Redmen Tussle With Hofstra Tonight
By John Sullivan, The Massachusetts Daily Collegian Sports Editor, December 22, 1970
Keeping a considerable number of UMass students from taking an early exit home for the traditional holiday festivities is an 8 p.m. basketball game at the Cage tonight and one that could be a good one as the undefeated Redman cagers tussle with a 5-2 Hofstra University squad.
Although each of UMass' three home contests thus far this year have been runaways for the Redmen (with UMass defeating St. Anselm's 98-63, New Hampshire 89-53 and American International College 93-40 — for a lopsided overall count of 280 points for and only 156 points against at the Cage), words of caution have preceded tonight's appearance of the Flying Dutchmen.
Most of the concern has arisen from the knowledge that Hofstra owns a big win over Temple University on the latter's home court, an overtime affair whose final count was 74-72. The significance surrounding this victory comes from the fact that it was Temple's first home-floor loss in 18 years. There is a qualifier to this point, and that is that the Owls play a lot of their home games at the University of Pennsylvania's Palestra, these tilts not being included on the 18-year record.
Outside of the Temple topple, Hofstra's other four wins have come against lesser knowns. The Flying Dutchmen have outpointed Wilkes College, 89-75, Southampton, 60-57, Sacred Heart, 91-88, and Drexel University, 74-61. Not many of these decisions are impressive, especially the ones over Southampton and Sacred Heart.
The most interesting of the Flying Dutchman starters is one Quinas Brower1), a 6'6 junior forward from a familiar place, Roosevelt, N.Y., home town of the Redmen's Julius Erving. Brower went to Roosevelt High School just like Erving, and went out for the school hoop squad just like Erving. Unlike Erving, Brower didn't make the team, getting cut by Ray Wilson, now one of UMass' assistant basketball coaches.
Anyway, Brower has reversed his basketball fortunes, has made the Hofstra team, and is one of its starters, currently averaging 11.9 points and 12.1 rebounds a game. This guy is a good jumper and has worked a lot with weights to build up his strength. He will probably perform the center taps for the Dutchmen tonight.
The big pointmen for Hofstra are Rich Link, a 6'6 senior forward, and Dave Bell, a 6'8 junior center. Link has had high-scoring nights of 29 and 27 against Rider and Temple this winter. His average overall is 15.4. He is mostly noted for his prowess on defense.
Bell is the number one Flying Dutchman scorer. He averaged 20.5 points last season and is going at a 18 ppg clip so far this year. His best games have been 24 and 22 versus Rider and Drexel. A great shooter, his field goal percentage of .584 was eighth best in the land last year.
In the backcourt are juniors Bob McKillop at 6’1. and Jim Pugh at 5’11. McKillop is an excellent ballhandler who is averaging an even 11 points thus far. Pugh is a carbon copy of McKillop, except he doesn't score as much. Rated Hofstra’s best dribbler in many years, his scoring average is only 5.6.
A couple of other Flying Dutchmen who will see action are Al Wolfson, a 6'3 sophomore guard, and Tom Kelleher. a 6'4 junior guard. Both are averaging about six points this campaign.
In countering Hofstra, UMass will go with the starters that have brought it this far along the unbeaten path, that being front-courters Chris Coffin, Ken Mathias and Erving, and backcourters John Betancourt and Mike Pagliara.
Gowdy Selects Erving On Second All-America Team
From The Massachusetts Daily Collegian Staff Reporter, December 22, 1970
Julius Erving, of UMass basketball notoriety, has just recently received probably his biggest publicity boost. One of the biggest and most likely the best monthly magazine on sports, SPORT, has chosen Erving as a preseason second-team all-American. The citation came in an article in the January issue of SPORT entitled “Curt Gowdy's College Basketball All-America”.
Obviously the selections were made by the former voice of the Boston Red Sox and present top sportscaster for the National Broadcasting Company, Mr. Gowdy. He compiled three dream teams, a first, second and third-team all-America, and he listed many honorable mentions.
His first team comprised Sidney Wicks of UCLA, Artis Gilmore of Jacksonville, Austin Carr of Notre Dame, John Roche of South Carolina and a surprise sophomore, George McGinnis of Indiana. Gowdy feels that if it wasn't for the emergence of the super soph McGinnis, Erving would have won first-team honors. Regardless of that, the following is what Gowdy had to write about Erving?
“Had we not made an exception for the exceptional sophomore, Julie Erving of Massachustts would have been our first-team choice at forward. As it is, he surely will become the Redmen's first basketball All-America. A remarkable success story, Erving was 6-3-1/2 when coach Jack Leaman recruited him. Leaman thought Erving would reach another inch in college. But the junior has sprouted to 6-6 and Leaman now thinks his young star will grow another two inches before graduation.
“As a 6-4-1/2 sophomore, Erving was the only major-college player besides Gilmore to average over 20 rebounds a game. And he averaged 25.7 points a game despite taking a moderate 19 shots per contest. (“He could have scored 40 a game if we wanted him to,” insists Leaman.) Erving picked up valuable experience while traveling with a U.S. Olympic development team last summer. He was named MVP in three of three European tournaments.”
Erving has gotten accolades in other publications and he has been previously voted highly on pre-season all-America lists, but getting such raves from a magazine the caliber of SPORT and from a man as highly-regarded as Gowdy is something else, it should help him get more of the ink he deserves from other national publications that have previously treated him with less accord. Only Curt, he's more often addressed as Julius, not Julie.
Redman Cagers Are 7-0 After Topping Hofstra, 87-60
By Barry Rubenstein, The Massachusetts Daily Collegian Assistant Sports Editor, December 23, 1970
Overcoming a listless first half, UMass romped to its seventh consecutive basketball victory, at the Cage last night, over Hofstra, 87-60, in an unusual game played before 4000 onlookers. The Redmen are unbeaten while Hoftstra now stands at 5-3.
Unusual it was, too, in many ways. Hofstra, in its trip from New York lost a few ball players on the way, among them starters Rich Link and Quinas Brower. These two forwards didn't appear until 12 minutes had elapsed in the game and didn't see any action until the second half. As it turned out, they should have stayed home.
Under these circumstances, the Flying Dutchmen had only three regular starters on the court at gametime. Despite this disadvantage, Hofstra played a tough, slow game and kept UMass somewhat under control. When Link and Brower finally entered the lineup, the Redmen heated up and turned a low scoring nail-biter into a Redman breeze.
Much of the credit for this one must go to the fine UMass backcourt of Mike Pagliara and John Betancourt. The junior aces combined for 36 points, 28 of which came in the crucial second half. They ran the offense extremely well, leading the Redman fast break and setting up their teammates numerous times for easy hoops underneath.
Up front for UMass, Julius Erving and Ken Mathias were outstanding. Erving had another excellent night garnering 27 points and 17 rebounds, while Mathias scored seven points and dominated the boards for a period in the second half, finally finishing with 12 rebounds.
The first half was tight all the way. Despite lacking height and experience up front, the Flying Dutchmen played a calm cool first stanza, simply biding their time. They opened up a five-point bulge early, 10-5, behind the inside work of center Dave Bell and Tom Kelliher.
The Redmen began to liven up as Erving made his presence felt with five straight points to knot the count at 12:42, but the spirited Dutchmen kept plugging away. Kelliher connected on two more hoops, and field general Jim Pugh added a 15-footer as Hofstra tried to pull away once more . But once again, UMass' junior co-captain took control and the Redmen took the lead for good, 19-18, on two Erving charity tosses.
But it wasn’t that easy. Although the Redmen held onto the lead, they were unable to extend it as Kelliher annoyingly continued his inside scoring. By halftime, Hofstra trailed by only six, 34-28.
With Link and Brower moving in the second half, things looked bad for UMass. Betancourt and Pagliara got hot hands and Mathias controlled the boards and the Redmen just ran away with it. By the 12:11 mark, UMass led by sixteen, 55-39, and it just kept building. The fast break was working to perfection as the Redmen picked up layup after layup against the hapless Dutchmen press.
With substitutes playing the final five minutes, the lead continued to build, and at the final buzzer the undefeated Redmen were victorious again, 87-60.
LAYUP LINES - In yet another oddity, Hofstra, the visiting team, was dressed in white, the customary color for the home club. This was due to a loss of equipment… Once again, the Redmen shot well from the floor as they hit for 58.3% to a poor 38.9% for Hofstra. UMass dominated the boards again too, this time winning the battle 44-26…. Erving had nine assists to go with his other stats… It was the 500th win in Redman basketball history and the seventeenth straight regular season victory.