UMass Hosts Xavier In Leaman Legacy Game, Wednesday
Feb. 1, 2010
UMASS (8-13, 2-5) vs. RV/RV XAVIER (15-6, 7-1)
UMass Continues Gauntlet, Hosting Xavier On Wednesday In Leaman Legacy Game The tough schedule continues for the UMass basketball team as the Minutemen welcome the three-time defending Atlantic 10 regular-season champion Xavier for a Wednesday contest. The tip-off is set for just after 7 p.m., in a game that will be televised regionally by CBS College Sports. It will air on Fox Sports Ohio (DirecTV Channel 661, Dish Network Channel 427) as well as the Comcast Network in the Mid-Atlantic Region and Comcast Sports Southeast.
The tilt serves as the annual Leaman Legacy Game. A portion of ticket sales go to benefit the Leaman Legacy Fund, which benefits student-athlete scholarships at UMass. Jack Leaman, who passed away in 2004, is the man most synonymous with UMass Basketball and the court at the Mullins Center was named for him in 2005. He coached the program from 1966 from 1979 with the likes of Julius Erving, Al Skinner and Rick Pitino wearing the maroon & white.
Xavier (15-6, 7-1 A-10) will be the fifth team in seven games UMass plays, which is rated in the Top 50 of the RPI (as on Monday). The Musketeers are No. 22. UMass has recently played No. 39 Richmond, No. 15 Temple, No. 26 Baylor and No. 42 Charlotte. UMass will play at No. 11 Rhode Island on Saturday to wrap up the gauntlet of a schedule.
UMass (8-13, 2-5) comes off a 72-58 loss to Charlotte on Saturday at the Mullins Center. Senior Ricky Harris had his highest scoring game since the second game of the season with 25 points. He now has 1,704 career points to stand sixth in career scoring at UMass. Lorenzo Sutton is next on the list with 1,731. Xavier has won the last four games in the series since UMass had consecutive wins in regular-season games in 2005 and 2006. Last season, the No. 10 Musketeers pulled out a thrilling 82-80 win in Cincinnati. Xavier last came to the Mullins Center ranked No. 23/22 and beat UMass, 77-65 on Jan. 27, 2008.
The Legend Of Jack Leaman At UMass, Jack Leaman worked for more than 40 years. He coached the men's basketball team from 1966-79, the women's basketball team in 1986-87 and following that stint, he served the athletics department in a variety of roles as an assistant coach and radio broadcaster until his untimely death on March 6, 2004. He led the UMass basketball program for 13 seasons, compiling a career record of 217-126. The all-time winningest coach in school history, Leaman guided UMass to eight Yankee Conference titles in a nine-year span (1968-71, 1973-76), and six National Invitation Tournament appearances (1970-71, 1973-75, 1977). A two-time New England Coach of the Year, Leaman coached Basketball Hall of Famer Julius Erving, Louisville head coach Rick Pitino, Boston College head coach Al Skinner. Leaman coached 22 All-Yankee Conference selections during his tenure at UMass.
The Series With Xavier Wednesday's game marks the 21st meeting between UMass and Xavier. With the series beginning in the 1990-91 season, the Musketeers lead the meetings, 12-8, heading to Wednesday's tip-off. Five of the 20 games have gone to overtime, including three of the eight games at Mullins Center.
Last year, UMass used a fast-paced style to push Xavier to the limit, but fell, 82-80, on Jan. 31. Ricky Harris led the Minutemen with 17 points as four players scored in double-figures. Chris Lowe netted 16 points, missing a free throw on purpose with 3.6 seconds, but Tony Gaffney (9 points, 12 rebounds) missed a tip at the end which rimmed out.
In the last meeting at the Mullins Center, No. 23/22 Xavier knocked off UMass, 77-65 at the Mullins Center on Jan. 27, 2008. UMass had its lowest offensive output of the season as Drew Lavendar led four Musketeers in double-figures. Etienne Brower led UMass with 22 points, the second-most points of his career. Gary Forbes added 16.
The Minutemen are 4-3 against Xavier in the Mullins Center. Two of the last six home overtime games for UMass have been against Xavier. The 2005 triple-OT game was the first extra-session game at Mullins since the Feb. 20, 1999 contest against the Musketeers. UMass went 77 games at home between overtime action with both games coming against Xavier.
For all games played in Cincinnati, Xavier leads 7-3. UMass is 1-4 at the Cintas Center. UMass gave Xavier its first-ever loss at the Cintas Center on Jan. 9, 2001.
Last Season's Meeting - Jan. 31, 2009: Xavier 82, UMass 80 CINCINNATI (AP) -- UMass set a pedal-to-the-metal pace on offense and kept it a game by forcing Xavier into a season-high 23 turnovers, but couldn't break through in the closing minutes. Ricky Harris led the Minutemen with 17 points as four players scored in double-figures. Chris Lowe netted 16 points, missing a free throw on purpose with 3.6 seconds, but Tony Gaffney (9 points, 12 rebounds) missed a tip at the end which rimmed out.
Derrick Brown matched his career high with 23 points Saturday, and No. 10 Xavier used its balance and free-throw shooting to hold on for its 10th straight win. B.J. Raymond added 22 points and C.J. Anderson had 19 for the Musketeers (19-2, 7-0), who remained unbeaten atop the Atlantic 10. This one was in doubt down to the final rebound. Anderson got that off Lowe's purposely missed free throw.
The shot clock rarely came into play in a fast-paced game of catch the ball and shoot -- a pace that suits UMass but not the Musketeers. Brown, Raymond and Anderson were a combined 24-for-32 from the field, and made the biggest plays in the closing minutes.
The Minutemen stayed in the game by exploiting Xavier's biggest weakness -- a propensity for sloppy passes. UMass scored three straight baskets off turnovers early in the second half. Harris had a driving layup and a 3-pointer, and Lowe had a steal and layup that tied it at 58 with 11 minutes left.
There were three ties and six lead changes down the stretch, with neither team ahead by more than three points until the final minute. Raymond's 3 and Anderson's putback put Xavier ahead to stay, 78-74 with 53 seconds left. Harris responded with a 3-pointer, then missed another one with 10 seconds to go. Raymond got the rebound and made both free throws for an 80-77 lead. Brown added two free throws.
UMass Pounds The Boards Derek Kellogg is trying to instill a toughness to his Minutemen and that has been evident through rebounding. The Minutemen lead the Atlantic 10 in rebounding with 40.7 per game as well as offensive rebounds with 15.3 per contest.
UMass ranks 11th in the NCAA in total offensive rebounds with 321.
UMass has outrebounded 14 opponents, by an average of 4.0 rebounds per game. That includes margins of 25 vs. Grambling (55-30), 20 vs. Memphis (44-24), 17 at Boston College (50-33) and 9 at Baylor (42-33).
The Baylor margin was remarkable as the Bears were leading the NCAA in rebounding margin at the time (+11.0) and had outrebounded all 17 opponents until that game. Baylor starts a front line of players standing 7-0, 6-11 and 6-10.
Between Dec. 11 and Jan. 6, UMass outrebounded its opponents 48.3 to 31.3 (193-125).
The Minutemen have used a rebounding by committee strategy. Three players average more than five per game. Sean Carter leads the way with 6.4 per game. Terrell Vinson is up to 5.6 boards per game. Hashim Bailey is second with 5.3 per game in just 13.2 minutes per game. Prorated over 40 minutes, Bailey would grab 16.2 boards.
Shooting Tells The Story With UMass' record the difference has been shooting percentage both on offense and defense. Derek Kellogg has been preaching to his Minutemen to use better shot selection. When they have this season, they have won. When the Minutemen have shot poorly and played poor defense they have lost.
In UMass' eight wins, the Minutemen are shooting 47.2 from the floor overall and 33.3 from 3-point range. In the losses UMass is 35.9 on all field goals and 26.7 from beyond the arc.
On defense, in the victories, UMass is holding foes to 40.9 overall and 30.9 from 3-point land. In the defeats, opponents are shooting 46.2 percent overall and a strong 40.1 from trifecta land.
It has translated to a scoring margin of 80.2 to 67.5 in the wins and a mark of 78.0 to 64.6 in the losses.
UMass is 7-2 when shooting above 40 percent this year and 1-10 when shooting below 40 percent in 2009-10. The win over Fordham (1/6) marked the first time UMass won a game when shooting less than 40 percent this season (38 percent).
UMass is 7-0 when shooting a better percentage than its opponents and 1-12 when being outshot. Again, the Fordham game was the first time UMass was outshot (44-38 percent) and still won the game.
Win Over Memphis Gets Attention
Harris & Gurley Leading The Way UMass has two scorers in the league's Top 15. Senior Ricky Harris stands third with a 17.9 average and junior Anthony Gurley is 13th with a 14.7 mark. Gurley was as high as fourth in December.
Harris continues to move up the UMass career scoring charts with his 17.9 average this season. He is sixth all-time with 1,704 points after passing Tony Barbee (1,643) with 15 points at Baylor (1/23). Next on the list is Lorenzo Sutton (1,731). He has scored in double-figures in 31 games in a row, in 84 of his 118 career games and in 81 of his last 86 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 17 of 21 games this season. He is second on UMass in scoring with a 14.7 points per game average. He had at least 13 points in 15 of 21 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). At No. 19 Temple (1/16), he had 20 points.
Freshman Showing Strong In Debuts Right behind the two veterans on the scoring list are freshmen Freddie Riley (9.9) and Terrell Vinson (9.4). Vinson emerged as a tremendous player with a 20.5 scoring average from Dec. 11-19.
Riley returned from minor knee surgery for the game vs. Fordham (1/6) and had a career-game against La Salle (1/10). Riley canned six 3-pointers and netted a career-high 22 points in Springfield. Those six treys, were two shy of the UMass single-game record. Over four games (from Jan. 10-20), Riley averaged 15.5 ppg making 15-of-36 3-point field goals (42 percent). He ranks third in the Atlantic 10 in 3-pointers made per game with 2.5.
Vinson has nine games overall in double-figures with the last coming at Saint Joseph's (1/27). Also, at Baylor (1/23) he had his second-career double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds. He scored 20-plus with 21 vs. Memphis (12/19) and 20 points vs. Grambling State (12/11). He also had double-figures in 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 with 0:00.7 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 eight games in double-figures including 20-plus twice, with 22 vs. La Salle (1/10) and 20 at Richmond (1/13).
Sampson Carter is averaging 4.8 points and 3.5 rebounds with double-figures in three games. Javorn Farrell is averaging 3.7 points and 3.3 rebounds including a career-best 10 rebounds vs. Grambling State (12/11) in just 11 minutes of action. He returned to action at Richmond (1/13) and had seven points and five rebounds after missing the Fordham (1/6) and La Salle (1/10) games with a groin/hip injury.
Harris Shoots Up 1,000-Point List 2009-10 Atlantic 10 Preseason First-Team guard Ricky Harris is rising up the all-time UMass scoring list. Harris, who played his 100th college game against Cornell, currently stands sixth with 1,704. Next on the list is Lorenzo Sutton (1,731).
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).
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), Donald Russell (1,558) with 21 vs. Fordham (1/6) and current UTEP Head Coach Tony Barbee (1,643).
Harris is the 40th UMass player to score 1,000 points in his career.
Harris has scored in double-figures in 84 of his 118 career games including 81 of the last 86 dating to his sophomore year with the last 31 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 Ricky Harris is rising on the career 3-pointer lists for makes and attempts as well as made free throws and field goals attempted.
He stands third in career made 3-pointers (246) and third in attempts (703).
Harris is eighth in made free throws with 344 in history. He has moved past Julius Erving (322) and Marcus Camby (308) this season.
Harris has also risen to No. 4 on the career field goals attempted list with 1,338. Next on the list is No. 3 Lorenzo Sutton (1,518).
This season, Harris 38-of-133 from 3-point range this season and 59-of-81 from the foul line.
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.
Maxie Esho Signs NLI With UMass UMass head coach Derek Kellogg announced the signing of his first National Letter of Intent for the fall signing period on Nov. 16, 2009 as the Minutemen welcome athletic forward Maxie Esho.
The 6-8, 200-pound native of Upper Marlboro, Maryland is currently playing at Lee Academy in Maine. He played his AAU basketball with DC Assault, the same team UMass' Javorn Farrell played for.
"We are thrilled to have Maxie joining the UMass basketball family. Maxie is a player we have known for a long time," said Kellogg, who brought in what is widely-regarded as the top freshman class in the Atlantic 10 this season. "He is another very long and athletic player with great upside. He have watched him grow as a person and a player for the last couple of year and I know the UMass fans will be excited to get to know him on and off the court. We are looking forward to him having a great senior year at Lee Academy and then coming to UMass. He has the length and athleticism that is necessary for the type of players I want to coach here at UMass."
In playing with DC Assault, run by Curtis Malone, Esho has been a part of the one of the top AAU programs in the nation. He averaged 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds along with two blocks per game. He played along side Duke signees Josh Hairston and Tyler Thornton, Notre Dame signee Eric Atkins and Richmond newcomer Cedrick Lindsay.
Coach Zach Suber has been an integral part of Esho's life and worked with him as a mentor while he played with DC Assault. Esho was named to numerous All-Tournament Teams during his AAU career as well as being named to MVP of the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions at Chapel Hill, N.C., in 2008. Over the last four years, Esho has been part of more than 120 wins on the AAU circuit.
In 2009, he helped his squad capture the adidas Take 5 championship and the Teak Breakdown Tournament title, while also making the final four at the adidas Super 64 in Las Vegas after winning the crown in 2008. In addition to winning the adidas Super 64 title in '08, DC Assault also captured crowns at the Pittsburgh Jam Fest, the Bob Gibbons Memorial Day Tournament in Raleigh, N.C., the Harley Davidson Tournament in Morgantown, W. Va., and the Playaz Spring Fling in Piscataway, N.J.
Esho played at Henry Wise High School in Upper Marlboro where he averaged 14 points and seven rebounds per game before moving to Lee Academy.
Maxie Esho was born on Feb. 28, 1991 and is the son of Tina Marie Esho.
UMass Quick Hits For 2009-10 Ricky Harris leads UMass into action as the lone scholarship senior on the team in 2000-10. The Baltimore native is the Atlantic 10's leading returning scorer in 2009-10 with an 18.2 average. He was named to the Preseason All-Atlantic 10 team by the coach and media. He has been named to the same team by most publications and has been dubbed the A-10's "Most Entertaining Player" by one annual.
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 also welcomed 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 returned to the team after not playing in 2008-09, giving UMass eight newcomers for this season's roster
UMass returned just 36.1 average points. In looking at it by percentages, UMass returned 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.
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