Men's Basketball

 
UMass Hosts Green Bay On Saturday To Wrap Up Five Games In Eight Days

Ricky Harris has increased his scoring average by more than 15 points this season.

Ricky Harris has increased his scoring average by more than 15 points this season.

Nov. 16, 2007

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    UMASS (3-1) vs. GREEN BAY (2-1)
    Saturday, Nov. 17, 2007 • 7:30 P.M. (ET)
    Mullins Center (9,493), Amherst, Mass.
    Streaming Video: UMassAthletics.com
    Radio: WRNX (100.9 FM - Flagship)
    WCRN (830 AM), WATD (95.9 FM)

    UMass Hosts Green Bay On Saturday To Wrap Up Five Games In Eight Days
    • The 3-1 Minutemen host their second home game in a row as UMass welcomes the Green Bay Phoenix to the Mullins Center on Saturday. It is the first-ever meeting between the teams. UMass will travel back to Green Bay next season for the return visit. The Phoenix are 2-1 with wins over Oakland (76-75) and Delaware State (70-50). They lost to Ohio State on ESPN2 last week.

    • This game finishes a stretch of five games in eight days. Following the extensive compressed action, UMass has 11 days off before the Minutemen travel to Syracuse for a Nov. 28 at the Carrier Dome, which will be televised by ESPN Classic.

    UMass Continues Home Dominance
    • The Minutemen are now 23-4 in their last 27 games at the Mullins Center spanning the last three seasons spanning Travis Ford's tenure in Amherst. UMass went 12-2 at home last year and 10-2 in 2005-06.

    • The Minutemen went 12-2 at home last season playing before an average of nearly than 6,000 fans per game at the Mullins Center, including a sellout of 9,493 for the Boston College game on Dec. 2. that UMass had its second crowd of more than 9,000 this year with 9,088 against Saint Louis on Feb. 24. This season marks the first since 1998-99 UMass has had two crowds of more than 9,000 in the same season. The Saint Louis crowd was the largest for an A-10 game, since a sell-out of 9,493 against Temple on Feb. 17, 2001. 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.

    Ford-Tough At Home
    • UMass head coach Travis Ford has been strong at home over the last four years with a 35-5 record as the home-team coach. He is 23-4 at UMass. In 2004-05, Ford posted a 12-1 record at Eastern Kentucky's McBrayer Arena prior to this year's perfect start at the Mullins Center. Staff members Tim Maloney, Steve Middleton, and James Altman were all with EKU as well.

    Series History With Green Bay
    • UMass has never faced the Phoenix. Green Bay is the fourth team in UMass' first five games which has never played the Minutemen.

    • UMass will return the visit to Green Bay next season.

    • The only team from Wisconsin, which has played UMass is Marquette. The Minutemen are 0-2 against the team program now called the Golden Eagles (formerly the Warriors). UMass and Julius Erving lost a legendary game in the NIT at Madison Square Garden on March 14, 1970, 62-55. The other game against Marquette came in Milwaukee on Nov. 20, 2000, a 68-64 loss.

    Showing Major Improvement
    • With only two players returning with significant playing time (Gary Forbes and Chris Lowe), many UMass players are seeing the most playing time of their careers. With that they have made major strides in all areas. Forbes, who started most of last year has increased his average by nearly 10 points per game from 13.0 to 22.5.

    • Sophomore Ricky Harris has emerged as a major weapon on offense, scoring 20.3 points per game after just 4.5 last season as a freshman. He played in 32 games, all off the bench, but has started all four games this season. Harris has 71 points this year after 145 all of last year.

    • Senior Etienne Brower has become the force UMass thought he would be after transferring from Boston University. Brower is averaging 12.5 points in four starts after scoring just 2.7 points per game in 2006-07 when he was hindered by an ankle injury all season. Brower has 50 points in the first four games after just 59 all of last year in 22 games. Brower has more than 12 points in three of four games in 07-08 after his season high was just eight last year.

    • Senior Danté Milligan is coming off a career-game when he scored 17 points against Yale. Milligan's season-high last year was 10 points which he accomplished twice. Milligan has taken his averages from 3.3 points and 2.5 rebounds to 8.5 points and 4.3 rebounds.

    • Junior Luke Bonner is also seeing more time and making his signature 3-pointers. Bonner, who averaged just 1.6 points in 06-07 is up to 6.0 per game and has made 6-of-9 from 3-point land. Last year he made seven treys all season in 31 games.

    Milligan's Career Game Lifts UMass Past Yale
    • On the night UMass unveiled the banners celebrating the 2006-07 Atlantic 10 Regular-Season title and the 2007 NIT appearance, the Minutemen topped Yale, 89-80, in a hot-shooting contest at the Mullins Center. Both teams shot over 50% from the floor with UMass at 53 and Yale at 51 percent. The Minutemen move to 3-1, Yale is now 1-1.

    • Sophomore Ricky Harris led UMass with 23 points. Senior Dante Milligan scored a career-high 17 points along with seven rebounds and three blocks. Classmate Gary Forbes netted 19 points, his fourth game in a row reaching double-digits, and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds. Senior Etienne Brower poured in 12 for UMass' fourth player in double-figures, he also had five assists.

    • Yale's Caleb Holmes led three Bulldogs in double-figures as he netted 23. Matt Kyle tallied 20.

    • Harris' steal and dunk with 2:05 left in regulation gave the Minutemen an 84-75 lead, the biggest of the game, sealing the victory. The Minutemen built the lead to 68-60 on a reverse lay-up by Milligan off a pass from Tony Gaffney with 11:42 left in regulation. A Harris 3-pointer with 14 minutes left in regulation gave UMass a 64-59 advantage.

    • The Minutemen led 48-44 at halftime shooting 53 percent in the first half. But Yale was even better from the floor, at a 57 percent shooting rate led by Kyle who had 13 points. Forbes was UMass' top scorer in the first half with 13.

    UMass Goes 2-1 At BTI Tip-Off Tournament
    • The Minutemen opened the 2007-08 season winning two of three games at the BTI Tip-Off Tournament hosted by Northern Iowa on the weekend of Nov. 9-11. UMass defeated Cal Poly, 90-64 and Northern Illinois, 102-87 before losing to the host Panthers, 75-68. Senior Gary Forbes, who scored his 1,000th career point in the loss to Northern Iowa, and sophomore Ricky Harris were named to the All-Tournament Team.

    Travis Ford Basketball TV Show Debuts Sunday
    • Head Coach Travis Ford's weekly television show, "The UMass Basketball Show With Travis Ford presented by Coca-Cola" begins tomorrow night at 11:30 p.m. on ABC40 WGGB in Western Massachusetts. If you miss the show, it will be streamed on-demand on UMassAthletics.com. The show will air nationally on CSTV starting in January and on NESN all over New England in December.

    Notes From The Exhibition Games
    • UMass averaged 105 points in its two preseason exhibitions games. The Minutemen beat Concordia (107-80) and American International (103-66). The Minutemen players average 20 points with Ricky Harris hitting for a 22.0 point average, and Gary Forbes with 20.0. Harris hit 16-of-26 from the floor including 9-of-17 from 3-point land. Forbes was 13-of-23 from the floor along with 5.0 rebounds per game.

    • UMass had four players average in double-figures and seven with more than 8.0 points per game.

    • The leading rebounder was junior transfer Tony Gaffney, who grabbed 5.5 per game. Of the freshman Max Groebe was the top scorer with 14.0 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.

    2006-07 A Season To Remember
    • The 2006-07 season was a historical one for the UMass men's basketball team as the Minutemen captured a share of the Atlantic 10 Regular-Season Championship. The Minutemen returned to the postseason for the first time since 2000 and won their first postseason game since the 1996 Final Four season. UMass downed perennial SEC power Alabama, 89-87 in overtime before a national audience. That game capped off a sensation 24-9 season, which marked UMass' best record since that 1995-96 season when the Minutemen went an all-time best, 35-2. UMass' 24-win season tied for the fifth-most win in a season in the program's history.

    2006-07 Mass Co-A-10 Champions
    • The Minutemen captured a share of the league title on March 3 with a 71-67 win at Saint Joseph's. It marked UMass' first regular-season league title since 1996 and sixth A-10 regular-season crown overall. The Minutemen won five straight regular-season titles from 1992-96 and proceeded to win the A-10 Tournament each time.

    • 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.

     

     

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