Hoops Welcomes Big East Foe Seton Hall, Saturday
UMass Welcomes Big East Foe Seton Hall, Saturday
The Minutemen are hoping to rebound from back-to-back losses to Boston College and Maine after the best start in 15 years. At 7-0, UMass had its best start to a season since the 1995-96 Final Four season, when UMass started 26-0 on the way to a 35-2 mark. The 7-0 beginning equaled the seventh-best start in the 102 year history of UMass basketball.
Prior to Saturday's 76-71 loss to Boston College at the TD Garden, UMass was one of the final 22 undefeated teams in NCAA Division I. The Minutemen were also the last unbeaten team in the Atlantic 10.
The loss to BC also saw the end the longest win streak for UMass since 1998. The seven-game run was the longest since the Minutemen won 10 games in a row from Jan. 3-Feb. 1, 1998.
Wednesday's game will be broadcast live on CBS 3 Now (Comcast Channel 293) with streaming video on UMassAthletics.com. The UMass Sports Network will carry the game on 100.9 FM WRNX in Western Mass, 830 AM WCRN in Central Mass and 95.9 FM WATD in Eastern Mass and the South Shore.
The game with the Pirates is the final of the first semester of classes as UMass will have an 11-day break until undefeated UCF (7-0) comes to the Mullins Center on Dec. 22. The current four-game homestand finishes with a visit Boston University (4-5) on Dec. 31. Of note, former Seton Hall signee guard Jesse Morgan will be eligible to start practicing with the team on Dec. 19 and could play in the Dec. 22 game vs. the Golden Knights.
Series History With Seton Hall
Undefeated Seton Hall handed UMass a loss last Dec. 7, 2009 in New Jersey. Seton Hall's dynamic combination of Herb Pope (22) and Jeremy Hazell (21) combined for 43 points as the Pirates moved to 7-0 overall. The Hall shot 53 percent from the floor in the first half in building an insurmountable 44-19 advantage. Pope added 15 rebounds. UMass was led by Ricky Harris (15) and Anthony Gurley (15). Both players have scored in double-figures in every game this season. The Minutemen shot just 29 from the floor in the game after 19.4 percent in the first half. UMass missed its first 14 shots from 3-point range in the game. Gurley ended the drought with 14:27 left in the second game as he drained a trey to make it 57-28 in favor of the Pirates.
UMass and Seton Hall played twice before with the maroon and white winning both times. The Minutemen won the previous meeting, 73-60 on Nov. 29, 1997 in the Great Alaska Shootout Third Place Game. Lari Ketner led UMass with 21 points.
Back in 1977, the team met for the first time in the NIT Quarterfinals as the Minutemen defeated the Pirates, 86-85 at the Springfield (Mass.) Civic Center. Mark Donaghue led UMass with 26 points and nine rebounds. It was UMass' second-ever postseason win. The first was the 1973 NIT Quarterfinals vs. Missouri.
UMass Vs. Big East Teams
Several Big East foes were members of UMass conferences in the past leading to large numbers fo match-ups. Both Rutgers and West Virginia were original members of the Atlantic 10. UConn was in the Yankee Conference back in the 50s, 60s and 70s.
Best Starts In UMass History
UMass also had a 7-0 mark in 1968-69.
Here are the best starts at UMass: 1995-96 (26-0); 1933-34 (12-0 undefeated season); 1970-71 (11-0); 1973-74 (9-0); 1925-26 (9-0); 1977-78 (8-0); 2010-11 (7-0); 1968-69 (7-0); 1975-76 (6-0); 1971-72 (6-0); 1956-57 (6-0).
The program started 5-0 in 1991-92 (Derek Kellogg's freshman season) and 1930-31.
Big City Plays Hometown Team
Ramped Up Defense
The shooting defense has been stellar with grit and intensity. Opponents are shooting just .400 for the season with super efforts in a three-game span from Nov. 20-24, limiting New Mexico State to .333; TCU to a dreadful .298 and AIC to .345.
From 3-point range, opponents are just .313 from beyond the arc.
The Minutemen are second the Atlantic 10 in turnover margin with a +4.8 per game, forcing opponents into 161, compared to just 118 miscues for UMass.
Interestingly, UMass' opponents are just .618 from the foul line, one of the best free throw defenses in the NCAA. Better Shot Selection
Coach Derek Kellogg preaches better shot selection and UMass has shown well this season, making 44.2 from the floor. That includes two games of 50 percent of better with 54.2 vs. New Mexico State (11/20) and AIC (11/24). Anthony Gurley is shooting 58.8 from the floor overall to top UMass.
From 3-point range, UMass is 30.8, again with several strong efforts. UMass has made more than 45 percent three times: 45.0 vs. Rider (11/12), 50.0 vs. AIC (11/24) and 47.4 vs. Holy Cross (11/27). Anthony Gurley (53.4) and Gary Correia (42.9) lead the charge in taking more selective treys and hitting them. Correia has actually made nine of his last 16 over six games.
Gurley, A Big Man On Campus
Gurley scored his 1,000th career point with his final field goal against Rider and now has 1,153 in his career with 199 coming at Wake Forest and 953 at UMass. He led UMass in scoring in the first six games this season including 24 vs. Holy Cross (11/27), 22 points vs. AIC (11/24) and 18 points in the win over Sacred Heart (11/17). He now has scored in double-figures 58 times in his career and has reached 20 points 14 times, four times this year, most recently vs. Boston College (12/4) with 22.
Gurley scored a career-high 31 points to serve a part of the two-headed offensive attack in the big rally against Rider (11/12) With 31 points in the opener, Gurley tallied the most points by a UMass player in a season debut since Marcus Camby netted 32 against Kentucky in the 1995-96 season opener. Gurley was named to the Atlantic 10 Weekly Honor Roll on Nov. 15 for his performance.
Junkyard Dog Farrell Returns With Vengeance
Even more important is his defensive intensity. Farrell has helped UMass to allow just 63 points in his games.
Ready Freddie Nets Career-Best
He added 10 points vs. TCU for his second game this season in double-figures and added 17 in 17 minutes vs. Holy Cross (11/27).
UMass Calls Upon Sampson
Take The Charge! Traynham Draws `em
Traynham is also adding to the offense with 5.3 points and 3.2 assists per game in his college debut.
Matt Climbs The Hill, Adds Energy
Return To The Cage, a Huge Success
UMass "extended" its winning streak at the Curry Hicks Cage to 15 games with a 17-year gap. The streak spans back to the 1991-92 season as the Minutemen won their final 14 games before moving to the Mullins Center in Feb. 1993.
First Undefeated Tournament Since 1995
This year, UMass swept the Hall of Fame Tip-Off with wins over Rider (77-67), New Mexico State (71-57), TCU (67-48) and AIC (83-56). It marked the first four-game sweep in a tournament in school history.
34-POINT SWING IN WIN OVER RIDER
LAGUERRE SIGNS NLI WITH UMASS
"I am excited to have Jordan join our growing UMass basketball family," said third-year head coach Derek Kellogg. "I have truly enjoyed watching Jordan play over the last few years as he has become quite a player and a person. Jordan has a tremendous competitive nature and an intensity on the floor that will push us to win basketball games. He is a great addition to the building process of UMass basketball both on and off the court."
The Manchester, N.H., native averaged 14 points per game as a junior and is expected to take an even more dominant role in the offense this season.
"It's close to home. They have a good environment and I really like the coaches and players," Laguerre said about coming to UMass. "I've gotten to play with them over the last couple years, and I'm really looking forward to going there and getting stronger physically and as a player."
FORBES IN THE NBA WITH NUGGETS
"He's an NBA player," Denver forward Carmelo Anthony said. "He's got an NBA body, a guy who's willing to learn. He's just a good addition to the team."
At UMass, Forbes was named the 2007-08 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year and a first-team all-conference selection. Forbes had a sensational senior season in 2007-08, finishing as the A-10's co-scoring champion with 610 points (20.3 ppg) along with Temple's Dionte Christmas. The New York native led the Minutemen to the NIT Championship game at Madison Square Garden, averaging 14.8 points in five NIT games, 17.5 in NIT Final Four, and was named to the NIT All-Tournament Team.
Close To Home
UMass will also play three games down I-91 in Springfield. Two in the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off on Nov. 20 and 22 along with a regular-season home game vs. La Salle on Jan. 15. UMass has played home games in Springfield in each of the last three seasons since Kellogg was hired in 2008.
The Minutemen will play at the TD Garden for the second year in a row, against Boston College on Dec. 4 as part of the Boston Tip-Off Classic. That game will air on Comcast SportsNet New England as part of a doubleheader with Drexel, coached by former Minuteman bench boss Bruiser Flint, battling Northeastern in the first game. The event will benefit the Boston Children's Hospital.
UMass also plays two road games within 90 miles at Quinnipiac in Hamden, Conn. on Dec. 1 and at Central Connecticut on Jan. 3 in New Britain, Conn.
UMass Alum Leading UMass
Kellogg is not the only current head coach from the UMass rosters in the mid-90s as Tony Barbee is in his first year as the head coach at Auburn. Coaching at Texas-El Paso last season, Barbee led the Miners to the NCAA Tournament.
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
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 this and 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.
KELLOGG'S MISSION 1000
As part of MISSION 1000, UMass head coach Derek Kellogg, his staff and players hand-delivered season tickets to patrons throughout Western Massachusetts. They were greeted with excitement of fans from Amherst to Springfield.
UMass' exhibition game vs. Brandeis on Nov. 4 was a benefit for The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. Fans brought 2 cans of nonperishable food to the Mullins Center to gain admission in place of a ticket price. More than 1,000 cans were donated.
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