• UMass will travel to Northeastern Tuesday night for its final game before final exams on the Amherst campus. This will also be the only game for the Minutemen in Eastern Mass. this season.
• UMass is averaging 4.8 blocks per game (t-64th in NCAA) and 9.2 steals per game (50th in NCAA).
• Last week the Minutemen split a pair of games, winning at Siena before losing at home to Miami (Fla.). UMass posted its two lowest shooting games of the year, going a combined 44-of-132 (.333) from the floor and 14-of-65 (.215) from outside.
• Chaz Williams ranks seventh in the country in assists (7.5) and tied for 60th in double-doubles (2). He also boast an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.14-to-1, which places him fourth in the Atlantic 10 and 98th nationally.
• 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 NU & CAA
• This is the 53rd meeting between UMass and Northeastern in a series that dates back to the 1921-22 season. UMass leads the series 35-17 and 13-10 in Boston.
• The Minutemen won the last meeting, 83-67 on Nov. 14, 2011 in Amherst. Chaz Williams recorded his first double-double with then-career-highs of 20 points and 10 assists in his second game at UMass and first at the Mullins Center. UMass used a 15-0 first-half run to take control of the game, led 40-28 at the half and by as many as 17 with 13:38 to play.
• The teams have split the only two meetings in the 20-year-old Mullins Center. UMass claimed last year’s contest, 83-67, while NU secured an 84-68 win on Dec. 1, 2004.
• UMass is 37-45 all-time against current members of the Colonial Athletic Association, with 52 coming against Northeastern. They also have winning records against Drexel (2-0), Hofstra (2-1), UNC Wilmington (2-0), Towson (2-0) and William & Mary (1-0). UMass has won five-consecutive over CAA foes, including three games a year ago (Northeastern, Towson and Drexel). Its last loss came to NU in 2004.
OFFENSIVE BOARD WORK PAYING DIVIDENDS
• UMass has posted at least 12 offensive rebounds in each game thus far and is averaging 13.7 offensive rebounds per game. They are also averaging 10.5 second-chance points per game and have posted double-figure totals in their last five.
GETTING THE TRANSITION GAME GOING
• It’s no secret that UMass head coach Derek Kellogg wants to press and speed the game up as much as possible. That being said, the Minutemen are averaging 8.5 steals and 4.7 blocks per game - stats that have aided in a 16-12 ppg edge in points off turnovers and a 6-2 margin in fast break scoring. UMass opponents are averaging 14.5 turnovers per game.
• Additionally, UMass has forced 17 TOs with its press and four shot clock violations through six games.
UMASS CUTTING DOWN ON TURNOVERS LAST 3 GAMES
• After turning the ball over a season-high 18 times in the loss to then-No. 6 NC State, UMass has steadily cut its turnover totals down in the three subsequent games, posting 14 against Tennessee, 11 at Siena and a season-low six versus Miami (Fla.) on Saturday.
• The six turnovers are the lowest in five seasons under coach Derek Kellogg and the fewest since registering six against Dayton on Jan. 16, 2008.
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.
• Prior to Saturday’s game where the Minutemen took one more free throw than the Hurricanes, UMass had been outshot by at least seven freebies in all five games. The Maroon & White have closed the margin slightly with a better FT pct. than the opposition, but are still being outscored by an average of 18-10 per game at the charity stripe.
UMASS-MIAMI (FLA.) LEFTOVERS
• UMass recorded season highs in both free throws made (19) and attempted (26). It also attempted more FTs that its opponent for the first time this season.
• UMass forced one Miami turnover as a direct result of its full court pressure, bringing its season total to 17 through six games.
• Terrell Vinson finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds for his seventh-career double-double and first this season. His rebounds were a season-high, with nine coming in the first half. His previous 2012-13 high was seven against NC State.
• Chaz Williams had 11 points and 10 assists for his seventh-career double-double and second this year (Harvard). He now has nine career double-figure assist games.
• UMass had two players post double-doubles in the same game for the first time since Raphiael Putney and Terrell Vinson did it last season against Fordham (1/5/12) - a span of 28 games.
• Less than 24 hours after undergoing a root canal, Maxie Esho played a career-high 28 minutes and finished with four points, five rebounds and a blocked shot. His lone field goal came on an alley-oop dunk from Williams at the midway point of the first half.
• Prior to UMass bringing in substitutes with 27 seconds left, all eight players who had played for the Minutemen had scored.
WILLIAMS JOINS 1,000-POINT CLUB; VINSON 62 AWAY
• Junior G Chaz Williams surpassed the 1,000 point mark in a career last week. He finished the Siena games with 23 points 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.
• Along those same lines, senior F Terrell Vinson has scored 938 points in 104 career games.
UMASS TO RETIRE MARCUS CAMBY’S NO. 21 JERSEY
• The Massachusetts athletic department announced 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.
PAIR OF 6-FOOT-7 FORWARDS SIGN NLIs
• Massachusetts men’s basketball coach Derek Kellogg announced that 6-foot-7 forwards Seth Berger and Zach Coleman have each signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the Minutemen, beginning next season.
• Berger is entering his senior season at Ballard H.S. in the Seattle area and is listed as the fifth-best prospect in the state of Washington. He has helped the Beavers to three playoff appearances and one state tournament showing. He was a KingCo 4A Second Team All-League selection by the Seattle Times last year when he posted averages of 15.3 points and nine rebounds per game. As a sophomore he averaged 12.9 ppg and was Ballard’s second-leading rebounder while earning Honorable Mention All-League honors. The Beavers also made their first state tournament appearance since 2002 that season. Berger has been attending the Emerald City Pioneers Basketball Academy for the past seven years.
• Coleman attends Woodrow Wilson H.S. in Dallas and was recently named to the Dallas Morning News’ Preseason All-Area team following a junior year that saw him average 16 points, 13.1 rebounds and 2.5 assists for the Class 4A school. He was a Third Team All-Area selection last season. He plays AAU ball for the Dallas Mustangs.
4 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.