100 Seasons Of UMass Basketball All-Time Team Of 2000s Announced
Nov. 1, 2008
AMHERST, Mass. - The final All-Time Team of the 100 Seasons Of UMass Basketball has been announced. The 2000s team includes recent graduates Gary Forbes, Rashaun Freeman, Stephane Lasme, current Minutemen Chris Lowe and early decade star Monty Mack. These players and the entire 2000s decade will be honored on Feb. 18 as part of the Rhode Island game.
Gary Forbes (2006-08), who transferred to UMass after two seasons at the University of Virginia, was an Honorable Mention All American in 2008 as well as winning the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year the same year. In his two years at UMass, Forbes tallied 1,128 points which ranks him 28th all time in school history. He scored his 1,000th career point (which includes his time at Virginia) on Nov. 11, 2007 (at Northern Iowa) while he scored his 1,000th point as a Minutemen vs. La Salle on Mar. 5, 2008. In his first season at UMass, the Minutemen qualified for the postseason for the first time since 2000. Then in his second year, he led the team to a magical run all the way through the NIT Tournament before losing in the Finals. His senior season included two wins over Syracuse at the Carrier Dome, a win over Boston College to earn the Commonwealth Cup, and a win over defending national champion Florida. Forbes, who played for Team Panama in the FIBAS Americas Championship in the summer leading into his senior year, was invited to play for the Washington Wizards during their summer camp, but has since turned to professional opportunities overseas.
Rashaun Freeman (2003-07) was named to three consecutive All-Atlantic 10 Conference First Teams in 2005, 2006 and 2007. He finished his career 4th on the all time scoring list with 1744 points and third on the all time rebounding list with 998. The highlight of his career came in 2004 when his last-second basket gave UMass the 61-59 upset win over defending national champion and No. 7 ranked UConn in front of a national television ESPN audience at the Mullins Center. Freeman teamed with Stephane Lasme to form a dynamic 1-2 punch down low which helped lead the Minutemen to 24 wins in 2006-07, the most since UMass' Final Four season in 1996. The Minutemen went on to a first-round win over SEC power Alabama at the Mullins Center before succumbing to West Virginia. He is now playing in France in the A Division.
Stephane Lasme (2003-07) was an All American AP Honorable Mention in 2007 as well as collecting the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year Award and All-Atlantic 10 Conference First Team accolades. He left UMass with the all time records in blocked shots in his career (399) as well as blocked shots in a single season (168). He also finished his career with over 1,000 career points (1,011), just barely outside of the school's top-30. Lasme accomplished the unbelievable feat of recording four triple-doubles in a season, that coming during his senior campaign. He joined Jason Kidd and Michael Anderson as the only three to reach that mark. Lasme was drafted in the second round of the 2007 NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors and has seen playing time with the Miami Heat before playing in Serbia currently.
Chris Lowe (2005-present) was named to the Atlantic 10 All-Rookie Team in 2006 and last year led the entire Atlantic 10 in assists per game (6.3). Lowe has jumped into the starting point guard role essentially from day one. In 2007-08, the Mount Vernon, N.Y. native teamed with Ricky Harris to form one of the most dynamic backcourts in the nation, and the two are bound to be even better in 2008-09. One highlight came on Mar. 5, 2008 vs. La Salle as he recorded only the sixth triple double in UMass history with 14 points, 14 assists, and 10 rebounds. Lowe also impressed as a sophomore when he helped lead the Minutemen to an NIT Tournament appearance. Perhaps the most impressive stat is UMass' record with Lowe as a starting point guard. Over the last two seasons (2006-07 and 2007-08), the Minutemen own a convincing 42-16 mark with Lowe at the point.
Monty Mack (1997-01) was a All-Atlantic 10 Conference Second Team selection in 1999 and received two All-Atlantic 10 Conference First Team awards in 2000 and 2001. Mack is one of two players in UMass History to have over 2,000 career points. His 2,183 career points leave him second on the all time scoring list, trailing only Jim McCoy. He started a whopping 119 of 123 career games while steadily improving from his freshman to senior seasons. As a freshman, he averaged 13.8 points/game while that improved to 18.1 as a sophomore, 19.9 as a junior and then 19.5 as a senior. Most importantly, in his career, he helped lead the Minutemen to both the NCAA Tournament (1997-98) and NIT (1999-00).