Season is set to go

Tuesday, Sept. 08
The University of Massachusetts will live up to its name this winter as the men's basketball team will play games in four Bay State communities.

In addition to its home games at the Mullins Center, the Minutemen will play twice in Boston, once in Springfield and once in Worcester.

UMass will also face seven teams that appeared in last year's NCAA Tournament.

"It is very important for UMass to play games all over the state," UMass head coach Derek Kellogg said in a statement. "We are the flagship institution and we should be visible with games in different cities statewide."

The Minutemen will play Division II Dowling in a Nov. 7 exhibition and then face Cornell in the Nov. 18 home opener. UMass will play Holy Cross on Dec. 5 at the DCU Center in Worcester, and will host Memphis at the TD Bank Garden on Dec. 19. The Minutemen will also visit Boston College on Dec. 23, and will host Atlantic 10 Conference rival LaSalle at the MassMutual Center in Springfield on Jan. 10.

"We are thrilled to be playing games in Boston, Springfield and Worcester, in addition to the home schedule at the Mullins Center," said Kellogg.

The game against Memphis has lost a bit of its luster after former UMass head coach John Calipari left Memphis to take over as the head coach at the University of Kentucky. Kellogg, who played for Calipari at UMass, was also on the Tigers' staff before coming to UMass.

Kellogg enters his second season as the coach at his alma mater. He was 12-18 in his first year and the team finished 10th in the Atlantic 10 with a 7-9 record.

The Minutemen return two of their top four scorers from last year. Guard Ricky Harris led the team with a 18.2 scoring average while swingman Anthony Gurley of Newton North High School had a 11.2 scoring average.

Kellogg has only two starters returning, Harris and Gurley. He lost big men Tony Gaffney and Luke Bonner to graduation along with point guard Chris Lowe.

There are seven newcomers including highly sought after freshmen Terrell Vinson and Freddie Riley. Vinson is a 6-foot-7 forward and Riley is a 6-5 shooting guard. Two transfers -- Hashim Bailey from Memphis and Sean Carter from Oregon State -- will also be part of the team. Bailey is 6-10, 275 and Carter is 6-9.

BC, Cornell, Dayton, Memphis, Michigan State, Temple and Xavier all played in last year's NCAA Tournament and are on the schedule. In addition, Baylor, Florida, Davidson, Duquesne and Rhode Island all participated in the NIT.

One thing that UMass officials have to be pleased with is that of the school's A-10 home games, only January contests against Fordham on Jan. 6 and LaSalle, will be played while students are out of school.

"We are very happy that six of our eight home conference games will be played when the students are in session at UMass," said Kellogg. "We look forwrad to great student support."

The Minutemen will participate in the Legends Classic in November. It starts at the Mullins Center on Nov. 18 against Ivy League champion Cornell. UMass will play Rutgers at Atlantic City on Friday, Nov. 27, and then either Florida or Michigan State on Saturday, Nov. 28.

As of now, UMass has four nationally televised games. The Dec. 10 game with Memphis will be seen on ESPN2. A road game at Baylor on Jan. 23 and a home game with A-10 foe Charlotte on Jan. 30 will both be televised by ESPNU.

CBS College Sports will televise nationally the Feb. 14 home game with St. Joseph's.


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