No. 22/20 UMass will embark on a two-game road trip this week, beginning Wednesday at Ohio before heading south to battle Florida State in the Orange Bowl Basketball Classic in Sunrise, Fla. on Saturday
Wednesday's game will not be televised. Fans can listen to the UMass Sports Network broadcast (105.5 WEEI in western Mass.) or on mobile devices with the Tune In app.
This is the 105th season of UMass Basketball. UMass has an all-time record of 1,216-1,071 (.532) in 2,287 games. UMass is 448-308 (.593) in conference games, including a 284-288 in Atlantic 10 play. The Minutemen have claimed 15 regular-season conference championships and five tournament titles.
The 2013-14 season marks the sixth for head coach Derek Kellogg ... Kellogg starred as a point guard for the Minutemen from 1992-95, playing for coach John Calipari ... Kellogg spent a year as a graduate assistant with Bruiser Flint at UMass, two years at George Mason with Jim Larranaga and eight at Memphis with Calipari, culminating with the 2008 NCAA Runner-up season ... UMass' win totals under Kellogg have gone 12, 12, 15, 25 and 21 last season with a second-consecutive NIT appearance.
The Last Meeting
December 19, 2012
Morgan's 35 Points Lead UMass Hoops To 85-76 Win Over Ohio
- Box Score | Season Stats | Notes | Postgame Interview
Jesse Morgan scored a career-high 35 points including a Mullins Center record 24 in the first half as the UMass men's basketball team defeated Ohio 85-76 on Wednesday night. The first half performance sparked a key 23-to-1 run for the Minutemen helping them overcome a hot start for the Bobcats. Morgan's shooting performance was the 11th-best scoring effort by a player in the country this season and the most from an Atlantic 10 player.
GENERAL RPI/SOS NOTES
Yes, its early for the various RPI numbers to matter, but UMass is ranked No. 1 by CBS Sports RPI and RealTimeRPI.com, No. 2 by ESPN Insider RPI and StatSheet.com, No. 11 by Jeff Sagarin and No. 24 by Ken Pomeroy
The Minutemen's strength of schedule is No. 1 by ESPN, No. 3 by CBS, No. 8 by RealTime RPI, No. 12 by Stat Sheet, No. 26 by Ken Pomeroy and No. 41 by Jeff Sagarin.
SERIES HISTORY WITH OHIO & THE MAC
Wednesday's contest will be the third all-time with Ohio. UMass won the initial meeting, 95-82, on Nov. 28, 1975 at the Hall of Fame Tournament in Springfield, Mass., and last year's 85-76 in Amherst. Former UMass guard Jesse Morgan made seven 3-pointers in the game as he finished with 35 points.
UMass is 12-5 all-time and has won six-consecutive against current members of the Mid-American Conference. The record against those schools includes: 1-0 vs. Akron, 1-0 vs. Buffalo, 3-0 vs. Eastern Michigan, 0-2 vs. Kent State, 1-0 vs. Miami (Ohio), 3-0 vs. Northern Illinois, 2-0 vs. Ohio and 1-3 vs. Toledo.
This will mark the third of four games this season against MAC schools. UMass is contractually obligated to play two games at home and two on the road as part of the football program's membership in the conference. The four opponents and their locations are determined by the MAC, and are the same as last season with the home-and-home locations switched. The Minutemen won all four games a year ago, defeating EMU and Ohio at home, and Miami (Ohio) and Northern Ill. on the road.
JUST WIN BABY!
At nine games, UMass is riding its longest winning streak in more than 15 years and the longest stretch in the Derek Kellogg era.
The next longest streak prior to the current stretch was in 1997-98 when the Minutemen won 10-consecutive games from Jan. 3-Feb. 1 under Bruiser Flint.
BEST STARTS IN UMASS HISTORY
With a win on Wednesday, UMass would continue the best start since the 1995-96 season. A 10-0 start would be the fourth-best start in the 105 years of UMass basketball. Currently, at 9-0, UMass also had the same mark in 1973-74 and 1925-26.
Back in 1995-96, the Minutemen started with a school-record 26 consecutive wins on their way to a 35-2 season and an NCAA Final Four appearance.
Here are the best starts at UMass: 1995-96 (26-0); 1933-34 (12-0 undefeated season); 1970-71 (11-0); 2012-13 (9-0); 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).
UMASS RETURNS TO ASSOCIATED PRESS & COACHES POLLS FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 1998
Following Saturday's 80-54 win over Northern Illinois, UMass held steady in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls, coming in at Nos. 22 and 20, respectively this week. The Minutemen received 351 points in the AP and 229 in the coaches poll - both season-highs.
When the Minutemen debuted in the rankings this season, it ended a drought that dated back to Nov. 1998 in each poll.
UMass has now appeared in the AP Poll 81 times and is 118-29 all-time as a ranked team. The Minutemen have been ranked in the top 10 48 times, the top five 31 times and No. 1 15 times (32-4).
CHAZ IS LIKE A FINE WINE, HE GETS BETTER WITH AGE
Chaz Williams continues to impress with his on-court talents year-in and year-out. While his scoring has been consistently strong throughout his college career, his shooting percentages are at or near all-time highs and his assist-to-turnover numbers are at an all-time low.
Year MPG PPG FG% 3FG% FT% APG TPG A/TO Ratio
2009-10 31.7 9.8 .372 .389 .733 4.2 2.5 1.64
2011-12 34.9 16.9 .410 .419 .788 6.2 3.4 1.83
2012-13 35.3 15.5 .433 .333 .785 7.3 3.4 2.12
2013-14 33.3 16.9 .417 .444 .793 7.6 3.0 2.52
CARTER & ESHO PERFORMING AT HIGH LEVELS
Redshirt senior Sampson Carter and redshirt junior Maxie Esho are both making the 2013-14 campaign one to remember.
Carter entered the year averaging 6.1 points per game over 102 appearances, but has played like a senior who wants to go out with a bang. He is scoring a career-best 13.1 ppg, while his shooting averages - .487 FG%, .438 3FG% and team-high .805 FT% - are all career-highs or close to his season best.
Esho, who has been described as the X-factor by head coach Derek Kellogg at times, is producing at a high level with 7.4 ppg and 5.6 rpg, ahead of his previous season benchmarks of 5.5 ppg and 5.0 rpg set last year. He has raised both categories each of the past two seasons and enters the Ohio game with back-to-back double-figure scoring games for the first time in his career.
NON-CONFERENCE ROAD WINNING STREAK ON THE LINE
UMass was 8-4 in road games last season, including a 4-0 mark in non-league matchups. Entering the Ohio contest, the Minutemen have won their last nine non-conference road games, which includes three postseason outings in the 2012 Postseason NIT. UMass is 8-2 in non-conference regular-season road games over the past three years.
UMASS PLAYING WITH A LEAD... A LOT
Part of the UMass formula for success through nine games has been to not fall behind. In 360 minutes, the Minutemen have trailed for a total of 43:19 - just 12.03 pct. of the season.
Furthermore, UMass has used its pressing, attcking style to wear down opponents and pull away in the second half. UMass has only trailed for 10:26 of the second half this year, with 5:46 coming in the opener against BC and 4:40 two weeks ago at Eastern Michigan. They are outscoring teams by an average of 39.1-34.1 in the first half and 44.9-38.1 in the second half.
SCORING POINTS IN BUNCHES
UMass is averaging 84.0 points per game, which places it first in the Atlantic 10 Conference and 25th nationally. The Minutemen set a school record when they surpassed 80 points in each of their opening five games. They have since accomplished the feat in seven of nine games.
The Minutemen recorded a season-high 105-point effort against BYU two games ago, which also featured a 50-point performance in each half for the first time since Jan. 24, 1995 at Duquesne.
HIGH SHOOTING PCT. A BIG REASON FOR THE WINS
Through nine games, UMass is shooting .480 percent from the floor. That leads the A-10 and is 52nd in the country. UMass has shot better than the opponents in every game and over 43 pct. eight times.
UMass has shot .529 (64-for-121) over the past two games.
MAKING A LIVING AT THE FREE THROW LINE
UMass is shooting 72 percent from the free throw line through nine games. That figure ranks second in the Atlantic 10 Conference and 105th nationally.
The Minutemen have attempted at least 19 free throws seven times and are just two games from their highest shooting game of the season - 26-of-31 for .839 versus BYU. UMass' season highs for makes (33) and attaempts (43) both came in the win over Nebraska.
GETTING OFFENSIVE ON THE GLASS
One of the stronger parts of the play of UMass through the opening nine games has been its ability to control the offensive glass, and capitalizing on those opportunities. Coming off a 14-offensive rebound game against Northern Illinois, UMass has averaged 13.8 offensive boards per game and turned those into 15.8 points per contest. The Minutemen have grabbed at least 17 offensive rebs four times overall (season-high 20 in the opener against BC).
One of the biggest beneficiaries has been junior C Cady Lalanne. He leads the team with 44 offensive rebounds (33 percent of the team's 124 this season) and has scored 50 points off them for 5.6 ppg. That is 36.5 percent of his scoring on the year.
CHAZ DID WHAT? AND AGAINST THE NO. 9 RPI TEAM IN THE COUNTRY !?!
It's been well documented about Chaz Williams' 32-point, 15-assist, 1-turnover day against BYU two games ago. At the end of the day, he was responsible for 66 points out of the 105 for the Minutemen - or 63 percent of the scoring.
Williams is the first Division I player with at least 32 points and 15 assists in a non-OT game in the last 15 seasons. The only other player to reach those totals in a game in that span was Antawn Dobie (LIU) in 2003 in a double-overtime win versus St. Francis (NY).
WILLIAMS PICKS UP A SLEW OF HONORS AFTER CAREER GAME OF 32 POINTS, 15 ASSISTS
} Chaz Williams was named the Atlantic 10 Player of the Week for the second time this season after he averaged a double-double with 22.0 points and 11.5 assists in wins at Eastern Michigan and No. 9 RPI-ranked BYU - the Minutemen's first games as a ranked team in 15 years.
He netted 12 points and eight assists in the game at EMU, in UMass' first true road game of the year. Williams came back on Saturday and had a phenomenal game, posting career-highs in points (32) and assists (15), while committing just one turnover. His 32 points are the second-most in the A-10 this season, while his 15 assists tied the school record and are the fourth-most in league history. His assist-to-turnover ratio for the week was 7.7. He shot 52 percent from the floor, 46 percent from outside and was 14-of-15 from the foul line.
He was also named the National Player of the Week by CBS Sports.com, NBC Sports.com and Dick Vitale's PTPer of the Week.
DECEMBER UNDER KELLOGG
UMass is 23-12 (.657) in the month of December under Derek Kellogg and has won 16 of its last 18. The Minutemen have claimed their last eight dating back to a home loss to Miami (Fla.) on Dec. 1 of last season. UMass has gone 5-1 each of the past two Decembers with both losses to the Hurricanes.
Things won't be easy as their remaining three opponents have a combined 20-7 (.741) mark.
PROVIDENCE GAME TO SERVE AS BASKETBALL' S CAMPUS SESQUICENTENNIAL CELEBRATION GAME
The University of Massachusetts Amherst is celebrating the 150th anniversary of its founding as Massachusetts Agricultural College in 1863 following the passage of the federal Morrill Act. The year-long anniversary celebration included a series of events for Founders' Week in the Spring of 2013, as well as programs and activities highlighting important historical milestones, events and people.
Tuesday's ice hockey game against Denver and the men's basketball game against Providence on Saturday, Dec. 28, will be when those events take part in the celebration.