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UMass Announces 2001-2002 Men's Basketball Schedule
Slate includes 13 games vs. 2001 postseason tournament entrants.
From UMass Athletics, 9/6/2001

AMHERST, Mass. -- The 2001-02 University of Massachusetts men's basketball schedule features 13 games against teams which participated in postseason play a year ago, according to the slate released today by UMass Athletic Director Bob Marcum and first-year Head Basketball Coach Steve Lappas.

"I believe it is a very good schedule," Lappas said. "We have scheduled teams with some high power rankings and great traditions. Between those games and the A-10 schedule, it should be a tremendous challenge for us in our first year here."

Lappas' first UMass team, which returns three starters and six other letterwinner's from last year's team which finished 15-15 overall, 11-5 in the Atlantic 10 (fourth) and runner-up in the A-10 tournament, will play eight games against 2001 NCAA Tournament entrants (Holy Cross, Boston College, Ohio State, Xavier, Temple-twice and St. Joseph's-twice) and five games against teams that participated in the 2001 NIT (UConn, Dayton, Richmond and St. Bonaventure-twice).

After opening the season with a pair of exhibition contests, the Lappas-era officially tips off against Arkansas-Little Rock in the Mullins Center, Nov. 16, in the first of three straight home games. It marks the first time since the 1971-72 season that the Minutemen have opened the season with three consecutive home games, as Marist (Nov. 24) and Oregon (Nov. 27) travel to the Commonwealth before UMass hits the road for a Dec. 1 game at North Carolina State.

Following the trip to Raleigh, N.C., UMass returns home to host Holy Cross on Dec. 4, before travelling to Boston College for the Commonwealth Classic, Dec. 8. The MassMutual "U" game returns to the Mullins Center Dec. 11, as rival UConn plays in Amherst for just the second time since 1990. UMass then plays a game against Central Connecticut State at Mohegan Sun (Dec. 15), before breaking for final exams. After finals, the Minutemen host Maine (Dec. 23) and play at Marshall (Dec. 29)

UMass begins its quest for a 13th-straight winning A-10 record at home against defending champion St. Joseph's on Saturday, Jan. 5, then plays its last non-league game in Amherst against Ohio State on Jan. 9 (the Buckeyes will be the first Big Ten team ever to play in Amherst), before returning to A-10 action at Fordham, Jan. 12. Other A-10 home games will come against Temple, George Washington, Dayton, La Salle, St. Bonaventure, Fordham and Rhode Island.

Notes: UMass played the nation's 17th-most difficult schedule last year, the seventh time in the last eight years its SOS has been ranked in the nation's top 56...UMass will play 18 games against teams which finished last season with a .500 or better record, and 22 games against teams which ranked from 1-150 in the final 2000-01 Collegiate Basketball News RPI Report...the Atlantic 10 returns to an East-West Division format in 2001-02...UMass, of course, will be in the East with Temple, St. Joseph's, St. Bonaventure, Fordham and Rhode Island, while the West is comprised of Xavier, Dayton, Duquesne, La Salle, George Washington and first-year member Richmond...UMass will have at least 12 games televised during the season (three ESPN, one ESPN2, one ABC, one ESPN+, one Raycom and five A-10 Network).

Minutemen to get plenty of air time
By Matt Vautour, The Daily Hampshire Gazette Staff Writer, 9/7/2001

The Atlantic 10 cemented its reputation as the last conference in America to release its men's basketball schedule once again, but the waiting is over. The University of Massachusetts released its 2001-02 men's basketball slate Thursday.

UMass is scheduled to be on ESPN or ESPN2 four times during the regular season, as well as once on ESPN+ (Ohio State, Jan. 9), the network's satellite TV arm. The Minutemen will have their annual tilt with Temple on ABC on Feb. 16. UMass is also on A-10 TV five times.

The Minutemen open with three consecutive home games for the first time in 30 years. The then-Redmen opened with three straight wins against St. Anselm's, Vermont and Holy Cross in the 1971-72 campaign.

The current UMass squad will open with a rare Friday night home game, playing host to Arkansas-Little Rock on Nov. 16, followed by Marist on Nov. 24, and Oregon at the Springfield Civic Center on Nov. 27.

UMass opens its 16-game A-10 slate on Jan. 5 when it plays host to league favorite St. Joseph's and finishes it at Xavier's Cintas Center on March 2.

The A-10 will play its tournament in the First Union Center for the sixth consecutive season.

"I believe it is a very good schedule," first-year coach Steve Lappas said in a statement released by UMass. "We have scheduled teams with some high power rankings and great traditions. Between those games and the A-10 schedule, it should be a tremendous challenge for us in our first year here."

Notes: The UMass ticket office has been moved from the Curry Hicks Cage to the Mullins Center. Season tickets are currently on sale ($280 for general public and $252 for university faculty and staff). Individual game tickets go on sale next month.

Oregon coming to town
By Ron Chimelis, The Springfield Union-News, 9/7/2001

AMHERST The first year of University of Massachusetts men's basketball under Steve Lappas will include 15 home games, including a Nov. 27 nonconference date against Oregon at the Springfield Civic Center.

The 2001-02 schedule was released yesterday, and includes 27 games with a home slate that will bring Connecticut (Dec. 11) and Ohio State (Jan. 9) to the Mullins Center.

The Minutemen open at home Nov. 16 against Arkansas-Little Rock, a new opponent. It will be the first game for UMass under Lappas, the former Villanova coach who replaced five-year Minutemen coach Bruiser Flint after last year's 15-15 finish.

Seven of the 11 nonconference games are at home. The only nonconference road opponents will be North Carolina State, Boston College, Central Connecticut State (Dec. 15 at the Mohegan Sun resort) and Marshall.

The Minutemen will renew their rivalry with Maine, a former opponent from the old Yankee Conference, in a Dec. 23 home game.

The 16-game Atlantic 10 schedule opens with a Jan. 5 home game against St. Joseph's, the defending A-10 regular-season champion. This season will be the first for Richmond in the league, which UMass will visit Jan. 16.

On Jan. 19, Temple makes its annual visit to the Mullins Center. The teams will meet again Feb. 16 in Philadelphia.

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