Men's Basketball

 
UMass Hits Road For Tilt At Davidson

Gary Correia had five assists with no turnovers at Boston College.

Gary Correia had five assists with no turnovers at Boston College.

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UMASS (6-6) at DAVIDSON (4-8)
Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2009 • 7 p.m.
John M. Belk Arena (5,223) • Davidson, N.C.
Streaming Video, Gametracker: UMassAthletics.com
Radio: WRNX (100.9 FM - Flagship); WBIX (1060 AM), WCRN (830 AM), WATD (95.9 FM); UMassAthletics.com

UMass Hits Road For Tilt at Davidson on Wednesday Night
• UMass plays its final non-conference game before the start of the Atlantic 10 schedule, on Wednesday night, at Davidson in North Carolina at 7 p.m. The Minutemen stand at 6-6 overall with one more non-conference game set for. Jan. 23 at Baylor. The Minutemen have secured a winning month of December, standing 4-2 through the first six games this month. UMass suffered a tough 79-67 loss at Boston College last Wednesday. That came on the heels of the dramatic 73-72 win over Memphis at the TD Garden in Boston on Dec. 19.

• Davidson, which has been to the postseason in each of the last four seasons including the NCAA Tournament in 2006-08. In 2008, Davidson made a run to the NCAA Elite Eight with Stephen Curry leading the Wildcats. This year, they are 4-8 heading into a home game vs. Penn on Monday.

• UMass and Davidson have split six previous meetings with each winning at home in 2004 and 2005. The Wildcats won the last meeting, 66-63.

• There is no television coverage of game, but live streaming video is available. The UMass Sports Network with Josh Maurer and Tim Kenney 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.

Win Over Memphis Gets Attention
• UMass freshman forward Terrell Vinson hit the game-winning basket with 0:00.7 left to beat Memphis on Dec. 19. His bucket was the ESPN SportsCenter No. 1 Play of the Day on Saturday and the No. 6 Play of the Week on SportsCenter. He was named the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week and UMass Athlete of the Week as he posted a career-high 21 points and grabbed nine rebounds along with the thrilling game-winner.

The Series With Davidson
• UMass and Davidson have each won three games in the six matchups between the teams. Each home team holds a 2-1 lead in games on its home court. Davidson won the last meeting, 66-63, on Nov. 22, 2005 at Belk Arena. UMass captured the last game at the Mullins Center, 70-67 on Dec. 19, 2004.

• In the two other games in North Carolina, the teams split the two games, with UMass winning on Jan. 22, 1998, 82-66. Davidson won the first game in the series, at home, 71-68 on Dec. 11, 1982.

• The teams will meet next season at the Mullins Center to complete a home-and-home series.

• In the last game at UMass, the Minutemen won a battle, 70-67 on Dec. 19, 2004 the Mullins Center. Rashaun Freeman came off the bench to score a team-high 14 points and five boards to lift the Minutemen. The Mullins Center also saw its 1,000,000th men's basketball fan walk through the turnstiles at the game. Amherst's own Zachary Gabor was greeted by Senior Associate A.D. Thorr Bjorn before the contest and was honored during a timeout during the opening half.

• Davidson won the previous game on Dec. 29, 1998, 75-66 in overtime at the Mullins Center. Monty Mack had 24 points (20 in the first half) in the game as the Wildcats came back from a 42-27 halftime deficit to send the game to overtime.

• Prior to that loss, UMass had won two straight in the series winning both games in the 1996-97 and 1997-98 seasons, topping the Wildcats, 77-64 and 82-66 in the meetings. Davidson won the first match-up back in 1982, 71-68 in North Carolina.

• Head coach Derek Kellogg has never coached against Davidson or head coach Bob McKillop. McKillop is 2-3 against the Minutemen, coaching the last five games in the series.

UMass Connections With Davidson
• Wednesday's game will be a state homecoming for UMass sophomore center Sean Carter, who is from Fayetteville, N.C. Carter played his high school ball at the 71st High School and prepped at the Laurinburg Institute, also in North Carolina. Fayetteville is about three hours from the Charlotte area.

• Davidson head coach Bob McKillop is a native of New York and went to college at Hofstra on Long Island. He is longtime friend of UMass Associate A.D. Tim Kenney, a native Long Islander. Also UMass assistant coach Adam Ginsburg is a Long Island native, from Baldwin.

Last Game vs. Davidson: Nov. 22, 2005
DAVIDSON 66, UMASS 63
• In a game that saw 24 lead changes throughout, it was a lay-up by Davidson's Thomas Sander with 33 seconds to play that proved the most crucial as it gave the Wildcats the final change of the night. The Wildcats erased a 10 point UMass lead in the final eight minutes of action to take a 66-63 win at the John M. Belk Arena in front of 3,084 fans. After trading baskets for much of the game, UMass put together a 12-0 run taking a 60-50 lead with 7:31 remaining.

• The Wildcats responded, however, trimming that margin over the next seven minutes until Sander's conversion. Brendan Winters, the SoCon Preseason Player of the Year, hit two free throws with four seconds remaining to seal the win. Winters was held to just nine points on the night by tenacious defense by UMass' Brandon Thomas. With four seconds to play, UMass inbound the ball with no timeouts, but junior Art Bowers' three-point attempt was blocked out of bounds as time expired.

Stephane Lasme nearly had a triple double as he was one blocked shot away. He posted a career-high and school-record tying nine blocks to go with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Maurice Maxwell led the Minutemen with 13 points including a three-pointer (one of three on the night) that helped spark the 12-0 run.

• Ian Johnson led all scorers with 20 points on the night and hauled in nine boards. Matt McKillop, son of Davidson head coach Bob McKillop, played a crucial roll in the comeback scoring eight of his 11 points in the final 5:17 of play.

Shooting Tells The Story
• With UMass' record at 6-6, the difference has been shooting percentage both on offense and defense. Derek Kellogg has been preaching to his Minutemen to use better shot selection. When they have this season, they have won. When the Minutemen have shot poorly and played poor defense they have lost.

• In UMass' six wins, the Minutemen are shooting 49.0 from the floor overall and 35.2 from 3-point range. In the six losses UMass is 35.2 on all field goals and 28.2 from beyond the arc.

• On defense, in the six victories, UMass is holding foes to 39.3 overall and 29.4 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 79.5 to 64.0 in the wins and a deficit of 85.3 to 67.7 in the losses.

• UMass is 6-0 when shooting above 40 percent this season and 0-6 when shooting below 40 percent this season.

• UMass is 6-0 when shooting a better percentage than its opponents and 0-6 when being outshot.

Harris & Gurley Leading The Way
• UMass is the only team in the Atlantic 10 with two scorers in the league's Top 10. Junior Anthony Gurley is fifth with a 16.9 mark and senior Ricky Harris stands sixth with a 16.7 average.

• Harris continues to move up the UMass career scoring charts with his 16.7 average this season. He is ninth with 1,531 points and closing in on No. 8 Harper Williams (1,534). He has scored in double-figures in 22 games in a row, in 75 of his 109 career games and in 72 of his last 77 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).

• Harris was named the A-10 Co-Player of the Week on Dec. 7 after he led UMass to a 2-0 week (Dec. 2-5). Harris had exactly 19 points, six assists and three rebounds in each UMass win that week (vs. Quinnipiac and at Holy Cross. The Baltimore native shot a blistering 68 percent from the floor (13-of-19) and made a stellar 7-of-13 3-point field goals.

• Gurley scored in double-figures in 11 of 12 games this season, with the first five off the bench and the last seven as a starter. He is first on UMass in scoring with a 16.9 points per game average. He is also shooting very well with a 46.2 percent mark from the floor. He had at least 13 points in 11 of 12 games this season. He had his first career double-double at Boston College (12/23) with 23 points and a career-high 10 rebounds. 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
• Right behind the two veterans on the scoring list are freshmen Terrell Vinson (9.7) and Freddie Riley (9.6). Vinson emerged a tremendous player with a 20.5 scoring average from Dec. 11-19. That happened while Riley has been out after undergoing minor knee surgery on Dec. 9. He is expected back in late December or early January.

• Vinson has six games overall in double-figures including 21 vs. Memphis (12/19) and 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.

• Vinson earned national attention with his game-winning basket to upset Memphis (12/19), 73-72. He scored a career-high 21 points along with nine rebounds in the stunning win over the Tigers. He was named the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week and UMass Athlete of the Week. His game-winner was the ESPN SportsCenter No. 1 Play of the Day on Dec. 19 and No. 6 Play of the Week for that week as well.

• Riley has four games in double-figures including 12 at Holy Cross (12/5).

Sampson Carter is averaging 5.7 points and 3.7 rebounds with double-figures in three games. Javorn Farrell is averaging 3.8 points and 3.1 rebounds including a career-best 10 rebounds vs. Grambling State (12/11) in just 11 minutes of action.

Harris Shoots Up 1,000-Point List
• 2009-10 Atlantic 10 Preseason First-Team guard Ricky Harris is rising up the all-time UMass scoring list. Harris, who played his 100th college game against Cornell, currently stands ninth with 1,531. He passed Horace Neysmith with his 22 points vs. Rutgers (11/27) in the Legends Classic and Mike Pyatt (1,503) with 15 at Seton Hall (12/7). Next on the list is No. 8 Harper Williams (1,534). Donald Russell is No. 7 with 1,558.

• 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 75 of his 109 career games including 72 of the last 77 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, FT Lists
Ricky Harris is rising on the career 3-pointer lists for makes and attempts as well as made free throws.

• He stands fourth in career made 3-pointers (233) and attempts (647).

• Among the players he passed last season was his current head coach Derek Kellogg (138 makes and 362 attempts). Next on both lists is Carmelo Travieso (245 of 666).

• Harris tied for ninth in made free throws with 320 in history. He is tied with Monty Mack, just two behind No. 8 Julius Erving (322).

• This season, Harris 25-of-77 from 3-point range this season and 35-of-46 from the foul line.

• He shot 38.7 from beyond the new extended-distance arc last season, making 87-of-225 from 3-point range in 2008-09.

• 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' 87 made 3-pointers last season finished tied with James Life for sixth-most in a single-season.

• Harris also 11th on the career 3-point field goal percentage list (36.0).

Visiting The Commonwealth
• When Derek Kellogg was hired, he made a priority of playing games throughout all of Massachusetts. This season, the Minutemen will be playing games in all areas with games in five different locations in the commonwealth. In addition to home games in Amherst at the Mullins Center, UMass will play "home" games in Springfield (at the MassMutual Center) on Jan. 10 against La Salle; Boston (at the TD Garden) against Memphis on Dec. 19, which was a 73-72 win. UMass also beat Holy Cross at the DCU Center in Worcester on Dec. 5 and lost at Boston College in Chestnut Hill on Dec. 23.

• UMass is now 4-0 at the TD Garden with the win on Dec. 19. It was UMass first game at the building 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 is 6-2, winning the last six in a row in the Commonwealth.

UMass Quick Hits For 2009-10
Ricky Harris leads UMass into action as the lone scholarship senior on the team in 2000-10. The Baltimore native is the Atlantic 10's leading returning scorer in 2009-10 with an 18.2 average. He was named to the Preseason All-Atlantic 10 team by the coach and media. He has been named to the same team by most publications and has been dubbed the A-10's "Most Entertaining Player" by one annual.

• 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.

UMass Alum Leading UMass
Derek Kellogg, in his second season, is the first UMass alum to serve as the head coach of his alma mater since Tom McLaughlin, who coached the Minutemen from 1981-83. Kellogg graduated from UMass in 1995 where he was an All-Atlantic 10 selection in 1995. McLaughlin graduated from UMass in 1973 where he was one of three future head coaches on the team. He was joined by current Boston College head coach Al Skinner and Louisville coach Rick Pitino. Kellogg is not the only current head coach from the UMass rosters in the mid-90s as Tony Barbee is in his fourth year as the head coach at Texas-El Paso.

• 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.

Harris, Riley, Vinson Earn Preseason Honors
• The Atlantic 10 Conference released its preseason All-Conference teams on Oct. 22, with UMass senior Ricky Harris highlighting the Alll-Conference First Team. Two of head coach Derek Kellogg's freshman class of five, Freddie Riley and Terrell Vinson, were both named to the preseason All-Rookie Team. The A-10's preseason poll was also released with the Minutemen coming in ninth.

• In the first preseason men's basketball magazine, Lindy's, UMass men's basketball is being praised for the A-10's top recruiting class. Senior guard Ricky Harris is also gaining honors as he was named to the A-10's First Team and the league's "Most Entertaining" player.

• Lindy's picks UMass to finish fifth in the A-10 behind Dayton, Xavier, Richmond and La Salle. The magazine mentions: "Ricky Harris is an absolute scoring machine and coach Derek Kellogg has a killer group of newcomers." It finishes with UMass "Will get better as the season progresses and will be a team nobody wants to draw in the A-10 Tourney."

• Lindy's calls UMass' incoming class the "Best group of recruits" in the league. "Massachusetts coach Derek Kellogg made a name for himself as a recruiter under John Calipari at Memphis, and he proved that he could do it on his own at his alma mater in Amherst. He scored a key early pledge from Freddie Riley, and in the late signing period nabbed a big-time combo forward in Terrell Vinson. Aside from those two, Kellogg got pledges from a pair of small forwards in Sampson Carter and Javorn Farrell, as well as a super athletic power forward Raphiael Putney."

• In the UMass team profile, Lindy's cites Anthony Gurley under "Keep An Eye On." The mag says: "Gurley will display his all-around talents in the backcourt, largely because he has to as the Minutemen do not have a true point guard with experience."

 

 

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