UMass Hosts GW in Leaman Legacy Game
UMass Hosts GW in Leaman Legacy Game
The Minutemen return to action at the Mullins Center for the first time in two weeks as UMass hosts George Washington Sunday at 4 p.m. The contest 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.
UMass and GW are in the thick of competition for seeding in the Atlantic 10 Tournament. The Minutemen (13-9 overall) are in sixth place in the A-10 with a 5-4 conference mark. The Colonials (12-12 overall) are tied with Dayton at 5-5 for seventh in the league. The top four teams in the A-10 received first-round byes while seeds 5-8 host first-round games on March 8 before the Tournament moves to Atlantic City (March 11-13).
UMass suffered back-to-back losses on the road last week, falling at Saint Louis, 69-53 on Feb. 2 and at Saint Joseph's, 67-64 on Feb. 5. The Colonials have lost six of their last eight games, including a narrow 69-65 defeat to Richmond on Wednesday.
At 13-8 overall, UMass has surpassed its win total from each of the last two season as the Minutemen won 12 games in 2008-09 and 2009-10.
The game can be heard on the UMass Sports Network on 100.9 FM WRNX in Western Mass, 1510 AM The Zone in Eastern Mass., 830 AM and WCRN in Central Mass. "Voice of the Minutemen" Josh Maurer will call the action with Tim Collins and Glenn Wong. Streaming video, audio and Gametracker will be available on UMassAthletics.com.
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, former Boston College head coach Al Skinner. Leaman coached 22 All-Yankee Conference selections during his tenure at UMass.
This is the sixth Leaman Legacy Game since the court was named in his honor on Feb. 25, 2006. UMass is 2-3 in the games. The Minutemen won the first game when the court was named in his honor, beating Dayton, 66-47. UMass also beat Saint Louis, 88-77 on Feb. 17, 2008. The losses have come to Boston College (84-73) on Dec. 2, 2006; Vanderbilt (78-48) on Jan. 3, 2009 and Xavier (87-79) on Feb. 1, 2010.
Quick Hits From the 5-4 A-10 Start
With a 5-2 start in the Atlantic 10, UMass had its best start to a conference season since 2006-07, when UMass began 7-2 on the way to a 13-3 mark and a share of the A-10 regular-season crown.
UMass won consecutive road conference games, Charlotte (73-54) and St. Bonaventure (78-69) on back-to-back Wednesday's in January. That marked the first time since 2007-08 UMass has won consecutive conference road games.
UMass has limited its opponents just 38.7 from the floor in A-10 play. That includes holding foes to less than 40 percent on field goals in all five wins with dominating defense vs. Dayton (28.6 percent), at Charlotte (32.1), at St. Bonaventure (35.6) and vs. Rhode Island (37.0).
UMass won back-to-back road games in conference play with wins at Charlotte and St. Bonaventure for the first time under Derek Kellogg and since the 2007-08 season.
Anthony Gurley has led UMass in scoring in seven of nine Atlantic 10 games with a 19.1 average. Overall, he has led UMass in scoring in 19 of 22 games with a 19.9 overall average points.
Javorn Farrell has scored in double-figures in four of the last seven games. He averaged 14.0 points in the four games in a row. He had 16 against Richmond (1/22) and at St. Bonaventure (1/26).
UMass had more than two players in double-figures in two of its last four wins -- for the first time since Nov. 27. Against LaSalle (1/15) Anthony Gurley (20), Sean Carter (15), Javorn Farrell (13) and Terrell Vinson (11) all met the mark. For Carter and Vinson, the point totals were season highs. At Charlotte, Freddie Riley had 18, Gurley 17 and Farrell added 11.
Shooting Tells The Story
How the shooting from the floor goes is how the Minutemen go. UMass is 10-1 this season when shooting a better percentage from the floor than its opponents. The Saint Louis game was the first when UMass outshot its foe from the floor and lost.
UMass is 4-0 when shooting above 50 percent on field goals and 10-2 when making more than 40 percent of its shots.
On defense, when UMass holds opponents to less than 40 percent from the floor, UMass is 10-3. When foes shoot less than 50 percent, UMass is 13-5.
Conversely, UMass is 3-8 when shooting a worse field goal percentage and 0-4 when opponents shot better than 50 percent.
Series History With GW
This will be the 61st meeting between UMass and George Washington, with the Colonials leading the all-time series 34-26.
UMass has won three of the last four in the series following GW's 66-60 victory in Washington on Feb. 17, 2010. UMass won the last game at home with 77-62 win on March 4, 2009 at the Mullins Center on Senior Day.
The Minutemen have won 10 of the last 14 meetings including a six-game win streak from 2000-03.
UMass is 14-11 all-time against the Colonials in Amherst, including a 6-5 mark in the Mullins Center. Among visiting schools which have played at least five games at Mullins, George Washington has the best record.
George Washington holds an 20-7 advantage in games played at the Smith Center, but the Minutemen recorded wins in four of the last six games in D.C. (2001, 2003, 2005, 2008). In 2005, UMass had an epic 76-74 victory in overtime over then-No. 21 GW on Jan. 15, 2005. With less than a second to play in overtime, Rashaun Freeman caught a pass and laid it in the basket in one motion, giving UMass the win. Freeman finished with 27 points
Back in 1995-96, George Washington ended UMass' perfect 26-0 start with an 86-76 win at the Smith Center on Feb. 24, 1996.
The teams first met on Feb. 27, 1971 in Madison Square Garden, with the Redmen winning 70-65.
Last Season'S Game: Feb. 17, 2010 - G. Washington 66, UMass 60
UMass couldn't get over the hump in the final minutes, cutting the lead to one or two on several occasions, but George Washington prevailed, 66-60 at the Smith Center. Anthony Gurley led UMass with 16 points and freshman Freddie Riley added 15, all in the first half. Ricky Harris added 10. Colonial freshman Lesan Kromah was the difference as he netted a game-high 22 points including five 3-pointers. Joseph Katuka had a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Best Starts In UMass History
The 7-0 start this season was the best since the 1995-96 team. UMass started with a school-record 26 consecutive wins on to the way to a 35-2 season and an NCAA Final Four appearance. UMass also had a 7-0 mark in 1968-69.
Here are the best starts at UMass: 1995-96 (26-0); 1933-34 (12-0 undefeated season); 1970-71 (11-0); 1973-74 (9-0); 1925-26 (9-0); 1977-78 (8-0); 2010-11 (7-0); 1968-69 (7-0); 1975-76 (6-0); 1971-72 (6-0); 1956-57 (6-0).
The program started 5-0 in 1991-92 (Derek Kellogg's freshman season) and 1930-31.
One Of The Final 22
Prior to the loss to Boston College at the TD Garden on Dec. 4, 2009, at 7-0 UMass was one of the final 22 undefeated teams in NCAA Division I. The Minutemen were also the last unbeaten team in the Atlantic 10.
The loss to BC also saw the end the longest win streak for UMass since 1998. The seven-game run was the longest since the Minutemen won 10 games in a row from Jan. 3-Feb. 1, 1998.
Gurley, A Big Man On Campus
Anthony Gurley has led UMass in scoring in 19 of 22 games this season, most recently with 19 at Saint Louis (2/2). Gurley has at least 10 points in every game this season and ranks third in the Atlantic 10 and 25th in the NCAA in scoring (19.9).
Gurley enters the game with 1,208 points at UMass and 1,407 in his college career with 199 coming at Wake Forest. He stands 23rd all-time in points. Next on the list at No. 21 are both Anthony Anderson (1,211) and Jim Town (1,211) and No. 20 Ray Elleberbrook (1,224),who will be in attendance on Sunday. Gurley passed former teammate point guard Chris Lowe (1,152) in the win at the Bonnies.
Gurley scored his 1,000th career point with his final field goal against Rider (11/12) and passed the milestone at UMass with a free throw vs. hometown team Boston University (12/31) at Mullins Center
At his current rate of 19.9 points per game with at least seven more games, Gurley would finish with about 1,380 points at UMass. No. 14 on the UMass scoring list is NBA Hall of Fame legend Julius Erving, who scored 1,370 in two seasons at UMass from 1969-71.
He led UMass in scoring in the first six games this season including 24 vs. Holy Cross (11/27), 22 points vs. AIC (11/24) and 18 points in the win over Sacred Heart (11/17).
He now has scored in double-figures 71 times in his career and has reached 20 points 21 times, 11 times this year including four of the his last six games.
Gurley scored a career-high 31 points to serve a part of the two-headed offensive attack in the big rally against Rider (11/12) With 31 points in the opener, Gurley tallied the most points by a UMass player in a season debut since Marcus Camby netted 32 against Kentucky in the 1995-96 season opener. Gurley was named to the Atlantic 10 Weekly Honor Roll on Nov. 15 for his performance.
Gurley has reached ninth on the career 3-pointers made list at UMass with 137 (on 392 attempts). Guley can pass his head coach Derek Kellogg with two made treys as the former Minuteman point guard was 138-362 in his career as a player from 1991-95.
Junkyard Dog Farrell Makes Major Impact
Sophomore swingman Javorn Farrell has been a spark to the team's success. Farrell has scored in double-figures four of the last six games and has eight games this season in double-figures. UMass is 7-1 when Farrell scores 10 or more points.
After missing the first two games of the season with an ankle injury, Farrell returned to the lineup and been an instant impact player. He is averaging 9.4 points and 4.3 rebounds in 20 games. He notched a career-high 25 points in leading UMass to the win at Quinnipiac (12/1). He had scored 15 points in his first game of the year, vs. New Mexico State (11/20) and followed that up with 10 points vs. TCU (11/22). Most recently, he scored in double-figures with 13 vs. La Salle (1/15), 11 at Charlotte (1/19) and 16 in each of the last two games vs. Richmond (1/22) and at St. Bonaventure (1/26).
Ready Freddie Filling It Up
Sophomore Freddie Riley is third on the team in scoring with a 8.8 points per game average. He tallied a career-high 28 with 23 coming in the second half alone in the season-opening win over Rider (11/12). He passed his former high of 22 vs. La Salle (1/10/10). Riley has six games this season in double-figures and 17 in his career
He added 10 points vs. TCU for his second game this season in double-figures and added 17 in 17 minutes vs. Holy Cross (11/27). He netted 14 in his last contest vs. Seton Hall (12/11).
Riley had his best game since the season opener on Jan. 19 at Charlotte as he scored 18 points (15 in the first half). Riley was playing the game with a heavy heart as his friend T.J. Gordon had been killed the night before the game. Riley played the game in his dedication.
At Saint Joseph's (2/5), he tallied 14, all in the game's final 6:51 as UMass' rally fell short in a 67-64 loss. It was his sixth game this year in double-figures.
UMass Calls Upon Sampson
Sophomore Sampson Carter had the best game of his two-year career with a 17-point, 8-rebound effort vs. Sacred Heart (11/17). The Baton Rouge native is averaging 7.7 points and 5.0 rebounds in 15 starts. He was in double-figures for three games in a row with 14 vs. Holy Cross (11/27). Carter set a career-high with 10 rebounds vs. Seton Hall (12/11). Last season, Carter averaged 4.3 points and 3.4 rebounds.
First Undefeated Tournament Since 1995
With a 4-0 mark in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off, UMass captured undefeated regular-season tournament since the 1995 Rainbow Classic. That year, the Minutemen took the crown in Honolulu with wins over NC State, USC and NC State with a 3-0 mark.
This year, UMass swept the Hall of Fame Tip-Off with wins over Rider (77-67), New Mexico State (71-57), TCU (67-48) and AIC (83-56). It marked the first four-game sweep in a tournament in school history.
Return To The Cage, a Huge Success
UMass played its first regular-season game at the Curry Hicks in 6,511 games, dating to the Final "Rage In The Cage" on Jan. 29, 1993 with an 83-76 win on Nov, 27, 2010. UMass is now 360-212 in 572 all-time games at the Cage from 1932-93 and the game this season.
UMass "extended" its winning streak at the Curry Hicks Cage to 15 games with a 17-year gap. The streak spans back to the 1991-92 season as the Minutemen won their final 14 games before moving to the Mullins Center in Feb. 1993.
34-Point Swing In Win Over Rider
UMass rallied for its largest comeback since the 2008 NIT Quarterfinals vs. Syracuse when the Minutemen also rallied from down 22 points in the second half. UMass was down by 22 with 16:24 left in the second half (46-24) and rallied to win by 10. The game included a 34-point swing in a 15-minute span as the Minutemen led by 12 75-63 with just over a minute left. The last time UMass rallied from as large a margin was on March 28, 2008 in the NIT Quarterfinals as the Minutemen came back from a 54-32 with 14:37 left in the second half to post an 81-77 victory on the way to the NIT Finals.
LAGUERRE SIGNS NLI WITH UMASS
Explosive guard Jordan Laguerre (pronounced LUH-garry) has signed his National Letter Of Intent to join the UMass Basketball program for the 2011-12 season. The 6-2, 175-pounder is currently in his second season at the New Hampton School in New Hampshire. Laguerre is a lefthander with an explosive first step, incredible leaping ability, and a scorer's mentality. The Manchester, N.H., native averaged 14 points per game as a junior and is expected to take an even more dominant role in the offense this season.
UMass Alum Leading UMass
Derek Kellogg, in his third 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 former Boston College head coach Al Skinner and current 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 first year as the head coach at Auburn. Coaching at Texas-El Paso last season, Barbee led the Miners to the NCAA Tournament.
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.
Forbes Makes NBA With Denver Nuggets
Former UMass star basketball player Gary Forbes made the opening day roster of the Denver Nuggets and drew his first NBA start on Nov. 3 vs. Dallas, where he guarded All-Star Dirk Nowitzki. He scored a pro-best 19 points vs. his hometown New York Knicks on Nov. 16 to go along with a career-high nine rebounds. The 2008 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year became the seventh UMass player to play in the NBA joining current Portland Trailblazer Marcus Camby in the league. Forbes averaged 10.1 ppg in the preseason to earn a spot with the Nuggets. In 44 games this season (through Feb. 3), he is averaging 4.9 points and 1.6 rebounds.
"He's an NBA player," Denver forward Carmelo Anthony said. "He's got an NBA body, a guy who's willing to learn. He's just a good addition to the team."
At UMass, Forbes was named the 2007-08 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year and a first-team all-conference selection. Forbes had a sensational senior season in 2007-08, finishing as the A-10's co-scoring champion with 610 points (20.3 ppg) along with Temple's Dionte Christmas. The New York native led the Minutemen to the NIT Championship game at Madison Square Garden, averaging 14.8 points in five NIT games, 17.5 in NIT Final Four, and was named to the NIT All-Tournament Team.
FOLLOW THE TEAM ONLINE
Looking for all the latest news on the Minutemen and Coach Kellogg? There are several ways to keep tabs on all of the updates on the squad.
Your first and Number 1 source is UMassAthletics.com. The official website of the UMass teams features news, stats, profiles, videos, photos, auctions, live audio, live video and so much more. Visit every day when you get home for a complete recap story, box score, video highlights, photo gallery and postgame press conference from every game.
Our daily blog "Just Take A Minute" has all the latest news from the media along with special information. Its updated several times each day.
Follow the teams and Coach Kellogg on Twitter. Get the news instantly for all Minuteman and Minutewoman teams by following @UMassAthletics. For the latest on the basketball team and Coach, follow him at @CoachKellogg.
The UMass Facebook page is very active, become a fan today at Facebook.com/UMassAthletics. You can also follow Coach Kellogg on his Facebook.com/CoachKellogg account.
Also, UMass has a very comprehensive YouTube page with video highlights, features, interviews and press conferences. Visit today at YouTube.com/UMassAthletics.
KELLOGG'S MISSION 1000
UMass head coach Derek Kellogg has made it his personal mission to get more interest in the UMass basketball program. Along with the athletic department, MISSION 1000 was launched in September to garner more attention. Close to a dozen events have been held throughout the state of Massachusetts to spread the word of UMass basketball with an emphasis of being more involved in the community.
As part of MISSION 1000, UMass head coach Derek Kellogg, his staff and players hand-delivered season tickets to patrons throughout Western Massachusetts. They were greeted with excitement of fans from Amherst to Springfield.
UMass' exhibition game vs. Brandeis on Nov. 4 was a benefit for The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. Fans brought 2 cans of nonperishable food to the Mullins Center to gain admission in place of a ticket price. More than 1,000 cans were donated.
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