Coming off a 6-0 start and a week off, UMass returns to action following an eight-day layoff when it plays its first true road game of the season, traveling to Ypsilanti, Mich. to face Eastern Michigan Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m.
Fans unable to attend the game can watch online at EMU All-Access ($6.95 for a 24-hour pass), or listen to the radio call on the UMass Sports Network (105.5 FM, 1440 AM or worldwide on the Tune In app).
This is the 105th season of UMass Basketball. UMass has an all-time record of 1,213-1,071 (.537) in 2,284 games. UMass is 448-308 (.593) in conference games, including a 284-288 in Atlantic 10 play. The Minutemen have claimed 15 regular-season conference championships and five tournament titles.
The 2013-14 season marks the sixth for head coach Derek Kellogg ... Kellogg starred as a point guard for the Minutemen from 1992-95, playing for coach John Calipari ... Kellogg spent a year as a graduate assistant with Bruiser Flint at UMass, two years at George Mason with Jim Larranaga and eight at Memphis with Calipari, culminating with the 2008 NCAA Runner-up season ... UMass' win totals under Kellogg have gone 12, 12, 15, 25 and 21 last season with a second-consecutive NIT appearance.
The Last Meeting
January 5, 2013
SERIES HISTORY WITH EASTERN MICHIGAN & THE MAC
Tuesday's game will be the third meeting between the schools. UMass won the first game, 68-61, at the University of Detroit's tournament on Dec. 12, 1972, and last season's meeting, 75-61, in Amherst on Jan. 5, 2013.
UMass is 10-5 all-time and has won four-consecutive against current members of the Mid-American Conference. The record against those schools includes: 1-0 vs. Akron, 1-0 vs. Buffalo, 2-0 vs. Eastern Michigan, 0-2 vs. Kent State, 1-0 vs. Miami (Ohio), 2-0 vs. Northern Illinois, 2-0 vs. Ohio and 1-3 vs. Toledo.
This will mark the first of four games this season against MAC schools. UMass is contractually obligated to play two games at home and two on the road as part of the football program's membership in the conference. The four opponents and their locations are determined by the MAC, and are the same as last season with the home-and-home locations switched. The Minutemen won all four games a year ago, defeating EMU and Ohio at home, and Miami (Ohio) and Northern Ill. on the road.
UMASS RETURNS TO ASSOCIATED PRESS POLL FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 1998
After a 6-0 start to the season with wins over teams from the ACC, the SEC, and the Big Ten, the UMass men's basketball team was ranked 24th in last week's Associated Press poll which was released on Monday afternoon. It marks the first appearance in the rankings for the Minutemen since the Nov. 17-23, 1998 poll - just over 15 years to the day.
UMass received 188 votes, its most this season after collecting two votes the week prior. The Minutemen were also the top team in the Others Receiving Votes of the USA Today Coaches Poll. UMass received 69 votes - just three shy of Indiana who was ranked 25th.
UMass has appeared in the AP Poll 78 times previously and is 116-29 all-time as a ranked team. The Minutemen have been ranked in the top 10 48 times, the top five 31 times and No. 1 15 times (32-4).
UMASS ASSISTANT COMES HOME TUESDAY TO FACE MEMBERS OF THE FAMILY
Many times the focus of a team coming to a strong basketball hotbed is on players who hail from the area. But Tuesday will be a homecoming for UMass' second-year assistant coach Marlon "Smoke" Williamson. The Detroit native was the President of Youth Operations and Head Coach of the Detroit-based AAU program, The Family, for nine years before joining Derek Kellogg's staff. Most of the EMU players from southeast Michigan played for Williamson with The Family.
Williamson, who was born and raised in the Joy Road section of Detroit, has had more than 100 requests for tickets as of Sunday morning and expects that to grow as gametime approaches.
UMASS PLAYING WITH A LEAD... A LOT
Part of the UMass formula for success through six games has been to not fall behind. In 240 minutes, the Minutemen have trailed for a total of 26:35 - or 11.04 pct. of the season.
Furthermore, UMass has used its pressing, attcking style to wear down opponents and pull away in the second half. UMass has only trailed for 5:46 of the second half and all of that came in the opener against Boston College, meaning the Minutemen have not trailed after the half in the past five games. They are outscoring teams by an average of 38.2-33.8 in the first half and 45.5-40.0 in the second half.
NON-CONFERENCE ROAD WINNING STREAK ON THE LINE
UMass was 8-4 in road games last season, including a 4-0 mark in non-league matchups. Entering the EMU contest, the Minutemen have won their last eight non-conference road games, which includes three postseason outings in the 2012 Postseason NIT. UMass is 7-2 in non-conference regular-season road games over the past three years.
GETTING OFFENSIVE ON THE GLASS
One of the stronger parts of the play of UMass through the opening six games has been its ability to control the offensive glass, and capitalizing on those opportunities. UMass has averaged 15.3 offensive boards per game and turned those into 17.0 points per contest. The Minutemen have grabbed at least 17 rebs over the last three games and four times overall (season-high 20 in the opener against BC).
One of the biggest beneficiaries has been junior C Cady Lalanne. He leads the team with 37 offensive rebounds (40 percent of the team's 92 this season) and has scored 41 points off them for 6.8 ppg. That is 39.8 percent of his scoring on the year.
Senior F Sampson Carter is also among the opportunistic ones as his eight offensive boards have netted him 10 points - or 12 percent of his scoring.
DECEMBER UNDER KELLOGG
UMass is 20-12 (.625) in the month of December under Derek Kellogg and has won 13 of its last 15. The Minutemen have claimed their last five dating back to a home loss to Miami (Fla.) on Dec. 1 of last season. UMass has gone 5-1 each of the past two Decembers with both losses to the Hurricanes.
Things won't be easy in 2013 as five of their six opponents currently have a winning record and the group has a combined 31-11 (.738) mark.
NOVEMBER TO REMEMBER
UMass completed one of the most memorable six-game stretches to start a season in school history. In addition to going undefeated over a 15-day period, the squad claimed two wins over ACC opponents (including Commonwealth rival Boston College), won their second-straight ESPN Tip Off Marathon game by beating LSU from the SEC, opened the Charleston Classic with wins over Nebraska out of the Big Ten and five-time Mountain West champ No. 19 New Mexico before securing its first regular-season 8-team tournament title since the 1995-96 season with a win over Clemson. UMass also returned to the national polls for the first time in 15 years when the AP voters placed the Minutemen into the Nov. 25 edition at No. 24.
RECAPPING THE CHARLESTON CLASSIC TITLE
UMass improved to 6-0 on the season for the 12th time in school history but just the third time in the last 36 seasons (1995-96 & 2010-11).
The Minutemen led Clemson 34-24 at the half in the title game. It was their largest halftime lead of the season. They have led in their last five games at the break.
UMass had 40-plus rebounds for the sixth-consecutive game and out-rebounded their opponent for the fifth time. The Minutemen also turned 15 offensive boards into 19 second-chance points in the title game, while averaging 17.3 offensive boards and 18.3 second-chance ppg.
The Minutemen improved to 81-69 all-time in regular-season tournaments, including a 11-8 mark in Derek Kellogg's six years at the helm after the tourney title.
Prior to Sunday, the last regular-season tourney title for the Minutemen came three years ago when they defeated New Mexico State and TCU in Springfield for the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off crown; And the last 8-team event title came during the 1995-96 Final Four season. The John Calipari-coached Minutemen won the Rainbow Classic in Honolulu, Hawaii, with victories over NC State, USC and Syracuse.
Cady Lalanne NAMED CHARLESTON CLASSIC MVP, GRABS SECOND ATLANTIC 10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK
UMass junior C Cady Lalanne was named the Charleston Classic Most Valuable Player and Atlantic 10 Player of the Week after averaging a double-double with 15.7 points, 11.7 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game in helping UMass capture the Charleston Classic championship.
The Orlando, native opened the tournament with a 15-point, nine-rebound game in a win over Nebraska. He then followed with 12 points, 14 rebounds and a season-high four blocks against No. 19/20 New Mexico and its 7-foot All-America candidate Alex Kirk. In the title game against Clemson, he had a game-high 20 points, 12 boards and another four blocks in a career-high 36 minutes. He had double-doubles against the two toughest foes of the week.