Men's Basketball

 
The Rivalry Continues: UMass At URI, This Saturday

Ricky Harris needs 17 points to move to fourth all-time in scoring at UMass.


Ricky Harris needs 17 points to move to fourth all-time in scoring at UMass.

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UMASS (8-14, 2-6) at RV/RV RHODE ISLAND (18-3, 6-2)
Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010 • 2 p.m. (ET)
Ryan Center (7,657) • Kingston, R.I.
TV: COX TV •Streaming Video: UMassAthletics.com
Radio: WRNX (100.9 FM - Flagship), WCRN (830 AM), UMassAthletics.com

The Rivalry Continues: UMass At URI, This Saturday
• The gauntlet of tough teams continues for UMass as the Minutemen (8-14, 2-6 A-10) travel to rival Rhode Island for a 2 p.m. showdown this Saturday. The game with the Rams (18-3, 6-2) will finish a stretch of eight games where UMass is facing six teams in the Top 40 of the RPI with Rhode Island being the highest rated at No. 12. Since Jan. 13, UMass has played the following teams in the top echelon of the ratings with four on the road: at Richmond (37), at Temple (17), at Baylor (24), Charlotte (34), Xavier (20) and at Rhody (12).

• Saturday's game will be televised by COX in Rhode Island and Connecticut. Live streaming video, audio and Gametracker will be available on UMassAthletics.com.

• The UMass Sports Network with Josh Maurer and Tim Kenney will cover the game on WRNX 100.9 FM in Western Mass as well as WCRN 830 AM in Central Mass. The pregame begins 30 minutes prior to tip.

• UMass and Rhody play for the 133rd time on Saturday with the Minutemen holding the 76-56 advantage. Last season, UMass and Rhode Island split the two games with each winning on the opponent's home floor. The Minutemen dealt URI's NCAA Tournament hopes a severe blow with a stunning 72-71 win at the Ryan Center on March 7 as Chris Lowe hit a runner with six-tenths of a second left in regulation. Rhode Island had beaten UMass 71-59 at the Mullins Center back on Feb. 18.

Harris Moving Up Scoring List
Ricky Harris has a chance to move to fourth on the UMass career-scoring list on Saturday. Entering the game with 1,728 points, he needs just 17 points to move pass No. 5 Lorenzo Sutton (1,731) and No. 4 Rashaun Freeman (1,744). Harris has an outside chance to become the third player in history to score 2,000 points. He needs 272 points with at least eight games remaining.

The Series With Rhode Island
• Saturday's game is the 133rd between the schools, easily the most played series in UMass' history. UMass has faced UConn 108 times, the only other series with more than 100 meetings. The Minutemen also have more wins over Rhode Island than any other program, holding a 76-56 advantage dating to the first game on Jan. 11, 1908, a 32-14 UMass win in Amherst.

• UMass has won 32 of the last 44 games in the series. That includes sweeps by UMass in 2000, 2001, 2005 and 2008 and URI in 1999, 2003.

• UMass has won four of the last five in the series including both of the meetings in 2008.

• Five of the last eight meetings have been decided by three points or less including the last meeting. 10 of the last 1s games have been decided by seven points or less.

• If you remove the 2007 22-point UMass win, the averaging margin of victory in the last 12 games is six points.

• The teams split last season with each winning on the road. Rhode Island won the first earlier meeting, 71-59 at the Mullins Center on Feb. 18. The Rams ended the game on a 14-2 run.

• UMass rallied for a 72-71 win on a last-second shot by Chris Lowe to upset the Rams on Senior Day in Kingston on March 7.

• Two years ago, the Minutemen knocked off URI, 78-76 at the Mullins Center on Feb. 7, 2008 which was also Black Out Night. Two weeks later, UMass won at Rhode Island, 98-91 on Feb. 21.

• For games played in Kingston, the Rams lead the series 35-27, with UMass holding a 4-3 lead at the Ryan Center which opened in 2002-03.

• UMass has won 17 of the last 22 games played at home in the series. Overall, for games played in Amherst, the Minutemen lead the series 47-20, with a 10-4 mark at the Mullins Center, the third- most wins against any team at the Mullins Center (Temple 13, St. Bonaventure 11).

• UMass coach Derek Kellogg faced the Rams for the first time as a head coach earlier last season, going 1-1. As a player at UMass from 1992-95, the Minutemen were 9-1 vs. Rhode Island, losing once in 1993 at Providence. Rhode Island coach Jim Baron stands 13-24 against UMass (7-9 since moving to Kingston in 2002). He was 6-15 while at St. Bonaventure.

The Last Two Meetings
March 7, 2009: UMass 72, Rhode Island 71
Trailing by one with 6.5 seconds left, senior Chris Lowe, in his final regular season game, drove the length of the court and scored with .6 seconds on the clock to give UMass a 72-71 road victory over Rhode Island at the Ryan Center. The teams traded leads six times in the final two and a half minutes.

Four different Minutemen registered in double-figures, led by Lowe's 18, while he also dished out seven assists. Ricky Harris and Matt Glass both finished with 13 points, while Rhode Island native Gary Correia added a career-high 12. URI was led by Jimmy Baron's 22 points, 16 of which came in the second half. Baron set the Atlantic 10 career 3-pointers made record in the game surpassing La Salle's Darnell Harris (342).

Feb. 18, 2009: Rhode Island 71, UMass 59
• Keith Cothran scored a career-high 26 points, 16 of which came in the second half, to lead Rhode Island to a 71-59 win over UMass at the Mullins Center. UMass led by as many as 12 points in the first half and by three at halftime before the Rams took over in the latter stages of the second half. The Minutemen fall to 9-15 overall and 4-7 in the Atlantic 10, while URI improves to 19-8 overall and 8-4 in the A-10. Ricky Harris and Chris Lowe each netted 15 points to lead UMass. Tony Gaffney added 11 points, six blocks, and four steals. The Minutemen shot 37.3 percent from the field, including 19.2 percent from 3-point range, while the Rams shot 42.4 percent for the game, including 60 percent in the second half. With five assists for the game, Lowe tied Carl Smith for the UMass career lead with 633. The Minutemen defense held Rhode Island's top two scorers, Jimmy Baron and Kahiem Seawright, to only 12 combined points.

Thorr Hosts His Alma Mater
• With UMass travelling to URI, Rhode Island Athletic Director Thorr Bjorn, will host his alma mater. Bjorn was recognized during the game at UMass last season (Feb. 18, 2009), with the Harold Vanderswaag Award, presented by the UMass Sports Management Department. The former UMass athletic administrator and Minuteman football star took over as the URI Athletic Director in August 2007. Bjorn worked at UMass for more than a decade in a variety of roles before departing as the Senior Associate Athletic Director, which he held from 2004-07.

Correia Returns To Home State
• UMass junior guard Gary Correia calls Providence, Rhode Island home and he had his best game as a collegian last year in his state homecoming at Rhode Island. In the regular-season finale at URI on March 7, he scored a career-high 12 points, knocking down all four of his 3-point attempts.

• This season, Correia is averaging 18.6 minutes per game in an expanded role with 2.5 points per game. He has a team-best 2.4-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio.

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 40.3 per game as well as offensive rebounds with 15.1 per contest.

• UMass ranks tied for 11th in the NCAA in total offensive rebounds with 333. No. 6 West Virginia also has grabbed 333 O-Boards.

• UMass has outrebounded 14 opponents. Overall, UMass has a positive rebounding margin (+3.6). 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 5.5 boards per game. Hashim Bailey is second with 5.3 per game in just 13.3 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 36.4 on all field goals and 26.3 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 47.1 percent overall and a remarkable 40.2 from trifecta land.

• It has translated to a scoring margin of 80.2 to 67.5 in the wins and a mark of 78.6 to 65.6 in the losses.

• UMass is 7-3 when shooting above 40 percent this year and 1-11 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 1-13 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
• UMass freshman forward Terrell Vinson hit the game-winning basket with 0:00.7 left to beat Memphis on Dec. 19. His bucket was the ESPN SportsCenter No. 1 Play of the Day on Saturday and the No. 6 Play of the Week on SportsCenter. He was named the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week and UMass Athlete of the Week as he posted a career-high 21 points and grabbed nine rebounds along with the thrilling game-winner.

Harris & Gurley Leading The Way
• UMass has two scorers in the league's Top 15. Senior Ricky Harris stands third with a 18.1 average and junior Anthony Gurley is 13th with a 14.3 mark. Gurley was as high as fourth in December.

• Harris continues to move up the UMass career scoring charts with his 18.1 average this season. He is sixth all-time with 1,728 points after passing Tony Barbee (1,643) with 15 points at Baylor (1/23). Next on the list are No. 5 Lorenzo Sutton (1,731) and No. 4 Rashaun Freeman (1,744). He has scored in double-figures in 32 games in a row, in 85 of his 119 career games and in 82 of his last 87 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 22 games this season. He is second on UMass in scoring with a 14.3 points per game average. He had at least 13 points in 15 of 22 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 (9.5). 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).

• Riley ranks third in the Atlantic 10 in 3-pointers made per game with 2.4.

• Vinson has 10 games overall in double-figures with the last coming vs. Xavier with 11. 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 nine 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 3.4 rebounds with double-figures in three games. Javorn Farrell is averaging 4.1 points and 3.3 rebounds including a career-best 10 rebounds vs. Grambling State (12/11) in just 11 minutes of action. He scored a career-high 12 points vs. Xavier (2/3).

Harris Rises on 3-Point, FT Lists
Ricky Harris is rising on the career lists for field goals and attempts, 3-pointers and attempts as well as free throws and attempts.

• He stands third in career made 3-pointers (246) and second in attempts (711).

• Among the players he passed last season was his current head coach Derek Kellogg (138 makes and 362 attempts). Next on te makes list is Anthony Anderson (275 of 705). No. 1 on both is Monty Mack (331-of-910).

• 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 1,358. Next on the list is No. 3 Lorenzo Sutton (1,518).

• He is also eighth in career made field goals (568). Next is Edwin Green (580).

• This season, Harris 40-of-141 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.

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.

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."

Harris, Riley, Vinson Earn Preseason Honors
• The Atlantic 10 Conference released its preseason All-Conference teams on Oct. 22, with UMass senior Ricky Harris highlighting the Alll-Conference First Team. Two of head coach Derek Kellogg's freshman class of five, Freddie Riley and Terrell Vinson, were both named to the preseason All-Rookie Team. The A-10's preseason poll was also released with the Minutemen coming in ninth.

• In the first preseason men's basketball magazine, Lindy's, UMass men's basketball is being praised for the A-10's top recruiting class. Senior guard Ricky Harris is also gaining honors as he was named to the A-10's First Team and the league's "Most Entertaining" player.

• Lindy's picks UMass to finish fifth in the A-10 behind Dayton, Xavier, Richmond and La Salle. The magazine mentions: "Ricky Harris is an absolute scoring machine and coach Derek Kellogg has a killer group of newcomers." It finishes with UMass "Will get better as the season progresses and will be a team nobody wants to draw in the A-10 Tourney."

• Lindy's calls UMass' incoming class the "Best group of recruits" in the league. "Massachusetts coach Derek Kellogg made a name for himself as a recruiter under John Calipari at Memphis, and he proved that he could do it on his own at his alma mater in Amherst. He scored a key early pledge from Freddie Riley, and in the late signing period nabbed a big-time combo forward in Terrell Vinson. Aside from those two, Kellogg got pledges from a pair of small forwards in Sampson Carter and Javorn Farrell, as well as a super athletic power forward Raphiael Putney."

• In the UMass team profile, Lindy's cites Anthony Gurley under "Keep An Eye On." The mag says: "Gurley will display his all-around talents in the backcourt, largely because he has to as the Minutemen do not have a true point guard with experience."

UMass Alum Leading UMass
Derek Kellogg, in his second season, 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 only 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.

 

 

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