Undefeated #24 UCF Comes To UMass, Wednesday
First Non-Conference Ranked Foe At Mullins Since 2004
For the first time since the monumental upset of No. 7 UConn on Dec. 9, 2004, the UMass basketball team will host a Top 25 non-conference ranked team at the Mullins Center as undefeated No. 24 UCF (10-0) will take on the Minutemen (7-3) on Wednesday night. The Knights are ranked for the first time in school history riding their perfect start which includes wins over Florida and Miami. UCF's team features the son of basketball legend Michael Jordan, Marcus Jordan, who is averaging 15 points per game. UCF is one of nine undefeated teams remaining in all of Division I. UMass was one of the final 22 teams to suffere a loss this season, beginning 7-0.
UMass knocked off UConn, the 2004 defending national champion, 61-59, in that last game vs. a ranked non-conference foe. UMass last hosted a ranked team at the Mullins Center on Jan. 27, 2008, when the Minutemen lost 77-65 to No. 23 Xavier.
All-time, against teams ranked in the Top 25 of the AP Poll, UMass is 31-72, with the last win coming against No. 25 Kansas (61-60) on Dec. 13, 2008, in a game played in Kansas City. UMass has won four games vs. ranked teams, starting with that UConn game in Dec. 2004. The Minutemen also beat No. 21 George Washington (76-74 in OT) on Jan. 15, 2005 and at No. 14 Dayton (82-71) on Jan. 16, 2008.
Last season, UMass was 0-3 vs. Top 25 teams, losing to No. 2 Michigan State (106-68) on Nov. 28, 2009; at No. 19 Temple (76-64) on Jan. 16, 2010 and at No. 25 Baylor (71-45) on Jan. 23, 2010.
The Minutemen are hoping to rebound from three straight losses to Boston College, Maine and Seton Hall after the program's 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.
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.
Prior to the loss to Boston College at the TD Garden on Dec. 4, 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.
Series History With UCF
The first meeting was a UMass' 92-70 in the NCAA First Round in Providence. R.I., on March 14, 1996. In that NCAA Tournament game, Carmelo Travieso racked up 21 points to lead UMass in scoring. National Player of the Year Marcus Camby had 14 points and 17 rebounds. Edgar Padilla added 15 points and eight assists. UCF was led by Harry Kennedy, who had 21 points.
Last year was UMass' first game in the Sunshine State since falling at Florida State, 73-63, on Feb. 12, 2006. Prior to that UMass lost its last trip to Florida, also against an ACC team an 80-53 loss at Miami last season on Dec. 12, 2004.
Against teams from the state of Florida, UMass is 7-8 all-time. The Minutemen have the following marks against the state's teams: Florida (2-1), Florida International (1-0), Florida State (3-2), Florida Tech (0-1), Jacksonville (0-1), Miami (0-1), South Florida (0-1) and UCF (1-1).
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.
Better Shot Selection
From 3-point range, UMass is 32.1, 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 (42.9) and Gary Correia (40.9) lead the charge in taking more selective treys and hitting them. Correia has actually made nine of his last 19 over seven games.
Gurley, A Big Man On Campus
Gurley is just 20 points shy of becoming the 41st player to score 1,000 points at UMass.
Gurley scored his 1,000th career point with his final field goal against Rider and now has 1,179 in his career with 199 coming at Wake Forest and 980 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
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). He netted 14 in his last contest vs. Seton Hall (12/11).
UMass Calls Upon Sampson
Take The Charge! Traynham Draws `em
Traynham is also adding to the offense with 5.3 points and 2.8 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
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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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