• After a three-game road trip that saw Massachusetts go 2-1, the Minutemen will return home to the Mullins Center and play host to Fordham on Sunday at Noon.
• The game will be televised nationally on NBCSN with Joe Norton and Ron Thompson on the call. It will also be available online via the NBC Sports Live Extra Stream at http://stream.nbcsports.com/nbcsn/.
• UMass ranks in the top 50 in the following categories: scoring offense (45th, 77.9 ppg), 3-point FG pct. defense (19th, 29.1%), assists (33rd, 15.5 apg) and blocked shots (40th, 5.2 bpg).
• This is the 105th season of UMass Basketball. UMass has an all-time record of 1,223-1,073 (.533) in 2,296 games. UMass is 453-309 (.593) in conference games, including a 287-289 in Atlantic 10 play. The Minutemen have claimed 15 regular-season conference championships and five tournament titles.
• The 2013-14 season marks the sixth 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, 25 and 21 last season with a second-consecutive NIT appearance.
GENERAL RPI & SOS INFO
• UMass is ranked No. 4 in the NCAA RPI, 5 by CBS Sports, RealTimeRPI.com, Statsheet.com, 7 by ESPN Insider RPI, 31 by Ken Pomeroy and 40 by Jeff Sagarin.
• Their strength of schedule is No. 11 by CBS, 13 by RealTime RPI, Jeff Sagarin and Ken Pomeroy, 15 by Stat Sheet and 20 by ESPN.
• This will be the 39th meeting between the schools and 19th in Amherst. UMass leads the series 26-12 overall and 15-3 in games played in Amherst and 12-2 in the Mullins Center.
• The last four games in the series have been decided by four points or less and the last three in Amherst have been margins of four points, two points and four points.
• 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 sixth time, as he is 4-1 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.
• LAST SEASON IN ROSE HILL: Chaz Williams scored a game-high 22 points with seven assists and six rebounds in a 77-73 homecoming victory last January. Four Minutemen scored in double figures with Terrell Vinson finishing at 19 points, Trey Davis with a then-career-high 12 and Freddie Riley with 11. Riley’s clutch 3-pointer from the corner with 33.9 seconds left gave the Minutemen a five point lead after the Rams had trimmed a double-digit margin to a pair with less than a minute remaining. UMass shot 39% and made seven 3-pointers, while Fordham connected on 35% and five treys. The teams combined for 141 field goal attempts and 97 rebounds (Fordham led 55-42 on the glass).
MULLINS CENTER SOLD OUT FOR SUNDAY
• On Friday night, Mass officials announced that Sunday’s game was sold out, meaning 9,493 fans (including approximately 2,800 students) will be in attendance before a national television audience. It marks the 61st men’s basketball sell out in facility history dating back to the first game on Feb. 4, 1993.
• It is also the third sell out this season after the BYU game in Springfield drew 7,331 and the Providence game on Dec. 28 reached capacity. The last time UMass had three home sell outs in the same season came back in 1997-98 when five of 10 games reached the threshold.
• This will be the third time for a sell out against Fordham (1996 & 1997).
iT'S SUITS AND SNEAKERS™ AWARENESS WEEKEND...
• Basketball coaches across the country will be wearing sneakers this weekend during the Coaches vs. Cancer Suits And Sneakers Awareness Weekend, as they unite to fight cancer and raise funds and awareness for the American Cancer Society. Wearing sneakers is much more than a fashion statement. It’s a visual reminder that prevention is key when it comes to blocking cancer before it takes center court in our lives.
• Coaches and their staff are encouraged to wear sneakers with their game attire while coaching games during the weekend to:
* Raise awareness about the fight against cancer.
* Share the importance of nutrition and physical activity in reducing one’s risk of the disease
* Promote the American Cancer Society’s free services for those facing cancer and their loved ones, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for information, help, and support..
AND UMASS HALL OF FAME DAY
• The University of Massachusetts Department of the Athletics has announced six new members will be inducted into the George “Trigger” Burke UMass Athletics Hall of Fame as the Class of 2013. This group will join former UMass softball head coach Elaine Sortino who was inducted in a special ceremony in October following her passing earlier this fall. The newest class of the Hall of Fame will be introduced to UMass fans at halftime of the Minutemen’s home basketball game against Fordham on Sunday, Jan. 26 before the official ceremony takes place at 3 p.m. that afternoon in the Student Union Ballroom. The Class of 2013 is made up of Tony Barbee (Men’s Basketball), Ned Deane (Football), Julie Ready-Mulvey (Women’s Basketball), Jim Weller (Men’s Lacrosse), Rebecca Donaghue (Women’s Cross Country/Track & Field) and Doug Welenc (Baseball).
• Tony Barbee was one of the most memorable players to wear a UMass basketball uniform and was at the forefront of the program’s resurgence in the early 1990s. He helped lead the Minutemen to four-consecutive postseason appearances from 1990-93, including the 1991 NIT Final Four and 1992 NCAA Sweet 16, along with back-to-back Atlantic 10 regular-season and tournament crowns in 1992 and 1993. The Indianapolis native finished with 1,643 career points to rank third all-time at UMass (currently seventh). He was a two-time all-Atlantic 10 choice and all-freshman team member who later spent six years as an assistant coach under John Calipari and four years over two stints as an assistant coach under Bruiser Flint.
• As a head coach, Barbee led UTEP to the 2010 Conference USA regular-season title and participated in the NCAA Tournament. He was named the 2010 NABC District 11 and C-USA Coach of the Year. He also spent six seasons as an assistant at Memphis under Calipari, helping the Tigers to six postseason appearances, including an NCAA Elite Eight in 2006. He is currently in his fourth year as head coach at Auburn.
KELLOGG PICKS UP WIN NO. 100 IN AMAZING FASHION
• Sixth-year head coach Derek Kellogg’s earned his 100th career victory - all at UMass - with a thrilling 88-87 come-from-behind victory at George Mason three games ago. UMass trailed by eight midway through the second half and by five (86-81) with 41.3 seconds left. But a pair of lightning-quick layups by Chaz Williams, three forced turnovers and a Derrick Gordon putback with 8.1 left helped the Minutemen remain unbeaten in Atlantic 10 play.
• What made the game special for Kellogg was that his first full-time job after college came in the late 1990s when he spent two seasons at George Mason working for Jim Larranaga from 1997-99. That stint included the 1999 CAA regular-season and tournament titles en route to a NCAA Tournament First Round appearance.
• With 101 victories entering the Fordham game, Kellogg is in third place on the school’s career victories list. Jack Leaman won 217 over 13 seasons and John Calipari is second with 193 over eight years in Amherst.
16-2 MARK AFTER 18 GAMES EQUALS THE SECOND-BEST START IN SCHOOL HISTORY
• With a 16-2 record entering the Fordham game, the 2013-14 UMass team has matched the 1970-71 squad for the third-best start after 18 games in school history. The record is held by the 1995-96 Final Four team which won its first 26 games.
UMASS EARNS FIFTH 3-0 A-10 START IN LAST 20 YEARS
• Prior to felling at Richmond on Wednesday, UMass was 3-0 in Atlantic 10 Conference play, marking just the fifth time since the 1994-95 season that a Minutemen squad had opened with three-consecutive league wins. The 2006-07 team was the last to do it on its way to the regular-season title with a 13-3 record. Prior to that, the last time a Minutemen club started with three-straight was the 1997-98 group with an 8-0 start. The 1995-96 Final Four team holds the record for consecutive wins to start conference play with 15.
UMASS RETURNS TO ASSOCIATED PRESS & COACHES POLLS FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 1998
• Following last Saturday’s 84-74 win at Elon, UMass moved up a few spots in the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls, coming in at No. 13 in the AP and No. 12 (tied with Oklahoma State) in the coaches. UMass received 781 points in the AP and 444 in the coaches poll. For the second-straight week, the Minutemen appeared on every AP voter’s ballot.
• When the Minutemen debuted in the rankings this season, it ended a drought that dated back to Nov. 1998 in each poll. Last week’s No. 19 ranking marked the first foray in the Top 20 in both polls since Feb. 24, 1998.
• UMass has now appeared in the AP Poll 86 times and is 125-31 all-time as a ranked team. The Minutemen have been ranked in the top 10 48 times, the top five 31 times and No. 1 15 times (32-4).
REFUSE TO LOSE
• With the style of play and mentality that Derek Kellogg has implemented at UMass, just about any deficit can be overcome. The Minutemen have pulled off some late-game heroics in three of their last four contests.
• Three games ago, UMass trailed George Mason by eight in the second half and 86-81 with 41.3 seconds left. But a pair of lightning-quick layups by Chaz Williams, three forced turnovers and a Derrick Gordon putback with 8.1 left helped the Minutemen remain unbeaten in Atlantic 10 play.
• Against St. Bonaventure the game prior, they erased a 13-point deficit with nine minutes remaining and outscored the Bonnies 21-8 to close the game. That marked the first time this season and the seventh time in the last three seasons a UMass club has overcome a double-digit hole to win a game.
• Three days earlier against Saint Joseph’s, UMass trailed by nine seven minutes into the game and again with six minutes to play. More full court pressure and timely shooting saw the Minutemen close the game on an 18-5 run.
DEFENDING THE THREE
• UMass has done a solid job with its three-point field goal defense this season, holding opponents to 29.1% from outside and 4.5 makes per game. That percentage ranks second in the Atlantic 10 and 19th nationally.
• Since Boston College made 40 pct. in the season-opener, only Richmond’s 40% (6-of-15) on Wednesday made better than 38 pct. in a game. Teams have been held to five or fewer makes 13 times, with opponents averaging 3.9 over the last eight games - an that includes nine by Elon last Saturday.
UMASS TOUGH IN THE MULLINS CENTER
• UMass is unbeaten in the Mullins Center this year with a 7-0 record. Over the past three seasons, the Minutemen are 25-5 in regular-season games and 14-4 in Atlantic 10 contests in the facility.
• UMass finished its regular-season non-conference home slate last with a win over Miami (Ohio) and has compiled a 15-1 record with a current eight-game winning streak against non-league foes that it will take into next year.
• The Minutemen have been strong during the winter break as well, winning their last 11 non-league games when the classes are not in session.
• UMass is in its 21st season of play at the William D. Mullins Memorial Center and has posted an all-time record of 197-85 (.710) following the St. Bonaventure game. The Minutemen also own a 109-51 (.682) 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.
CHAZ IS LIKE A FINE WINE, HE GETS BETTER WITH AGE
• Chaz Williams continues to impress with his on-court talents year-in and year-out. While his scoring has been consistently strong throughout his college career, his shooting percentages are at or near all-time highs and his assist-to-turnover numbers are at an all-time high.
Year MPG PPG FG% 3FG% FT% APG TPG A/TO Ratio
2009-10 31.7 9.8 .372 .389 .733 4.2 2.5 1.64
2011-12 34.9 16.9 .410 .419 .788 6.2 3.4 1.83
2012-13 35.3 15.5 .433 .333 .785 7.3 3.4 2.12
2013-14 34.9 16.3 .418 .427 .736 7.4 3.3 2.23
• He has 16 double-figure assist games in his career and 14 at UMass, one shy of Carl Smith’s record set from 1983-87.
WILLIAMS NAMED TO WOODEN, ROBERSTON TOP 25 PLAYER OF THE YEAR LISTS
• Earlier this week, senior PG Chaz Williams was named to the Wendy’s Wooden Award Midseason Top 25 list and the Oscar Robertson Midseason Watch LIst. He is the only player from an Atlantic 10 school on each list and one of 12 guards on the Wooden list and 13 floor generals among the 23 total from the Robertson list.
• In November he was named to the Bob Cousy Award Watch List (top point guard in men’s college basketball) and the initial vote for the Naismith Men’s College Player of the Year Award.