UMass returns home to the Mullins Center this weekend where it will play host to Miami (Fla.) on Saturday at 2 p.m. The game will be the first at home since the season-opening win over Harvard 18 days prior.
The game will be televised nationally on the CBS Sports Network. Dave Ryan and Pete Gillen have the call, with Scott Brandwein producing. CBS SN is available in the Springfield/Amherst cable market on the following channels: Comcast/Xfinity 261/856 HD, DirecTV 613, DISH 158.
UMass is averaging 5.3 blocks per game (t-43rd in NCAA) and 8.5 steals per game.
The Minutemen have won three games decided by five points or less - and all decided in the final four seconds. Since 2007, UMass has won 28 games by similar margins.
All three 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. On Wednesday, it was Chaz Williams' running layup with 3.3 seconds left that put UMass up for good.
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 MIAMI & ACC
Miami leads the series 3-0, which includes last year's 83-75 game in Coral Gables.
The Hurricanes won the last game in Amherst, 72-71, on Jan. 12, 2007. UMass trailed by as many as eight in the second half before closing to within two on a James Life bucket with 1:21 to play. The Canes hit two-of-four free throws down the stretch and held UMass scoreless until Gary Forbes hit a three as time expired.
Miami made 13 3-pointers to defeat UMass 80-53 in the first meeting on Dec. 12, 2004 at the Convocation Center. The Hurricanes went into halftime up 37-22 and opened the second half with an 18-2 run.
UMass is 37-45 all-time against current members of the Atlantic Coast Conference (with 45 against Boston College). Derek Kellogg-coached teams are 1-6 against ACC teams (1-3 vs. BC) since the UMass grad returned to his alma mater prior to the 2008-09 season. Last season, UMass won at BC, 82-46, before falling to then-No. 22 Florida State, 73-53, in the Battle 4 Atlantis and at Miami (Fla.), 83-75. UMass fell to then-No. 6 NC State two weeks ago in the semifinals of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.
KELLOGG THANKFUL TO LARRANAGA FOR COACHING BREAKTHROUGH
UMass' Derek Kellogg and Miami's Jim Larranaga have a unique relationship, which goes back to Kellogg's first coaching job out of college. Following a season with the Springfield Skyhawks of the USBL and a year as a graduate assistant at UMass, Kellogg's first full-time coaching position came as an assistant to Larranaga at George Mason for two seasons from 1997-99.
WILLIAMS JOINS 1,000-POINT CLUB
Junior G Chaz Williams entered Wednesday's game at Siena needing just nine points to reach 1,000 in his time at UMass and Hofstra. He finished with 23 and none bigger than the game-winning layup with 3.3 seconds left that propelled the Minutemen to their third buzzer-beating victory of the season.
He is 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).
He has averaged 16.7 ppg at UMass and 13.7 for his career. If he maintains his current season clip of 16.2 ppg, he would reach 1,000 points solely as a Minuteman in 23 games (at Xavier on March 2).
Along those same lines, senior F Terrell Vinson has scored 924 points in 103 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 9.2 steals per game through five contests, a figure which isn't high among the national leaders (t-50th), but a deeper examination shows some positive results from what they are getting.
The Minutemen are forcing their opponents into 15.6 turnovers per game while converting those into 10.2 ppg. Additionally, UMass has forced 16 TOs with its press and four shot clock violations through five games.
MINUTEMEN AT A FREE THROW DISADVANTAGE
One area of concern for the UMass coaching staff following its first five 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 five games. The Maroon & White have closed the margin slightly with a better FT pct., but are still being outscored by an average of 18-10 at the charity stripe.
UMass' opponents have been in the bonus by the midway point of three of the 10 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, and neither half at Siena on Wednesday.
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.