Men's Basketball

 
UMass Opens Home Slate Vs. Cornell In Legends

Freddie Riley debuted at UMass with 12 points at UCF.

Freddie Riley debuted at UMass with 12 points at UCF.

Legends Classic Amherst Regional
UMASS vs. CORNELL
Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2009 • 7:30 P.M.
Mullins Center (9,493) • Amherst, Mass.
Live Video, Audio, Gametracker: UMassAthletics.com
Radio: WRNX (100.9 FM - Flagship)
WBIX (1060 AM), WCRN (830 AM), WATD (95.9 FM)

UMass Opens Home Slate Vs. Cornell In Legends Classic
• The UMass basketball team begins its 2009-10 home schedule on Wednesday night as the Minutemen welcome 2009 NCAA Tournament team Cornell to the Mullins Center. The men's game follows a women's contest between UMass and St. John's at 5:30 p.m. The game will be the first of four in the Legends Classic for the Minutemen as UMass hosts Arkansas-Fort Smith on Saturday at 7 p.m. Next week, UMass travels to Atlantic City for the Championship Rounds of the Legends Classic. The Minutemen will take on Rutgers at 5:30 p.m., in the first game at Boardwalk Hall. UMass will then play Florida or No. 2 Michigan State in the second day of action in Atlantic City. The games from A.C., will be televised on HDNet.

• The Minutemen dropped their 2009-10 season opener at UCF in Orlando last Friday, 84-67. Senior All-Atlantic 10 selection Ricky Harris led UMass with 15 points. Junior Anthony Gurley added 14 and Freddie Riley had 12 points in his college debut. The Minutemen attempted a school-record 38 3-point field goals in the loss to the Knights, who shot 55 percent from the floor in the game.

 

 

• Cornell comes to Amherst after a 71-67 win at Alabama last Saturday. The Big Red picked up its first win over an SEC team in 37 years. Cornell shot 63 percent in the second half as Ryan Wittman led Cornell with 23 points. Jeff Foote added 17 points and seven rebounds. The Big Red have won back-to-back Ivy League titles and made the NCAA Tournament each of the last two years.

• This will be the first-ever meeting between UMass and Cornell on the basketball court. The Big Red are the only team from the Ivy League UMass has never played.

UMass In Home Openers
• The Minutemen have won five of their last six home openers. Last season, a five-game streak was ended with a tough 75-74 loss to Jacksonville State on Nov. 24, 2008.

• All-time at the Mullins Center, UMass is 14-3 in its home openers. That includes the first-ever game played at the Mullins Center back in 1993. UMass' only other losses in home openers came in 2002 and 1999. UMass won the first six lid-lifters at Mullins.

• In 2007, the Minutemen opened against an Ivy League team as UMass beat Yale, 89-80 on Nov. 14, 2007.

• Prior to last season, the last time UMass did not win its home opener was in 2002-03, UMass lost to Boston College (80-62) in the fifth game of the season after opening with four road and neutral site games.

• UMass is a perfect 8-0 in season openers which have been played at the Mullins Center.

UMass-Cornell Series, Connections
• This is the first meeting between UMass and Cornell on the basketball court. UMass has played all other seven teams in the Ivy League.

• Against teams from the Ivy League, UMass is a combined 36-30. Here are the series breakdowns vs. the Ancient Eight: Brown (3-7), Columbia (2-1), Dartmouth (9-8), Harvard (14-10), Penn (3-1), Princeton (1-0) and Yale (4-3). UMass has never played Cornell in men's basketball.

• Cornell redshirt sophomore Max Groebe returns to the Mullins Center for the first time since he transferred from UMass after the 2007-08 season. Groebe played his true freshman season with the Minutemen averaging 2.1 points in 19 games. He made a cameo in the Big Red's opener at Alabama, for his Cornell debut.

UMass Quick Hits For 2009-10
Ricky Harris leads UMass into action as the lone scholarship senior on the team in 2000-10. 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.

• UMass has one of the youngest teams in the country as UMass features the top recruiting class in the Atlantic 10 with five 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. Sophomore Trey Lang also returns to the team after not playing in 2008-09, giving UMass eight newcomers for this season's roster.

• UMass returns just 36.1 average points. In looking at it by percentages, UMass returns 49.1 percent of its scoring with Harris leading the way. 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.

McCoy To Be Honored As UMass' Legend
• All-time leading scorer Jim McCoy will be honored as UMass' Legend at Wednesday's basketball home opener in the first round of the Legends Classic. He will be recognized during the game against Cornell. The scoring machine was named to the 100 Seasons Of Basketball All-Decade Team of the 1990s.

• McCoy was a cornerstone in the rebirth of the UMass basketball fortunes under coach John Calipari, and finished his standout career as the school's all-time leading scorer with 2,374 points. A four-year letterman for Calipari, the sharp-shooting McCoy was a four-time All-Atlantic 10 selection and three-time All-District performer.

• The Pittsburgh, Pa., product earned All-Freshman and third team All-Conference honors as a rookie in 1988-89, then picked up first team honors in his final three seasons as a Minuteman. McCoy was the first Minuteman ever to earn first team All-Atlantic 10 recognition. He was also named to the A-10 All-Tournament team as a sophomore and senior.

• McCoy still holds UMass career marks for points scored (2,374), field goals made (876) and attempted (2,013) and games started (121). He ranks among UMass' all-time leaders in scoring average (18.8 ppg, third), free throws made (575, second) and attempted (810, second), steals (141, sixth), games played (126, tie-fifth) and minutes played (4,180, second).

• The only player in school history to record four 500-point scoring seasons, McCoy owns three of the top 10 one-year scoring totals in school history. He scored 20 or more points 57 times in his 126-game career, a UMass record, and recorded a school-best 116 double-figure scoring games.

• He also had eight, 30-point scoring outbursts with a high of 35 points against St. Joseph's in 1989. McCoy graduated from UMass in 1997, and currently resides in Boston. He was inducted into the UMass Hall of Fame in 2002.

Harris Shoots Up 1,000-Point List
• 2009-10 Atlantic 10 Preseason First-Team guard Ricky Harris is rising up the all-time UMass scoring list. Harris, who will play his 100th college game against Cornell, currently stands 15th with 1,362. 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.

• He 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).

• 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 212 and fifth in career attempts with 581. 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 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.

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."

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 UMassAthletics.com 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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