Minutemen At Battle 4 Atlantis In Bahamas
Nov. 23, 2011
AMHERST, Mass. - Coming off four-straight victories to start the season, the UMass men's basketball team (4-0) heads to the Bahamas this week for the Battle 4 Atlantis , held at the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island. The Minutemen, who just defeated Boston College by 36 on Monday in the Commonwealth Classic, will face another ACC team in the opening round, No. 22 Florida State on Thanksgiving Day at 4:30 p.m.
All games at the Battle 4 Atlantis will be televised. The 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. games each day will air on VERSUS, while the 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. games will be on HDNet.
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 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 Nov. 17. UMass beat Boston College on Monday, 82-46 in the most lopisded score ever in the series between in-state rivals.
WATCH PARTIES AT ARIZONA PIZZA
Official watch parties for UMass' games on Friday and Saturday will be hosted at Arizona Pizza in the Hampshire Mall in Hadley. Times will depend on results of previous games, so check back with UMassAthletics.com or Facebook.com/UMassAthletics for details.
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.
UMASS IN BAHAMAS FACTS
These will be the first regular season games ever played by UMass outside the United States and its territories.
The only other time UMass has played regular season games outside the 50 United States was Dec. 21-23, 1999 in the Puerto Rico Holiday Classic.
The Minutemen have visited the Bahamas before. The team made an off-season training trip to the Bahamas in Aug. 2006.
In Dec. 1994, John Calipari took the Minutemen on a trip to France where the Minutemen played exhibition games against international teams that did not count in the team's record.
SERIES WITH FSU
UMass holds a 3-2 advantage in the five previous meetings between the Minutemen and Seminoles. After FSU won the first meeting in 1992, UMass won three in row (1994, 1999, 2005), before the Seminoles won the most recent meeting in 2006.
FSU won the last meeting, 73-63 on Feb. 12, 2006 in Tallahassee. Alexander Johnson scored 17 points and grabbed 13 rebounds and Al Thornton netted 16 to lead FSU. UMass was led by James Life's 14 points.
The year before, on Feb. 15, 2005, the teams met at the Mullins Center with UMass winning, 78-68. Maurice Maxwell scored 15 of his game-high 19 points in the second half when UMass shot 71 percent from the field and scored 51 points.
SERIES WITH OTHER TEAMS
UMass leads the all-time series with Harvard, 14-10, but the teams have not met since a Dec. 27, 1991 UMass victory in Springfield, 73-53.
Utah has won the only previous meeting with UMass, 69-53 on Nov. 26, 2002 in the Maui Invitational.
Connecticut and UMass have met 108 times in a series dating back to 1905 with the Huskies leading 69-39. The once frequent rivals have not met since a 78-60 UConn win in Storrs on Dec. 8, 2005. The previous year, on Dec. 9, the Minutemen beat the No. 7 Huskies, 61-59 at the Mullins Center.
The College of Charleston and UMass are 1-1 against each other, with UMass winning the first meeting, 50-42 on Dec. 2, 1997 at home, and C of C winning on Dec. 1, 1998 in Charleston, 77-75.
Of all the teams in the Battle 4 Atlantis, UMass has played UCF most recently, a 64-59 loss at home on Dec. 22 of last year. The Knights won at home the previous year and lead the series 2-1, with UMass' win coming in the 1996 NCAA Tournament first round, 92-70.
UNC-Asheville and UMass have never played.
BLOWOUT WIN IN COMMONWEALTH CLASSIC
Led by a stifling defense that forced 23 turnovers that led to 28 points, UMass beat Boston College, 82-46 in the Commonwealth Classic on Monday night at Conte Forum. The Minutemen (4-0) outscored the Eagles (1-2), 28-6 over the final 10 and a half minutes to turn an 11-point halftime lead into a 36-point win, the largest margin of victory in the 45 games between the in-state rivals.
Chaz Williams scored a game-high 16 points, dished out five assists, and had three steals. Freddie Riley (14), Cady Lalanne (11), and Jesse Morgan (11) completed the Minutemen's quartet of double figure scorers.
Besides forcing 23 turnovers while allowing just 11, the Minutemen also dominated the glass, winning the rebounding battle 46-31. The UMass bench outscored BC's 35-8.
The 36-point win beats the previous biggest margin of victory in the UMass-BC series, a 30-point Minutemen victory on Dec. 12, 1998 in Worcester. It is UMass' biggest victory over any opponent since beating La Salle by 37, 100-63 on March 5, 2008.
The victory was UMass' first over BC since 2007 and first over a BCS conference school since Dec. 13, 2008 (Kansas).
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 17.3 points and eight assists in the first four games. He is shooting 42 percent from 3-point range and has an assist-turnover ratio of over 3-1.
Williams scored a game-high 16 points and dished out five assists with three steals to lead UMass to a 36-point victory over Boston College, the biggest margin of victory ever in the series on Nov. 21.
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 an average of 21 turnovers per game and scored 25.5 points per game off those take-aways.
In its 36-point win at Boston College on Nov. 21, UMass turned 23 Eagles turnovers into 28 points and outscored them 28-6 over the final 10:30 of the game.
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.
Through three games, UMass has shot .454 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 around 30 per game each, are shooting 49 and 50 percent from the field, respectively.
Post player Cady Lalanne has been the top sharpshooter this season, shooting 63 percent through four games.
Versatile wing player Sampson Carter has posted a 55 percent mark while averaging 10.8 points in 22 minutes per game.
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.
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.
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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