Following a 70-62 loss at Saint Louis that ended UMass' seven-game win streak, the Minutemen will look to start a new streak on Sunday when they face Fordham at Rose Hill Gymnasium. The game will be televised by the YES Network with tip-off set for 1 p.m.
Sunday's game will mark the end of a stretch of four of five games on the road for UMass. The Minutemen will open a three-game homestand on Thursday night against Duquesne (7-9, 0-2 A-10).
The 2012-13 season marks the fifth 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 and 25 last season with an NIT FInal Four appearance.
The Minutemen are shooting 40.9 pct. from the field, 31.0 pct. from outside and 70.1 pct. from the free throw line, while averaging 72.1 points per game.
UMass averages 7.6 3-pointers made and 24.8 attempts per game. The Minutemen have 119 steals thus far for 8.5 spg, which ranks 80th in the nation. Last season, UMass collected a school-record 326 steals and 8.8 spg.
Junior PG Chaz Williams leads the A-10 in assists (7.4, seventh in NCAA) and double-digit assist performances (3).
UMass was listed at No. 43 in the first edition of the NCAA RPI, released on Monday.
SERIES HISTORY WITH FORDHAM
This will be the 37th meeting between the schools and 18th in the New York City area. UMass leads the series 25-12 overall and 9-8 in games played in the Bronx and New York City.
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 fifth time, as he is 3-1 vs. the Rams. As a player at UMass from 1991-95, the Minutemen won a 1992 NCAA Tournament game against the Rams in Worcester, 85-58.
The Last Meeting
January 5, 2012
LAST SEASON IN AMHERST: The Minutemen had five players in double figures with Chaz Williams leading the team with 20 points, eight assists and seven rebounds. Raphiael Putney recorded his first career double-double, ending the game with 10 points and 10 rebounds, while Terrell Vinson also recorded a double-double, his third of the season and sixth of his career, scoring 14 points and grabbing a career-high 14 rebounds. Freddie Riley tallied 13 points in just 18 minutes of play off the bench. Jesse Morgan was also a key contributor with 12 points and two steals. Fordham's Chris Gaston and Kervin Bristol each had double-doubles to lead the Rams. Gaston had 16 points and 18 rebounds, while Bristol posted 11 points and 12 rebounds. Branden Frazier led Fordham with 19 points, while Bryan Smith rounded out the top scorers with 14.
WILLIAMS PLAYS SECOND GAME IN METRO NEW YORK SINCE ARRIVING AT UMASS THREE SEASONS AGO
Sunday's game will be a homecoming for UMass junior PG Chaz Williams, who starred at Brooklyn's Bishop Ford High School and played his freshman season at Hofstra for current Fordham coach Tom Pecora in 2009-10.
Williams did play in front of family and friends last season when he led the Minutemen to the NIT semifinals at Madison Square Garden.
Not only will he be playing against the Pecora-led Rams for the second-straight season, he will also see a familiar face in Fordham junior Branden Frazier who prepped at Brooklyn's Bishop Loughlin HS, just a few miles from Bishop Ford. The two also played against each other this summer in various New York summer league games.
Williams is expecting more than 30 family, friends and former coaches in attendance.
3-POINT SHOTS STARTING TO FALL
While UMass' season 3-point shooting pct. is a less-than-desirable .310 (13th in the A-10), the squad has shot very well over its last six games, making .357 (51-for-147) of its shots. That stretch also includes its four highest single-game totals this season, along with a per game average of 9.1.
One of the primary reasons those numbers have increased is the play of senior Freddie Riley. He has made 15 3-pointers in the past five games (15-of-33, .455) while averaging 11.2 ppg, compared to five treys and 2.4 ppg in the opening nine games.
Last season, UMass averaged 8.1 3-point field goals per game, which ranked first in the Atlantic 10 and 31st nationally. The Minutemen made 288 triples to place second all-time in school history.
UMass was one of just four schools in Division I with four players who made at least 50 treys. The others were Florida, Iowa State and Youngstown State.
2-POINT FIELD GOALS AND FREE THROW SHOOTING CARRYING MINUTEMEN OF LATE
While its no secret UMass has struggled to shoot the ball consistently from outside, the Minutemen have made great strides over the past eight games in their 2-point field goal and free throw shooting.
Following a season-low 28.6 pct. shooting game against Miami (Fla.), UMass has compiled seven games over 40 percent and eight-straight of 39 pct. or higher. Included in that is a sizzling 50.8 pct effort from inside the arc during the streak.
From the charity stripe, UMass has shot 70.6 pct. and has averaged 19-of-26 per contest, compared to 12-of-17 for its opponents - outscoring the opposition 143-109 at the line during the streak.
UMASS GETTING THE TRANSITION GAME GOING
One of the primary factors during its strong play of late has been UMass' ability to put together some momentum-building scoring runs, while limiting its opponent's opportunities. The Minutemen collected two of their most lopsided stretches all season against Ohio - a 23-1 stretch over 6:40 in the first half and an 11-0 skein over 2:14 in the second half when Ohio had tied the game at 55, and followed with a 14-0 run to open the East Carolina contest before adding a 16-0 stretch early in the second half.
This season the Minutemen have compiled 15 scoring runs where the margin was at least nine points, compared to eight by their opponents and just over its last eight games.
MINUTEMEN CUTTING DOWN ON THE FOULS
Over the course of the first eight games this season, UMass had been averaging 22.1 fouls per game with 20 or more six times. Over the past six games, the Minutemen have averaged just 16.6 violations and just one 20-plus showings.
UMASS TURNING INTO ROAD WARRIORS
Despite dropping a back-and-forth 70-62 decision at Saint Louis on Thursday, UMass has shown its is a very capable team on the road. Prior to the SLU loss, the Minutemen had won seven-consecutive road games dating back to the postseason NIT run last year - a figure that ranked as the third-longest active streak in the country. The last time they won as many true road games was during the 1997-98 season when Bruiser Flint's second team reeled-off seven-consecutive in opposing arenas.
In UMass' five road contests this season, Chaz Williams is averaging 10.3 ppg after halftime, compared to 5.5 in the opening 20 minutes.
UMASS NEVER OUT OF A GAME
With the style of play and mentality that Derek Kellogg has implemented at UMass, just about any deficit can be overcome. UMass erased a 12-point deficit in defeating Ohio last month, marking the second time this season and the sixth time in the last two seasons it has overcome a double-digit hole to win a game.
Three weeks earlier at Siena, the Minutemen trailed by 17 points (33-16) before outscoring the Saints 45-12 over a period of 13:02 for a 51-45 lead at the midway point of the second half, eventually getting a running jumper by Chaz Williams with 3.3 seconds left to win the game. It was the third time in the last 11 months that UMass has erased a 17-point deficit and won - at home against Saint Joseph's and at Drexel in the NIT Quarterfinals.
UMASS-SAINT LOUIS LEFTOVERS
Saint Louis now leads the series 8-4 and 5-1 in St. Louis. It marked the fifth-straight win by the Billikens in the Gateway to the West.
UMass saw its seven-game overall win streak and seven-game road win streak come to an end.
UMass trailed at the half for the first time since the Miami (Fla.) contest. The Minutemen fell to 1-4 when trailing at the break.
Neither team broke off any big scoring runs. UMass' largest run was an 8-0 stretch that resulted in its four-point lead midway through the second half. SLU had two separate 6-0 skeins.
When Raphiael Putney fouled out it marked the first time a UMass player had reached five fouls since the Elon game - a span of 6 contests.
Cady Lalanne poured in a career-high 18 points and added 13 rebounds - one shy of his career high - to record his second double-double of the year.
1,000-POINT CLUB GAINS NEW MEMBERS
Junior PG Chaz Williams scored his 1,000 career point last month in the win over Siena and was joined last Saturday by senior F Terrell Vinson. Vinson finished with 10 points against Northern Illinois to become the 44th member of the 1,000-Point Club at UMass. He now ranks 40th at UMass with 1,030 points.
WE LOVE THE MULLINS CENTER
That's probably a pretty accurate statement from the men's basketball program over the past couple of years as the squad is 18-2 at the Mullins Center since the start of last season and 20-2 in home games.
UMass was dominant at home last season, posting a 15-1 record in Amherst, which included a 14-1 record at the Mullins Center (1-0 at historic Curry Hicks Cage) and a renewed home-court advantage with the student-based Mullins Militia. UMass averaged 4,359 fans in 15 dates last season. Those numbers got increasingly higher as the season evolved to 5,411 for eight A-10 home games and 6,614 for the last five regular-season home dates. The Minutemen saw four crowds of more than 6,200 in the final six games, with a season-high 8,399 in the victory over Saint Louis.
UMass is in its 20th season of play at the William D. Mullins Memorial Center and has posted an all-time record of 196-76 (.720) following the Eastern Michigan game. The Minutemen also own a 103-49 (.676) all-time record in regular-season Atlantic 10 Conference games at the Mullins Center, and a 4-2 mark in Atlantic 10 Tournament contests. The first game was played on Feb. 4, 1993 as UMass defeated West Virginia 64-59 in overtime.
WILLIAMS NAMED TO BOB COUSY AWARD WATCH LIST
After posting a banner season in 2011-12 in his first season playing for UMass, junior point guard Chaz Williams has garnered national attention for running the fast-paced Minuteman offense. Last Thursday, the Brooklyn native received yet another accolade as he was named to the 2013 Bob Cousy Award Watch List.
The award is given annually by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame to the nation's top point guard in college basketball and is named after Hall of Famer and former Boston Celtic Bob Cousy.
In 2011-12, Williams earned NABC First Team All-District 4 honors in addition to being named to the All-Atlantic 10 First-Team and the Atlantic 10 All-Tournament Team. He averaged 16.9 points per game and 6.3 assists. The addition of the transfer from Hofstra helped guide UMass to the NIT Final Four last year before a lose to Stanford in the Semifinals.
Through 13 games in 2012-13, Williams leads the team in scoring with 15.5 points per game and leads the A-10 with 7.4 assists - which ranks seventh nationally.
A SALUTE TO 21: UMASS TO RETIRE MARCUS CAMBY'S JERSEY
The Massachusetts athletic department announced that it will retire the jersey of 1996 Naismith National Player of the Year Marcus Camby on Jan. 19, 2013 when the Minutemen host George Washington at the Mullins Center.
One of the most decorated athletes UMass has ever produced, Camby lettered from 1993-96 and led the Minutemen to the 1996 NCAA Final Four and a 35-2 record, the most successful season in program history. He was named a consensus first-team All-American that season as he averaged 20.5 points to lead the Atlantic 10. In his three seasons at UMass, he was a two-time NABC All-District selection, an Atlantic 10 First-Team pick twice and the league's Freshman of the Year in 1994.
He left UMass as the school's all-time leader in blocked shots in a career (336) and single-season (128). Camby scored 1,387 points in his career to rank in the top 10 after his final season for the Maroon & White.
This will be the fifth men's basketball jersey retired at UMass and ninth in school history. Previous hoops numbers to be hung at the South end of the Mullins Center include George "Trigger" Burke (#32), Julius Erving (#32), Lou Roe (#15) and Al Skinner (#30). Additionally, Dick Bergquist in baseball (#26), Danielle Henderson in softball (#44), Greg Minton in water polo (#6) and Eric Sopracasa (#43) in men's lacrosse have had their jerseys retired in their respective sports.
PAIR OF 6-FOOT-7 FORWARDS SIGN NLIs
Massachusetts men's basketball coach Derek Kellogg announced that 6-foot-7 forwards Seth Berger and Zach Coleman have each signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the Minutemen, beginning next season.
Berger is entering his senior season at Ballard H.S. in the Seattle area and is listed as the fifth-best prospect in the state of Washington. He has helped the Beavers to three playoff appearances and one state tournament showing. He was a KingCo 4A Second Team All-League selection by the Seattle Times last year when he posted averages of 15.3 points and nine rebounds per game. As a sophomore he averaged 12.9 ppg and was Ballard's second-leading rebounder while earning Honorable Mention All-League honors. The Beavers also made their first state tournament appearance since 2002 that season. Berger has been attending the Emerald City Pioneers Basketball Academy for the past seven years.
Coleman attends Woodrow Wilson H.S. in Dallas and was recently named to the Dallas Morning News' Preseason All-Area team following a junior year that saw him average 16 points, 13.1 rebounds and 2.5 assists for the Class 4A school. He was a Third Team All-Area selection last season. He plays AAU ball for the Dallas Mustangs.
4 STARTERS, 9 LETTERMEN BACK FROM 25-WIN SQUAD
UMass welcomes back four starters, including its top four scorers and nine of its top 10 rebounders from last season's team that went 25-12 and reached the NIT Final Four. Led by All-America candidate Chaz Williams at the point guard spot, the Minutemen will look to continue their up-tempo offensive style and full-court pressure defense in head coach Derek Kellogg's (64-65) fifth year at his alma mater.
UMass returns the following percentages in 2012-13: Scoring 89.3 pct.; Rebounding 83.2 pct.; Assists 94.7 pct.; Steals 91.7 pct.; Blocks 76.7 pct.; Minutes 85.4 pct.
Williams (16.9 ppg, 6.2 apg, 4.4 rpg), a first team NABC all-district and all-conference selection, was one of just three players in Division I last year to average at least 16.0 points, 6.0 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game. The others were Tim Frazier of Penn State and Nate Wolters of South Dakota State.
UMass recorded a school-record 326 steals last season (8.8 spg, 7th in NCAA) which aided in its 76.6 possessions per game, ranking the Minutemen second nationally behind Seattle's 77.2.
UMASS SELECTED FIFTH IN A-10 PRESEASON POLL
UMass was selected fifth in the preseason Atlantic 10 Poll in a vote by media and coaches. Saint Joseph's was picked to win the league followed by Saint Louis, VCU, Temple and UMass. The Hawks had 11 first place votes, while the Billikens had 10 votes. Temple, UMass and Butler all had two first place votes in the poll.
Junior Chaz Williams was named to the preseason First Team. Williams had a banner campaign in 2011-12 in leading UMass to the NIT Semifinals. The Brooklyn native was named to the All-Atlantic 10 First Team, the A-10 All-Championship Team and the NABC All-District 4 First Team.
Among national publications, Athlon picked the Minutemen to finish fourth and make a return trip to the NIT. They also tabbed Chaz Williams as the Preseason Player of the Year and one of the top 10 Floor Leaders in the nation. Lindy's had UMass seventh but listed it as a team folks may want as an A-10 sleeper team. Williams was bestowed the honor of being the Most Entertaining player in the league.
UMASS A POPULAR TV CHOICE IN 2012-13
UMass is scheduled to appear on television 11 times this season with nine current match-ups slated for national broadcasts. That marks the most regular-season showings since the 1997-98 year.
UMASS POSTSEASON HISTORY
UMass has an all-time postseason record of 24-21 in 18 combined appearances in both the NCAA and NIT tournaments. The Minutemen have made eight NCAA Tourney showings, with the last in 1998. The first came in 1962 before a string of seven-consecutive from 1992-98 in which it ran its all-time record to 11-8 with an Elite Eight showing in 1995 and the only Final Four appearance in A-10 history in 1996. Last season the Minutemen collected their 11th NIT appearance and ran their record to 13-13, which included Final Fours in 1991 (fourth), 2008 (runner-up) and 2012 (tied-third).
ATLANTIC 10 CONFERENCE
The A-10 ranked seventh among all conferences in the final RPI in 2011-12. The league boasted eight Top 100 teams, third among all leagues behind only the Big East and Big 10. The eight teams matched the SEC and was more than the ACC, Big 12, Pac-12 and Mountain West.
A-10 IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
For the fifth year in a row, the Atlantic 10 Conference earned at least three bids into the NCAA Tournament while it marked the 27th time in the league's 35-year history that the conference received multiple bids to participate in the national tournament. The A-10 also received multiple at-large bids for the fifth year in a row and 18th time overall. Over the last six years, the league has had 12 at-large selections - the seventh most among Division I conferences - behind only the Big East (42), Big Ten (29), ACC (26), Big 12 (26), SEC (23) and the Pac-10 (22). In fact, the A-10 is one of eight conferences to receive at least one at-large selection over each of the last six seasons.