-1)
UMass Back In Springfield To Host La Salle On Sunday At 2
Sunday's game marks the 110-year anniversary of UMass' first-ever varsity 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.
Sunday also marks the homecoming of Springfield native Sean Neal, who is the Director of Operations for La Salle. He averaged 25 points as a senior at Springfield Cathedral. Neal is the son of Congressman Richard Neal.
All-time, UMass is 39-23 in the building formerly known as the Springfield Civic Center including a 14-3 mark since 1990. During Kellogg's career as a player, UMass was 8-1 in games in Springfield.
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. The pregame begin 30 minutes prior to tip-off.
UMass Playing In Springfield
UMass is 14-3 since 1990 in the building. The first ever UMass game there was played on Dec. 28, 1970 as UMass defeated Fairfield 95-82.
UMass returned to the building last season with that rousing win over Dayton on Jan. 10, 2009. Prior to that, the Minutemen played in the final Tip-Off Classic, which UMass lost to UAB, 86-77 on Nov. 25, 2005. Before for that, the last game was a loss to Lafayette, 54-52 on Dec. 21, 2002.
Before last season's win over Dayton, the last 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.
The Series With La Salle
Before that UMass won three games in a row in the series. That included two games in impressive fashion in 2007 and 2008 at the Mullins Center. UMass won those games by an average score of 101-63, a 38-point margin. On 2008's Senior Night, UMass pounded La Salle, 100-63 on March 5, 2008. That came a year after a 102-63 thumping on Feb. 28, 2007 at the Mullins Center.
UMass' three-game win streak followed a run where La Salle won five of six from 2003 to 2006. UMass won six straight meetings from 1991-98.
All-time UMass is 7-3 in Amherst and 5-4 at La Salle. The first meeting was an 82-75 win for La Salle on Dec. 30, 1971 in Philadelphia.
UMass coach Derek Kellogg coached against La Salle for the first time last year. La Salle joined the Atlantic 10 in 1994-95, Kellogg's senior season and the Minutemen beat the Explorers, 87-64 in Atlantic City. That was a homecoming for AC native Lou Roe. La Salle coach John Giannini stands 5-6 against UMass (5-4 since moving to La Salle, as he lost twice at Maine).
Last Year's Games Vs. La Salle
For Gurley, his 20 points marked a UMass career-high. Harris' points all came in the game's final 11:12 to lead the comeback attempt. David Gibbs also added 10 points, his second-career game in double figures.
La Salle's Rodney Green and Daryl Partin each finished with 30 points. The Explorers shot 53 percent from the field (31-of-59), including 50 percent (10-for-20) from behind the arc. UMass shot 43 percent (31-of-72) and 39 percent (9-for-23) from 3-point range. La Salle won the battle of the boards, 47-37.
Jan. 24, 2009 at UMass: - Tony Gaffney registered his seventh double-double of the season with 19 points and 11 rebounds, but the Minutemen suffered a tough shooting day, falling to La Salle, 62-54, at the Mullins Center as UMass Celebrated the Era of the 1980s. UMass shot just 26.5 percent in the second half and 33.9 percent for the game. The Minutemen fell to 7-11 overall and 2-3 in the A-10, while La Salle moved to 11-7 and 2-2 in conference. The Minutemen shot only 14 percent (3-for-21) on 3-pointers while La Salle was 25 percent (4-for-16). Chris Lowe also tallied 10 points while Anthony Gurley added eight. Rodney Green led the way for the Explorers with 22 points.
Shooting Tells The Story
In UMass' seven wins, the Minutemen are shooting 47.2 from the floor overall and 32.7 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 seven victories, UMass is holding foes to 40.1 overall and 30.8 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 79.3 to 65.7 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 1-7 when shooting below 40 percent in 2009-10. The win over Fordham on Wednesday marked the first time UMass won a game when shooting less than 40 percent this season (38 percent).
UMass is 6-0 when shooting a better percentage than its opponents and 1-7 when being outshot. Again, the Fordham game was the first time UMass was outshot (44-38 percent) and still won the game.
Success At Home
UMass is 6-1 overall on its home courts, losing just the home opener vs. Cornell (74-61), which took No. 1 Kansas to the brink on Wednesday night.
In its seven home games, UMass is outscoring opponents 76.0-67.3 and outrebouning them 41.3-33.7.
Crashing The Boards
Since Dec. 11, UMass has outrebounded it opponents 48.0 to 34.8 (240-174).
Win Over Memphis Gets Attention
Harris & Gurley Leading The Way
Harris continues to move up the UMass career scoring charts with his 17.4 average this season. He is eighth with 1,573 points and closing in on No. 6 Tony Barbee (1,643). He has scored in double-figures in 24 games in a row, in 77 of his 111 career games and in 74 of his last 79 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 13 of 14 games this season, with the first five off the bench and the last nine as a starter. He is second on UMass in scoring with a 16.8 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 13 of 14 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 5.6 points and 4.0 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. He sat out the Fordham (1/6) game with a groin/hip injury and is day-to-day.
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).
Harris passed Edwin Green (1,393) vs. Arkansas-Fort Smith (11/21); Horace Neysmith with his 22 points vs. Rutgers (11/27) in the Legends Classic; Mike Pyatt (1,503) with 15 at Seton Hall (12/7); Harper Williams (1,534) at Davidson (12/30) and Donald Russell (1,558) with 21 vs. Fordham (1/6).
He is the 40th UMass player to score 1,000 points in his career.
Harris has scored in double-figures in 77 of his 111 career games including 74 of the last 79 dating to his sophomore year with the last 24 in a row.
With a similar season to his previous two, when 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 (236) and attempts (659).
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 329 in history. He has moved past Julius Erving (322) and Marcus Camby (308) this season.
This season, Harris 28-of-89 from 3-point range this season and 44-of-59 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 (35.8).
Visiting The Commonwealth
UMass is now 4-0 all-time 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.
This year is the second year in a row that UMass is playing in Springfield.
UMass is 7-2 overall in the Commonwealth this season, 6-1 in home games.
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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