UMass Hosts Ark.-Fort Smith In Legends Classic
UMASS (0-2) vs. ARKANSAS-FORT SMITH (1-0)
UMass Hosts Ark.-Fort Smith In Legends Classic
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 play a home game with St. Francis of New York on Tuesday in a game that is not part of the Legends Classic, at 7 p.m.
In the Cornell game, Ricky Harris led UMass with a game-best 26 points. He moved to 12th in career scoring with his 66th career game in double-figures. Harris passed the two legends of UMass basketball on the career scoring list as he now has 1,388. Harris moved by Julius Erving (1,370) and Marcus Camby (1,387) in the game against the Big Red. He has a chance to move to 11th with another six points to surpass Edwin Green (1,393). Horace Neysmith is 10th at 1,428.
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.
UMass vs. Arkansas Teams
The 2008-09 opener against Arkansas-Monticello marked the third time, all in the last 15 years the UMass opened a season against a team from the state of Arkansas. One of the biggest games in school history came in the 1994-95 season opener as then-No. 3 UMass trounced No. 1 Arkansas, 104-80 in the Starter Tip-Off Classic at the Springfield Civic Center on Nov. 25, 1994. That game marked UMass' second-ever win against a defending national champion.
UMass also faced a team from what is known as the "Natural State" in the 2001-02 opener as UMass hosted and beat Arkansas-Little Rock, 66-60 on Nov. 16, 2001.
In addition to the games mentioned above in the openers note, UMass also beat the Razorbacks, 79-63 in the 1996 NCAA Sweet 16 on the way to the Final Four.
UMass Quick Hits For 2009-10
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 Honored As UMass' Legend
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
Next on the list are No. 11 Edwin Green (1,393) and No. 10 Horace Neysmith (1,428).
Harris has scored in double-figures in 66 of his 100 career games including 63 of the last 68 dating to his sophomore year.
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
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 215 and fifth in career attempts with 589. 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
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
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
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 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.
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