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Men's Basketball Downs Statmaster.com In Exhibition Contest
Jackie Rogers leads UMass with 18 points and seven rebounds.
From UMassAthletics.com, 11/10/2000

AMHERST, Mass. -- Junior forward Jackie Rogers (Syracuse, N.Y.) scored 18 points and pulled down seven rebounds to lead the University of Massachusetts men's basketball team to an 82-71 victory over Statmaster.com in exhibition action at the Mullins Center. The Minutemen conclude the exhibition portion of their schedule with a 1-1 record.

UMass led the game throughout the first half, building its lead to as large as 11 points at the 4:12 mark, with a 35 24 advantage. But Statmaster went on an 8-3 run to end the half, then scored the first eight points after the intermission to take a 40-38 lead. The Minutemen regained the lead, 47-46, at the 15:31 mark on a basket by Rogers, igniting a 21-6 run which put the game away.

Senior guard Jonathan DePina (Boston, Mass.) played a strong all-around game, totaling 11 points, seven rebounds, six assists and three steals. Junior guard Shannon Crooks (Everett, Mass.) added 16 points, five assists and three rebounds, while senior center Kitwana Rhymer (St. Thomas, Virgin Islands) had 12 points, seven rebounds and two blocks. Junior forward Eric Williams (Brooklyn, N.Y.) came off the bench to grab a game-high 10 rebounds.

Statmaster was led by Carlin Hartman with 17 points, including an 11 of 13 performance on the free throw line. Bernard Blunt added 11 points and four rebounds, while Jamar Smiley scored 10 points and handed out four assists.

UMass will return to action next Saturday, Nov. 18, when it plays host to Iona in the regular season opener. Tip off is set for 7:00 p.m. at the Mullins Center.


UMass puts up right numbers
By Jeff Thomas, The Springfield Union-News, 11/11/2000

AMHERST Bruiser Flint treated last night's exhibition game with Statmaster.com as the real deal and his players took it to heart.

Massachusetts hauled in 52 rebounds, including 21 offensive boards, in winning 82-71 before 3,548 at Mullins Center in the team's final tuneup for the regular season.

Photo
Bruiser generally liked what he saw from his team.
"We talked about rebounding a lot this week," Flint said. "Guys were more aggressive."

Last week, UMass had 36 rebounds in an 83-82 loss to the California All-Stars. Micah Brand had no rebounds and Kitwana Rhymer just four.

Last night, Brand still struggled but just about everyone else had a strong game for the Minutemen, especially junior forward Jackie Rogers, who led all scorers with 18 points on 9-for-13 shooting.

Rogers added seven rebounds, one of three Minutemen (Rhymer and Jonanthan DePina) to pull down seven. Eric Williams led the rebounding attack with a game-high 10.

"The frontcourt played real well tonight," Winston Smith said. "We got a lot of second opportunities on the offensive end, while they got one shot and were done. Rebounding was key for us."

With Iona in the regular season opener Nov. 18, Flint played this like a real game, with real substitutions when needed.

Even though the game had no meaning, the Minutemen realized the need to play a sharp game before they tipped it up for real.

"Last week Bruiser was playing everybody and getting the feel for everybody," said Smith, who had 8 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists. "Tonight, he was playing to win."

That might not have happened if it wasn't for the second effort the Minutemen displayed, not only on the glass but going for loose balls.

DePina is the perfect example. In the second half he missed a 3-pointer but followed his shot, stripped the ball from a Statmaster.com player and scored the easy layup.

The senior guard, who played 35 minutes, had 11 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists and just one turnover.

Rogers was the most impressive player on the floor. The 6-foot-8 forward had six of his seven rebounds on the offensive end, and he wowed the crowd with an acrobatic baseline reverse layup in the first half.

"Last week I was on the shaky side because I hadn't really played with these guys," Rogers said.

"Jackie had a hell of a game, he played hard" Smith said. "He's filling Chris's void for us."

Chris Kirkland was the athletic forward for UMass the last two seasons, but if Rogers can play like this when the real games start, he could quickly make fans forget about the loss of Kirkland.

What Flint would like to forget was all the fouls called on his team. Statmaster.com went to the foul line 32 times, converting 25 chances. UMass was 5 for 11 despite playing close to the basket.

"When you foul that way you don't make them work at the other end," Flint said. "We won the game by 11, but they made 25 foul shots. It's tough to win games like that, and that's how we kept them in the game."

Flint played freshmen Jameel Pugh and Willie Jenkins, sparingly, and while Brand had eight points, he never seemed to get in the flow of the game.

But even with senior Monty Mack out as he serves a three-game suspension, Flint had the depth on the bench to get by, unlike last year.

"The biggest difference is we have a substitution pattern," Flint said. "Last year you'd looked down the bench and say 'please, just don't touch anybody for the next six minutes.'"

Carlin Hartman led Statmaster.com with 17 points. Chad Thomas and Bernard Blount each had 11.

UMASS YOUTH DAY:

The UMass basketball team is sponsoring a Youth Basketball Day tomorrow from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Mullins Center. The event is free and open to players and teams of all ages. Participants will be able to meet the UMass basketball staff and players, get autographs and watch Flint run the Minutemen through a practice. For more information call Brian Gorman at 545-3753.


Rogers leads UMass to win
By Matt Vautour, The Daily Hampshire Gazette Staff Writer, 11/11/2000

AMHERST - When Bruiser Flint signed Jackie Rogers last spring, he said the junior college transfer would give the University of Massachusetts men's basketball team an inside scoring presence that it had been lacking.

Photo
Jackie Rogers led the way with 18 points and 6 offensive rebounds.
In the Minutemen's final exhibition game, Rogers provided a glimpse of what the coach meant. He scored a game-high 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds as UMass defeated Statmaster.com, 82-71, Friday at the William D. Mullins Center.

Rogers shook off a mid-week foot injury and scored in impressive fashion at times. He used head fakes to beat double-teams and wowed the 3,548 in attendance with a reverse lay-up to avoid getting his shot blocked.

"He plays hard, diving and things like that," Flint said. "People appreciate that. The kid rebounds the ball. He can score inside and he's diving and hustling and doing all those things."

"Last week I was kind of on the shaky side because it was my first time playing with some of these guys," said Rogers, who played for Statmaster coach Mickey Walker in AAU. "I'm getting used to them and things were better."

The Minutemen get their regular season started Nov. 18 at home against Iona at 7 p.m.

Photo
Eric Williams gets himself into trouble down low.
UMass won Friday's game on the glass, outrebounding the barnstormers, 53-32. Eric Williams grabbed 10 of the boards before leaving with a twisted ankle. Flint said the injury wasn't serious.

"He's all right but I just didn't want him to hurt it any more," Flint said. "I thought Eric did a great job rebounding the ball.

"The frontcourt played real well for us," said senior forward Winston Smith, who had eight points,." We got a lot of second chance opportunities which was key for us tonight. On offense they got one shot and were done."

Other than a slow second half start, the Minutemen spent most of the game ahead. Statmaster put together a 16-3 run that bridged halftime to take a 40-38 lead, but UMass answered with a 17-6 run to pull back ahead 55-46 and never lost the lead again.

Photo
Winston Smith controls the rebound.
Statmaster fought to within three at 68-65 with 4:32 left, but senior point guard Jonathan DePina scored five straight UMass points by himself as the Minutemen put the game away.

DePina, who struggled in last week's first exhibition game, scored 11 points, grabbed seven rebounds, and dished out six assists while only turning the ball over once.

"He did a good job running the team today," Flint said. "He didn't turn the ball over and made some plays at the end of the game and pretty much put them out of the game."

"I basically just tried to contribute, move the ball around and get everybody involved," DePina said.

After shining against the California All-Stars, the freshman tandem of Jameel Pugh (three points, five minutes) and Willie Jenkins (two points, 1-for-7 shooting) came back to earth a bit.

"My freshmen played like freshmen tonight which is reality," Flint said. "They'll be fine."

* * *

NOTES: Sunday is Youth Basketball Day at the Mullins Center from 5 to 7 p.m. There will be an autograph and picture session with the UMass players and coaches for the first hour and attendees can watch practice for the second. Admission is free.

The Zerneris of Hatfield are emerging as halftime stars at UMass games. Last year Matt Zerneri won several gift certificates for taking part in a lay-up, free throw, 3-point, half-court shooting drill.

Friday his older brother Justin won a gift certificate for making seven lay-ups in a dribbling, shooting drill.


Video clips
2000 UMassHoops.com

All clips in MPEG format.
Video clip Micah Brand stays with the play and gets the follow-up. (file size = 312k)
Video clip Shannon Crooks fakes past the defender for the easy bucket. (160k)
Video clip Crooks gives it up to Kit Rhymer. (168k)
Video clip Jonathan DePina breaks away for the uncontested layup. (168k)
Video clip Little Jon DePina pays the price for going inside. (128k)
Video clip Jackie Rogers collects an offensive board, the hoop and a trip to the stripe. (312k)
Video clip Hard play like this is gonna solidify Rogers' standing in Bruiser's lineup. (192k)
Video clip Winston Smith makes it look easy, driving baseline for 2. (144k)


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2000 UMassHoops.com

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