Men's Basketball

 
Fresh off Win At `Cuse, UMass Heads To IUPUI

Dante Milligan has scored a career-high 17 in two of the last three games.

Dante Milligan has scored a career-high 17 in two of the last three games.

Nov. 29, 2007

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UMASS (5-1) at IUPUI (4-2)
Saturday, Dec. 1, 2007 • 7:00 P.M. (ET)
IUPUI Gym "The Jungle) (1,215) • Indianapolis, Ind.
Streaming Video: IUPUIJags.com ($4.95)
Radio: WRNX (100.9 FM - Flagship)
WCRN (830 AM), WATD (95.9 FM)

Fresh off Win At `Cuse, UMass Heads To IUPUI
• Coming off the program's highest scoring regulation game in 30 years, UMass heads to Indianapolis to take on the IUPUI Jaguars on Saturday night at 7 p.m. The Minutemen posted one of the biggest wins in the Travis Ford era with a 107-100 victory at RV/RV Syracuse this past Wednesday night at the Carrier Dome and an ESPN Classic audience. UMass comes into the game against the 10th-year Division I with a 5-1 overall record while IUPUI is 4-2. Saturday's game will feature streaming video available on IUPUIJags.com for a single-game price of $4.95. The game will also be carried on the UMass Sports Network on 100.9 FM WRNX in Western Massachusetts and on 830 AM (WCRN) in Central Mass and 95.9 FM (WATD) in Eastern Mass. Kevin Lee fills in for Bob Behler alongside color analyst Tim Kenney.

• UMass goes from playing in the largest Division I venue in the 33,000-seat Carrier Dome to one of the smallest in the newly-refurbished IUPUI Gym aka "The Jungle", which is expected to sell out its 1,215 seats.

• It is the first meeting between the schools in basketball. UMass is seeking its first-ever win in the state of Indiana. The Minutemen/Redmen stand 0-4 in games in the Hoosier State. All-time against teams from Indiana, UMass is 0-5 losing twice to Purdue and Evansville and once to Indiana.

Juicy Bits From The 107-Pt. Outburst
• The Minutemen's 107-100 win at Syracuse ranks on the all-time charts in UMass history. The 107 points were the most ever scored by an opponent against the Orange since the Dome opened in 1980.

• The 107 points were the most UMass has scored in a regulation game since a 110-97 win over Duquesne on Jan. 6, 1977.

• It ties for the 11th-most points in a game for UMass as it also scored 107 in a win over Colgate in 1966.

• The 207 combined points tied for the third-most points in a game in UMass annals. The record is 233, when UMass lost at Rutgers in triple overtime, 119-114 on Feb. 27, 1988.

• The other game with more total points (214) marked the last time UMass played in a game where both teams scored 100 points in a regulation when North Texas beat the Minutemen, 110-104 on Dec. 29, 1982.

More On The Orange Crush
• UMass continues to be the personal bug-a-boo for Hall of Fame Coach Jim Boeheim. Of schools the legends has faced two or more times, UMass is the ONLY schools which Boeheim has never beaten. The Minutemen are 3-0, winning in 1992, 1995 and 2007 against the Orange.

• In the epic win, UMass rallied from a 12-point deficit in the second half to come away with the win. Ricky Harris led the Minutemen with a career-high 25 points while Gary Forbes added his A-10 leading scoring average of 23 points. Forbes also had seven assists and six rebounds in what Travis Ford called his best game at UMass.

• Point guard Chris Lowe returned to action after sitting for 14 days of game-action and had 13 points and a career-high tying nine assists.

• UMass shot 52 percent from the floor including 14-of-31 from 3-point range. Etienne Brower, who ranks second in the NCAA in 3-point field goal percentage (63.3) made 4-of-6 from trey-range.

• Danté Milligan continued to show he can be a force with his second career-high 17-point game in the last three games. Milligan also equalled his Yale game, two weeks prior, with an 8-of-9 showing from the floor.

Scoring, More and More
Travis Ford has installed an up-tempo offense in 2007-08 after two years of low-post dominance with Stephane Lasme and Rashaun Freeman leading the way. 2007 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year Lasme was a second-round draft pick by the Golden State Warriors. Freeman is leading the French B Division in scoring and rebounding after being a three-time A-10 First-Team selection. Heading into 2007-08, UMass returned just 40 percent of its scoring and just 35 percent of its rebounding.

• With the new offense, UMass is scoring a high-pace. The Minutemen are averaging 91.5 points per game, up from 78.8 points through six games last season and 77.3 from the entire season.

• UMass is sixth in the NCAA in scoring through Wednesday, Nov. 28.

• UMass is 13th in total 3-pointers made with 65.

Showing Major Improvement
• With only two players returning with significant playing time (Gary Forbes and Chris Lowe), many UMass players are seeing the most playing time of their careers. With that they have made major strides in all areas. Forbes, who started most of last year has increased his average by 10 points per game from 13.0 to 23.0 to lead the Minutemen.

• Sophomore Ricky Harris has emerged as a major weapon on offense, scoring 19.3 points per game after just 4.5 last season as a freshman. He played in 32 games, all off the bench, but has started all five games this season. Harris has 116 points this year after 145 all of last year. He leads all Minutemen in scoring improvement at +14.8 points per game. Harris has scored in double-figures in all six games this season. He scored more than 15 in each of the first four games, surpassing his freshman-season high of 14 each time.

• Senior Etienne Brower has become the force UMass thought he would be after transferring from Boston University. Brower is averaging 14.8 points in four starts after scoring just 2.7 points per game in 2006-07 when he was hindered by an ankle injury all season. Brower has 89 points in the first six games after just 59 all of last year in 22 games. He passed his entire total in the fifth game of the season with 75 after the Wis.-Green Bay game. Brower has more than 12 points in four of five games in 07-08 after his season high was just eight last year. His +12.1 improvement was aided by his career-high 25 points against Wis.-Green Bay (11/17).

• Senior Danté Milligan has tallied his career-high of 17 in two of the last three games at Syracuse (11/28) and against Yale (11/14). Milligan's season-high last year was 10 points which he accomplished twice. Milligan has taken his averages from 3.3 points and 2.5 rebounds to 10.0 points and 5.0 rebounds.

• Junior Luke Bonner is also seeing more time and making his signature 3-pointers. Bonner, who averaged just 1.6 points in 06-07 is up to 5.8 per game and has made 9-of-16 from 3-point land. Last year he made seven treys all season in 31 games.

Forbes Named A-10 Co-Player of the Week
• Senior Gary Forbes has been stellar early on this season and was honored for his outstanding play on Nov. 18 as he was named the Atlantic 10's co-player of the week along with Rhode Island's Will Daniels. Forbes averaged 24.3 points, 8.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists in three contests between Nov. 11-17. He scored a season-best 29 points, including the 1,000th of his career, on Nov. 11 at Northern Iowa. He added 19 points and nine boards in the Minutemen's 89-80 win over Yale on Nov. 14. Finally, he scored 25 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out seven assists on Nov. 17 as UMass downed Wisconsin-Green Bay, 93-78. That game special to Forbes as he played before his father Roberto for the first time in his collegiate career. Roberto was visiting from his home in Jonesboro, Georgia.

25 Is Twice As Nice
• When Gary Forbes and Etienne Brower each scored 25 points in the win over Wis.-Green Bay (11/17), it was the first time UMass had two or more 25-point scorers in more than 10 years. The last time UMass had two with 25 or more was on Jan. 23, 1996 as Carmelo Travieso (27) and Donta Bright (26) accomplished the feat.

UMass Continues Home Dominance
• The Minutemen are now 24-4 in their last 28 games at the Mullins Center spanning the last three seasons spanning Travis Ford's tenure in Amherst. UMass went 12-2 at home last year and 10-2 in 2005-06.

• The Minutemen went 12-2 at home last season playing before an average of nearly than 6,000 fans per game at the Mullins Center, including a sellout of 9,493 for the Boston College game on Dec. 2. that UMass had its second crowd of more than 9,000 this year with 9,088 against Saint Louis on Feb. 24. This season marks the first since 1998-99 UMass has had two crowds of more than 9,000 in the same season. The Saint Louis crowd was the largest for an A-10 game, since a sell-out of 9,493 against Temple on Feb. 17, 2001. With an average of 5,968 UMass had its best attendance since 1998-99 when an average of 6,723 came to the Mullins Center. UMass is fourth in the league in attendance.

Ford-Tough At Home
• UMass head coach Travis Ford has been strong at home over the last four years with a 36-5 record as the home-team coach. He is 24-4 at UMass. In 2004-05, Ford posted a 12-1 record at Eastern Kentucky's McBrayer Arena prior to this year's perfect start at the Mullins Center. Staff members Tim Maloney, Steve Middleton, and James Altman were all with EKU as well.

Milligan's Career Game Lifts UMass Past Yale
• On the night UMass unveiled the banners celebrating the 2006-07 Atlantic 10 Regular-Season title and the 2007 NIT appearance, the Minutemen topped Yale, 89-80, in a hot-shooting contest at the Mullins Center. Both teams shot over 50% from the floor with UMass at 53 and Yale at 51 percent. The Minutemen move to 3-1, Yale is now 1-1.

• Sophomore Ricky Harris led UMass with 23 points. Senior Dante Milligan scored a career-high 17 points along with seven rebounds and three blocks. Classmate Gary Forbes netted 19 points, his fourth game in a row reaching double-digits, and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds. Senior Etienne Brower poured in 12 for UMass' fourth player in double-figures, he also had five assists.

UMass Goes 2-1 At BTI Tip-Off Tournament
• The Minutemen opened the 2007-08 season winning two of three games at the BTI Tip-Off Tournament hosted by Northern Iowa on the weekend of Nov. 9-11. UMass defeated Cal Poly, 90-64 and Northern Illinois, 102-87 before losing to the host Panthers, 75-68. Senior Gary Forbes, who scored his 1,000th career point in the loss to Northern Iowa, and sophomore Ricky Harris were named to the All-Tournament Team.

Gibbs Signs NLI For 2008-09 Season
• University of Massachusetts basketball head coach Travis Ford announced the signing of dynamic guard David Gibbs (East Hartford, Conn.) to a National Letter of Intent on Nov. 20, as he will join the Minuteman program for the 2008-09 season. Gibbs (6-4, 185 pounds) comes to UMass after playing at the Master's School in West Simsbury, Conn. Gibbs hails from the same hometown as UMass' 1996 National Player of the Year Marcus Camby.

"We are extremely excited that David has joined the UMass basketball family," said head coach Travis Ford, who has UMass off to 4-1 start in 2007-08. "David is a terrific young man and a great basketball player. He fits our style of play with his ability to play different guard positions. He has great size and athleticism. I really enjoyed getting to know his mother and father and they have been very supportive during the recruiting process. The Master's School has also been wonderful throughout and everyone is every excited that he will playing his college basketball just up the road at UMass."

As a junior, Gibbs averaged 22.5 points, 12.0 assists and 8.0 rebounds playing at the Master's School for Coach Ralph Auriental. He is beginning play in his senior year in 2007-08. Gibbs plays his AAU and travel basketball for the Connecticut Basketball Club (CBC) where he is coached J.R. Hargreaves and Pat Sullivan. According to scouting services, Gibbs is ranked as the No. 2 prospect in New England. He is rated as the nation's 28th best point guard by scout.com and 33rd by rivals.com

2006-07 A Season To Remember
• The 2006-07 season was a historical one for the UMass men's basketball team as the Minutemen captured a share of the Atlantic 10 Regular-Season Championship. The Minutemen returned to the postseason for the first time since 2000 and won their first postseason game since the 1996 Final Four season. UMass downed perennial SEC power Alabama, 89-87 in overtime before a national audience. That game capped off a sensation 24-9 season, which marked UMass' best record since that 1995-96 season when the Minutemen went an all-time best, 35-2. UMass' 24-win season tied for the fifth-most win in a season in the program's history.

2006-07 Mass Co-A-10 Champions
• The Minutemen captured a share of the league title on March 3 with a 71-67 win at Saint Joseph's. It marked UMass' first regular-season league title since 1996 and sixth A-10 regular-season crown overall. The Minutemen won five straight regular-season titles from 1992-96 and proceeded to win the A-10 Tournament each time.

• The Minutemen went 24-9 overall and had the best season since the 1995-96 Final Four year when they went 35-2 in finishing as a national semifinalist. UMass finished with a 13-3 record in the Atlantic 10. UMass had its best conference record since going a school-record 15-1 in 1995-96. Prior to the loss to Saint Louis in the A-10s, the Minutemen had won six games in a row overall, their longest win streak since capturing 10 games in a row in Jan.-Feb. 1998.

Lasme, Freeman Gain Honors
• UMass senior Stephane Lasme was named the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in 2006-07. Lasme is the first UMass player to be named the league's top player since Marcus Camby in 1996 and fourth overall joining Camby, Lou Roe (1995) and Harper Williams (1992).

• Lasme was named an AP Honorable Mention All-American following the season. He was UMass' first All-American honoree since Camby in 1996.

• Lasme was joined by senior Rashaun Freeman on the A-10 First Team. Freeman is the first player since Saint Joseph's Jameer Nelson (2001-04) to be a three-time first-team selection.

• Lasme is the second player to be named the league's Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in the same campaign joining Pepe Sanchez of Temple in 1999 and David West of Xavier in 2002. • Lasme joined Tony Dobbins of Richmond (2002-04) as the only players in league history to earn Defensive Player of the Year honors in successive seasons. Lasme was also named to the All-Defensive Team for the second year in row. • Lasme and Freeman were named to the NABC All-District First Team and USBWA All-District First Team.

UMass' 20-Win Season
• With a 24-9 record, UMass has tied its program mark for fifth-most wins in a season; they also won 24 in 1992-93, going 24-7.

• UMass picked up its 20th win of the season on Feb. 21, beating St. Bonaventure, 83-44. The win gave the Minutemen their first 20-win season since 1997-98 when UMass went 21-11. Prior to that season, UMass last won 20 or more when they set the school record for wins a season with a 35-2 record the Final Four season of 1995-96.

• It was UMass' 13th 20-win season in school history. The Minutemen had their first 20-win season in 1970-71, when they went 23-4.

 

 

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