Men's Basketball

UMass Hosts Saint Louis In Leaman Legacy Game, Sunday At 2 p.m.

UMass holds its annual Leaman Legacy Game on Sunday.

UMass holds its annual Leaman Legacy Game on Sunday.

Feb. 16, 2008

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UMASS (15-9, 4-6) vs. SAINT LOUIS (14-10, 5-5)
Sunday, Feb. 17, 2008 • 2 p.m. (ET)
MULLINS Center (9,493) • AMHERST, MASS.
TV: CSTV (Tom McCarthy & Pete Gillen)
Radio: WRNX (100.9 FM - Flagship)
WCRN (830 AM), WATD (95.9 FM)

UMass continues its two-game homestand this afternoon, welcoming Saint Louis to the Mullins Center. Sunday is the Leaman Legacy Game in which $5 from each ticket sold will go to the Leaman Legacy Foundation, which is a fund to raise scholarships for UMass Athletics in the name of legendary coach Jack Leaman. Back on Feb. 25, 2006, the court at the Mullins Center was named in honor of the man most synonymous with UMass basketball. Leaman dedicated more than 40 years of his life to UMass Athletics. He served as men's basketball head coach from 1966-79 which included time as the mentor of Julius Erving and current Boston College head coach Al Skinner. Thus the inaugural Leaman Legacy Classic was played against a team which one of the Leaman's prized pupils heads up, Al Skinner and Boston College last season. Leaman also served as an assistant men's basketball coach, head women's basketball coach and radio broadcaster in addition to various roles in the athletic administration.

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 and UMass Athletic Hall of Famers Bill Tindall, Joe DiSarcina and Ray Ellerbrook. Leaman coached 22 All-Yankee Conference selections during his tenure at UMass.

UMass-Saint Louis Series
This will be just the seventh meeting between the two teams and fifth since the Billikens joined the Atlantic 10 in 2005-06. Saint Louis leads the all-time series, 4-2, beating the Minutemen in St. Louis earlier this season, 71-59, on Feb. 2. Last season the Billikens knocked UMass, the 2007 co-regular-season champions out of last year's A-10 Tournament in Atlantic City. UMass fell to the Billikens 74-71 in overtime as the Minutemen were playing with virtually and entire roster of players suffering from the flu.

Last season's regular-season game was a thriller at the Mullins Center with UMass posting a 53-50 win on Feb. 24, 2007.

With Saint Louis joining the Atlantic 10 in 2005-06, the teams played in Missouri for the second time on Jan. 14, 2006, when the Billikens pulled out a 50-48 win in St. Charles.

The teams split the two engagements as non-conference foes.

UMass and Saint Louis met in the first round of the 1998 NCAA Tournament with the Billikens winning 51-46. That game was the last time the Minutemen made the NCAA Tournament. Larry Hughes scored 18 points, Matt Baniak tallied 12 and Virgil Cobbin added 11 in the win. Monty Mack was the sole double-figure scorer for UMass with 10 points. SLU dropped the next game in the Regional to Kentucky, 88-61.

UMass won the first meeting between the two teams 80-74 on Jan. 5, 1995 in the A-10/Great Midwest Challenge. That game was UMass' only other game at the Scottrade Center, which was known as the Kiel Center at the time.

UMass head coach Travis Ford coaches against SLU for the sixth time in his career. He is 1-3 while at UMass. Prior to coming to UMass, he coached Eastern Kentucky in a 64-58 loss at the Savvis Center in the 2003-04 season opener for both teams on Nov. 21, 2003. New Saint Louis coach Rick Majerus coached against UMass once prior to this season on Feb. 2, while he was at Utah. The Utes downed the Minutemen, 69-53 in the 2002 Maui Invitational.




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