UMass Seeks Home A-10 Tourney Game In Finale
UMass Seeks To Clinch A-10 Tourn. Home Game
• The UMass basketball teams its Atlantic 10 Tournament fate in its own hands as the Minutemen enter their regular-season finale on Saturday at Fordham. With a win, the Minutemen (15-13 overall, 7-8 in A-10) will clinch the No. 7 seed and first-round A-10 Tournament game on Tuesday, March 8. That game will be played at 5, 7 or 9 p.m., based on television as three of the fourth first-round games will be nationally televised on CBS College Sports. The Rams enter their final game of 2010-11 with a 6-21 overall mark and an 0-15 record in the league. The Rams have lost 41 consecutive conference games dating to Jan. 28, 2009, a 67-65 win over St. Bonaventure.
• UMass has dropped back-to-back games, losing a hard-fought battle against the three-time defending Atlantic 10 Champions, Temple, on Wednesday night, Senior Night at the Mullins Center 73-67 in overtime. Anthony Gurley led UMass in scoring for the 22nd time this season with 25 in his final home regular-season game. Gurley leads UMass in scoring with an 18.6 mark, which is third in the A-10 and 50th in the NCAA.
• UMass is in the thick of competition for seeding in the Atlantic 10 Tournament in hope of hosting an A-10 First-Round Tournament game. The Minutemen stand tied for seventh place with Dayton and St. Bonaventure at 7-8 in league play. The Minutemen hold the tiebreaker on both teams having beaten then in their matchups in 2011. As of today, UMass would host La Salle in an A-10 First Round game as a No. 7-No. 10 match-up. 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).
• With a UMass win against Fordham, UMass would finish seventh an host any one of St. Bonaventure, Dayton, La Salle or Saint Louis. Should UMass lose to Fordham, the Minutemen can still finish anywhere from seventh to 11th place. The official seedings will be released Saturday night.
• At 15-13 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 win over Saint Joseph’s (2/23) secured a winning regular-season. The seven A-10 wins also equal the most under coach Derek Kellogg.
• The game can be heard on the UMass Sports Network on 100.9 FM WRNX in Western Mass and 830 AM WCRN in Central Mass., 1510 AM The Zone in Eastern Mass., and 95.9 AM WATD on Boston’s South Shore “Voice of the Minutemen” Josh Maurer will call the action with Jason Yellin. Live streaming video, audio and Gametracker will be available on UMassAthletics.com.
Solid Play In The A-10
• The Minutemen are fighting for a homecourt first-round game in the A-10 Tournament and stand at 7-8 in the league with recent back-to-back wins at Rhode Island and vs. Saint Joseph’s.
• UMass has limited its opponents just 37.4 from the floor in A-10 play. That includes holding foes to less than 40 percent on field goals in all seven wins with dominating defense vs. Dayton (28.6 percent), at Charlotte (32.1), at St. Bonaventure (35.6) vs. Rhode Island, twice (37.0 and 29.3) and vs. Saint Joseph’s (30.8).
• Similarly, the defense on 3-point field goal percentage has been stellar. Foes are just 30.8 from beyond the arc. That includes all seven losing opponents shooting below 32 percent this season. In the last two wins, UMass’ opponents are 5-of-45 (11.1) percent. The Rhode Island Rams were just 1-of-19 (5.3 percent) on Feb. 19. That was followed by Saint Joseph’s missing its first 12 3-pointers of the game, so over two games, UMass’ opponents were 1-of-31 (3.2 percent).
• Anthony Gurley has led UMass in scoring in 10 of 15 Atlantic 10 games with a 17.0 average. Overall, he has led UMass in scoring in 22 of 28 games with an 18.6 overall scoring average, third in the A-10.
• With its 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 had more than two players in double-figures in three of its seven wins. Also the game against La Salle (1/15) marked for the first time since Nov. 27 that UMass turned the trick. Against the Explorers, 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. Most recently in the win at Rhode Island (2/19), Gurley led the way with 16, complemented by 11 points apiece from Gary Correia, Sampson Carter and Raphiael Putney.
Series With Fordham
• UMass holds a 24-11 record in the all-time series with UMass winning the last two games in a row. Prior to UMass’ 78-76 win over the Rams last season on Jan. 6, 2010, the road team had won three games in a row. In 2009, UMass pummeled the Rams, 91-68, for the largest margin of victory in a conference game under Derek Kellogg . The Rams upset UMass, 76-72 on Feb. 14, 2008 a year after UMass beat Fordham on its homecourt, 74-59 on Feb. 15, 2007. Prior to that game, the home team had won 10 games in a row in the series. Before that, UMass had won 12 of 13 prior to that.
• Before the 2008 loss, UMass had won seven home games in a row in the series. Overall, for games played in Amherst, the Minutemen lead the series 13-3, with a 10-2 mark at Mullins. The Minutemen have won 11 of the last 13 games in Amherst, dating to 1973.
• Before the 2007 win, UMass had not won at Rose Hill since Feb. 16, 2000, an 81-72 Minuteman win at Rose Hill. Overall, in games played at Rose Hill, Fordham leads, 8-7. The schools also met once at Madison Square Garden, with the Minutemen recording a 73-47 victory on Feb. 6, 1996.
• The Rams have not won consecutive games in the series since taking three straight from 1970-72.
• The teams first met on Dec. 13, 1967 at Fordham, with the Rams winning by a score of 77-66.
• UMass coach Derek Kellogg will coach against Fordham for the third time, as he is 2-0 vs. the Rams. As a player at UMass from 1991-95, the Minutemen won an NCAA Tournament game in Worcester, 85-58 in 1992.
Last Game Vs. Fordham
Jan. 6, 2010: UMass 78, Fordham 76
• AMHERST, Mass. - Ricky Harris banked home a jumper with 2.9 seconds remaining in regulation to lead UMass past Fordham 78-76 at the Mullins Center. Fordham erased a 13 point UMass lead before Harris hit the game-winning bucket. Brenton Butler led all scorers with 31 points to go along with six assists. Harris had 21 points and six assists on the night. Anthony Gurley had 15 points to go along with five rebounds, while Hashim Bailey pulled down a career high 13 boards and tied a career high with nine points.
• UMass led by five when Chris Gaston (16 points, 14 rebounds) scored and was fouled with 40 seconds left. He missed the free throw allowing the Rams to come up with the rebound and Gaston hit a 3-pointer with 36 seconds left, tying the game at 76. The Minutemen held for the final shot before Harris drove, pulling up at the free throw line and banking in a jumpshot with 2.9 seconds left. The senior guard then came up with a steal as the horn sounded, securing the victory.
Last Game At Fordham
Feb. 11, 2009: UMass 91, Fordham 68
• Bronx, N.Y. - UMass routed Fordham, 91-68, in its highest scoring conference game and first A-10 road win of the season at Rose Hill Gym. The Minutemen (9-13, 4-5 A-10) jumped out to a 9-0 lead and never looked back leading by as many as 35 points in the second half. Ricky Harris tallied 19 points and Tony Gaffney had his eighth double-double of the season with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Chris Lowe, in what was likely his final college game in the metro New York area, had 10 points and seven assists. Luke Bonner made a career-high four 3-pointers and finished with 12 points and six 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 year) 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 22 of 28 games this season, most recently with 25 vs. Temple (3/2) on Senior Night. Gurley had at least 10 points in the first 22 games of the season before being held to just nine vs. Duquesne (2/16). Gurley ranks third in the Atlantic 10 in scoring (18.6).
• Gurley enters the game with 1,291 points at UMass and 1,490 in his college career with 199 coming at Wake Forest. He stands 16th all-time in points, next on the list is No. 15 Clarence Hill (1,369). Gurley passed No. 19 Al Skinner (1,235), who coached Rhode Island for nine years (1988-97) with 16 points at Rhode Island (2/19).
• 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 18.3 points per game and a minimum of two more games, Gurley would finish with about 1,330 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.
• Gurley has scored in double-figures 74 times in his career and has reached 20 points 23 times, 13 times this year, the last with 25 vs. Temple (3/2).
• 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 is seventh in career 3-pointers made list at UMass with 150 (on 433 attempts).His attempts mark is sixth in school history. Gurley passed his head coach Derek Kellogg at Rhode Island (2/19) 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 scored in double-figures four games in a row (1/15-26) and has nine games this season in double-figures. UMass is 7-2 when Farrell scores 10 or more points. The most recent came with 13 in the OT loss to Temple (3/2).
• 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 the second-most points on the team at 8.6 points along with 4.2 rebounds in 26 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. Temple (3/2) after he had 13 vs. La Salle (1/15), 11 at Charlotte (1/19) and 16 in two games in a row 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 an 8.0 points per game average. He missed the Duquesne (2/16) and Rhode Island (2/19) games with a right foot/ankle injury and did not play in the Saint Joseph’s (2/23) game. He returned to action at La Salle (2/27) and had seven points. 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
• 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.
Call On Correia For Assists
• Senior Gary Correia has been solid as the team’s starting points guard since the start of Atlantic 10 play. Correia is averaging 4.9 points and 4.0 assists in 15 A-10 games. Correia has shown scoring prowess of late with a career-high 15 points vs. George Washington (2/13) and 11 at Rhode Island (2/19). Over his last five games, Correia is averaging 6.4 points and 5.0 assists. He tied his career-high of seven assists in the win against Saint Joseph’s (2/23). He set the high of seven vs. La Salle (1/15), earlier this year.
• Correia will tie Monty Mack for 10th in career games played with 123rd game at Fordham (3/5).
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.
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 50 games this season (through March 3), he is averaging 4.8 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.
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.
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.