Men's Basketball

 
Return To The Cage! UMass Hosts Holy Cross

The last time UMass played at the Cage, it was a sellout of 4,028 for the final 'Rage In The Cage.'

The last time UMass played at the Cage, it was a sellout of 4,028 for the final 'Rage In The Cage.'

 

 

 

Game Information

 UMass Minutemen (5-0) vs. Holy Cross Crusaders (0-4)

 Date/Time  Saturday, Nov. 27, 2010, 3 p.m.
 Location  Curry Hicks Cage | Amherst, Mass. |
 Tickets  866-UMass-TIX |  Buy Tickets
 TV/Radio

 CBS 3 Now (Comcast Digital Channel 293)

  100.9 FM (Western Mass); 830 AM (Central Mass), 1510 AM The Zone (Eastern Mass), 95.9 WATD (Eastern Mass)

 Online Video  watch Watch (UMass All-Access)
 Live Stats  gametracker GameTracker
 Game Blog   Blog | Twitter
 Game Notes  UMass Notes | Holy Cross Notes

 News About The Minutemen  
 Springfield Republican

11/27: Nearly 18 years after it left the Cage, UMass returns Saturday

 Daily Hampshire  Gazette

11/27: Buzz is back as Cage reopens

 Springfield  Republican 11/25: Leading by 1 at halftime, UMass pulls away in 83-56 win
 Daily Hampshire  Gazette

11/25: Minutemen recover to blow out AIC

 Boston Globe 11/25: UMass rebuffs AIC
 Masslive 11/25: UMass 83, AIC 56 (Live basketball blog)
 Worcester Telegram 11/25: Minutemen (5-0) wake up in second half
 UMassAthletics.com 11/24: Harper Williams Among Cage Game Honorees
UMassAthletics.com
11/23: Men To Wear Throwback Uniforms Saturday At Cage
 UMassHoops.com Archive Recaps Of The Final Rage In The Cage, Jan. 29, 1993

GAME NOTES

 

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Return To The Cage
• For the first time in 6,511 days (17 years, 9 months and 29 days), the UMass men's basketball team will play a regular-season game at the Curry Hicks Cage. The home of UMass basketball from 1932-93 will be the site of the UMass-Holy Cross game, a traditional New England rivalry on Saturday at 3 p.m.. UMass will look to move to 6-0 and continue its best start since the 1995-96 Final Four season, when the Minutemen began 26-0.

• UMass last played a regular-season game at the storied Cage, on Jan. 29, 1993, an 84-74 win over Southwest Louisiana, a game known as "Rage In The Cage." The Minutemen hosted a preseason exhibition against Concordia on Nov. 3, 2007.

• With a throwback game at the Curry-Hicks Cage on Saturday, the Minutemen will be sporting their new throwback uniforms for the first time in the game against Holy Cross. This year's throwback jerseys are replicas of the 1995-96 Final Four season. The style was worn from 1994-97 and will be on display Saturday. They will be worn several other times this season.

• UMass will be honoring former players that played at the Curry-Hicks Cage as the Minutemen play their first regular-season game at UMass' home from 1941-1993 on Saturday at 3 p.m. vs. Holy Cross. Harper Williams headlines the group. Among the players who have confirmed attendance are: Don Akerson `58; Jim Burke `76; Chuck Demers `53; John Edgar `57; Bob Eichorn `60; Eldon Goodhue `65; Thomas Kelly `43; Tom McLaughlin `73; Ed McGrath `49; Bob Powers `72 Sam Provo `71; Peter Trow `74; Bill Walsh `40, John Widdison `62; Harper Williams `93.

Facts About The Curry Hicks Cage
• The Cage was home to UMass basketball from the 1931-32 season until January of the 1992-93 season (with the exception of the 1984-85 season). From the first game on Jan. 9, 1932 (UMass beat Amherst, 17-12) to the last game on Jan. 29, 1993 (UMass beat SW Louisiana, 84-74), 571 men's basketball games were played at the Cage. UMass posted a 359-212 record for a 62.9 win percentage in 571 games.

• The longest winning streak in Cage history took place in the early 1970s. UMass won 17 straight games at the Cage from Feb. 1, 1972 through Dec. 10, 1974.

• UMass can "add" to the Curry-Hicks winning streak on Saturday as the Minutemen finished their run at the Cage on a 14-game winning streak back in 1993. UMass' last loss at the Cage came on Jan. 9, 1992 (76-75 to West Virginia). The Minutemen won the final eight home games in 91-92 and the first six games of 92-93 to command a 14-game winning streak that carried to the Mullins Center.

History Of Curry Hicks Cage
• The Cage was named after UMass' first athletic director Curry Hicks. Here are some excerpts the Boston Globe's story by Kevin Cullen from 1993: "In the 1920s, after the state promised matching funds for the approximately $290,000 needed to build a gymnasium, Hicks put the arm on every Yankee millionaire he could find. His sense of timing was exquisite; he got the pledges lined up just before the stock market crashed. They broke ground in June 1930.

"If Hicks was a visionary and crackerjack fund-raiser, he was not exactly humble. He made no objection to the building being named after him. In 1931, at the height of the Depression, the Curry S. Hicks Physical Education Building was dedicated.

"The place got its nickname from cage-like enclosures that surrounded the court and separated it from the track. The building's glass roof was designed to illuminate indoor baseball practice. The Cage's idiosyncrasies can be traced to it being designed primarily with the national pastime in mind. Basketball was, at best, a minor sport when The Cage was built. But basketball will be what The Cage is most remembered for.

"On Jan. 19, 1932, UMass won its first game at The Cage, beating crosstown rival Amherst, 17-12, in what was, to say the least, a defensive struggle. A one-hander by Lou Bush clinched the game."

• Between 1966 and 1979, Hall of Fame Coach Jack Leaman is the winningest coach in Cage history. He compiled a 99-29 record there, a .773 winning percentage.

From the Globe: "Leaman's favorite Cage story is the one about when UMass played Boston College in 1975 for the unofficial New England championship. There was snow on the glass roof, and when some 5,000 people jammed in for the biggest game in decades, the body heat rose to the rafters and melted the snow."

The Last `Rage In The Cage'
• UMass coach Derek Kellogg started the final game at the Cage and will be UMass' first coach on the sidelines at the Cage since his mentor John Calipari coached the team -- in his fifth season at the helm of the Minutemen. Kellogg hit the first basket in the final game a jumper from the right baseline to give UMass a 2-0 lead on the way to an 84-74 win over the Ragin Cajuns on Jan. 29, 1993.

• Harper Williams, who will be in attendance started in that game and scored a game-high 23 points, as he returned from a broken hand. Lou Roe was the center and finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Current Auburn coach Tony Barbee also started and had eight points and five assists along.

• Here's Calipari on the final game from back in 1993: "We've enjoyed it, but you know, I'm really not the person to talk about it," he said. "This night meant most to former UMass coach Jack Leaman. He built the program in this building. The Cage has been great, and we'll miss it, but we're now ready to move on to a bigger arena."

UMass Aims For 6-0 Start
• The UMass basketball team seeks its first 6-0 start since the legendary 1995-96 Final Four season, when the Minutemen started 26-0. The Maroon & White will have to get by local rival Holy Cross on Saturday at 3 p.m., to get that sixth win to start the season. The Minutemen posted their largest margin of victory under Derek Kellogg in their last game, an 83-56 win over American International on Wednesday night. Before that, UMass notched impressive wins over New Mexico State and Texas Christian in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off in Springfield last weekend. Including the 77-67 win over Rider on Nov. 12, UMass recorded a perfect 4-0 record in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic. It was UMass' first undefeated tournament since the 1995 Rainbow Classic, which was part of that season's 26-0 start.

Best Starts In History
• With a win on Saturday, UMass would continue the best start since the 1995-96 season. A 6-0 start would equal the eighth-best start in the 102 years of UMass basketball. UMass also started 6-0 in 1975-76, 1971-72 and 1956-57 -- three seasons where home games were played at the Cage. Back in 1995-96, UMass started with a school-record 26 consecutive wins on to the way to s 35-2 season and an NCAA Final Four appearance.

• The program also started 5-0 in 1991-92 (Derek Kellogg's freshman season) and 1930-31.

• Here are the best starts in history: 1995-96 (26-0); 1933-34 (12-0 undefeated season); 1970-71 (11-0); 1973-74 (9-0); 1925-26 (9-0); 1977-78 (8-0); 1968-69 (7-0); 1975-76 (6-0); 1971-72 (6-0); 1956-57 (6-0); 1991-92 (5-0); 1930-31 (5-0).

Series History With Holy Cross
• The Crusaders hold a 36-19 advantage in the all-time series with the Minutemen, which began in the 1907-08 season. In the first-ever game between the two schools on Jan. 8, 1908, UMass lost 51-4 defeat. UMass' first win came in 1926, 37-23. Holy Cross won nine of the first 10 games in the series.

• UMass pounded Holy Cross, 84-63 in last season's game on Dec. 5, 2009 at the DCU Center in Worcester. The teams are finishing a three-game series that began with a 73-59 win on Dec. 10, 2008 at Mullins.

• The 2008 game marked the first between the teams since a 2001 game at the Mullins Center. Prior to that, the last game between the teams hosted by Holy Cross was also at the DCU Center in 2000, won by the Crusaders, 67-56.

• At the Curry Hicks Cage, UMass is 4-10 in games against Holy Cross. UMass first played Holy Cross o Dec. 9, 1952 and lost to the Crusaders, 76-40. The first win was 83-66 on Feb. 10, 1970 with Julius Erving in the line-up for the Redmen. Erving records an outstanding all-around game with 24 points, 25 rebounds, 5 assists, 7 blocks, and 4 steals in the win over Holy Cross.Two years later, on Dec. 8, 1971: John Betancourt netted 32 points to lead UMass to a 93-82 double overtime win over Holy Cross. The last game between the teams at the Cage came on Jan. 28, 1991, a 98-94 UMass win.

Last Season's Win At Holy Cross
• UMass put together its best all-around effort of the season in a wire-to-wire win over state rival Holy Cross on at the DCU Center, 84-63 on Dec. 5, 2009. Ricky Harris led the Minutemen with 19 and Anthony Gurley added 18. UMass shot 50 percent from the floor, 46 from beyond the 3-point arc and 83 percent (10-of-12) from the foul line. The Minutemen tied a season-best 12 3-pointers. The Crusaders were held to just 36 percent from the floor by a stout UMass defense.

• UMass got contributions from many sources in different areas. Hashim Bailey had his first field goals of the season, grabbed a career-high eight rebounds and blocked three shots as he returned from an injury. Freddie Riley canned two 3-pointers and finished with 12 points. Harris, played a lot much of game at points guard had six assists.

First Undefeated Tournament Since 1995
• With a 4-0 mark in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off, UMass captured undefeated regular-season tournament since the 1995 Rainbow Classic. That year, the Minutemen took the crown in Honolulu with wins over NC State, USC and NC State with a 3-0 mark.

• This year, UMass swept the Hall of Fame Tip-Off with wins over Rider (77-67), New Mexico State (71-57), TCU (67-48) and AIC (83-56). It marked the first four-game sweep in a tournament in school history.

Ramped Up Defense
• UMass has played sensational defense this season. UMass is allowing just 58.6 points per game through five contests. UMass has dropped its opponent scoring output in each of its first four games from 67 vs. Rider to 65 vs. Sacred Heart to 57 vs. New Mexico State and just 48 to TCU.

• The shooting defense has been stellar with grit and intensity. Opponents are shooting just .361 for the season with super efforts in its last three games, limiting New Mexico State to .333; TCU to a dreadful .298 amd AIC to .345.

Gurley, A Big Man On Campus
• Senior Anthony Gurley scored a career-high 31 points to serve a part of the two-headed offensive attack in the big rally against Rider (11/12) With 31 points in the opener, Gurley tallied the most points by a UMass player in a season debut since Marcus Camby netted 32 against Kentucky in the 1995-96 season opener. Gurley was named to the Atlantic 10 Weekly Honor Roll on Nov. 15 for his performance.

• Gurley scored his 1,000th career point with his final field goal against Rider and now has 1,076 in his career with 199 coming at Wake Forest and 877 at UMass. He led UMass in scoring in all five games this season including 22 points vs. AIC (11/24) and 18 points in the win over Sacred Heart (11/17) He now has scored in double-figures 54 times in his career and has reached 20 points 12 times, two this year.

• Gurley is second in the Atlantic 10 in scoring with a 21.0 points per game average.

Junkyard Dog Farrell Returns With Avengence
• After missing the first games of the season with an ankle injury sophomore swingman Javorn Farrell has returned to the lineup and been an instant impact player. He is averaging 12.3 points and 4.0 rebounds in three games with double-figures in all three efforts. He notched a career-high 15 points in his first game, vs. New Mexico State (11/20) and followed that up with 10 points vs. TCU (11/22). Even more important is his defensive intensity. Farrell has helped UMass to allow just 53.7 points in his three games.

Ready Freddie Nets Career-Best
• Sophomore Freddie Riley tallied a career-high 28 with 23 coming in the second half alone in the win over Rider (11/12). He passed his former high of 22 vs. La Salle (1/10/10). Riley scored in double-figures for the 13th time in his career with 28. Riley also scored more than 20 points for the third time.

• He added 10 points vs. TCU for his second game this season in double-figures

UMass Calls Upon Sampson
• Sophomore Sampson Carter had the best game of his two-year career with a 17-point, 8-rebound effort vs. Saced Heart (11/17). The Baton Rouge native is averaging 11.2 points and 6.0 rebounds in five games. Last season, Carter averaged 4.3 points and 3.4 rebounds in 32 games.

Matt Climbs The Hill, Adds Energy
• Junior Matt Hill has become a key cog in UMass' success early this season. The fourth-year player, who has battled injuries in Amherst, is playing more than ever before and has become a factor off the bench with energy. Hill played a career-high 20 minutes and scored a career-best six points in the win over Sacred Heart (11/17). When he entered the game vs. Rider (11/12), the game changed as he helped lead the 22-point comeback with grit and defense in 14 minutes.

34-POINT SWING IN WIN OVER RIDER
• UMass rallied for its largest comeback since the 2008 NIT Quarterfinals vs. Syracuse when the Minutemen also rallied from down 22 points in the second half. UMass was down by 22 with 16:24 left in the second half (46-24) and rallied to win by 10. The game included a 34-point swing in a 15-minute span as the Minutemen led by 12 75-63 with just over a minute left. The last time UMass rallied from as large a margin was on March 28, 2008 in the NIT Quarterfinals as the Minutemen came back from a 54-32 with 14:37 left in the second half to post an 81-77 victory on the way to the NIT Finals.

TICKETS ON SALE FOR BOSTON TIP-OFF CLASSIC
• Tickets are now on sale to the Boston Tip-Off Classic which takes place on Dec. 4 at TD Garden in Boston. UMass will take on Boston College in the doubleheader at 6:30 p.m. with the other game pitting Northeastern against Drexel, starting at 4 p.m. Both games will be televised on Comcast SportsNet New England. Tickets are priced between $7.50 and $50 for the doubleheader at the home of the Celtics.

• UMass will be playing at the TD Garden for the second year in a row after a dramatic 73-72 win over Memphis last season on Dec. 19, 2009. UMass is a perfect 4-0 all-time at the TD Garden.

LAGUERRE SIGNS NLI WITH UMASS
• Explosive guard Jordan Laguerre (pronounced LUH-garry) has signed his National Letter Of Intent to join the UMass Basketball program for the 2011-12 season. The 6-2, 175-pounder is currently in his second season at the New Hampton School in New Hampshire. Laguerre is a lefthander with an explosive first step, incredible leaping ability, and a scorer's mentality.

• "I am excited to have Jordan join our growing UMass basketball family," said third-year head coach Derek Kellogg. "I have truly enjoyed watching Jordan play over the last few years as he has become quite a player and a person. Jordan has a tremendous competitive nature and an intensity on the floor that will push us to win basketball games. He is a great addition to the building process of UMass basketball both on and off the court."

• The Manchester, N.H., native averaged 14 points per game as a junior and is expected to take an even more dominant role in the offense this season.

• "It's close to home. They have a good environment and I really like the coaches and players," Laguerre said about coming to UMass. "I've gotten to play with them over the last couple years, and I'm really looking forward to going there and getting stronger physically and as a player."

FORBES IN THE NBA WITH NUGGETS
• Former UMass star basketball player Gary Forbes made the opening day roster of the Denver Nuggets and drew his first NBA start on Nov. 3 vs. Dallas, where he guarded All-Star Dirk Nowitzki. He scored a pro-best 19 points vs. his hometown New York Knicks on Nov. 16 to go along with a career-high nine rebounds. The 2008 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year became the seventh UMass player to play in the NBA joining current Portland Trailblazer Marcus Camby in the league. Forbes averaged 10.1 ppg in the preseason to earn a spot with the Nuggets.

• "He's an NBA player," Denver forward Carmelo Anthony said. "He's got an NBA body, a guy who's willing to learn. He's just a good addition to the team."

• At UMass, Forbes was named the 2007-08 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year and a first-team all-conference selection. Forbes had a sensational senior season in 2007-08, finishing as the A-10's co-scoring champion with 610 points (20.3 ppg) along with Temple's Dionte Christmas. The New York native led the Minutemen to the NIT Championship game at Madison Square Garden, averaging 14.8 points in five NIT games, 17.5 in NIT Final Four, and was named to the NIT All-Tournament Team. UMass finished the season with a 25-11 record, the fifth-most wins in school history. That, combined with UMass' 24-9 record in 2006-07, gave the Minutemen their first back-to-back 20-win seasons since `94-95, `95-96.

Close To Home
• UMass's schedule in 2010-11 is a local one for fans as the Minutemen will play 21 games within 90 miles of Amherst. In addition to the 14 games at the Mullins Center, UMass will host Holy Cross at the Curry Hicks Cage on Nov. 27 for a 15th game in Amherst.

• UMass will also play three games down I-91 in Springfield. Two in the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off on Nov. 20 and 22 along with a regular-season home game vs. La Salle on Jan. 15. UMass has played home games in Springfield in each of the last three seasons since Kellogg was hired in 2008.

• The Minutemen will play at the TD Garden for the second year in a row, against Boston College on Dec. 4 as part of the Boston Tip-Off Classic. That game will air on Comcast SportsNet New England as part of a doubleheader with Drexel, coached by former Minuteman bench boss Bruiser Flint, battling Northeastern in the first game. The event will benefit the Boston Children's Hospital.

• UMass also plays two road games within 90 miles at Quinnipiac in Hampden, Conn. on Dec. 1 and at Central Connecticut on Jan. 3 in New Britain, Conn.

UMass Alum Leading UMass
Derek Kellogg, in his third 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 first year as the head coach at Auburn. Coaching at Texas-El Paso last season, Barbee led the Miners to the NCAA Tournament.

• 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 tonight when you get home for a complete recap story, box score, video highlights, photo gallery and postgame press conference from this and 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.

KELLOGG'S MISSION 1000
• UMass head coach Derek Kellogg has made it his personal mission to get more interest in the UMass basketball program. Along with the athletic department, MISSION 1000 was launched in September to garner more attention. Close to a dozen events have been held throughout the state of Massachusetts to spread the word of UMass basketball with an emphasis of being more involved in the community.

• As part of MISSION 1000, UMass head coach Derek Kellogg, his staff and players hand-delivered season tickets to patrons throughout Western Massachusetts. They were greeted with excitement of fans from Amherst to Springfield.

• UMass' exhibition game vs. Brandeis on Nov. 4 was a benefit for The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. Fans brought 2 cans of nonperishable food to the Mullins Center to gain admission in place of a ticket price. More than 1,000 cans were donated.


 

 

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