Men's Basketball

 
Next Chapter of UMass-Temple Rivalry On Saturday, At 1970s Celebration

Anthony Gurley has scored in double-figures in nine games this season.

Anthony Gurley has scored in double-figures in nine games this season.

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UMASS (6-9, 1-1) vs. TEMPLE (9-6, 1-0)
Saturday, Jan. 17, 2009 • 7 p.m. (ET)
Mullins Center (9,493) • Amherst, Mass.
TV: ESPN2 (Scott Graham & Bob Wenzel)
Radio: WRNX (100.9 FM - Flagship)
WCRN (830 AM), WATD (95.9 FM)

Next Chapter of UMass-Temple Rivalry On Sat. at 1970s Celebration
• The next chapter in the storied UMass-Temple basketball rivalry will be written on Saturday night at the Mullins Center in a nationally-televised game on ESPN2 at 7 p.m. Saturday will be a very special night at the Mullins Center as UMass will honor the decade of the 1970s as part of the 100 Seasons of Basketball celebration in 2008-09. It is also Youth Basketball Night, where local players and their families will be admitted for just $6.

• Here is an early list of players from the 1970s who are expected to attend: Jim Burke, Bob Dempsey, David Dibble, Mark Donoghue, Fan Gaudette (assistant coach) Michael Littman (manager), Tom McLaughlin, John Moynihan, Charles Olsen, Bob Powers (manager) Sam Provo, Mike Pyatt, Peter Trow, and Rick Vogeley. The family of the late John Murphy will also be recognized.

• On ESPN2, the game will be called by Scott Graham and former Rutgers coach Bob Wenzel. Live streaming video through ESPN360.com. 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.

About The 1970s at UMass
• The decade of the 1970s goes down as the most successful other than the 1990s in UMass basketball lore. The Redmen (1970-72) and then-Minutemen (starting in 1972-73 season) made six postseason appearances, all in the NIT. UMass captured six Yankee Conference crowns in the 1970s as part of a span of eight titles in nine years starting in 1968.

• The 1970s featured some of the greatest stars in UMass basketball history including the greatest player of all-time Julius Erving. The 70s also included future college head coaches Al Skinner, Rick Pitno and Tom McLaughlin. They were all coached by UMass legend Jack Leaman, who retired following the 1978-79 season. UMass had a 175-94 overall record in the 1970s for a 65.1 win percentage, second only to the 1990s (71.6 win percentage).

• The 1970s All-Time Team as selected by a panel of media includes: Julius Erving, Johnny Murphy, Mike Pyatt, Al Skinner and Jim Town.

• Julius Erving (1970-71) is unquestionably, the greatest known athlete in UMass history. Simply to the world as "Dr. J," he played basketball for two seasons under legendary head coach and fellow UMass Hall of Famer Jack Leaman from 1969-71. During his two seasons, Erving averaged an incredible 26.3 points and 20.2 rebounds per contest. Incredibly, only once in his 52 career games did he fail to record a double-double. Erving turned pro following his junior year, but not before leading UMass to two Yankee Conference titles and its first two appearances in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT). He set UMass records, both of which have since been broken, in both scoring (1,370 points) and rebounding (1,049), in just two seasons. Erving went on to become one of the greatest players in both ABA and NBA history, leading the then New York Nets to ABA titles in 1974 and 1976, and the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers to the 1983 NBA championship. He was inducted into the UMass Hall of Fame in 1980, and the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993.

• Johnny Murphy (1973-75) was the 1975 Yankee Conference Player of the Year a senior, averaging 17.9 points per game and 9.3 rebounds per contest. He was drafted by the NBA's Chicago Bulls. Murphy was named to the 1974 First Team All-Yankee Conference as a junior after averaging 15.4 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. He scored his career-high of 31 in a win over UConn in that 1973-74 season. He stands 23rd in career scoring with 1,184 points. • Mike Pyatt (1975-78) ranks as the ninth all-time leading scorer in UMass history with 1,503 points. which was the school record when he graduated. In 1978, with 16.8 points and 6.4 rebounds per game, Pyatt was named first team All-New England and All-Atlantic 10 Second Team. He was honored as a First Team All-Yankee Conference member in 1976 as a sophomore with 15.6 points per game. Pyatt was an NABC All-District player for three years as well.

• Al Skinner (1972-74) was a three-time All-Yankee Conference selection in each varsity season. Skinner led the team in rebounding from 1972-74, totaling 749 boards. He set a school record for highest career field goal percentage at UMass (.557), as well as in a single-season (.620), records he held for nearly 20 years. He helped UMass to two Yankee Conference titles. He led the league in scoring in 1974, averaging 18.7 points per game. He was the eighth player in school history to join the 1,000-point club, finishing his career with 1,235 points. Upon completion of his UMass career, Skinner went on to play professionally. A ninth-round draft pick by the Celtics in 1974, Skinner wound up playing for the New York Nets of the American Basketball Association, where he was named to the ABA's All-Rookie team. Upon completion of his playing career, Skinner went into coaching. Currently, Skinner serves as the head coach at Boston College.

• Jim Town (1975-77) was the 1975 MVP of the Yankee Conference as he averaged 14.9 points and 12.4 rebounds per game. He was also a member of the 1975 First Team All-Yankee Conference. He was a second-team All-ECBL in 1977 with 16.2 points and 11.2 rebounds per game. He ranks sixth in career rebounds with 879 in just three seasons. His 10.6 rebound average is also sixth. Town grabbed an amazing 27 rebounds against Boston College in 1976, just the third player in school history with that many in a single game. He scored 1,211 points, to rank tied for 20th in school history. He was drafted by the Denver Nuggets in the sixth round.

UMass' Big Win In Springfield
• Last Saturday, the Minutemen posted a 75-62 win over Dayton in Derek Kellogg's hometown of Springfield, home of the Basketball Hall of Fame. The Flyers came into the game, essentially ranked 26th, as the first team in "others receiving votes" according to the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. The Flyers had won six games in a row and stood at 14-1 entering the conference opener for both teams. Ricky Harris led four Minutemen in double- figures with 23. Tony Gaffney had 17 points, seven rebounds and seven blocks along with Anthony Gurley's 16 points and Chris Lowe's 15 points and six assists.

• It marked the fourth game in a row, UMass has beaten the Flyers and third which ended a significant Dayton win streak. Last year, the Minutemen ended No. 14/18 Dayton's 13-game win streak at UD Arena, 82-71, last season on Jan. 16, 2008. It was UMass' first win over a ranked team in three years, since UMass won on Jan. 15, 2005 at George Washington (76-74). 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.

• For UMass, the win was the first in Springfield since 2001 when the Minutemen downed Oregon, 62-58 on Nov. 27. Oregon had three players on that squad who turned pro: Luke Ridnour, Luke Jackson, and Chris Christoffersen. UMass is now 39-23 all-time at the MassMutual Center, formerly Springfield Civic Center.

UMass Playing 33rd-Toughest Schedule
• The Minutemen are off to a 6-9 start, playing one of the nation's toughest schedules. The Minutemen play the 38th most-difficult schedule according to RealtimeRPI.com (as of Jan. 15). UMass has taken on six teams in the RPI top 100 including No. 12 Memphis, No. 43 Kansas, No. 53 Dayton, No. 65 Boston College, No. 79 Green Bay and No. 91 Vanderbilt.

• The A-10 has four teams playing schedules in the top 40 (all in the top 38) in difficulty: Xavier plays the 10th-toughest, Temple faces the 23rd- toughest, Saint Joseph's will battle the 31st schedule and UMass is playing the 38th-toughest.

The Series With Temple
• The series with UMass and Temple has been one of the most intense in the history of the Atlantic 10 as the teams battle for the 60th time on Saturday. Despite Temple winning the first 21 games in the series, UMass only trails the all-time series, 40-19. Since the Minutemen won their first game in the series (65-52) on Feb. 16, 1992 at the Cage, the teams have split the last 38 meetings, 19-19. Temple won last year's single game, 80-70, in overtime on Feb. 10 in Philadelphia.

• Prior to last season, UMass and Temple had played twice every season since the Owls joined the Atlantic 10 in 1982-83. Because of scheduling policies, the teams play just once this year, again.

• The Minutemen have won the last two games at the Mullins Center, winning 88-77 on Jan. 13, 2007 - the last game in Amherst.

• Three years ago, UMass won 60-34 on Jan. 21, 2006 in a game televised on ESPN. That was the fewest points UMass allowed since 1950. Prior to that, Temple had won three straight including both games in 2004-05, by virtually the same score: 61-49 on Jan. 5, 2005 at UMass and 61-48 on Feb. 26, 2005 at Temple.

• After Temple led the series 21-0, UMass rebounded to win 13 of 15 contests from 1992-97, including two six-game win streaks. Since then the Owls have won 12 of 19 meetings, but UMass snapped Temple's three-game series win streak in the series, at the Mullins Center with a 66-65 win on Jan. 24, 2004.

• UMass is 12-5 all-time against Temple at the Mullins Center. The 17 games played against the Owls are the most UMass has played against any team all-time at the Mullins Center since the building opened in 1993. The 12 wins are also the most by UMass against any team at the Mullins Center.

• The Owls hold a 23-4 advantage for games played in Philadelphia at the Liacouras Center (10-1), McGonigle Hall (12-3) or the Palestra (1-0). UMass' only win at the Liacouras Center came on Jan. 27, 2001, a 65-64 overtime victory.

• UMass coach Derek Kellogg will coach against Temple for the first-time, in his first year as a head man. As a player from 1992-95, Kellogg and his Minutemen went 8-3 against the Owls including winning three Atlantic 10 Championship games in 1993, 1994 and 1995. Temple coach Fran Dunphy is 2-3 against UMass losing twice while he was at Penn. Prior to making the move from Penn to Temple, the last time he coached against the Minutemen was on Jan. 14, 1995, a 93-60 UMass win at the Mullins Center.

Last Season's Game: Temple 80, UMass 70 (OT)
• The Liacouras Center continued to be a house of horrors for UMass as the Minutemen lost for the 10th time in 11 all-time games at the arena as Temple beat UMass 80-70 in overtime. The Owls outscored the Minutemen, 16-6 in the extra session. The Owls sent the game to overtime on a Chris Clark 3- pointer with 1:10 left in regulation. That was his only basket of the game.

Etienne Brower led UMass with 21 points. Gary Forbes had his second straight double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Ricky Harris had 14 points. Lavoy Allen and Mark Tyndale each scored 20.

• In a game featuring the Atlantic 10's top three scorers (Forbes, Temple's Dionte Christmas and Harris) the trio combined for just 42 points. They all come into the game averaging more than 19 points.

• UMass saw its last chance disappear when Forbes was called for an offensive foul with 1:04 left in overtime and on the ensuing possession, Allen made two free throws for the Owls, giving them a 74-68 lead with 54 seconds left. Ryan Brooks' 3-pointer with 2:40 left in overtime gave the Owls a 71-68 lead. Gaffney Among The NCAA Leaders

• With his amazing start this season, UMass senior forward Tony Gaffney is ranked in the Top 8 in the NCAA in two major statistics. He is tied for eighth in the country in rebounding with 11.1 per game. He is second in blocked shots per game with 4.9. Gaffney is averaging a double-double with a 11.0 scoring average. For much of the season, Gaffney has been in the top four in the NCAA in rebounding until early January. Coming into the year, Gaffney's career averages were 3.4 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game. Gaffney is tied for 31st in steals per game with 2.3 per game.

• 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 13 of 15 games and at least 11 in nine of the 15 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 has five or more blocks in nine games this year including seven against Dayton (1/10). After that game, UD coach Brian Gregory called Gaffney "the best non-scoring player in the nation" for all-around game.

• 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.

• Gaffney's 74 blocked shots already rank as the sixth-best single-season in UMass history. At No. 5 is Marcus Camby with 103 in his sophomore season of 1994-95. Gaffney's 133 career blocks is seventh in a career at UMass.

• 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 31 or more minutes in the first nine games, all more than any game he previously played at UMass, and that many in 14 of 15 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
Chris Lowe is moving up on the all-time assists list at UMass as he stands third with 574, just 59 shy of the all-time record. His 11 assists against Boston College (12/6) propelled him past Alex Eldridge (518) and into third place. Next on the list is Edgar Padilla (597). Carl Smith (633) is the all-time leader.

• With his current average of 5.9, he would break the record in nine games from now (Feb. 18 vs. Rhode Island.)

• Lowe is tied 21st in the NCAA with 6.1 assists per game, and just 0.2 behind 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 28 games). Lowe had 10 or more assists in four of five games in December, most recently with 10 each vs. Hofstra (12/20) and IUPUI (12/27). Lowe had 12 vs. Holy Cross (12/10) and 11 against Boston College (12/6).

• 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
Ricky Harris became the 40th UMass player to score 1,000 career points on a free throw with 9:50 left in the first half against Hofstra (12/20). In 83 college games, Harris has 1,092 points to rank 30th in UMass history.

• Next on the list for Harris to pass are No. 29 Mike Williams (1,122) and No. 28 Gary Forbes (1,128).

Chris Lowe is also just 45 points from 1,000 in his career. He would be the 41st UMass player to reach the milestone.

• 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 19.4 scoring average and led the team in scoring in nine of the first 15 games with 20 or more in seven games. Harris is 34th 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
• Junior Ricky Harris has also continued to blister from 3-point range. He is shooting 42.7 from beyond the new extended-distance arc. He has made 47-of-110 from 3-point range.

• 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 168 and fifth in career attempts with 455. 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
• With the 61-60 over #25/23 Kansas (12/13), UMass is now 5-1 all-time against defending national champions, as the Minutemen have won three in a row against the champs. With last year's win over Florida in the NIT Semifinals, UMass has beaten the last two NCAA champs in their title defense year.

• 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 topped No. 25/23 Kansas, 61-60 on Dec. 13 in Kansas City. The UMass win was its first in 17 tries against a non-conference ranked team outside the state of Massachusetts. The win ended Kansas' 30-game home win streak (the game at KC was counted officially by the NCAA as a home game since it was part of the season-ticket package and was staffed by KU).

• 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
• UMass is celebrating the 100th season of UMass basketball in 2008-09. UMass will be honoring six eras/decades throughout the season by inviting back every living UMass player to attend his respective celebration. The first event was set at Boston College game on Dec. 6 which honored the Classic Era (1899- 1959).

• 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
Derek Kellogg is the first UMass alum to serve as the head coach of his alma mater since Tom McLaughlin, who coached the Minutemen from 1981-83. Kellogg graduated from UMass in 1995 where he was an All-Atlantic 10 selection in 1995. McLaughlin graduated from UMass in 1973 where he was one of three future head coaches on the team. He was joined by current Boston College head coach Al Skinner and Louisville coach Rick Pitino. Kellogg is not the current head coach from the UMass rosters in the mid-90s as Tony Barbee is in his fourth year as the head coach at Texas-El Paso.

• 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 was picked sixth in the preseason poll released by the Atlantic 10 coaches and media on Oct. 29 as part of the league's media day. Senior guard Chris Lowe was named the A-10 Preseason First Team while junior guard Ricky Harris has earned a spot on the Preseason Second Team. Lowe was also named to the Preseason All-Defensive Team.

 

 

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