UMASS MAKES SECOND TRIP TO PHILADELPHIA TO FACE SAINT JOES
• UMass travels to Philadelphia to play Saint Joseph’s in one of the Minutemen’s two home-and-home match-ups in the Atlantic 10 schedule. UMass won the earlier game in Amherst and is looking to surpass last year’s conference win total.
• Saint Joseph’s is coming off a 72-60 home loss to Saint Louis in which the Hawks’ saw their two-game winning streak come to an end. This is the third-consecutive game that UMass has faced a team looking to rebound from a loss.
• UMass’ next five games - at Saint Joseph’s, La Salle, Xavier, at Dayton and at Temple - will be against teams who currently have a combined 29-19 A-10 record and a .604 winning pct.
• The game can be heard on the UMass Sports Network on 100.9 FM KIX in Western Mass. and 830 AM WCRN in Central Mass., 95.9 AM WATD on Boston’s South Shore, and 1510 AM WWZN in Boston. “Voice of the Minutemen” Josh Maurer and Tim Kenney will call the action. Live audio, video and Gametracker will be available on UMassAthletics.com.
SERIES WITH SAINT JOSEPH’S
• This will be the 61st meeting between UMass and Saint Joseph’s, with UMass holding a 32-28 lead all-time. UMass has won four of the last five games including both games last season and the earlier game at the Mullins Center, 71-62, last month. The Hawks ended a three-game skid in the series with a 67-64 win over UMass in the last game at Hagan Arena on Feb. 5, 2011.
• UMass ended SJU’s three-game win streak in the series with a 70-69 win in Philly on Feb. 22, 2009. Saint Joe’s won three games in a row finishing with a 68-64 win on Feb. 8, 2009. The Hawks won twice in 2007-08. The Hawks pulled off a 98-92 win at the Mullins Center on Jan. 9, 2008 while UMass made an amazing comeback but lost at Hawk Hill, 81-77 on Jan. 23.
• Saint Joseph’s holds a 17-12 advantage against the Minutemen for regular-season games played in Phila- delphia. Saint Joe’s holds a 13-11 mark against UMass in Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse. At The Palestra vs. SJU, UMass is 3-4 overall with two wins in the A-10 Tournament and last season. UMass is 1-3 in regular-season games against the Hawks at The Palestra, losing in 1983, 84 and 88.
• This will be UMass head coach Derek Kellogg’s eighth game against the Hawks with a record of 5-2. Kellogg did play against Saint Joseph’s when Phil Martelli was an assistant with the Hawks. Martelli took over as head coach in 1995-96, the year UMass made the Final Four. Martelli stands 15-16 all-time against the Minutemen in his career.
THE LAST MEETING RECAP
• Chaz Williams scored 22 points and dished out seven assists and Massachusetts overcame a 17-point deficit to beat Saint Joseph’s 71-62 on Jan. 14 at the Mullins Center.
• Raphiael Putney, who made four 3-pointers, finished with 17 points and three steals for the Minutemen. Terrell Vinson added 11 points and Sean Carter had a team-high 10 rebounds.
• Saint Joseph’s, which led 20-3 early in the first half, fell behind by nine points when Jesse Morgan made a 3-pointer with 7:29 left in the second half. The Hawks cut the score to 61-59 on a layup by Halil Kanacevic with 2:27 left. But the Minutemen answered with an 8-0 run sparked by a Carter dunk. Williams made six of his 10 free throws during the spurt.
UMASS-ST. BONAVENTURE LEFTOVERS
• Team Notes: UMass improved to 12-0 at home this season (11-0 at the Mullins Center; 1-0 at Curry Hicks Cage) ... The Minutemen connected on nine 3-pointers, marking the 13th time this season they have made at least eight in a game. Further, they have made 24 triples in the last three outings ... UMass shot 48 pct. from the floor, its sixth-consecutive game over 46 pct. ... The Minutemen have committed 25 turnovers in the past two games (11 at GW, 14 vs. SBU), their lowest two-game total since mid-December ... UMass outscored St. Bona 32-11 from the final 6:20 of the first half to the first 3:00 of the second ... The Minutemen also put together a 17-2 run late in the game when the Bonnies had cut the lead to 54-51 with 8:40 left.
• Individual Notes: A game after handing out four assists and grabbing a career-high seven rebounds, Jesse Morgan established career-highs in points (24) and 3-pointers made (6) while leading UMass in scoring for the third time in the last six games and fifth overall ... Maxie Esho finished with nine points on 4-of-9 shooting, two rebounds and a steal in just 14 min. off the bench ... Chaz Williams led the team in rebounding (6) and scored 17 points for his fifth-straight double-figure game and 21st overall.
WILLIAMS IS GOOD AS ADVERTISED
• Redshirt sophomore point guard Chaz Williams has been given the responsibility of quarterbacking the Minutemen’s new up-tempo offense and the transfer from Hofstra lived up to the billing, averaging 15.8 points and 5.9 assists in 24 games. He is shooting 38.2 percent from 3-point range and has an assist-turnover ratio of nearly 2-1. Defensively, he ranks 36th nationally in steals with 2.1 per game and 20th nationally with 5.9 assists per game.
• Through 10 games in league play, he is posting averages of 17.3 points (3rd in A-10), 6.0 assists (3rd), and 86.5 FT Pct (8th).
• Prior to a first-half miss against Saint Louis, Williams hit 33 consecutive free throws over a six-game stretch which broke Donta Bright’s (1996) single-season record for consecutive free throws made against conference opponents. The school record for the most consecutive made free throws is 40 which was also set by Bright in 1996.
• In the loss at La Salle, Williams surpassed his previous career high with 24 points on 8-of-16 shooting while adding five assists.
• Williams scored a then-career-high 22 points in the 83-75 loss at Miami (12/3). He also dished out four assists, while raking in four rebounds. He tied that mark with another 22 points (20 in the second half) in the win over Siena (12/9).
• Williams recorded the first double-double of his career in Nov. 14’s win over Northeastern, tying career-highs with 20 points and 10 assists.
PUTNEY TAKING FLIGHT
• One of the keys to UMass’ success this season has been the play of redshirt-sophomore Raphiael Putney. The forward is UMass second leading scorer this year with 10.5 points per game and 5.8 rebounds. An athletic player, Putney’s ability to elevate above the rim has gained him notoriety and popularity among the fans - his amazing dunk in transition against Saint Joseph’s was a Sports Center Top-10 Play and a nominee for the GEICO Play of the Year. His high-flying reputation grew even more on Wednesday when he slammed-home an alley-oop pass from Chaz Williams just beyond half-court that wound up as the No. 3 Top Play on SportsCenter.
• Putney has three double-doubles this season including a career-best 22 points and 10 rebounds last Saturday against Saint Louis.
• Putney isn’t just an inside threat as he has the ability to score from beyond the arc. His 33 made triples are tied for second on the team, while his 14-for-34 and .412 pct. in nine league games are both team highs.
CARTER DEMANDING RESPECT INSIDE
• While he may not be the stat sheet stuffer that some of his teammates have become, senior Sean Carter’s play has remained consistent throughout the season. He ranks second in the Atlantic 10 in field goal pct. (.644) and 13th in rebounding (6.3), while leading the team in board work eight times, including three A-10 contests. His numbers in league play are even more impressive. In 10 games, he is first in FG pct. (.767) and 14th in rebounds (6.5).
• Over the past nine games he has posted some amazing numbers. In addition to being the second-leading scorer during that stretch at 12.8 ppg, he is shooting 45-for-57 (.800) from the floor. He scored a career-high 18 points at La Salle going 8-for-11 before a perfect 6-of-6 for 15 points in the win over Charlotte. He has also made 11 of his last 13 field goal attempts, nine of which have been slam dunks.
DUNK YOU VERY MUCH
• Its no secret that dunks can play a big role in exciting the crowd and shifting a game’s momentum, and UMass has a pair of players who can bring the house down on any given night. Senior Sean Carter and sophomore Raphiael Putney have combined for 60 of the team’s 96 slams this season.
• Carter leads the team with 38 thus far, including a season-best five at Rhode Island. In fact, of his 77 made buckets this season, 49 pct. have come from above the rim. In his three seasons since transferring from Oregon State he has led UMass in dunks each year and produced 88 dunks out of 199 field goals - good for 44 pct.
• Conversely, Putney uses his long, athletic frame to find ways to reach the basket that most players can’t manage. He has 22 dunks, with a good number of those on alley-oops and fast breaks. His soaring throwdown in transition against Saint Joseph’s was named ESPN’s No. 8 Play of the Day (Jan. 14, 2012), the No. 4 Play of the Week (Jan. 16, 2012) and is also a nominee for the GEICO Play of the Year.
BEST HOME START SINCE 1993-94 SEASON
• With a 12-0 home record to start the season (11-0 at Mullins, 1-0 at The Cage), UMass is off to its best home start since 1993-94 when the squad was 14-0 at home.
UMASS ONE OF A-10’S TOP SCORING TEAMS
• At an average clip of 77.1 points per game, UMass is the top ranked scoring team in the Atlantic 10 and 27th nationally. The Minutemen are one of eight teams in the league to average over 70 points per game.
• UMass is also the third-ranked team in the league in terms of scoring margin at +7.6 over opponents. Saint Louis (+12.8) and La Salle (+9.4) are the only two teams to have margins higher than the Minutemen.
• Through 24 games, UMass has shot .440 from the floor after posting a .401 shooting percentage a season ago. Much of the improvement can be attributed to the new up-tempo, fastbreaking offense that Derek Kellogg has implemented this season. Taking advantage of the long, athletic players on his roster, Kellogg’s offense has resulted in higher percentage shots in transition.
• Also over the last 10 games, Chaz Williams (17.3 pts), Raphiael Putney (11.3), Jesse Morgan (12.8 pts), Sean Carter (11.3 pts) and Terrell Vinson (10.4) have averaged double-figures.
BALANCED SCORING AMONG ROTATION
• While Chaz Williams and Raphiael Putney may be the only Minutemen averaging double-figures in the scoring column over all 24 games, the duo is joined by fellow starters Sean Carter, Jesse Morgan and Terrell Vinson with scoring averages of at least 10 ppg through all 10 Atlantic 10 contests.
• In 11 games this season, UMass has had four or more players reach double-figure point totals, translating into a 10-1 record. Against Utah, Davidson, Central Connecticut, and Fordham, five Minutemen reached double-figures in the scoring column. Against Siena, Williams and Freddie Riley each scored over 20 points in the comeback win.
BRINGING THE PRESSURE
• To go with the new up-tempo offense, Derek Kellogg has the Minutemen pressing and trapping more on defense in 2011-12. The new attacking defensive style has worked extremely well thus far as the Minutemen have forced an average of 17.3 turnovers per game and scored 21.1 points per game off those takeaways.
• UMass was the beneficiary of 21 turnovers at Rhode Island three games ago, marking the seventh time an opponent has lost the ball at least 20 times. The flip side to that is that the Minutemen recorded 25 points off those 21 URI TOs. UMass has scored at least 20 points off its opponents 12 times this season, topping 30 points four times.
• In its 36-point win at Boston College on Nov. 21, UMass turned 23 Eagles turnovers into 28 points and outscored them 28-6 over the final 10:30 of the game.
• In the win vs. Northeastern (11/14), UMass forced 21 turnovers and scored 26 points off turnovers. Sampson Carter led the defense with three steals.
• The Minutemen held the Huskies to just 38 percent shooting in the game, including a 9.1 percent mark from behind the arc.
• In the opener vs. Elon, UMass forced 25 Phoenix turnovers and scored 34 points off those turnovers, including 12 fast-break points. Jesse Morgan led the defensive charge with a career-high five steals in 17 minutes. UMass finished with 14 steals total.
CLEARING THE BOARDS
• UMass has been solid on the boards this season averaging 40.0 rebounds per game - that places the Minutemen first in the Atlantic 10 and 10th nationally. The Minutemen have outrebounded their opponents 13 times this season and are 10-3 in those contests.
OUTSIDE SHOOTING+PROTECT THE BALL=WIN
• It’s a simple formula, but when UMass is able to shoot the ball from outside and keep turnovers to a minimum, chances are the Minutemen win. In 18 games won this year, UMass is 159-of-417 from three-point land and average 14.4 turnovers per game. In 6 games lost, UMass is just 30-of-132 from deep and average 19.8 turnovers.
• Sharing the ball is also a key. The Minutemen average nearly 18 assists in wins this year, while that number drops to 11 in the six losses. Individually, Chaz Williams picks up 6.3 assists in wins, but just 4.5 in each of the six losses.
KEY IMPROVEMENTS OVER LAST SEASON
• Through 24 games, a trio of players have made significant strides over their 2010-11 averages.
• Jesse Morgan played in just 12 games last season averaging 4.4 points in almost 11 minutes per game. This year, the combo point guard/two guard is averaging 9.4 points in 25.1 minutes.
• Raphiael Putney has increased his scoring from 4.4 points to 10.3 points and is averaging over two more rebounds per game (3.0-to-5.7).
• After having a strong freshman campaign in 2009-10, Terrell Vinson saw his scoring dip from 9.6 points per game to 6.5 last season. This year he is back to form averaging 9.2 points in 25.4 minutes per game.
DEPTH OFF THE BENCH KEY
• UMass has received quite a lift from its bench this season. A season-high 51 points were scored in the win over Towson thanks to the reserves. All told, the UMass bench has outscored every opponent this year except five (College of Charleston, La Salle, Saint Louis, Rhode Island and St. Bonaventure).
• 33.4% (609-of-1,823 points) of UMass’ scoring has come from the bench.
SEASON-OPENING WIN AT THE CAGE
• Playing just its second game in 18 years at the historic Curry Hicks Cage, UMass (1-0) used a 21-4 run early in the second half to erase a four-point halftime deficit and cruise to a 85-67 victory over Elon (0-1) on Nov. 11. Sophomore transfer Chaz Williams led the way with 18 points and eight assists. Juniors Sampson Carter (17), Terrell Vinson (17) and Javorn Farrell (13) rounded out UMass' four double-digit scorers.
• The Minutemen used a new running and pressing style and a raucous Cage crowd to force 25 Elon turnovers, scoring 32 points off those turnovers. Jesse Morgan led the charge on defense with a career-high five steals.
• In his first game in a UMass uniform, was the catalyst all night for the Minutemen, grabbing six rebounds to go with his 18 points and eight assists.
• Vinson recorded the fourth double-double of his career, leading all players with 11 rebounds.
LALANNE TAKES PRESEASON A-10 HONOR
• The Atlantic 10 Conference announced its preseason awards at its annual men's basketball media day in Brooklyn on Oct. 13 with UMass freshman Cady Lalanne being named to the All-Rookie Team. The forward from Orlando, Fla. is the first Minuteman named All-Rookie since Freddie Riley and Terrell Vinson in 2009.
• Joining Lalanne on the All-Rookie Team are Dezmine Wells (Xavier), Jerrell Wright (La Salle), Justin Martin (Xavier), Alonzo Nelson-Odada (Richmond) and Anthony Lee (Temple).
• Lalanne joins the Minutemen following becoming eligible per NCAA rules after attending UMass as a student in 2010-11. The 6-8 big man played his high school ball at Oak Ridge in Orlando, Fla. and his AAU basketball with the Florida Rams.
UMASS SIGNS FLORIDA CENTER BERGANTINO
• UMass men's basketball head coach Derek Kellogg, on the eve of the Minutemen's season opener, announced on Thursday the signing of 6-9 center Tyler Bergantino of Springhill, Fla. to a National Letter of Intent. The talented big man, now a senior at Nature Coast Technical High School in Brooksville, Fla., will join the Minutemen for the 2012-13 season.
• "Tyler exemplifies exactly the type of person and player we want at UMass," Kellogg said. "He is an extremely high-character young man and plays the game at a high level at both ends of the floor. My staff, the team, the UMass community and I are all very excited to have Tyler joining the UMass basketball family."
• At 6-9, 240 lbs., Bergantino is a physical force inside and possesses rapidly improving skill and touch around the basket. He enters his senior year at Nature Coast the school's all-time leading scorer with 1,150 career points. Bergantino is coming off a junior campaign in which he led all of Hernando County with averages of 17.9 points, 12.5 rebounds and 4.8 blocked shots. That followed up a sophomore season in 2009-10 in which he posted averages of 14.5 points, 10.9 rebounds and 5.2 blocks.
UMASS LED BY ONE OF ITS OWN
• Derek Kellogg, in his fourth 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 second year as the head coach at Auburn. In his first season with the Tigers, Barbee's squad went 11-20 overall and 4-12 in the SEC after taking UTEP to the NCAA Tournament the previous season. Alum Harper Williams was named to Barbee's staff this summer. The pair were at UMass' Nov. 17 win against NJIT in Amherst.
• 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 BASKETBALL AIRS IN BOSTON
• Nelligan Sports Marketing has reached an agreement with WBIN-TV that will allow UMass fans in the greater Boston area to watch approximately a dozen live broadcasts of UMass games, including football, hockey, men's and women's basketball, and lacrosse throughout the 2011-12 season beginning in November. The games will be produced by the UMass Sports Network.
• WBIN-TV, the only locally owned and operated TV station in the Boston/Manchester market, reaches all major cable and satellite outlets in the greater Boston area. The UMass schedule on WBIN began on November 5 when the UMass hockey team beat No. 1 Boston College at the Mullins Center. UMass basketball's Nov. 14 Northeastern game also aired on WBIN.
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.
• 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.