UMASS at #13/12 MEMPHIS Monday, Nov. 17, 2008 11:59 p.m. (ET) FedEx Forum (18,165), Memphis, Tenn. TV: ESPN (Brad Nessler, Jimmy Dykes) Radio: WRNX (100.9 FM - Flagship) WCRN (830 AM), WATD (95.9 FM), WCAP (830 AM)
ESPN's College Hoops Marathon Kicks Off With UMass at Memphis
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In a match-up of the prized pupil against the mentor, UMass head coach Derek Kellogg leads the Minutemen to Memphis to take on the Tigers and John Calipari. The game begins ESPN's college basketball marathon of more than 24 hours of hoops on its family of networks. The UMass-Memphis game is the first beginning at midnight (ET) following the Nov. 17 Monday Night Football game between the Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns.
The game which pits the national runners-up from the 2008 NCAA Championship game against the national runners-up from the 2008 NIT Championship game square off for the first time in 12 years. Brad Nessler calls the action with Jimmy Dykes on color and Jeannine Edwards reporting from the sidelines.
This will be the first time legendary coach Calipari coaches against the program which he made his name with, UMass. Calipari coached the Minutemen for eight years from 1988-96 finishing with a run to the 1996 Final Four. Calipari is the second-winningest coach in UMass history (193-71) behind Jack Leaman (217-126). On Monday, Calipari (220-65) has a chance to become Memphis's winningest coach as Larry Finch also won 220.
Kellogg was recruited by Calipari to play at UMass from Springfield Cathedral. Kellogg was a four-year Atlantic 10 Champion, starting at point guard from 1992-95 under Calipari. Kellogg joined Calipari as an assistant at Memphis in 2000 and coached under him until being hired at UMass on April 23, 2008.
UMass alum Kellogg picked up his first win as a head coach in the opener and sixth straight UMass coach to win their first game with the Minutemen. UMass has also now won six season opening games in a row and 14 of their last 16 openers.
Only UMass-Memphis Previous Meeting The only other game between UMass and Memphis was a titanic match-up between the then-No. 1 Minutemen and then-No. 3 Tigers on Jan. 4, 1996, a 64-61 UMass win in Worcester as part of the Atlantic 10/Conference USA Challenge. Marcus Camby scored 23 points and Edgar Padilla made two free throws and a key block in the final 30 seconds as top-ranked UMass edged third-ranked Memphis, 64-61. Donta Bright scored 15 points and Carmelo Travieso added 13 for the Minutemen (11-0), who blew a 16-point first-half lead but rallied down the stretch to hold onto their top ranking. Lorenzen Wright scored 17 points and Mingo Johnson added 12 for the Tigers (8-1), whose loss left just five unbeaten teams in Division I. A jumper by Johnson gave Memphis its last lead at 59-58 with 1:16 left. But Massachusetts took the lead for good 10 seconds later on a jumper by Bright. Cedric Henderson scored 10 points and Wright had nine rebounds for Memphis, which shot 42 per cent (27-of-64) from the field and held a 30-28 edge in rebounds.
In addition to Derek Kellogg, UMass has several members of its staff
with connections to Memphis. Assistant coach Vance Walberg, who created the
AASAA or Dribble-Drive Motion Offense has worked extensively with John
Calipari over the last few years.
Director of Basketball Operations Andy Allison worked two stints at
Memphis, most recently from 2004-08 as the Assistant Coordinator of
Operations and in 2001-03 as a Graduate Assistant.
UMass¹ Director of Player Personnel Shyrone Chatman is a Memphis alum,
class of 2002 and worked under Calipari in 2006-08 as Video Coordinator and
Assistant Recruiting Coordinator. Chatman was key to Calipari¹s first team
in Memphis is helping the Tigers to the NIT Final Four in 2001.
Former UMass Coaches Against UMass
With John Calipari coaching against the Minutemen, it brings to mind to
last coach who coached the Minutemen. The last man to lead UMass and then
coach against them was legendary coach Johnny Orr. He coached the Minutemen
from 1963-66 before going to coach at Michigan (1968-80) and Iowa State
(1980-94). In each of his stops after being in Amherst he coached against
the Minutemen once. Orr led the Wolverines to a 112-64 win on Dec. 1, 1979,
the season opener of the 1979-80 season. Orr then suffered a 73-53 loss to
UMass, coached Calipari, while with Iowa State, on Dec. 28, 1991 in the
Abdow¹s Classic in Springfield, Mass.
Midnight Madness For UMass
It is only fitting that UMass is playing John Calipari and Memphis in
its return to a midnight basketball. While in Amherst, Calipari made it
commonplace for a midnight game for his Minutemen. UMass won four games in a
row playing at midnight on ESPN. The trend began with an 82-65 win over
Boston University (2/2/91) followed by a 94-59 win over Siena (11/22/91).
Then the final game at the Curry-Hicks Cage was played at the witching hour
as UMass won the ³Rage In The Cage² against the Ragin Cajins of Southwest
Louisiana, 84-74 on Jan. 29, 1993. Finally UMass beat Manhattan at the
Mullins Center in a midnight game on Feb. 18, 1994, by the score of 68-54.
UMass Alum Leading UMass
Derek Kellogg 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 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.
Coaches In UMass Debuts
The last six UMass basketball coaches won their Minuteman debuts after
Derek Kellogg won his first game against Arkansas-Monticello. Prior to
Kellogg, Travis Ford led UMass past Hartford, 67-62 on
Nov. 18, 2005.
Starting with Ron Gerlufson¹s 75-73 win over New Hampshire in 1983,
John Calipari, Bruiser Flint, Steve Lappas and Ford all won their UMass
Kellogg was the third coach in the last five to begin their UMass
career against a Division II team as both of his friends and mentors John
Calipari and Bruiser Flint did the same as Calipari beat Southern
Connecticut, 84-61 in 1988 and Flint topped Chamindae, 59-48 in 1996.
Interestingly, Kellogg was the second coach in three to make his UMass
debut against a team from Arkansas. Lappas led the Minutemen past
Arkansas-Little Rock, 66-60, on Nov. 16, 2001.
100th Season Of UMass Basketball
UMass is celebrating the 100th season of UMass basketball in 2008-09.
UMass will be honoring six eras/decades throughout the season by inviting
back every living UMass player to attend his respective celebration. The
first event is set for the Boston College game on Dec. 6 at 8:30 p.m.,
honoring the Classic Era (1899-1959).
In looking back at UMass basketball, the program started with its first
season in 1899-1900 with the first game played on Jan. 10, 1900, a 14-9 win
over the Northampton YMCA.
The program has had several hiatuses in its history as, this is the
100th season with the program starting 109 years ago. UMass did not field a
team in 1900-01, 1909-10 through 1915-16 and during World War II in both
1943-44 and 1944-45.
All-time, UMass has played 2,116 games with a 1,122-994 all-time
record, enetering 2008-09.
Under the leadership of John Calipari, the Minutemen become A-10
Tournament Champs five consecutive times (1991-92, 1992-93, 1993-94,
1994-95, 1995-96). Overall, UMass has appeared in the NCAA Tournament eight
times, in addition to those five A-10 title years (1961-62, 1996-97 and
1997-98). They have two appearances in the Elite Eight (1995, 1996) and a
Final Four appearance (1996). Last year UMass, went 25-11 in reaching the
NIT Championship game. It was UMass¹ 10th NIT appearance including each of
the last two season.
UMass 6th; Harris & Lowe Honored
The UMass men¹s basketball team has been picked sixth in the preseason
poll released by the Atlantic 10 coaches and media on Oct. 29 as part of the
league¹s media day. Senior point guard Chris Lowe was named the A-10
Preseason First Team while junior guard Ricky Harris has earned a spot on
the Preseason Second Team. Lowe was also named to the Preseason
UMass Gets Preseason Honors
With UMass alum Derek Kellogg in town to lead the Minutemen attack, the
program is getting considerable attention from national media as it hopes to
earn its first NCAA Tournament berth since 1997-98. Lindy¹s and Athlon both
predict UMass to finish in the top five in the Atlantic 10 while Ricky
Harris is tabbed to have a breakout year as well.
Lindy¹s predicts that the Minutemen will finish fourth behind St.
Joseph¹s, Temple, and Xavier. It mentions the good news as ³Derek Kellogg
returns to his alma mater and has plenty of perimeter firepower.² Lindy¹s
includes Harris on the First Team All-Conference while recognizing Chris
Lowe with ³Top Playmaker² in its honor roll. The magazine also includes a
mention of freshman point guard David Gibbs, who will now ³run the
dribble-drive offense new coach Derek Kellogg is bringing to UMass from
Athlon sports predict that the Minutemen will finish fifth, trailing
Xavier, Temple, Charlotte, and Dayton, while earning their third-consecutive
NIT berth. Like Lindy¹s, Athlon predicts Harris to be a First-Team
All-Atlantic 10 performer. Replacing A-10 player of the Year Gary Forbes
will be a challenge, but Athlon says ³Wake Forest transfer Anthony Gurley
should give Kellogg another wing scorer...Young guards Gary Correia and
David Gibbs will provide depth.²
Sporting News predicts a 10th place finish for the up-tempo Minutemen.
The publication thinks that with Gibbs on board (to go along Lowe, a
senior), ³the Minutemen should be able to play at breakneck speed.² It
predicts that the best shot-blocker in the conference will once again come
from UMass (Tony Gaffney), while Lowe is deemed the ³best passer.² Sporting
News identifies three-point shooting as a big asset as ³Together, Harris and
Gurley give UMass a pair of solid three-point threats.²
Rivals.com has pegged Anthony Gurley as the No. 3 overall impact
transfer in all of Division I.
Lowe Moving Up Assists Chart
Chris Lowe is moving up on the all-time assists list at UMass as he
stands fourth with 496. Next on the list is Alex Eldridge (518). After
piling up 11 assists in the opener vs. Arkansas-Monticello (11/11), Lowe is
just four shy of 500 in his career.
With his career-high 14 against La Salle (3/5), Lowe moved past UMass
Hall of Famer Joe DiSarcina (431) into fifth. With five assists against CCSU
(12/22), he passed BC Coach Al Skinner (320) and then with five more against
Houston (1/2), he passed Louisville coach Rick Pitino (329).
Lowe had five games with 10 or more assists in 2007-08, most recently
with 11 at Syracuse in the NIT Quarterfinals. He set a then-career-high 13
against Saint Louis (2/17). That was the highest total since all-time leader
Carl Smith tied the school record with 15 on Jan. 23, 1986. Then, Lowe
bettered it in the La Salle game, which with 14 is tied for the fourth-most
assists in a game in UMass history.
With his 214 assists last season, Lowehad the third-best single-season
in UMass history after passing Smith (212), Smith (191), Alex Eldridge (174)
and Rick Pitino (168).
With a similar season as a senior, Lowe would be on pace to pass
all-time career assist leader Smith (633).
Lowe averaged 8.4 assists in his last 13 games with his first five
career games with 10 or more assists with double-doubles in the three of the
last 10 games including the sixth triple-double in UMass history.
Lowe¹s Amazing Triple-Double
Chris Lowe posted the sixth triple-double in UMass history on March 5,
2008 with 14 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds vs. La Salle. It marked the
second year in a row UMass had a triple-double against the Explorers.
Stephane Lasme tied the all-time NCAA record for triple-doubles in the
season with four in the game against La Salle last year with 17 points, 10
rebounds and 10 blocks. Lasme was at the game for Senior Night prior to
signing with the Miami Heat. Prior to Lasme, the only triple-double was
achieved by Al Skinner in 1973.
UMass Gets Back To National Prominence In 2008
After a 2006-07 season which included the program¹s first postseason
appearance since 2000, the Minutemen headed into the 2007-08 campaign with
The team would not disappoint as it used a magical postseason run to
reach the NIT Finals, highlighted by topping the Syracuse Orange at the
Carrier Dome in the quarterfinals while beating defending National Champion
Florida at Madison Square Garden in the semifinals. UMass eventually
succumbed to Ohio State in a hard-fought finals game, 92-85.
The Minutemen had two six-game winning streaks (Dec. 18 through Jan. 2
and Feb. 17 through Mar. 8) along with the four-game streak in the NIT (Mar.
18 to April 1).
UMass finished with a 25-11 record good for its second-consecutive
season with at least 24 victories.
Forbes, Harris A-10, Reg. Honors
UMass senior Gary Forbes was named the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year,
giving UMass back-to-back top award winners in the league. In 2006-07,
Stephane Lasme, who was drafted by the Golden State Warriors, claimed the
league¹s top honor. The last time UMass had consecutive players of the year
was in 1995 (Lou Roe) and 1996 (Marcus Camby). Forbes was the fifth overall
player of the year from UMass as Harper Williams also took home the honor in
Forbes was named to the Atlantic 10 All-Conference First Team as well
as he tied for the league¹s regular-season scoring crown with Temple¹s
Dionte Christmas. Both players had 20.3 averages with 610 points in 30
games. Including the postseason, Forbes finished second in the league in
scoring with a 19.4 average and fifth in the league in rebounding with 7.5.
UMass had two first-teamers in 2006-07 in Lasme and three-time winner
Sophomore guard Ricky Harris was named the Atlantic 10 Chris Daniels
Most Improved Player of the Year. Harris took his scoring average from 4.5
to 18.2 in his second collegiate season. It was the largest improvement of
any player in the league at +13.7. UMass had the three largest jumps as
Etienne Brower finished +10.0 and Forbes +6.4. Harris was the first UMass
player to win the honor since 2001 when Micah Brand and Kitwana Rhymer
shared the MIP.
Forbes was also named to the NABC and USBWA All-District First Team.
It marked the fourth year in a row UMass has had a first-teamer as Lasme and
Freeman made it last year and Freeman was honored in 2005 and 2006.
UMass¹ 20-Win Season
The Minutemen picked up their 20th win of the season on March 5 with
the 100-63 win over La Salle. It marked the 14th time in history that UMass
reached the mark and second year in a row after going 24-9 in 2006-07. The
last time UMass won 20 in back to back seasons was 1994-95 (29-5) and
With 25 wins, UMass reached the fifth-most wins in school history
passing the 2006-07 team (24-9) and the 1992-93 squad (24-9). Fourth on the
list is 28 wins set in 1993-94.
In 2006-07, UMass picked up its 20th win of the season on Feb. 21, 2007
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 with a
35-2 record during the Final Four season of 1995-96.
In the first round, UMass posted a solid 80-60 win over Southland
Conference champion Stephen F. Austin on March 18 at the Mullins Center.
Dante Milligan had a career game in UMass¹ NIT First Round win over SFA, as
he had 24 points, nine rebounds and seven blocked shots. A-10 Player of the
Year Gary Forbes added 19 points and the league¹s Most Improved Player Ricky
Harris had 16 points.
UMass showed great resiliency over a three-game span in the NIT
(Akron, Syracuse, Florida), trailing by at least 10 in each game and coming
back to win. The Minutemen were down by 12 to Akron in the NIT Second Round
with 8:30 left, but won the game by five (68-63). UMass trailed Syracuse by
22 with 14:30 left and won by four (81-77). The Minutemen were down 10 to
Florida late in the first half, but won 78-66.
On the season, UMass had 21 games in which it trailed at one point. Of
those 21 wins, UMass trailed by 10 or more in five games which they won.