Men's Basketball

UMass Tips Off 09-10 At UCF, Friday Night

Terrel Vinson is one of five freshmen who could debut at UCF.

Terrel Vinson is one of five freshmen who could debut at UCF.

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Friday, Nov. 13, 2009 • 7 P.M.
UCF Arena (10,000) • Orlando, Fla.
Live Video, Audio, Gametracker:
Radio: WRNX (100.9 FM - Flagship)
WBIX (1060 AM), WCRN (830 AM), WATD (95.9 FM)

UMass Tips Off 09-10 At UCF
• The UMass basketball team opens the 2009-10 season, the 101st in program history, at UCF on Friday night as the Minutemen begin on the road for the third year in the row. Head coach Derek Kellogg begin his second season at the helm of his alma mater. This will be the second-ever meeting between the Minutemen and Knights. UMass beat UCF, 92-70 in the 1996 NCAA Tournament First Round in Providence, R.I., on the way to the NCAA Final Four under the guidance of John Calipari.

Ricky Harris leads UMass into action as the lone scholarship senior on the team. The Baltimore native is the Atlantic 10's leading returning scorer in 2009-10 with an 18.2 average. He was named to the Preseason All-Atlantic 10 team by the coach and media. He has been named to the same team by most publications and has been dubbed the A-10's "Most Entertaining Player" by one annual.

• Friday's game pits two of the youngest teams in the country as UMass features the top recruiting class in the Atlantic 10 with five freshmen. UCF has six freshmen on its roster and two more redshirt freshmen. The Minutemen are also welcoming two transfers who will be eligible this season in Sean Carter from Oregon State and Hashim "Big City" Bailey from Memphis.

• UMass returns just 36.1 average points from five players while UCF is bringing back just 27.5 points from seven players. In looking at it by percentages, UMass returns 49.1 percent of its scoring with Harris leading the way while UCF has just 31.5 percent back led by Isaac Sosa (8.2 ppg). 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. UCF has back 33 percent of its boards led by A.J. Tyler (4.4 per game).

UMass In Season Openers
• Entering the 101st season opener all-time, UMass owns a 67-33 mark in season openers, including victories in 14 out of the last 16 seasons.

• UMass has won its last six season openers, four of which were at home at the Mullins Center. Last season, UMass knocked off Arkansas-Monticello, 90-71, in the 2K Sports Classic First Round in Carbondale, Ill. That game was Derek Kellogg's debut as a head coach. Two years ago, UMass opened the year at the BTI Tip-Off Classic in Cedar Falls, Iowa and defeated Cal Poly, 90-64. Three seasons ago, UMass pounded Dartmouth, 98-61 at the Mullins Center on Nov. 11, 2006. On Nov. 18, 2005, the Minutemen beat Hartford, 67-62. UMass beat Birmingham Southern in the 04-05 opener, 64-60, on Nov. 22, 2004 and defeated St. Francis (N.Y.), 84-71 in the 2003-04 opener, 80-58 as part of the Preseason NIT.

• The last time UMass lost its season opener was seven years ago, 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 perfect 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.

UMass Alum Leading UMass
Derek Kellogg, in his second 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 current Boston College head coach Al Skinner and 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 fourth year as the head coach at Texas-El Paso.

• 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.

Series Notes
• UMass is 1-0 all-time against UCF, winning the only meeting 92-70 in the NCAA First Round in Providence. R.I.

• In that NCAA Tournament game, Carmelo Travieso racked up 21 points to lead UMass in scoring. National Player of the Year Marcus Camby had 14 points and 17 rebounds. Edgar Padilla added 15 points and eight assists. UCF was led by Harry Kennedy, who had 21 points.

• This is UMass' first game in the Sunshine State since falling at Florida State, 73-63, on Feb. 12, 2006. Prior to that UMass lost its last trip to Florida, also against an ACC team an 80-53 loss at Miami last season on Dec. 12, 2004.

• Against teams from the state of Florida, UMass is 7-7 all-time. The Minutemen have the following marks against the state's teams: Florida (2-1), Florida International (1-0), Florida State (3-2), Florida Tech (0-1), Jacksonville (0-1), Miami (0-1), South Florida (0-1) and UCF (1-0).

Harris, Riley, Vinson Earn Preseason Honors
• The Atlantic 10 Conference released its preseason All-Conference teams on Oct. 22, with UMass senior Ricky Harris highlighting the Alll-Conference First Team. Two of head coach Derek Kellogg's freshman class of five, Freddie Riley and Terrell Vinson, were both named to the preseason All-Rookie Team. The A-10's preseason poll was also released with the Minutemen coming in ninth.

• 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."

Harris Shoots Up 1,000-Point List
• 2009-10 Atlantic 10 Preseason First-Team guard Ricky Harris became the 40th UMass player to score 1,000 career points on a free throw with 9:50 left in the first half against Hofstra (12/20/08). In 98 college games, Harris has 1,347 points to rank 15th all-time.

• Next on the list for Harris to pass are No. 14 Clarence Hill (1,369). Julius Erving is 13th with 1,370 points in two years.

• 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. He scored 20 or more in 10 games. Harris was fourth in the Atlantic 10. He dropped a season and career-high 35 points on BC (12/6/08). The 35 points were good for the 13th most in school history and only six behind the school record of 41 held by Billy Tindall on Feb. 10, 1968 vs. Vermont. It was also Harris' second ever 30+ point scoring effort.

Harris Rises on 3-Point Charts
Ricky Harris has continued to blister from 3-point range in 2008-09. He shot 38.7 from beyond the new extended-distance arc last season. He made 87-of-225 from 3-point range in 2008-09.

• Harris, who is tied Carmelo Travieso for the single-season mark for made treys with 104 (in 2007-08), is rising on the career charts. Harris stands fifth in career made 3-pointers with 208 and fifth in career attempts with 570. Among the players he passed last season was his current head coach Derek Kellogg (138). Next on the list at No. 4 is Rafer Giles (221).

• On the attempts list, Harris is fifth, passing Kellogg (362) early in 2008-09. Next on the attempts chart is Rafer Giles (592).

• Harris' 87 made 3-pointers last season finished tied with James Life for sixth-most in a single-season.

• On the single-season list of most 3-pointers attempted, Harris' 225 stands seventh-most in a season. He took 212 in 2003-04.

Visiting The Commonwealth
• When Derek Kellogg was hired, he made a priority of playing games throughout all of Massachusetts. This season, the Minutemen will be playing games in all areas with games in five different locations in the commonwealth. In addition to home games in Amherst at the Mullins Center, UMass will play "home" games in Springfield (at the MassMutual Center) on Jan. 10 against La Salle; Boston *at the TD Garden) against Memphis on Dec. 19. UMass will also take on Holy Cross in the DCU Center in Worcester on Dec. 5 and play at Boston College in Chestnut Hill on Dec. 23.

• UMass will be playing at Garden for the first time since 1999, when the Minutemen took on Boston College in the Commonwealth Classic. It is the second year in a row that UMass is playing a game in Springfield.

UMass Tops Dowling, 80-78
• UMass won its only preseason exhibition game of the season, beating Dowling last Saturday night. The Minutemen trailed by as many as 12 early in the game and rallied back in the second half for the win. Senior Ricky Harris led UMass with 28 points. Junior Anthony Gurley added 13. Sophomore Oregon State transfer Sean Carter grabbed 12 rebounds along with six points.

• Dowling's Sean Smith posted a double-double for the Division II Golden Lions with 26 points and 11 rebounds. It was the second year in a row that Dowling gave UMass all it could handle, as the Minutemen beat the Golden Lions, 91-87 last season in preseason.

• UMass' freshman five all made their first appearances with the Minutemen. Terrell Vinson (4 points, 2 rebounds), Javorn Farrell (8 points, 5 rebounds), Sampson Carter (6 points, 3 rebounds), Freddie Riley (3 points) and Raphiael Putney (3 points) all played their first game in Maroon & White.

• After Dowling's Josh Malone missed two free throws with 45 second left, UMass took the lead for good on two Harris free throws with 22 seconds left, making it 79-77. Dowling had several shots in the final seconds, but missed a free throw and a lay-up and finally a rebound went out of bounds to UMass with 3.9 seconds left. Harris made one more free throw to ice the game with 2.2 seconds left. UMass took the lead, 76-75, with 1:49 left as Harris made one-of-two free throws. He added another free throw with 1:09 left for a 77-75 edge. Dowling tied the game at 77 on a pair of foul shots by Alioune Adiaye with 1:04 left. The Minutemen went on a 6-0 spurt to tie the game at 75 with 2:48 on a David Gibbs driving lay-up. The run was keyed by Farrell, who had a steal and a lay-up to get UMass to within one.

Bud Light Radio Show Hits Road In 2009-10
• The Bud Light UMass Basketball Radio Show With Derek Kellogg is coming to a town near you in Western Massachusetts this season. Starting with the Nov. 11 show at Arizona Pizza Company in Hadley, the weekly radio show will be visiting more than a dozen locations during the 2009-10 campaign.

• The show continues to air on WRNX 100.9 in Western Massachusetts and on at 7 p.m. "Voice of the Minutemen" Josh Maurer will host the show for the second year in a row.

• The show returns to its normal Thursday night time slot with the second show on Dec. 3 at Theodore's in Springfield. The Dec. 10 show airs live from Charlie's in Amherst and the following week on Dec. 17, the show moves to Paddy's in Springfield. After a short break for the winter holidays, the show resumes from Stackers in Amherst on Jan. 7.

• Other locations scheduled to host shows include: Whip City in Westfield, Samuels in Springfield, Rafters in Amherst, Rumbleseat in Chicopee, The Harp in North Amherst, 350 Grill in Springfield, McCaffreys in Springfield and The Hangar in Amherst.

Lowe Drafted By Reno Of D-League
• UMass' all-time assist leader Chris Lowe was drafted by the Reno Bighorns in the third round of the NBA D-League Draft on Nov. 5. Lowe will have a chance to play with the affiliate of the Orlando Magic and Sacramento Kings. Lowe finished his career at UMass with 678 helpers.

• Lowe, left UMass as the all-time leader in assists with 678. He was named to the Atlantic 10 Honorable Mention Team as a senior. He is a member of UMass' 100 Seasons Of Basketball All-2000s Team with Gary Forbes, Stephane Lasme, Rashaun Freeman and Monty Mack. He spent four years as UMass' starting point guard. Over last four seasons, UMass was 54-31 in his last 85 starts. (64 win pct.) He became the all-time UMass career assist leader (678). Passing Carl Smith (633) at Saint Joseph's (2/22).Passed Edgar Padilla (597) at Xavier (1/31). Lowe is the first player in UMass history with 1,000 points and 600 assists. Lowe is seventh player in A-10 history with 1,000 pts & 600 assists.




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