Men's Basketball

 
Minutemen Host Richmond On Mullins' 16th Anniversary, Wednesday

Tony Gaffney is second in the NCAA in blocks and eighth in rebounding.

Tony Gaffney is second in the NCAA in blocks and eighth in rebounding.

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    UMASS (7-12, 2-4) vs. RICHMOND (11-10, 3-3)
    Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2009 • 7 p.m. (ET)
    Mullins Center (9,493) • Amherst, Mass.
    Streaming Video: UMassAthletics.com
    Radio: WRNX (100.9 FM - Flagship)
    WCRN (830 AM), WATD (95.9 FM)

    Minutemen Host Richmond On Mullins' 16th Anniversary
    • Coming off a near monumental upset of No. 10/10 Xavier, UMass returns home to the Mullins Center for the first of two home games in a week as the Minutemen host Richmond on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. The game takes place on the 16th anniversary of the first-ever game at the Mullins Center as UMass beat West Virginia, 64-59 in overtime on Feb. 4, 1993. Wednesday's game is UMass' first midweek home game in eight weeks since beating Holy Cross on Dec. 10. The Minutemen come into the game with a 7-12 overall record and 2-4 mark in the A-10. UMass has lost all four of its A-10 games by eight points or less and by a combined 20 points (4.0 average) after falling at Xavier, 82-80 on Saturday. Richmond is 11-10 overall and 3-3 in the Atlantic 10 after losing its most recent game at Temple, 74-65 on Saturday.

    • Wednesday should be a milestone night for UMass' senior point guard Chris Lowe, who comes into the game with 999 career points, one shy of 1,000 for his career. Lowe will become the first player in UMass history with 1,000 points and 600 assists, as he stands second in career helpers after passing Edgar Padilla (597) at Xavier. Lowe is eying all-time leader Carl Smith (633), needing just 33 assists. At his A-10 leading (16th in NCAA) 6.1 assists per game, he should pass Smith at Saint Joseph's on Feb. 22.

    • In the near upset of Xavier, UMass got great efforts in many areas as four players scored in double-figures with Ricky Harris leading the way with 17 points, the 12th time this season he has led the Minutemen in scoring. Chris Lowe tallied 16 points and handed out seven assists while turning the ball over just twice. Luke Bonner played one of his best games -- in his 100th college game -- with 14 points and four drawn charges. Tony Gaffney -- also in his 100th college game -- has his typical all-around game with 12 rebounds, nine points, three steals and two blocks.

    • Live streaming video of Saturday's game will be available through UMass All-Access on UMassAthletics.com. The 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, 95.9 WATD in Marshfield/Boston. "Voice of the Minutemen" Josh Maurer, will call the action with former Minuteman Tim Collins.

    The Series With Richmond
    • This will be just the ninth meeting between the two programs in a series which began during the 2000-01 campaign. Richmond holds a 5-3 advantage in the eight previous meetings. Richmond has won three of the last five meetings but UMass won last year's game, 78-74 on March 1, 2008 at the Robins Center.

    • Tremendous 3-point shooting by Etienne Brower and Ricky Harris lifted UMass to its first-ever win at Richmond on in last season's game, 78-74. The pair combined to make 10-of-13 from beyond the arc as Harris led all scorers with 24 points and Brower netted 17 as UMass won its fourth game in a row. The Minutemen (19-9 overall) moved to one-half game out of second place in the Atlantic 10 with an 8-6 conference mark. Eight times in the game's final eight minutes, Richmond cut UMass' lead to just four points, but was never able to come any closer after the Minutemen opened a lead as large as 10 early in the second half as Brower made four 3-pointers in the final 20 minutes. Gary Forbes, playing his first game back in the state of Virginia, where he began his college career at the University of Virginia, made four free throws late to finish with 17.

    • Two years ago in the last meeting in Amherst, UMass picked up its second win the series, 72-56, at the Mullins Center on Feb. 3, 2007. Gary Forbes had his first double-double as a Minuteman with 16 points and 16 rebounds. He became the only player in Division I in 2006-07 to single-handedly outrebound and entire opponent, 16-to-13. The Minutemen trailed by one at halftime, but used a 12-2 run to start the second half and iced the game as Forbes and Chris Lowe scored 15 of UMass' final 17 points of the game. Forbes finished the game with 16 points and 16 rebounds, while Lowe's 19 points were on the strength of 11-for-12 free throw shooting. The Minutemen outrebounded the Spiders 39-to-13. David Gonzalvez led Richmond with 15 points

    • UMass' first win of the series was on Feb. 12, 2003 in the Mullins Center. The Minutemen held off the Spiders for a 54-53 victory.

    • Until the last three years, since Chris Mooney brought his Princeton-style system to Richmond, the two teams played very close games with the average winning margin being just 6.3 points from 2000-05. The largest winning margins have been the last three years, first when the Spiders won 81-66, a 15-point win on March 1, 2006. Then UMass' 16-point win in 2007. Last year was a close game, four points.

    • Over the last three years, UMass has outrebounded the Spiders by 45 including a plus-26 margin two seasons ago (39-13). Another statistical oddity for UMass was that in 2006 and 2007 the Minutemen made just one 3-pointer in two games, going 1-of-20. In 2006, UMass had its last game without a 3-pointers going, 0-of-12. Last season, UMass was an impressive 10-of-19 from trifecta land.

    UMass Playing 27th-Toughest Schedule
    • The Minutemen are off to a 7-12 start, playing one of the nation's toughest schedules. The Minutemen play the 27th most-difficult schedule according to RealtimeRPI.com (as of Feb. 2). UMass has taken on eight teams in the RPI top 100 with wins over four of them (No. 23 Kansas, No. 32 Dayton, No. 48 Temple and No. 99 Hofstra. UMass has also played No. 7 Xavier, No. 11 Memphis, No. 51 Boston College, No. 79 Green Bay) Houston is No. 110, Vanderbilt is No. 107 and La Salle is No. 106.

    • The A-10 has four teams playing schedules in the top 50 in difficulty: Xavier plays the 18th-toughest, UMass is playing the 27th-toughest, Saint Joseph's will battle the 41st-schedule and Temple faces the 47th-toughest.

    Gaffney Among The NCAA Leaders
    • With his amazing start this season, UMass senior forward Tony Gaffney is ranked in the Top 10 in the NCAA in two major statistics. He is second in blocked shots per game with 4.5, which also leads the Atlantic 10. He is tied for eighth in the country in rebounding with 10.9 per game, second to Saint Joseph's Ahmad Nivins (11.8) in the Atlantic 10. Gaffney is averaging a double-double with a 11.4 scoring average. For much of the season, Gaffney was 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 39th in steals per game with 2.2 per game, which also leads the Atlantic 10. Gaffney is the only man to top the Atlantic 10 in more than one stat and was leading in three (rebounding) until recently.

    • He is having a breakout senior season averaging a double-double with seven double-doubles this season after none in his career in 81 games entering the season. He also had grabbed at least seven rebounds in 16 of 19 games and at least 11 in 12 of the 19 games. His most recent double-double came against La Salle (1/24) when he had 19 points and 11 rebounds along with four blocked shots.

    • 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 his all-around game. His career-high of nine came vs. Boston College (12/6).

    • 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 85 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 144 career blocks is seventh in a career at UMass. Kitwana Rhymer (184) is sixth all-time.

    • Many 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 18 of 19 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 vs. Stony Brook in 2006.

    Lowe Closing In On Assists Record, 1000 Points
    Chris Lowe is moving up on the all-time assists list at UMass as he stands second with 600, just 33 shy of the all-time record held by Carl Smith (633). His seven assists at No. 10 Xavier (1/31) passed him by Edgar Padilla (597) 11 assists against Boston College (12/6) propelled him past Alex Eldridge (518) on the all-time list.

    • With his current average of 6.1, he would break the record in six games from now (Feb. 22 at Saint Joseph's.)

    • Lowe is 16th in the NCAA with 6.1 assists per game, which also leads the Atlantic 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 needs just one point for 1,000 in his career. He will become the 41st player in UMass history to pass the plateau. Ricky Harris became the 40th earlier this year. Lowe will become the first UMass player with 1,000 points and 600 assists.

    • Lowe has six 10-assist games this season and 12 in his career, all in the last two seasons (all in the last 32 games). He racked up 11 assists against Temple (1/17) for his last double-figure game. Lowe had 10 or more assists in four of five games in December 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 Shoots Up 1,000-Point List
    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 87 college games, Harris has 1,141 points to rank 25th in UMass history.

    • Next on the list for Harris to pass are No. 24 Rafer Giles (1,163) and No. 23 Johnny Murphy (1,184).

    • 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 18.8 scoring average and led the team in scoring in 12 of the first 19 games with 20 or more in eight games. Harris is 42nd in the NCAA in scoring per game and third in the Atlantic 10. 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 40.3 from beyond the new extended-distance arc. He has made 56-of-139 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 177 and fifth in career attempts with 484. 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).

    Gurley Going Great Guns
    • Wake Forest transfer Anthony Gurley has made an instant impact with the Minutemen in his redshirt sophomore season. The wing is tied with Tony Gaffney for third on the team in scoring with 11.4 per game along with 3.8 rebounds. He has his some clutch 3-pointers and is second to Harris (56) on the team in treys with 39.

    • Gurley has scored in double-figures 12 times this season most recently with 10 at #10/10 Xavier (1/31). Gurley's best scoring game with UMass came against Hofstra (12/20) when he tallied 19.

    • He has been great in the second half of two of UMass' biggest wins of the season as he netted 13 of his 16 in the final 20 minutes of the win over Dayton (1/10), making four 3-pointers. A week later against Temple (1/17) on ESPN2, Gurley knocked down 13 of his 16 points in the second half including a 4-point play as he was a perfect 3-of-3 in the second half on 3-pointers. Gurley hit a second 4-point play against La Salle (1/24).

    Big Nights For Bonner
    • Since returning from a left MCL sprain which kept him out a month of action, senior center Luke Bonner has had some of the best games of his college career. Bonner posted his first-career double-double at Charlotte (1/21) with a career-high tying 15 points and a career-best 11 rebounds. That performance came in a career-high 39 minutes, shattering his former length of 26 minutes by 13. Bonner also set or tied career highs for field goals attempted (11), made 3-pointers (3), 3-pointers attempted (8) and assists (3).

    • Bonner, who was injured on Nov. 12 at Southern Illinois, returned to action on Dec. 20 against Hofstra with a career breakout game. He posted then-career bests 15 points and nine rebounds. That came in just 18 minutes off the bench.

    • In 12 games, he is scoring 7.0 points per game along with 5.4 rebounds. He has also made 18-of-44 3-point field goals for a team-best 41 percent.

    • He also had a huge game in an all-around sense with 14 points including three 3-pointers and four drawn charges at #10/10 Xavier (1/31).

    • On the defensive end, Bonner has been just amazing at drawing charges. He has taken 16 offensive fouls in just 12 games, more than one a game including a career high four on twice at #10/10 Xavier and vs. Hofstra (12/20).

    Off To See The United States
    • UMass has played 10 games away from home this season -- in seven different states including Ohio twice with the game at Xavier. If you include the home state of Massachusetts, UMass has played games in eight states (Illinois, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Ohio, Missouri, Texas and North Carolina). The trip to Cincinnati brings the Minutemen's travel mileage to 12,469 this season according to basketballstate.com. Overall, UMass will travel 14,859 in the regular season. The next trip is a bus ride (the team's first of the year) to New York at Fordham on February 11.

    UMass Against Ranked Teams
    • UMass is 1-2 this season against ranked teams with a noteable 61-60 win at #25/23 Kansas on Dec. 13, 2008. The Minutemen nearly had their second win over a ranked team on Jan. 31 as they lost 82-80 at #10/10 Xavier. That Xavier game was UMass' 100th all-time against a ranked team (based on the AP Poll) and the program is 31-69 all-time in those games in the 100th Season of UMass Basketball.

    • UMass has won four of its last 12 games against ranked teams dating to 2004. UMass lost at Memphis, 80-58 on Nov. 17, 2008. Last season the Minutemen were 1-2 against ranked teams with the win at Dayton, 82-71 on Jan. 16, 2008.

    • Last season, UMass broke a five-game losing streak against ranked teams with its 82-71 win at #14/18 Dayton on Jan. 16. The Minutemen's previous win over a ranked team came at #21 George Washington (76-74 in OT on Jan. 15, 2005). That was the second win a row over a ranked team that season as UMass also beat #7 UConn (61-59 on Dec. 9, 2004). In both those wins, three-time first-team All-Atlantic 10 honoree Rashaun Freeman hit the game-winning shot, beating UConn with 4.3 seconds left and topping the Colonials with a lay-up with 0.4 left in overtime.

    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).

    UMass' Big Win In Springfield
    • The Minutemen posted a 75-62 win over Dayton in Derek Kellogg's hometown of Springfield, home of the Basketball Hall of Fame on Jan. 10. 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.

    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 held at Boston College game on Dec. 6 which honored the Classic Era (1899-1959).

    • The next event will be the 1990s Celebration on Feb. 8 against Saint Joseph's.

    • 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.

    • The 1970s Celebration at the Temple game honored: Jim Burke, Bob Dempsey, David Dibble, Mark Donoghue, Billy Endicott, Michael Littman (manager), Tom McLaughlin, John Moynihan, Charles Olsen, Bob Powers (manager) Sam Provo, Mike Pyatt, Peter Trow, Rick Vogeley and Ray Witkos. The family of the late John Murphy was also recognized.

    • At the La Salle game on Jan. 24, the 1980s Celebration was held and the following players attended: Matt Anderson, Bob Braun, Tony DePina, Kurt Funk, Bill Hampton, Cary Herer, Dennis Jackson (assistant coach), Sean Nelen, Horace Neysmith, Hal Shaw, Jack Sheehan, Fitzhugh Tarry, Keith Whitt and Ron Young.

    • 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.

    UMass Gets Preseason Honors
    • With UMass alum Derek Kellogg in town to lead the Minutemen attack, the program is getting considerable attention from national media as it hopes to earn its first NCAA Tournament berth since 1997-98. Lindy's and Athlon both predict UMass to finish in the top five in the Atlantic 10.

    • Lindy's predicts that the Minutemen will finish fourth behind St. Joseph's, Temple, and Xavier. It mentions the good news as "Derek Kellogg returns to his alma mater and has plenty of perimeter firepower." Lindy's includes Harris on the First Team All-Conference while recognizing Chris Lowe with "Top Playmaker" in its honor roll.

    • Athlon sports predict that the Minutemen will finish fifth, trailing Xavier, Temple, Charlotte, and Dayton, while earning their third-consecutive NIT berth. Like Lindy's, Athlon predicts Harris to be a First-Team All-Atlantic 10 performer. Replacing A-10 player of the Year Gary Forbes will be a challenge, but Athlon says "Wake Forest transfer Anthony Gurley should give Kellogg another wing scorer.

    • Sporting News wrote that with Gibbs on board (to go along Lowe, a senior), "the Minutemen should be able to play at breakneck speed." It predicts that the best shot-blocker in the conference will once again come from UMass (Tony Gaffney), while Lowe is deemed the "best passer." Sporting News identifies three-point shooting as a big asset as "Together, Harris and Gurley give UMass a pair of solid three-point threats."

    • Rivals.com has pegged Anthony Gurley as the No. 3 overall impact transfer in all of Division I.

     

     

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