Harris, Mongo To Be Honored On Senior Day
UMASS (10-19, 4-11) vs. URI (21-7, 9-6)
Harris, Mongo To Be Honored On Senior Day
UMass has a magic number of one to clinch a spot in the A-10 tournament. If Minutemen win against Rhode Island, UMass will qualify. They will also get in if Saint Joseph's loses vs. La Salle in Saturday's 4 p.m. tip. UMass holds the tiebreaker with the Hawks, winning twice this season if the teams finish tied.
Saturday's game will be televised by Cox Sports in Rhode Island and Connecticut with Eric Frede and Abu Bakr on the call. It will also be available via live streaming video, audio and Gametracker on UMassAthletics.com. The UMass Sports Network with Josh Maurer, Tim Collins and Glenn Wong call the action starting with a 3:30 p.m., pregame show. The game airs statewide on flagship 100.9 FM in Western Mass, 830 AM WCRN in Central Mass., 1060 AM WBIX in Eastern Mass.
UMass and Rhody play for the 134th time on Saturday with the Minutemen holding the 76-57 advantage. The Rams won the first meeting this season, 93-85 on Feb. 6. Last season, the teams 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 on Feb. 18, 2009.
RH Factor: Red-Hot Ricky Harris
Harris is averaging 23.3 per game over his last five contests and 20.0 in his last 10. That includes his three best scoring games of the season with 32 vs. Rhode Island (2/6), 29 at Duquesne (2/11) and 27 vs. Saint Joseph's (2/14). He averaged 29.3 in that trio.
He has at least 23 points in eight of his last 10 games. He has raised his scoring average to 19.4, second in the A-10, behind Xavier's Jordan Crawford (19.6).
Harris is fourth on the UMass career-scoring list and now has 1,889 and is the A-10's second active career scoring leader behind La Salle's Rodney Green (1,902). Harris needs 17 points to pass No. 3 Lou Roe (1,905) on the all-time list. Jim McCoy is the all-time leader (2,374) and Monty Mack is No. 2 (2,183).
Here's a look at his rankings on the career lists.
FOURTH in career scoring (1,889), passing Marcus Camby (1,387) and J. Erving (1,370). No. 3 is Lou Roe (1,905).
Third in career 3-pointers(270). Next on list is No. 2 Anthony Anderson (275).
SECOND in 3-pointers attempted (765). No. 1 is Monty Mack (910).
FOURTH in career steals with 146. No. 4 is Anthony Anderson (150).
FOURTH in career field goal attempted (1,480). No. 3 is Lorenzo Sutton (1,518).
Tied for FIFTH in games played (126) with Tony Barbee and Jim McCoy.
SEVENTH in career made field goals (621). No. 6 is Lou Roe (661).
SEVENTH in career free throws at UMass (377). Horace Neysmith is sixth with 379.
EIGHTH in career free throws attempted (504).
The Series With Rhode Island
UMass has won 32 of the last 45 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 six in the series including both of the meetings in 2008.
Five of the last nine meetings have been decided by three points or less including the last meeting.
If you remove the 2007 22-point UMass win, the averaging margin of victory in the last 13 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 35-28. The teams have split the eight games 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 is 1-2 as a coach against the Rams. 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 14-24 against UMass (8-9 since moving to Kingston in 2002). He was 6-15 while at St. Bonaventure.
Earlier This season Vs. Rhode Island
KINGSTON, R.I. - The longest-running rivalry in UMass basketball history had another chapter written at the Ryan Center as the Minutemen (8-15, 2-7 A-10) lost at Rhode Island, 93-85. The Minutemen made things interesting late, erasing a 24-point deficit by scoring 21 points in the final 3:45 to pull within six with under a minute to go. The Rams (19-3, 7-2 A-10 and No. 12 in the RPI) pressured UMass all afternoon forcing the Minutemen into 21 turnovers including 17 in the first half alone.
The bright spot was senior Ricky Harris, who moved to fourth in career scoring at UMass with a season-best 32. With his 1,760, he passed Rashaun Freeman (1,744) and Lorenzo Sutton (1,731) in the game. After being held scoreless for over 36 minutes, Anthony Gurley scored 15 points in the final three and a half minutes. Sean Carter added 11 points and eight rebounds, while Terrell Vinson had 10 points.
UMass trailed by as much as 24 midway through the second half, but mounted a late comeback, led by all 15 of Gurley's points to pull within single digits and as close as six with 16 seconds left on a Gurley 3-pointer. Two clutch free throws by Delroy James with 15 seconds left iced the game for the Rams.
Rhode Island had five players scored in double-figures led Akeem Richmond with 19. Lamonte Ulmer (17 points and 10 rebounds). Will Martell (13), James (13) and Keith Cothran (10) also scored 10 or more for the Rams. Rhody gained a measure of revenge after UMass severely hurt their NCAA Tournament hopes last season with a 72-71 win in the regular-season finale at the Ryan Center.
UMass Pounds The Boards
UMass ranks tied for sixth in the NCAA in offensive rebounds per game (15.1) with North Carolina and Old Dominion and 19th in total offensive rebounds with 438.
UMass has outrebounded 18 opponents. Overall, UMass has a positive rebounding margin (+5.0). That includes margins of 25 vs. Grambling (55-30), 20 vs. Memphis (44-24), 17 at Boston College (50-33), 9 at Baylor (42-33) and by 27 at Duquesne (60-33) on Feb. 11.
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.
The 60 boards at Duquesne were the most by a UMass team since the 1996 Final Four Season, when UMass had 60 against Saint Joseph's on Feb. 28, 1996. Marcus Camby had 15 for UMass in the game.
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 7.0 per game. Terrell Vinson is up to 5.3 boards per game. Hashim Bailey is second with 4.7 per game in just 12.6 minutes per game. Prorated over 40 minutes, Bailey would grab 15.0 boards.
Shooting Tells The Story
In UMass' wins, the Minutemen are shooting 45.4 from the floor overall and 34.9 from 3-point range. In the losses UMass is 37.4 on all field goals and 28.4 from beyond the arc.
On defense, in the victories, UMass is holding foes to 40.2 overall and 30.7 from 3-point land. In the defeats, opponents are shooting 46.8 percent overall and a remarkable 40.6 from trifecta land.
It has translated to a scoring margin of 79.6 to 68.2 in the wins and a mark of 79.7 to 66.4 in the losses.
UMass is 8-4 when shooting above 40 percent this year and 2-14 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 8-2 when shooting a better percentage than its opponents and 2-16 when being outshot. Again, the Fordham game was the first time UMass was outshot (44-38 percent) and still won the game.
Harris & Gurley Leading The Way
Harris continues to move up the UMass career scoring charts with his 19.4 average this season. He is fourth all-time with 1,889 points after passing Lorenzo Sutton (1,731) and Rashaun Freeman (1,744) with a season-high 32 at Rhode Island (2/6) as well as current UTEP coach Tony Barbee (1,643) with 15 points at Baylor (1/23). He scored in double-figures in 38 of his last 39 games including 37 games in a row before his streak was stopped at Dayton (2/27) with just nine points. He was 10 or more in 91 of his 126 career games and in 88 of his last 94 games dating to his sophomore season. Harris passed Julius Erving (1,370) and Marcus Camby (1,387) in the game against Cornell.
Harris has been named A-10 Player of the Week twice on Feb. 14 and Dec. 7. He earned the honor in February after his 29-point, 6-assist effort at Duquesne. On Dec. 7, he wrapped up a week where he led UMass to a 2-0 week. 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 68 percent from the floor (13-of-19) and hit 7-of-13 3-point field goals.
Harris has continued to be prolific scorer in his career at UMass. In 2009, he was named a Third-Team All-Conference selection. In 2008, he was named the A-10 Chris Daniels Most Improved player. Harris is leading returning scorer in the Atlantic 10 with a 18.2 scoring average and led the team in scoring in 18 of 30 games in 2008-09. Harris was fourth in the Atlantic 10 in scoring.
Gurley scored in double-figures in 22 of 29 games this season. He is second on UMass in scoring with a 13.9 points per game average. He had at least 13 points in 20 of 29 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 as well as at Duquesne (2/11).
Vinson has 14 games overall in double-figures with the last coming at Dayton with 16 points. That followed his 19-point effort vs. Saint Louis (2/21) -- his best-scoring game since Memphis. 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 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 fourth in the Atlantic 10 in 3-pointers made per game with 2.3.
Riley has 11 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 4.7 points and 3.4 rebounds with double-figures in three games. Javorn Farrell is averaging 4.3 points and 3.6 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 Career Lists
He stands third in career made 3-pointers (270) and second in attempts (765).
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 seventh in made free throws with 377. Next at No. 6 is Horace Neysmith (379). Harris moved past Julius Erving (322) and Marcus Camby (308) this year.
Harris has also risen to No. 4 on the career field goals attempted list with 1,480. Next on the list is No. 3 Lorenzo Sutton (1,518).
He is also seventh in career made field goals (621). Next is Lou Roe (661). This season, Harris 62 -of-195 from 3-point range this season and 92-of-126 from the foul line.
Harris is fourth in career steals with 146. No. 3 is Anthony Anderson (150).
Harris is also in the Top 10 for career games played with 126, standing tied with Tony Barbee and Jim McCoy at fifth.
UMass Quick Hits
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
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
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
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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