UMass Opens 2007-08 Season at BTI Tip-Off Tournament In Iowa
Nov. 7, 2007
UMASS vs. CAL POLY
UMASS vs. NORTHERN ILLINOIS
UMASS vs. NORTHERN IOWA
UMass Opens 2007-08 at BTI Tip-Off Tournament In Iowa
UMass In Season Openersa
The last time UMass lost its season opener was five years ago -- also the last time UMass opened away from home, when the Minutemen dropped an 84-71 decision to No. 22 Indiana in the opening round of the Maui Invitational on Nov. 25, 2002. Prior to that, UMass posted victories in four straight season openers, against Arkansas-Little Rock (66-60 in 2001-2002), Iona (67-65 in 2000-2001 and 85-77 in 1999-2000) and Niagara (87-73 in 1998-1999).
UMass is a percent 8-0 in season openers which have been played at the Mullins Center. In 2002-03, was the last time they lost a home opener, when Boston College beat the Minutemen, 80-62 on Dec. 7, 2002.
Ford In Season Debutsa
At EKU, he went 4-1 in season debuts overall. He won his first game with the Colonels beating Urbana, 73-47 in 2000. He also led EKU to a 91-56 win over UNC Wilmington to open the 2001-02 season. He won his 2002-03 season debut beating NAIA Kentucky Christian, 106-71.
UMass In Regular-season Tournamentsa
Last season, UMass played in its first regular-season tournament in four years as the Minutemen went 2-1 at the First Commonwealth Colonial Athletic Association Classic at Pittsburgh. UMass defeated Oakland, 65-56 and Northeastern, 79-56. The host No. 4 Panthers beat the Minutemen, 85-68.
Prior to last year, the last regular-season tournament UMass played in was the 2002 Maui Invitational, where the Minutemen went 1-2, beating host Chaminade (69-55) and falling to No. 22 Indiana (84-71) and Utah (69-53).
UMass last went undefeated in a tournament at the 1995 Rainbow Classic in Hawaii, winning three games. The Minutemen beat NC State (78-67), USC (78-63) and Syracuse (65-47) on the way to the NCAA Final Four in April 1996.
The Minutemen have played seven regular-season tournaments since the win at Honolulu and have won eight of the 19 games.
The Minutemen have never played a game in Iowa. There are four Division I schools in Iowa (Drake, Iowa, Iowa State and Northern Iowa) and UMass has played just one. The Minutemen beat Iowa State, 73-53 on Dec. 28, 1991 in the Abdow's Classic in Springfield, Mass.
Against teams from California, UMass is 4-5 all-time: vs. California (0-1, losing in 1996-97), vs. Fresno (0-2, losing in 1996-97 and 97-98), vs. Santa Clara (1-0, winning in 1991-92), vs. USC (1-0, winning in 1995-96) and vs. Stanford (2-2, last winning in 1995-96).
When playing teams from Illinois, UMass is 3-3 with a 3-1 mark vs. DePaul from Chicago, 0-1 vs. Southern Illinois (alma mater of assistant coach Steve Middleton), falling in 1999-2000 and 0-1 against Bradley, losing to the Braves in 1964-65.
UMass has never played a team from the Big West where Cal Poly plays.
Against MAC schools, UMass is 3-3: Buffalo (1-0), Eastern Michigan (1-0), Kent State (0-2), Ohio (1-0), Toledo (0-2).
When playing teams from the Missouri Valley, the Minutemen are 0-4: Bradley (0-1), Evansville (0-2) and Southern Illinois (0-1).
Facing the Boss' Old Teama
Notes From The Exhibition Gamesa
UMass had four players average in double-figures and seven with more than 8.0 points per game.
The Minutemen are sure to break their school record of 3-pointers in a game this season after making 14 in each exhibition game. UMass shot an impressive 41.2 from beyond the arc and 49 from the floor overall.
UMass Nets 100-Plus In Each Exhibitiona
UMASS 103, AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL 66: The new-style UMass Minutemen displayed their scoring and shooting prowess on Thursday night at the Mullins Center running past local foe American International, 103-66 in a preseason exhibition. The Minutemen hit 14 3-point field goals, which would be one shy of a school record in a regular-season game. The points total of 103 would also have set a Mullins Center single-game record as well. Sophomore Ricky Harris scored a game-high 25 points. Senior Gary Forbes added 17 and junior Chris Lowe contributed 11 points and eight assists. Of UMass' class of seven freshmen, Max Groebe led the crew with 11 points. UMass blew out the Yellow Jackets early in the second half, scoring 14 of the first 17 points of the half to lead 64-41 with 16 minutes left in the game.
The Minutemen showed off their fast-breaking 3-point shooting style late in the second half as they finished the first 20 minutes with seven bombs from beyond the arc. Forbes had 12 points in the first half and Harris added 11 as UMass led 50-38 at intermission. UMass went on a 15-2 run midway through the first half to take a 33-23 lead with about seven minutes left in the half.
2006-07 A Season To Remembera
UMass Co-A-10 Championsa
The Minutemen went 24-9 overall and had the best season since the 1995-96 Final Four year when they went 35-2 in finishing as a national semifinalist. UMass finished with a 13-3 record in the Atlantic 10. UMass had its best conference record since going a school-record 15-1 in 1995-96. Prior to the loss to Saint Louis in the A-10s, the Minutemen had won six games in a row overall, their longest win streak since capturing 10 games in a row in Jan.-Feb. 1998.
Lasme, Freeman Gain Honors UMass senior Stephane Lasme was named the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in 2006-07. Lasme is the first UMass player to be named the league's top player since Marcus Camby in 1996 and fourth overall joining Camby, Lou Roe (1995) and Harper Williams (1992).
Lasme was named an AP Honorable Mention All-American following the season. He was UMass' first All-American honoree since Camby in 1996.
Lasme was joined by senior Rashaun Freeman on the A-10 First Team. Freeman is the first player since Saint Joseph's Jameer Nelson (2001-04) to be a three-time first-team selection.
Lasme is the second player to be named the league's Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in the same campaign joining Pepe Sanchez of Temple in 1999 and David West of Xavier in 2002. Lasme joined Tony Dobbins of Richmond (2002-04) as the only players in league history to earn Defensive Player of the Year honors in successive seasons. Lasme was also named to the All-Defensive Team for the second year in row.
Lasme and Freeman were named to the NABC All-District First Team and USBWA All-District First Team.
UMass' 20-Win Seasona
UMass picked up its 20th win of the season on Feb. 21, beating St. Bonaventure, 83-44. The win gave the Minutemen their first 20-win season since 1997-98 when UMass went 21-11. Prior to that season, UMass last won 20 or more when they set the school record for wins a season with a 35-2 record the Final Four season of 1995-96.
It was UMass' 13th 20-win season in school history. The Minutemen had their first 20-win season in 1970-71, when they went 23-4.
Home Sweet Home, As Fans Come Backa
With an average of 5,968 UMass had its best attendance since 1998-99 when an average of 6,723 came to the Mullins Center. UMass is fourth in the league in attendance.
UMass drew its third-largest crowd for a game this year on Feb. 8 against Rhode Island with 8,328. The URI crowd included more than 3,500 students. There have been six crowds of more than 6,000 this year.
The 12-2 record marks the third-most home wins a season all-time at Mullins and the fifth-best record by percentage at 85.7.
UMass has won 22 of its last 26 at home, spanning Travis Ford's two seasons in Amherst.
Ford-Tough At Homea
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