Men's Basketball

 
UMass Welcomes Grambling State On Friday

Javorn Farrell had eight points in the game at Seton Hall on Monday.

Javorn Farrell had eight points in the game at Seton Hall on Monday.

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UMASS (4-5) vs. GRAMBLING ST. (1-4)
Friday, Dec. 11, 2009 • 8 p.m.
Mullins Center (9,493) • Amherst, Mass.
Live Video, Live Audio, Gametracker: UMassAthletics.com
Radio: WRNX (100.9 FM - Flagship)
WBIX (1060 AM), WCRN (830 AM), WATD (95.9 FM)

UMass Welcomes Grambling State For Friday Contest
• For the first time since the final regular-season game at the Curry-Hicks Cage, UMass will welcome a team from the state of Louisiana to Amherst. The Minutemen (4-5 overall) host Grambling State (1-4) this Friday night at 8 p.m. The men's game follows the women's contest between UMass and Providence, which tips at 6 p.m.

• The last and only other time a team from the Bayou State came to play at UMass was on Jan. 29, 1992 as the Southwestern Louisiana Ragin Cajuns lost to the Minutemen, 84-74 in the final "Rage in the Cage." All-time UMass is 4-0 vs. Louisiana teams, posting a 3-0 mark by the Ragin Cajuns of Louisiana and 1-0 vs. New Orleans.

• UMass will seek to extend its home winning streak to four games on Friday. UMass has knocked off Quinnipiac (62-58), St. Francis of N.Y. (83-65) and Arkansas-Fort Smith (94-68) this season at the Mullins Center.

• The UMass Sports Network with Josh Maurer, Tim Collins and Glenn Wong will cover the game on WRNX 100.9 FM in Western Mass as well as WCRN 830 AM in Central Mass, 1060 AM in Boston and 95.9 WATD on the South Shore. The pregame begin 30 minutes prior to tip-off.

Harris Named A-10 Player of Week
• Senior guard Ricky Harris was named the A-10 Co-Player of the Week on Sunday after he led UMass to a 2-0 week. The Minuteman shared the award with George Washington's Damian Hollis. Harris had exactly 19 points, six assists and three rebounds in each UMass win last week (vs. Quinnipiac and at Holy Cross. The Baltimore native shot a blistering 68 percent from the floor (13-of-19) and made a stellar 7-of-13 3-point field goals.

Harris & Gurley Leading The Way
• UMass is the only team in the Atlantic 10 with two scorers in the league's Top 10. Senior Ricky Harris stands third with an 17.7 average and junior Anthony Gurley is fourth with a 17.4 mark.

• Harris continues to move up the UMass career scoring charts with his 17.7 average this season. He is now ninth with 1,506 points and closing in on No. 8 Harper Williams (1,534). He has scored in double-figures in 20 games in a row, in 73 of his 107 career games and in 70 of his last 75 games dating to his sophomore season. Harris passed the two legends of UMass basketball on the career scoring list this season. Harris moved by Julius Erving (1,370) and Marcus Camby (1,387) in the game against Cornell. He had 19 in points in each of the last two wins vs. Quinnipiac (12/2) and at Holy Cross (12/5).

• Gurley has also scored in double-figures in every game this season, with the first five off the bench and the last four as a starter. He is second on UMass in scoring with a 17.4 points per game average. He is also the top shooter with a 51 percent mark from the floor. He has at least 13 points in every game this season. He had 18 points at Holy Cross (12/5) and 15 points in the win over Quinnipiac (12/2). Against No. 2 Michigan State (11/28), he tied his career-high with 24 points. That came on the heels of 19 vs. Rutgers (11/27). He had 21 points vs. Arkansas-Fort Smith (11/21).

• Right behind the two veterans on the scoring list are freshmen Freddie Riley (9.6) and Terrell Vinson (8.1). Riley has four games in double-figures including 12 at Holy Cross (12/5) last Saturday. Vinson has four overall including 12 at Seton Hall (12/5) in addition to having three in a row from Nov. 18-24.

Best Showing At Holy Cross
• UMass played its best all-around game of the season in knocking off Holy Cross on Saturday, winning 84-63. Senior Ricky Harris had his second game in a row with exactly 19 points, six assists and three rebounds. Anthony Gurley added 18 points and five rebounds while Freddie Riley netted 12 points. The Minutemen shot 50 percent from the field, 46 percent from 3-point range and 83 percent from the foul line as well as outrebounding the Crusaders, 41-32. UMass also received contributions from Hashim "Big City" Bailey, who had career-highs with eight rebounds and three blocks along with his first field goals of the season. David Gibbs played his best all-around game according to coach Derek Kellogg with seven points, five rebounds and four assists. Gary Correia also added six points and three helpers.

UMass-Grambling Series Notes, Connections
• UMass and Grambling State are playing for the first time in history.

• This is just UMass' fifth match-up vs. a team from the state of Louisiana. UMass is 3-0 vs. Louisiana-Lafayette and 1-0 vs. New Orleans, winning in 1991. As mentioned earlier, UMass last hosted a team from the Bayou State in the final regular-season game at the Curry-Hicks Cage on Jan. 29, 1992.

• Grambling State interim head coach Bobby Washington began his college coaching career under former UMass head coach Travis Ford at Eastern Kentucky as a graduate assistant.

Shooting Tells The Story
• With UMass' record squared at 4-5, the difference has been shooting percentage both on offense and defense. Derek Kellogg has been preaching to his Minutemen to use better shot selection. When they have this season, they have won. When the Minutemen have shot poorly and played poor defense they have lost. • In UMass' four wins, the Minutemen are shooting 49.8 from the floor overall and 40.7 from 3-point range. In the five losses UMass is a dreadful 34.8 on all field goals and 30.4 from beyond the arc.

• On defense, in the four victories, UMass is holding foes to 39.7 overall and 31.6 from 3-point land. In the four defeats, opponents are shooting 51.2 percent overall and an amazing 48.8 from trifecta land.

• It has translated to a scoring margin of 80.8 to 63.5 in the wins and a deficit of 86.8 to 67.8 in the losses.

Harris Shoots Up 1,000-Point List
• 2009-10 Atlantic 10 Preseason First-Team guard Ricky Harris is rising up the all-time UMass scoring list. Harris, who played his 100th college game against Cornell, currently stands ninth with 1,506. He passed Horace Neysmith with his 22 points vs. Rutgers (11/27) in the Legends Classicand Mike Pyatt (1,503) with 15 at Seton Hall (12/7). Next on the list is No. 8 Harper Williams (1,534).

• In the Cornell (11/18) game he passed three players on the all-time list including the two greatest stars in UMass history in Julius Erving (1,370) and Marcus Camby (1,387). He also went by Clarence Hill (1,369).

• Against UAFS, he went by Edwin Green (1,393) with 18 points.

• He is the 40th player to score 1,000 points in his career.

• Harris has scored in double-figures in 73 of his 107 career games including 70 of the last 75 dating to his sophomore year.

• With a similar season to his previous two, where he averaged 18.2 points per game, Harris would finish with right around 2,000 points. That would place him third behind Jim McCoy (2,374) and Monty Mack (2,183). Among the players he could pass are No. 6 Tony Barbee (1,643), No. 4 Rashaun Freeman (1,744) and No. 3 Lou Roe (1,905).

• Harris has continued to be prolific scorer in his career at UMass. In 2009, he was named a Third-Team All-Conference selection. In 2008, he was named the A-10 Chris Daniels Most Improved player.

• Harris is leading returning scorer in the Atlantic 10 with a 18.2 scoring average and led the team in scoring in 18 of 30 games in 2008-09. He scored 20 or more in 10 games. Harris was fourth in the Atlantic 10. He dropped a season and career-high 35 points on BC (12/6/08). The 35 points were good for the 13th most in school history and only six behind the school record of 41 held by Billy Tindall on Feb. 10, 1968 vs. Vermont. It was also Harris' second ever 30+ point scoring effort.

Harris Rises on 3-Point Charts
Ricky Harris has continued to blister from 3-point range in 2008-09. He shot 38.7 from beyond the new extended-distance arc last season. He made 87-of-225 from 3-point range in 2008-09.

• Harris, who is tied Carmelo Travieso for the single-season mark for made treys with 104 (in 2007-08), is rising on the career charts. Harris stands fourth in career made 3-pointers with 232 and fourth in career attempts with 634. Among the players he passed last season was his current head coach Derek Kellogg (138). Next on both lists is Carmelo Travieso (245 of 666).

• On the attempts list, Harris is fourth, passing Kellogg (362) early in 2008-09.

• Harris' 87 made 3-pointers last season finished tied with James Life for sixth-most in a single-season.

• On the single-season list of most 3-pointers attempted, Harris' 225 stands seventh-most in a season. He took 212 in 2003-04.

UMass Quick Hits For 2009-10
Ricky Harris leads UMass into action as the lone scholarship senior on the team in 2000-10. The Baltimore native is the Atlantic 10's leading returning scorer in 2009-10 with an 18.2 average. He was named to the Preseason All-Atlantic 10 team by the coach and media. He has been named to the same team by most publications and has been dubbed the A-10's "Most Entertaining Player" by one annual.

• UMass has one of the youngest teams in the country as UMass features the top recruiting class in the Atlantic 10 with five freshmen. The Minutemen are also welcoming two transfers who will be eligible this season in Sean Carter from Oregon State and Hashim "Big City" Bailey from Memphis. Sophomore Trey Lang also returns to the team after not playing in 2008-09, giving UMass eight newcomers for this season's roster

• UMass returns just 36.1 average points. In looking at it by percentages, UMass returns 49.1 percent of its scoring with Harris leading the way. UMass lost nearly all of its rebounding with the graduation of 2009 Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Year Tony Gaffney, the final cut of the NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers. UMass has just 24.3 percent of its rebounding returning as Gaffney grabbed 10.2 per game.

Visiting The Commonwealth
• When Derek Kellogg was hired, he made a priority of playing games throughout all of Massachusetts. This season, the Minutemen will be playing games in all areas with games in five different locations in the commonwealth. In addition to home games in Amherst at the Mullins Center, UMass will play "home" games in Springfield (at the MassMutual Center) on Jan. 10 against La Salle; Boston (at the TD Garden) against Memphis on Dec. 19. UMass also beat Holy Cross at the DCU Center in Worcester on Dec. 5 and play at Boston College in Chestnut Hill on Dec. 23.

• UMass will be playing at Garden for the first time since 1999, when the Minutemen took on Boston College in the Commonwealth Classic. It is the second year in a row that UMass is playing a game in Springfield.

UMass Alum Leading UMass
Derek Kellogg, in his second 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 current Boston College head coach Al Skinner and 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 fourth year as the head coach at Texas-El Paso.

• 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.

 

 

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