Men's Basketball

 
Men's Basketball Returns To Mullins For Towson Matchup

Redshirt Freshman Maxie Esho had a career game against #22 Florida State, scoring 10 points and grabbing 5 boards.


Redshirt Freshman Maxie Esho had a career game against #22 Florida State, scoring 10 points and grabbing 5 boards.

Nov. 29, 2011

AMHERST, Mass. -

UMass returns to the Mullins Center on Wednesday night to host Towson after playing three games in three days in the Bahamas at the Battle 4 Atlantis. The Minutemen went 1-2 in the tournament, defeating Utah 89-75 and falling to #22 Florida State (73-53) and the College of Charleston (85-61). UMass enters the Towson game with a 5-2 record, which includes three wins at home. The Minutemen started the season 4-0. • The UMass Student-Athlete Advisory Committee will also be holding another Toys For Tots drive at the game where fans will be able to donate a new toy for Shriners Childrens Hospital in Springfield. Toys without latex or foam are preferable due to allergy concerns.

• The game can be heard on the UMass Sports Network on 100.9 FM KIX 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.

THANKSGIVING IN THE BAHAMAS
• UMass opened play in the Bahamas against #22 Florida State on Thanksgiving Eve. The Minutemen kept it close in the first half but couldn't hold off the Seminoles in the second and ultimately lost 73-53, their first loss of the season. Redshirt Freshman Maxie Esho had an impressive game, as he scored a career-high ten points and had a career high five rebounds.

• The Minutemen came back from the loss against Florida State and beat Utah the next day 89-75. Sophomore Jesse Morgan had an impressive performance from beyond the arc and finished the game with five three pointers out of an attempted six. Chaz Williams was also a key factor in the game as he scored 14 points and dished out seven assists.

 

 

• On the final day of the tournament, UMass faced College of Charleston who ran away with the lead in the second half and won 85-61. At halftime, the Cougars had just a four point advantage over the Minutemen, however some sharp-shooting by Charleston and a breakdown of UMass defense gave the Minutemen their second loss of the season.

SERIES WITH TOWSON
• UMass and Towson have not played against each other in nearly two decades. The last meeting between the teams was November 20, 1993, where UMass had a decisive 82-55 victory at home over the Tigers.

• This will be the first time the Minutemen face the Tigers at the Mullins Center, as the last meeting they had was at the Curry Hicks Cage.

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, November 21 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 14.1 points and 6.4 assists in the first seven games. He is shooting 37 percent from 3-point range and has an assist-turnover ratio of over 2-1.

• Williams scored 14 points and tallied 7 assists in the 89-75 win over Utah at the Battle 4 Atlantis on Nov. 25. He also had a UMass career-high 5 steals.

• 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 15 turnovers per game and scored 24.4 points per game off those take-aways.

• The Minutemen forced 19 turnovers and turned it into 31 points in their lone win at the Battle 4 Atlantis on Nov. 25.

• 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.

SHARP SHOOTING
• Through seven games, UMass has shot .420 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 the bench in the past few games. Leading the secondary players is Sampson Carter, who shoots 53 percent from the field and has contributed 60 points so far this season.

• Post player Cady Lalanne has been the top sharpshooter this season, shooting 62 percent through seven games.

Jesse Morgan is shooting 35 percent from beyond the arc and has netted 11 three-pointers so far this season, 5 of which come from the win over Utah on Nov. 25.

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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    Event Calendar

    Friday, Nov 14
    vs Siena 7:00 PM gametracker
    Sunday, Nov 16
    vs Boston College 3:00 PM
    Tuesday, Nov 18
    vs Manhattan 11:00 AM gametracker
    Saturday, Nov 22
    vs Notre Dame 12:00 PM
    Sunday, Nov 23
    vs Florida State 12:00 PM
    Wednesday, Nov 26
    vs Northeastern 7:00 PM gametracker
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