Minutemen Visit BC For Commonwealth Classic
Nov. 21, 2011
AMHERST, Mass. - Coming off three-straight victories at home to start the season, the UMass men's basketball team (3-0) travels east to face in-state rival Boston College (2-1) on Monday night at Conte Forum in Chestnut Hill in a 7 p.m. tipoff. The Minutemen are looking to get their first win against the Eagles since 2007 and run their November winning streak to 10 games.
Monday's game can be watched live online on ESPN3.com with Eric Frede and Steven Binder calling the action.
The game can be heard on the UMass Sports Network on 100.9 FM WRNX in Western Mass. and 830 AM WCRN in Central Mass., 1510 AM The Zone in Eastern Mass., and 95.9 AM WATD on Boston's South Shore. "Voice of the Minutemen" Josh Maurer, Tim Collins and Tim Kenney will call the action. Live audio and Gametracker will be available on UMassAthletics.com.
The Minutemen opened the season on Nov. 11 with a 85-67 victory over Elon in just the second game in the last 18 years at the historic Curry Hicks Cage, UMass' home from 1932-1993. On Nov. 14, UMass opened the Mullins Center with a 83-67 win over Northeastern and improved to 3-0 with a 79-58 win over NJIT at home on Thursday night.
Boston College is 1-1 on the season. After starting off with a 67-64 victory over New Hampshire on Nov. 14, the Eagles were defeated by Holy Cross, 86-64 on Friday night at the DCU Center in Worcester.
The Eagles hold a 26-18 advantage in the all-time series with the Minutemen, which began in the 1905-06 season.
Last season, BC withstood 20 second-half points by Anthony Gurley as the Boston native scored a game-high 22 points to defeat the Minutemen, 76-71, in the Boston Tip-Off Classic at the TD Garden on Dec. 4. The loss was UMass' first of the season after starting 7-0.
In the last meeting at Conte Forum, BC knocked off the Minutemen 79-67 on Dec. 22, 2010. Three years ago, BC pulled out an 85-81 overtime thriller at the Mullins Center.
In the 2007 game at Conte Forum, UMass ended BC's series win streak of eight games in row. Prior to that run of eight wins in a row, UMass posted six straight wins in the series from 1990-1999.
Since the teams resumed playing each other -- as the Commonwealth Classic -- on an annual basis during the 1995-96 season, BC leads the series, 10-6.
For games played on the Boston College campus, the Eagles hold a 10-4 advantage with a 4-2 mark at the Conte Forum. The schools have also played 10 times at either the Boston Garden or the TD Garden, with UMass leading 6-4 in those contest. Boston College has won all five games played at Mullins, winning in 2000, 2002 and in 2005, 2006 and 2008.
UMass has not beaten BC in Amherst since 1977, an 85-69 win on Feb. 2, 1977. The Eagles have won five games in a row in Amherst.
The two programs first met a century ago with the Minutemen winning the first game 20-15 on Dec. 8, 1905 in Drill Hall. The two teams did not play again until the 1950-51 season, but met regularly since then with the exception of the 1980-94 seasons. In that time, they played once on Dec. 29, 1990 in the Abdow's Classic in Springfield, Mass.
WIN OVER NJIT TO GO TO 3-0
Four double-figure scoring efforts, including a double-double from Terrell Vinson, led UMass to a 79-58 victory over NJIT (1-2) at the Mullins Center on Thursday night and closed out the Minutemen's season-opening homestand at 3-0. Vinson scored 13 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, while Javorn Farrell (17), Chaz Williams (15) and Raphiael Putney (12) all reached double digits in points.
Freshman center Cady Lalanne grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds to go with six points in 15 minutes, while Williams dished out a game-high nine assists.
After a Chris Flores basket cut the UMass lead to 11 with 9:05 left, the Minutemen ran off 11-straight points, finished off with a Freddie Riley jumper that gave UMass a 21-point lead, 63-41 with 6:53 left in the game and allowed the home team to cruise to victory.
Redshirt freshman center Andrew McCarthy, whose brother Sean is a 6-10 junior center for NJIT, played the final 1:01 for the Minutemen, while his older brother played the final 44 seconds. They guarded each other on each possession.
MINUTEMEN LEASH THE HUSKIES
Redshirt sophomore Chaz Williams recorded his first double-double, tying career-highs with 20 points and 10 assists to lead UMass (2-0) to a 83-67 victory over Northeastern (1-1) on Nov. 14 at the Mullins Center. Terrell Vinson (14) and Sampson Carter (12) each reached double-figures for the second game in a row.
A 3-pointer by NU's Joel Smith pulled the Huskies within six, 57-51 with 10:28 to go, but Williams took over for the Minutemen over a two-minute stretch, feeding Freddie Riley on the break for a lay-up, and then scoring on back-to-back lay-ups of his own to make it 65-51 lead with 7:38 left.
The Minutemen took control of the game early in the first half when they went on a 14-0 run over 5:08, started by a Sean Carter dunk and capped off with a pretty alley-oop from Javorn Farrell to Maxie Esho to make it a 19-4 game with 11:14 left in the half.
SEASON-OPENING WIN AT THE CAGE
Playing just its second game in 18 years at the historic Curry Hicks Cage, UMass (1-0) used a 21-4 run early in the second half to erase a four-point halftime deficit and cruise to a 85-67 victory over Elon (0-1) on Nov. 11. Sophomore transfer Chaz Williams led the way with 18 points and eight assists. Juniors Sampson Carter (17), Terrell Vinson (17) and Javorn Farrell (13) rounded out UMass' four double-digit scorers.
The Minutemen used a new running and pressing style and a raucous Cage crowd to force 25 Elon turnovers, scoring 32 points off those turnovers. Jesse Morgan led the charge on defense with a career-high five steals.
In his first game in a UMass uniform, Williams, a transfer from Hofstra, was the catalyst all night for the Minutemen, grabbing six rebounds and coming up with 3 steals to go with his 18 points and eight assists.
Vinson recorded the fourth double-double of his career, leading all players with 11 rebounds.
GOOD AS ADVERTISED
Redshirt sophomore point guard Chaz Williams has been given the reponsibility of quarterbacking the Minutemen's new up-tempo offense and the tranfer from Hofstra lived up to the billing, averaging 17.7 points and nine assists in the first three games. He is shooting 43 percent from 3-point range and has an assist-turnover ratio of over 3-1.
Williams recorded the first double-double of his career in Nov. 14's win over Northeastern, tying career-highs with 20 points and 10 assists. He spurred a key UMass run in the second half with an assist on a fastbreak followed immediately by a pair of lay-ups of his own on the break.
Williams, in his first game in a UMass uniform in the win over Elon, led all scorers with 18 points to go with a game-high eight assists, six rebounds and three steals in 32 minutes.
BRINGING THE PRESSURE
To go with the new up-tempo offense, Derek Kellogg has the Minutemen pressing and trapping more on defense in 2011-12. The new attacking defensive style has worked extremely well thus far as the Minutemen have forced a total of 61 turnovers in three games and scored 74 points off those take-aways.
In the win vs. Northeastern (11/14), UMass forced 21 turnovers and scored 26 points off turnovers. Sampson Carter led the defense with three steals.
The Minutemen held the Huskies to just 38 percent shooting in the game, including a 9.1 percent mark from behind the arc.
In the opener vs. Elon, UMass forced 25 Phoenix turnovers and scoring 34 points off those turnovers, including 12 fast-break points. Jesse Morgan led the defensive charge with a career-high five steals in 17 minutes. UMass finished with 14 steals total.
The Minutemen held the Phoenix to 34.4 percent shooting, including 27.3 percent in the second half.
Through three games, UMass has shot 45 percent from the floor after posting a .401 shooting percentage a season ago. Much of the improvement can be attributed to the new up-tempo, fastbreaking offense that Derek Kellogg has implemented this season. Taking advantage of the long athletic players on his roster, Kellogg's offense has resulted in higher percentage shots in transition.
UMass has received strong shooting performances from those playing the most minutes. Chaz Williams and Terrell Vinson, the Minutemen's minutes-played leaders at over 30 per game each, are shooting 50 and 52 percent from the field, respectively.
Post player Cady Lalanne has been the top sharpshooter this season, shooting 58 percent through three games.
Versatile wing player Sampson Carter has posted a 57 percent mark while averaging 12.3 points in 23.0 minutes per game.
LALANNE TAKES PRESEASON A-10 HONOR
The Atlantic 10 Conference announced its preseason awards at its annual men's basketball media day in Brooklyn on Oct. 13 with UMass freshman Cady Lalanne being named to the All-Rookie Team. The forward from Orlando, Fla. is the first Minuteman named All-Rookie since Freddie Riley and Terrell Vinson in 2009.
Joining Lalanne on the All-Rookie Team are Dezmine Wells (Xavier), Jerrell Wright (La Salle), Justin Martin (Xavier), Alonzo Nelson-Odada (Richmond) and Anthony Lee (Temple).
Lalanne joins the Minutemen following becoming eligible per NCAA rules after attending UMass as a student in 20010-11. The 6-8 bigman played his high school ball at Oak Ridge in Orlando, Fla. and his AAU basketball with the Florida Rams.
UMASS BASKETBALL AIRS IN BOSTON
Nelligan Sports Marketing has reached an agreement with WBIN-TV that will allow UMass fans in the greater Boston area to watch approximately a dozen live broadcasts of UMass games, including football, hockey, men's and women's basketball, and lacrosse throughout the 2011-12 season beginning in November. The games will be produced by the UMass Sports Network.
WBIN-TV, the only locally owned and operated TV station in the Boston/Manchester market, reaches all major cable and satellite outlets in the greater Boston area. The UMass schedule on WBIN began on November 5 when the UMass hockey team beat No. 1 Boston College at the Mullins Center. UMass basketball's Nov. 14 Northeastern game also aired on WBIN.
"We're truly excited to have reached an agreement with WBIN" said Pam Batalis, General Manager for Nelligan Sports. "In addition to providing a platform to showcase UMass Athletics, this partnership will increase the exposure and value to our current and future corporate partners by providing an avenue to reach University alumni and college sports fans located within WBIN's footprint."
UMASS SIGNS FLORIDA CENTER BERGANTINO
UMass men's basketball head coach Derek Kellogg, on the eve of the Minutemen's season opener, announced on Thursday the signing of 6-9 center Tyler Bergantino of Springhill, Fla. to a National Letter of Intent. The talented big man, now a senior at Nature Coast Technical High School in Brooksville, Fla., will join the Minutemen for the 2012-13 season.
"Tyler exemplifies exactly the type of person and player we want at UMass," Kellogg said. "He is an extremely high-character young man and plays the game at a high level at both ends of the floor. My staff, the team, the UMass community and I are all very excited to have Tyler joining the UMass basketball family."
At 6-9, 240 lbs., Bergantino is a physical force inside and possesses rapidly improving skill and touch around the basket. He enters his senior year at Nature Coast the school's all-time leading scorer with 1,150 career points. Bergantino is coming off a junior campaign in which he led all of Hernando County with averages of 17.9 points, 12.5 rebounds and 4.8 blocked shots. That followed up a sophomore season in 2009-10 in which he posted averages of 14.5 points, 10.9 rebounds and 5.2 blocks.
UMASS LED BY ONE OF ITS OWN
Derek Kellogg, in his fourth 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 former Boston College head coach Al Skinner and current 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 second year as the head coach at Auburn. In his first season with the Tigers, Barbee's squad went 11-20 overall and 4-12 in the SEC after taking UTEP to the NCAA Tournament the previous season. Alum Harper Williams was named to Barbee's staff this summer. The pair were at UMass' Nov. 17 win against NJIT in Amherst.
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.
THANKSGIVING IN THE BAHAMAS
UMass will play three games over Thanksgiving weekend at the Battle 4 Atlantis at the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. Touted as the richest early-season tournament ever, the Battle 4 Atlantis field includes National Champion Connecticut and Sweet Sixteen team from last season Florida State, who the Minutemen will face in the opening round on Thanksgiving Day at 4:30 p.m.
UMass will face either Harvard or Utah in the second round. The other first round matchups are UCF vs. College of Charleston and UConn vs. UNC-Asheville.
All 12 games of the tournament on Nov. 24-26 will be televised. VERSUS and HDNet will be carrying the game, including all three UMass contests. VERSUS will air the 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. games each day, this includes UMass' opening round game against Florida State. HDNet will air the 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. games each day.
All games in the Battle 4 Atlantis, including UMass' three games, will be played at the 4,000-seat Imperial Arena at the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island, Bahamas. The half-million dollar temporary stadium boasts state-of-the-art regulation facilities at the epicenter of the world's largest open-air marine habitat complete with lavish guest accommodations, restaurants, bars, spa, lounges, waterslides and the largest casino in the Bahamas.
FOLLOW THE TEAM ONLINE
Looking for all the latest news on the Minutemen and Coach Kellogg? There are several ways to keep tabs on all of the updates on the squad.
Your first and Number 1 source is UMassAthletics.com. The official website of the UMass teams features news, stats, profiles, videos, photos, auctions, live audio, live video and so much more. Visit every day when you get home for a complete recap story, box score, video highlights, photo gallery and postgame press conference from every game.
Our daily blog "Just Take A Minute" has all the latest news from the media along with special information. Its updated several times each day.
Follow the teams and Coach Kellogg on Twitter. Get the news instantly for all Minuteman and Minutewoman teams by following @UMassAthletics. For the latest on the basketball team and Coach, follow him at @CoachKellogg.
The UMass Facebook page is very active, become a fan today at Facebook.com/UMassAthletics. You can also follow Coach Kellogg on his Facebook.com/CoachKellogg account.
Also, UMass has a very comprehensive YouTube page with video highlights, features, interviews and press conferences. Visit today at YouTube.com/UMassAthletics.
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