ESPN's Andy Katz: Kellogg Soaks Up First Signature Win of Career
Dec. 15, 2008
By Andy Katz
What was Derek Kellogg's day like after his UMass team pulled off the school's biggest upset in years by beating Kansas? Let's just say he lost his anonymity for a day, and loved it.
Kellogg said he had 77 text messages and 17 voice mails after the 61-60 win over KU at the Sprint Center in Kansas City on Saturday.
Kellogg then got up at 4:15 a.m. to head to the airport in order to recruit in Baltimore on Sunday. He said when he checked in, the gate agents immediately recognized him and congratulated him. That continued throughout the day, even though he wasn't wearing prominent UMass gear. He went to watch three high school games and the attention didn't subside.
"I would say about 75 people came up to me during the course of the day," Kellogg said. "I think what everyone saw was that we played with the passion and intensity and enthusiasm that UMass fans want to see."
Some of the messages came from the UMass president, the school's athletic director and the mayor of Springfield.
One of the most meaningful he received, though, was from his former coach when Kellogg played for UMass from 1991-95, John Calipari, who said Monday that he was walking out of the locker room after the overtime loss to Georgetown when he was told Kellogg's Minutemen beat Kansas. So he went back and got his cell phone and called him while walking down the hall.
"It made that walk much easier," Calipari said of going to the press room.
Kellogg was quick to point out that Kansas ran the same plays to get a 3-point shot that it did to tie Memphis in the national championship game last April.
"It made it a strange and unique situation," Kellogg said. "To go against the team that beat us for the national championship and have a same kind of ending, it was really strange. When [Sherron] Collins hit the 3 [to bring Kansas to within one], I was having bad memories go through my head."
Kellogg said during the timeout he told the team to look for it again and said if someone was going to beat them it wasn't going to be Collins. Big man Tony Gaffney helped alter the Collins' last shot in the final seconds.
Massachusetts got off to a 1-6 start and Kellogg kept telling the team that it was the best 1-6 team in the country. He said the same thing after a win over Holy Cross made them "the best 2-6 team in the country," and he echoed that same refrain after the Kansas win, saying they were the best 3-6 team in the country.
To get the UMass players to fit better into his Calipari-style dribble-drive-motion offense, Kellogg said he's running more set plays to get them into the offense, putting them in position to run the DDM.
"Obviously against Kansas, we had to control the game more -- I was trying to win," Kellogg said.
The Minutemen host Hofstra on Saturday and Kellogg is hoping for a crazed atmosphere. The team will get senior forward Luke Bonner back from a knee injury that has kept him out since the first half of a loss to Southern Illinois on Nov. 12.
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