• UMass makes its second road trip of the season Wednesday and the first to an opponent’s home facility when it travels to Siena to take on the Saints in the Times Union Center at 7:00 p.m.
• The Minutemen will be playing the first of three scheduled games in the Empire State (at Siena, at Fordham and at St. Bonaventure), with the potential of up to four more at the Atlantic 10 Championship in Brooklyn in mid-March.
• UMass is averaging 5.3 blocks per game (t-43rd in NCAA) and 8.5 steals per game.
• Junior G Jesse Morgan leads the team in scoring and has come up huge down the stretch in both victories thus far. Against Harvard, he forced a five second call and scored five points in UMass’ 8-0 run to win the game, before making a pair of 3-pointers versus Providence two days later that brought the Minutemen to within 72-71 and later to tie it at 75.
• The Minutemen have won two games decided by five points or less. Since 2007, UMass has won 27 games by similar margins.
• UMass is 62-39 (.614) all-time in November, 17-12 under Derek Kellogg and 14-4 in its past three campaigns.
• Both of UMass’ victories this season have been buzzer-beaters. Sampson Carter hit a 3-pointer in the corner with 1.2 seconds left to beat Harvard 67-64 in the ESPN Tip-Off Marathon game in Amherst on Nov. 13, and just two days later, Terrell Vinson tipped-back a Chaz Williams attempt as time expired for a 77-75 win over Providence. Carter’s effort was the No. 6 Play of the Day on Sports Center, while Vinson’s was the No. 1 Play.
• This is the 104th season of UMass Basketball. UMass entered the year with an all-time record of 1,186-1,059 (.537) in 2,245 games. UMass is 439-301 (.593) in conference games, including a 275-281 in Atlantic 10 play. The Minutemen have claimed 15 regular-season conference champ. and five tournament titles.
SERIES HISTORY WITH SIENA & THE MAAC
• The Minutemen lead the series with the Saints, which began in 1974, 6-1. UMass has played Siena three times in Amherst (3-0), three times in Albany (2-1) and last year’s neutral-site game at the MassMutual Center in Springfield.
• The Minutemen won last year’s Hall of Fame Holiday Classic game, 82-78. Chaz Williams scored 20 of his 22 points in the second half and Freddie Riley tied his career high with six 3-pointers as he finished with 20 points. UMass trailed by 11 early in the second half before going on a 19-5 run and taking a 57-54 lead with 11:25 left. The score was then tied four times and changed hands twice before the Minutemen made all seven free throws down the stretch to maintain their lead. UMass was 11-for-12 from the line in the game.
• UMass won the last game in Amherst, 78-69, on Dec. 23, 2005. That game saw Rashaun Freeman, a Schenectady native, lead UMass with 23 points and 12 rebounds.
• Siena’s lone win in the series came in the last game played at the Times Union Center, a 66-65 decision on Mar. 16, 2000 in the NIT First Round.
• UMass is 47-12 all-time against current members of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, with recent victories coming against Siena last season, Rider on 11/12/10 and Marist on 12/8/07. The Minutemen have won nine-consecutive over MAAC teams dating back to the 2000 NIT loss at Siena. Derek Kellogg-coached teams are 2-0.
WILLIAMS POISED TO JOIN 1,000-POINT CLUB
• Junior G Chaz Williams enters the Siena contest with 991 career points over his time at UMass and Hofstra. He had 325 in 33 games as a freshman at Hofstra in 2009-10, 608 at UMass last season and 58 through four games (14.5 ppg) this year.
• He would be the 43rd player to reach the 1,000-point mark while at UMass and the first since Anthony Gurley two seasons ago (Gurley also reached the milestone over two schools, scoring 199 of his 1,530 career as a freshman at Wake Forest in 2006-07). Other 1,000-point club members coached by Derek Kellogg include Chris Lowe (Feb. 4, 2009) and Ricky Harris (Dec. 20, 2008).
• He has averaged 16.7 ppg at UMass and 13.6 for his career. If he maintains his current season clip of 14.5 ppg, he would reach 1,000 points solely as a Minuteman in 24 games (vs. Butler on March 7)
• Along those same lines, senior F Terrell Vinson has scored 909 points in 102 career games.
MORGAN, WILLIAMS APPEAR IN INITIAL NCAA STATS REPORT OF 2012-13 SEASON
• Junior G Jesse Morgan’s 3.5 3-point field goals per game are tied for 10th nationally and second in the Atlantic 10 behind Butler’s Rotnei Clarke (4th with 4.0 3FG/gm).
• Junior G Chaz Williams is dishing out 7.3 assists per contest - a figure that places him tied for eighth in the NCAA and first in the A-10. His 6.2 apg last year were 13th in the nation.
UMASS PRESSURE CAUSING PROBLEMS FOR OPPONENTS
• UMass is averaging 8.5 steals per game through four contests, a figure which isn’t among the national leaders (t-90th), but a deeper examination shows some positive results from what they are getting.
• The Minutemen are forcing their opponents into 15.5 turnovers per game while converting those into 10.2 ppg. Additionally, UMass has forced 13 TOs with its press and four shot clock violations through four ballgames.
MINUTEMEN AT A FREE THROW DISADVANTAGE
• One area of concern for the UMass coaching staff following its first four games has been the opposing team’s ability to get to the free throw line at a 2-to-1 ratio over the Minutemen.
• UMass has been outshot by at least seven freebies in all four games. The Maroon & White have closed the margin slightly with a better FT pct., but are still being outscored by an average of 19-11 at the charity stripe.
UMass’ opponents have been in the bonus by the midway point of three of the eight halves thus far. Conversely, the earliest the Minutemen have secured the bonus at any point was with 8:31 to play in the second half against Tennessee.
UMASS SAAC CONDUCTING TOY DRIVE AT UPCOMING HOOPS & HOCKEY GAMES
• The University of Massachusetts Student-Athlete Advisory Committee is once again conducting a toy drive at upcoming hockey and basketball games to benefit Shriners Hospital for Children in Springfield.
• The SAAC will be accepting new, unwrapped toys for children through age 18 inside the entrances of the Mullins Center at the December 1 men’s basketball game, and at the November 30, December 7, and December 8 hockey games.
• Those donating are asked to avoid toys made of latex and foam for allergy purposes. Some of the children seem to favor interactive toys, particularly ones that light up or make sounds.
FOUR STARTERS, 9 LETTERMEN BACK FROM 25-WIN SQUAD
• UMass welcomes back four starters, including its top four scorers and nine of its top 10 rebounders from last season’s team that went 25-12 and reached the NIT Final Four. Led by All-America candidate Chaz Williams at the point guard spot, the Minutemen will look to continue their up-tempo offensive style and full-court pressure defense in head coach Derek Kellogg’s (64-65) fifth year at his alma mater.
• UMass returns the following percentages in 2012-13: Scoring 89.3 pct.; Rebounding 83.2 pct.; Assists 94.7 pct.; Steals 91.7 pct.; Blocks 76.7 pct.; Minutes 85.4 pct.
• Williams (16.9 ppg, 6.2 apg, 4.4 rpg), a first team NABC all-district and all-conference selection, was one of just three players in Division I last year to average at least 16.0 points, 6.0 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game. The others were Tim Frazier of Penn State and Nate Wolters of South Dakota State.
• UMass recorded a school-record 326 steals last season (8.8 spg, 7th in NCAA) which aided in its 76.6 possessions per game, ranking the Minutemen second nationally behind Seattle’s 77.2.
UMASS TO RETIRE MARCUS CAMBY’S NO. 21 JERSEY
• The Massachusetts athletic department announced Tuesday that it will retire the jersey of 1996 Naismith National Player of the Year Marcus Camby on Jan. 19, 2013 when the Minutemen host George Washington at the Mullins Center.
• One of the most decorated athletes UMass has ever produced, Camby lettered from 1993-96 and led the Minutemen to the 1996 NCAA Final Four and a 35-2 record, the most successful season in program history. He was named a consensus first-team All-American that season as he averaged 20.5 points to lead the Atlantic 10. In his three seasons at UMass, he was a two-time NABC All-District selection, an Atlantic 10 First-Team pick twice and the league’s Freshman of the Year in 1994.
• He left UMass as the school’s all-time leader in blocked shots in a career (336) and single-season (128). Camby scored 1,387 points in his career to rank in the top 10 after his final season for the Maroon & White.
• This will be the fifth men’s basketball jersey retired at UMass and ninth in school history. Previous hoops numbers to be hung at the South end of the Mullins Center include George “Trigger” Burke (#32), Julius Erving (#32), Lou Roe (#15) and Al Skinner (#30). Additionally, Dick Bergquist in baseball (#26), Danielle Henderson in softball (#44), Greg Minton in water polo (#6) and Eric Sopracasa (#43) in men’s lacrosse have had their jerseys retired in their respective sports.
UMASS SELECTED FIFTH IN A-10 PRESEASON POLL
• UMass was selected fifth in the preseason Atlantic 10 Poll in a vote by media and coaches. Saint Joseph’s was picked to win the league followed by Saint Louis, VCU, Temple and UMass. The Hawks had 11 first place votes, while the Billikens had 10 votes. Temple, UMass and Butler all had two first place votes in the poll.
• Junior Chaz Williams was named to the preseason First Team. Williams had a banner campaign in 2011-12 in leading UMass to the NIT Semifinals. The Brooklyn native was named to the All-Atlantic 10 First Team, the A-10 All-Championship Team and the NABC All-District 4 First Team.
• Among national publications, Athlon picked the Minutemen to finish fourth and make a return trip to the NIT. They also tabbed Chaz Williams as the Preseason Player of the Year and one of the top 10 Floor Leaders in the nation. Lindy’s had UMass seventh but listed it as a team folks may want as an A-10 sleeper team. Williams was bestowed the honor of being the Most Entertaining player in the league.
UMASS AMONG TOP 3-POINT SHOOTING TEAMS IN 2011-12
• UMass averaged 8.1 3-point field goals per game a year ago, which ranked first in the Atlantic 10 and 31st nationally. The Minutemen made 288 triples to rank second all-time in school history.
UMass was one of just four schools in Division I with four players who made at least 50 treys. The others were Florida, Iowa State and Youngstown State.
MULLINS CENTER TURNS 20 IN 2012-13
• UMass is in its 20th season of play at the William D. Mullins Memorial Center and has posted an all-time record of 193-75 (.719). The Minutemen also own a 103-49 (.676) all-time record in regular-season Atlantic 10 Conference games at the Mullins Center, and a 4-2 mark in Atlantic 10 Tournament contests. The first game was played on Feb. 4, 1993 as UMass defeated West Virginia 64-59 in overtime.
• UMass was dominant at home last season, posting a 15-1 record in Amherst, which included a 14-1 record at the Mullins Center (1-0 at historic Curry Hicks Cage) and a renewed home-court advantage with the student-based Mullins Militia. UMass averaged 4,359 fans in 15 dates last season. Those numbers got increasingly higher as the season evolved to 5,411 for eight A-10 home games and 6,614 for the last five regular-season home dates. The Minutemen saw four crowds of more than 6,200 in the final six games, with a season-high 8,399 in the victory over Saint Louis.
UMASS A POPULAR TV CHOICE IN 2012-13
• UMass is scheduled to appear on television 11 times this season with nine current match-ups slated for national broadcasts. That marks the most regular-season showings since the 1997-98 year.
UMASS POSTSEASON HISTORY
• UMass has an all-time postseason record of 24-21 in 18 combined appearances in both the NCAA and NIT tournaments. The Minutemen have made eight NCAA Tourney showings, with the last in 1998. The first came in 1962 before a string of seven-consecutive from 1992-98 in which it ran its all-time record to 11-8 with an Elite Eight showing in 1995 and the only Final Four appearance in A-10 history in 1996. Last season the Minutemen collected their 11th NIT appearance and ran their record to 13-13, which included Final Fours in 1991 (fourth), 2008 (runner-up) and 2012 (tied-third).
ATLANTIC 10 CONFERENCE
• The A-10 ranked seventh among all conferences in the final RPI in 2011-12. The league boasted eight Top 100 teams, third among all leagues behind only the Big East and Big 10. The eight teams matched the SEC and was more than the ACC, Big 12, Pac-12 and Mountain West.
A-10 IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
• For the fifth year in a row, the Atlantic 10 Conference earned at least three bids into the NCAA Tournament while it marked the 27th time in the league's 35-year history that the conference received multiple bids to participate in the national tournament. The A-10 also received multiple at-large bids for the fifth year in a row and 18th time overall. Over the last six years, the league has had 12 at-large selections - the seventh most among Division I conferences - behind only the Big East (42), Big Ten (29), ACC (26), Big 12 (26), SEC (23) and the Pac-10 (22). In fact, the A-10 is one of eight conferences to receive at least one at-large selection over each of the last six seasons.