UMass Faces Memphis at TD Garden In Boston On ESPN2
UMASS (5-5) vs. MEMPHIS (7-1)
UMass Faces Memphis at TD Garden In Boston On ESPN2
Saturday's game will be UMass' fourth-ever hoop contest at the TD Garden and first since 1997. UMass is a perfect 3-0 at the Garden, winning three Commonwealth Classics against Boston College in successive seasons from 1995-96 through 1997-98.
The game also pits UMass head coach Derek Kellogg against the school he served as an assistant at for eight years, Memphis. Kellogg worked under former UMass head coach John Calipari from 2000-08 with the Tigers helping the team to the all-time NCAA record for wins a season in 2007-08 (38). Memphis made five NCAA Tournaments during Kellogg's tenure and reached the 2008 title game.
UMass will seek to extend its "home" winning streak to five games on Saturday. UMass has knocked off Grambling (81-58), Quinnipiac (62-58), St. Francis of N.Y. (83-65) and Arkansas-Fort Smith (94-68) this season at the Mullins Center. The game is a home game by NCAA rules as it is part of the UMass season ticket package and the school is staffing the game.
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.
UMass At the TD Garden
UMass has won two more Commonwealth Classics played at the Garden, formerly known as the Fleet Center. The Minutemen beat Boston College on Jan. 18, 1997, 90-78 before 15,215 and by the score of 65-57 on Dec. 14, 1997 in front of 9,218. That was UMass' last game at the facility.
UMass played many games at the Old Boston Garden. On this date in 1955, George "Trigger" Burke cracked the 20-point mark for the fourth-consecutive game, scoring 29 points at the Boston Garden in leading the Redmen to a 91-73 win over Boston College.
Director of Basketball Operations Andy Allison worked two stints at Memphis, most recently from 2004-08 as the Assistant Coordinator of Operations and in 2001-03 as a Graduate Assistant.
UMass' Director of Player Personnel Shyrone Chatman is a Memphis alum, class of 2002 and worked under Calipari in 2006-08 as Video Coordinator and Assistant Recruiting Coordinator. Chatman was key to Calipari's first team in Memphis in helping the Tigers to the NIT Final Four in 2001.
UMass junior bigman Hashim "Big City" Bailey played two seasons with the Tigers including the 2007-08 when the Tigers went to the championship game. He saw action in 14 games, scoring 12 points.
One of Memphis's top players last season was Antonio Anderson, who is the brother of former UMass star Anthony Anderson. Anthony left UMass in 2005 after four years, as the 20th all-time leading scorer with 1,211.
UMass-Memphis Previous Meetings
John Calipari became the winningest coach in Memphis history with 221 victories, surpassing Larry Finch, who led the program from 1986-1997. The game was a meeting of mentor and pupil. Derek Kellogg, in his first year as coach at Massachusetts, played for Calipari from 1991-95 during Calipari's tenure as coach of the Minutemen. Kellogg was an assistant under Calipari for eight years at Memphis before moving to his alma mater.
The only other game between UMass and Memphis was a titanic match-up between the then-No. 1 Minutemen and then-No. 3 Tigers on Jan. 4, 1996, a 64-61 UMass win in Worcester as part of the Atlantic 10/Conference USA Challenge.
Marcus Camby scored 23 points and Edgar Padilla made two free throws and a key block in the final 30 seconds as top-ranked UMass edged third-ranked Memphis, 64-61. Donta Bright scored 15 points and Carmelo Travieso added 13 for the Minutemen (11-0), who blew a 16-point first-half lead but rallied down the stretch to hold onto their top ranking.
Lorenzen Wright scored 17 points and Mingo Johnson added 12 for the Tigers (8-1), whose loss left just five unbeaten teams in Division I. A jumper by Johnson gave Memphis its last lead at 59-58 with 1:16 left. But Massachusetts took the lead for good 10 seconds later on a jumper by Bright. Cedric Henderson scored 10 points and Wright had nine rebounds for Memphis, which shot 42 per cent (27-of-64) from the field and held a 30-28 edge in rebounds.
Harris Named A-10 Player of Week
Harris missed the Grambling State game with an ankle injury, but is expected to play vs. Memphis.
Harris & Gurley Leading The Way
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 scored in double-figures in the first nine games 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 16.6 points per game average. He is also the top shooter with a 48 percent mark from the floor. He had at least 13 points in the first nine games 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).
Freshman Showing Strong In Debuts
Vinson has five overall including a career-high 20 points vs. Grambling State (12/11) in addition to having three in a row from Nov. 18-24. Vinson became the first UMass freshman to post a double-double and a 20-point, 10-rebound game since Rashaun Freeman in 2003-04, when he had 20 points and 11 boards vs. Grambling.
Sampson Carter is averaging 6.1 points and 4.2 rebounds with double-figures in three games. Javorn Farrell is averaging 4.2 points and 3.4 rebounds including a career-best 10 rebounds vs. Grambling State (12/11).
Shooting Tells The Story
In UMass' five wins, the Minutemen are shooting 48.8 from the floor overall and 36.6 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 five victories, UMass is holding foes to 39.9 overall and 28.6 from 3-point land. In the five 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 62.4 in the wins and a deficit of 86.8 to 67.8 in the losses.
Harris Shoots Up 1,000-Point List
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
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
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
UMass will be playing at Garden for the first time since 1997, 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
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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