Men's Basketball

 
UMass Returns To Atlantic City For Legends Classic

Sampson Carter scored in double-figures for the first time on Tuesday in the home win vs. St. Francis.

Sampson Carter scored in double-figures for the first time on Tuesday in the home win vs. St. Francis.

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Legends Classic Championship Rounds
UMASS (2-2) vs. RUTGERS (2-1)
Friday, Nov. 27, 2009 • 5:30 P.M.
Boardwalk Hall • Atlantic City, N.J.
TV: HDNet (Kenny Rice, Tim McCormick, Seth Davis)
Radio: WRNX (100.9 FM - Flagship)
WBIX (1060 AM), WCRN (830 AM), WATD (95.9 FM)

UMass Returns To Atlantic City For Legends Classic
• Coming off back-to-back wins, the UMass basketball heads to the familiar confines of Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall for the Championship Rounds of the Legends Classic this weekend. The Minutemen (2-2) will take on Rutgers (2-1) in the first semifinal at 5:30 p.m. on Friday. No. 2 Michigan State (4-0) and Florida (4-0) will play in the second semifinal at 8 p.m. The winners will play in the title game on Saturday at 8 p.m. The losers will play Saturday at 5:30 p.m.

• All four games will be televised live on HDNet, which is available via DirecTV (Channel 79) and Dish Network (Channel 362) and some local cable outlets. Kenny Rice, Seth Davis and Tim McCormick will call the action on the network launched by Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.

• The UMass Sports Network with Josh Maurer and Tim Kenney will cover the Minutemen's games on WRNX 100.9 FM in Western Mass, WBIX 1060 AM in Boston as well as WCRN 830 AM in Central Mass and WATD 95.9 FM on the South Shore. Pregame shows begin 30 minutes prior to tip-off.

UMass In Atlantic City
• UMass returns to Atlantic City, the site of the Atlantic 10 Tournament for the last three years. The tournament will be held their again this March with the finals airing on CBS. The Minutemen have played in Boardwalk Hall each season since 2006-07.

• UMass is 1-3 all-time playing basketball in Atlantic City. The Minutemen have lost each of the last three A-10 Tournament games, falling to Duquesne, 91-81 last year; Charlotte two years ago, 69-65 and in the 2007 Atlantic 10 Quarterfinal vs. Saint Louis, 74-71 in overtime.

• Prior to the 2007 A-10 tournament, the last time UMass played a game in what is now known as Boardwalk Hall was when the football team beat UC-Davis in the Boardwalk Bowl on Dec. 8, 1972. The field was 100 yards long with shortened end zones.

• UMass played one previous basketball game in Atlantic City, beating La Salle, 87-64 on Jan. 7, 1995 at the Atlantic City Convention Center. The game was a homecoming for Lou Roe, a native of Atlantic City.

UMass' Two-Game Win Streak
• UMass has picked up two wins in a row with solid all-around team efforts at home beating St. Francis (N.Y.) on Tuesday night, 83-65 and Arkansas-Fort Smith, 94-68, in their second game of the Legends Classic on Saturday.

• UMass has had five players score in double-figures in each of the two wins, marking the first two times UMass has had a quintet of scorers with 10 or more under head coach Derek Kellogg.

• Over the last two games UMass is scoring 88.5 points after 64.0 in the first two games. UMass' defense is holding foes to 66.5 over the last pair after allowing 79 in the first two games. Also, the Minutemen are shooting 52.0 percent from the floor over the last two games after shooting less than 35 percent in the opening two.

• UMass defeated St. Francis (N.Y.) as Anthony Gurley led all scorers with 18 points, while 43 of the Minutemen's 83 points came from freshmen. Rookies Sampson Carter and Terrell Vinson each had 13 points, Freddie Riley had 12, and Ricky Harris added 10.

• In the win over Arkansas-Fort Smith, the Minutemen had five players score in double-figures for the first time under head coach Derek Kellogg as Anthony Gurley led the way with 21 points off the bench. Ricky Harris scored 18 points, freshmen Freddie Riley (17) and Terrell Vinson (14) set new career highs and Sean Carter had 13 points and eight rebounds. UMass shot 54.5 percent from the floor and outrebounded the Lions, 42-34.

Harris & Gurley Leading The Way
Ricky Harris continues to move up the UMass career scoring charts with his 17.3 average in four games this season. He is now 11th with 1,416 points after his 10 vs. St. Francis and 18 vs. UAFS. He has scored in double-figures in 68 of his 102 career games and in 65 of his last 70 games dating to his sophomore season. 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. Next on the list is Horace Neysmith, who is 10th at 1,428.

Anthony Gurley has scored in double-figures in all four games this season, all off the bench. He has at least 13 points in every game. He had 21 points, his third game in two years with UMass with 20 or more points vs. Arkansas-Fort Smith. He also led UMass with 18 vs. St. Francis. His UMass-best of 22 came in the final game of 2008-09 vs. Duquesne in the A-10 Tournament -- in Atlantic City.

• Also in double-figures are freshmen Freddie Riley (12.5) and Terrell Vinson (10.5). Each has three of four games this season with 10 or more points -- Vinson in the last three in a row.

UMass-Rutgers Series Notes
• UMass and Rutgers were rivals from the start of the Atlantic 10 (originally the Eastern College Basketball league) when it was founded in 1976-77. The Scarlet Knights lead the all-time series 27-20.

• UMass has won the last nine games in the series with the last game coming on Feb. 8/March 3, 1995 as the Minutemen won 77-62 at the RAC/Spectrum in a memorable contest as the game was suspended due to a student protest at the RAC. UMass captains Lou Roe and Derek Kellogg issued statements on behalf of the players, who declined further comment on the controversy. "It's just fair that the game be played," said Kellogg. "The protest should not affect the outcome of the game."

• On Feb. 8, 1995, the game between fourth-ranked Massachusetts and Rutgers was suspended indefinitely prior to the start of the second half after an on-court demonstration by approximately 150 protesters, apparently in reaction to controversial remarks made by Rutgers president Francis L. Lawrence. Atlantic 10 commissioner Linda Bruno said the decision to suspend the game was in compliance with NCAA rules and made in the interest of the athletes' safety. She instructed both teams to leave the building once the suspension officially was announced at 9:38 p.m. No arrests or injuries were reported. UMass center Marcus Camby did not play in the first half because of a hamstring strain. UMass was assessed a two-shot technical foul upon his insertion into the lineup with 16:53 left yesterday because his name did not appear in the scorebook. Camby made up for the technicals with a team-high 12 points, scoring more points in 20 minutes than any other player for the entire game.

• Rutgers' last win in the series came on Feb. 24, 1991 in an overtime thriller at the RAC.

• Rutgers' Assistant Coach and RU alum Craig Carter served as UMass' Director of Basketball Operations from 2004-05. He returned to his alma mater in 2006.

• UMass' redshirt junior Hashim Bailey is a native of Paterson, N.J., and starred in high school at Passaic Tech. In his inal year at Passaic, he averaged 18.4 points, 14.4 rebounds and 4.8 blocked shots. He earned Herald News All-Area first team honors and Associated Press All-State third team accolades.

• No one on the current rosters played together in high school, but Rutgers has two former Mount Vernon High School stars in Jonathan Mitchell and Mike Coburn, who played with recently graduated UMass point guard Chris Lowe, who set the Minutemen's program record for assists (643) last year.

Scouting the Legends Classic
• The Scarlet Knights lost their second Legends Classic game to Vermont on Sunday night, 77-71. Mike Rosario leads Rutgers with a 17.3 scoring mark. Rutgers beat Drexel and former UMass coach Brusier Flint, on a last-second shot by Gregory Echenique in its first Legends Classic game, 58-56 on Friday. They also beat Marist with former UMass player Tyrone Weeks on the bench as an assistant, 74-67 in their opener.

• Michigan State is ranked No. 2 with a 4-0 record overall. The Spartans have beaten Florida Gulf Coast (97-58) and Gonzaga (75-71) as well as Toledo (75-62) and Valparaiso (90-60) in their two Legends Regional Games. MSU has four players scoring in double-figures led by Kalin Lucas (16.8 ppg), Durrell Summers (14.5 ppg), Chris Allen (12.8) and Draymond Green (10.0 ppg and 8.5 rpg). Michigan State has been to five Final Fours since 1999, the most of any program in the nation.

• UMass lost its only game against Michigan State, 93-45, in 1985 at the Lobo Classic in Albuquerque, N.M.

• Should UMass play the Spartans, it would be the Minutemen's first game against a top-2 team since playing No. 2 Saint Joseph's on Feb. 25, 2004. The Hawks beat UMass 83-58. The Minutemen beat No. 25 Kansas last season, 61-60 in Kansas City on Dec. 13, 2008 for the team's last win over a ranked team.

• Florida, the back-to-back NCAA Champion in 2005 and 2006 is The Gators are 4-0, after beating Florida State on Tuesday night, 68-52. Florida has beaten Stetson (74-46) as well as Georgia Southern (69-49) and Troy (80-58) in their Legends regional games. The Gators have three players scoring 10 or more: Kenny Boynton (17.5 ppg), Chandler Parsons (13.0 ppg and 8.0 rpg), and Erving Walker (10.8 ppg).

• The Minutemen are 2-1 all-time vs. Florida, beating the Gators in the most recent game in the 2008 NIT Semifinals in New York City, 78-66 as Gary Forbes scored 19 points.

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 played his 100th college game against Cornell, currently stands 11th with 1,416 after scoring 26 against the Big Red, 18 vs. Arkansas-Fort Smith and 10 vs. St. Francis (N.Y.) on Tuesday.

• In the Cornell (11/18) game he passed three players on the all-time list including the two greatest stars in UMass history in Julius Erving (1,370) and Marcus Camby (1,387). He also went by Clarence Hill (1,369).

• Against UAFS, he went by Edwin Green (1,393). Next on the list is No. 10 Horace Neysmith (1,428). He is the 40th player to score 1,000 points in his career.

• Harris has scored in double-figures in 68 of his 102 career games including 65 of the last 70 dating to his sophomore year.

• 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 219 and fourth in career attempts with 603. 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 fourth, passing Kellogg (362) early in 2008-09. Next on the attempts chart is Carmelo Travieso (666).

• 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.

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 Honored As UMass' Legend
• All-time leading scorer Jim McCoy was honored as UMass' Legend at Wednesday's basketball home opener in the first round of the Legends Classic. He was 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.

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."

 

 

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