Slow going for UMass
Princeton goes at its own pace
By Joe Burris, Boston Globe Staff, 12/14/1994
After facing some of college basketball's quickest and most athletic teams, the University of Massachusetts prepares for a slow dance this evening.
Princeton, whose brand of ball control has made it a perennial giant killer, visits Mullins Center tonight.
Having played Arkansas, Kansas and Maryland, fifth-ranked UMass (3-1) now faces a team that uses nearly all of the 35-second clock before attempting a shot. The Tigers' offense, primarily geared for the 3-pointer or layup, features an array of screens, picks and back-door plays.
Coached by legendary Pete Carril, the Tigers have run that offense for quite some time but drew national attention only because of near upsets against Georgetown, Arkansas and Villanova in NCAA tournaments.
“It will be a good challenge because of how they play ball control,” said UMass coach John Calipari. “We will have to stay in a stance for 30 seconds. We haven't done that all year, not even in practice. We're going to start doing that this week.”
The Tigers are led by junior Chris Doyal, who is averaging 10.2 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. They start three freshmen and are captained by Sydney Johnson, the only sophomore to serve in that role in the 95 years Princeton has fielded a team.
“I've seen them a couple of times in the NCAA tournament,” said UMass forward Donta Bright. “They're a hard team to prepare against. They play so slow. They walk the ball up the court and use the whole shot clock.
”Temple's offense is similar, but Temple doesn't play as slow.“
Still, UMass is primarily concerned about its own game.
“We must go out there to do what we do to win the game,” said Bright. ''We can't worry about the things they do; we just need to worry about our team.”
The Minutemen will put the nation's second-longest on-campus winning streak on the line. After defeating Pittsburgh in its home opener last week, UMass has won 36 straight in Amherst, including 20 in a row at Mullins.
UMass has had a balanced scoring attack, led by senior forward Lou Roe, who hopes to rebound after a subpar outing against Maryland (6 points, 4 rebounds, 5 fouls in 19 minutes).
Roe continues to lead the team in scoring (21.5 ppg) and rebounding (9.8 rpg), while Bright is second in scoring (15.3) and guard Mike Williams is third (13.0).
UMass has been plagued by flu problems but practiced at full strength the last two days.
The Atlantic 10 will announce Fordham's entry into the league at a press conference today. Currently a member of the Patriot League, Fordham will become eligible for league play next season. Along with Xavier, it will offset the departure of Rutgers and West Virginia to the Big East. The league also has had discussions with DePaul and Dayton.
UMass slows Princeton
No. 5 Minutemen overcome shaky start to handle pesky Tigers
By Joe Burris, Boston Globe Staff, 12/15/1994
AMHERST – The game was just 14 seconds old and Princeton's patience, passing and pick play had already struck.
The University of Massachusetts players appeared bewildered. UMass fans looked puzzled. And UMass coach John Calipari knew that if this kept up, his team would be in for a long, frustrating evening.
But the No. 5 Minutemen made the necessary adjustments to a Pete Carril attack that had been a giant-killer in past years. And Princeton wound up the frustrated team. Center Marcus Camby had a season-high 30 points to lead the Minutemen to an 88-67 victory last night at the Mullins Center.
The win boosted UMass to 4-1 and extended the nation's second-longest on-campus winning streak to 36 games, including 21 in Mullins. Princeton, which starts three freshmen and is captained by a sophomore for the first time in its 95-year basketball history, fell to 3-4.
After the Tigers controlled the opening tip, forward Chris Doyal scored on a back-door layup to put them up, 2-0.
“The way they started off the game,” said Calipari, “spreading us completely out, sideline to sideline, baseline to baseline and then a back-door cut for a layup, I think all you had to say was, 'Oh, my goodness. They may be telling us the truth here.' ”
Princeton then stole the inbounds pass, and, as Calipari said, “All of a sudden, it was looking kind of hairy.”
But UMass quickly adjusted to shut down the driving and passing lanes and battled the Tigers evenly for the first five minutes. With 15:19 left in the first half, the Minutemen made their first run.
Forward Dana Dingle (10 points) scored on a feed from Camby to give the Minutemen a 9-8 edge. After a botched Princeton alley-oop attempt, Lou Roe (17 points) scored on a turnaround jumper to put the Minutemen up, 11-8.
With 12:39 left, forward Inus Norville (4 points) scored on a hook to put the Minutemen ahead, 13-8. Princeton cut the lead to 13-10 with 12:12 left, then got clobbered with a 14-6 UMass surge that made the score 27-16 with 7:23 remaining in the half.
“At first, they were playing a little bit slow and were doing a good job,” said Roe. “But I think as time wore on we wore them down and they got away from the slow brand of play. We forced them to play a little bit faster.”
Princeton cut the lead to 34-27 on a controversial foul call against Camby. He swatted away a shot by forward James Mastaglio (15 points) but was whistled for contact. After Mastaglio made two free throws, Camby scored on a nifty drop step and layup move while being fouled at the other end.
Camby missed the free throw, but Dingle rebounded and scored on a put-back to put the Minutemen up, 38-27, with 1:28 left in the half. UMass led, 40-32, at the break.
Camby carried his intensity over to the second half. In the first 10 minutes, he put on an amazing show – scoring all of UMass' field goals during a 22-12 run.
The sophomore from Hartford scored the first two buckets of the half on jumpers. With 15:07 left, he scored on a dunk to make it 52-41, and after a UMass steal on the ensuing inbounds, he threw in an alley-oop dunk after a feed from Mike Williams.
“I thought they couldn't shut me down low so they just gave me the ball,” said Camby.
Princeton was forced to play the last 4:01 without Carril, who picked up two technical fouls in 17 seconds. Calipari was so upset the legendary coach was tossed that afterward he said he started to leave as well.
During the postgame press conference, Carril had a few choice words for official Rich Sortino. “I want to tell you right now, I don't like the expletive,” said the coach. “It's the third time I've got heaved in my career, and it's been by guys like that.
“They look around for crap, like guys stepping on the line. Meanwhile, there's banging going on that he doesn't see. But I have no recourse. The worse I condemn him, the worse I look. I don't think he's a good ref. That I think I have a right to say.”
UMass' Camby didn't force it
By Jackie MacMullan, Boston Globe Staff, 12/15/1994
He was wary of Princeton, of the disheveled coach on the other bench who has been college basketball's answer to Columbo for decades. Center Marcus Camby was well versed on the history of the crafty Pete Carril, and he knew the fiery little man could make him – and his University of Massachusetts teammates – look very, very silly.
“You know, I was thinking mostly about defense,” said Camby. “I know they run those back-door plays and make you look stupid out there.”
He did not want to look stupid out there. No, not again. He felt terrible about what happened against Kansas, the 81-75 loss a couple of weeks ago which toppled the Minutemen from their No. 1 ranking, the loss in which he scored only 2 points and grabbed only five rebounds.
“I forgot about the Kansas game,” Camby declared last night, shortly after UMass disposed of pesky Princeton, 88-67. “I picked up and moved on.”
Funny thing about last night, when Camby was thinking about moving on, and playing defense, and being wary of the coach who might make him look silly.
Somehow the sophomore, who looks as though he actually grows taller at the intermission, found some time to dump in a game-high 30 points, 2 shy of his career best.
Oh, some of them were straight-on dunks, the kind you used to lay on your little brother's head in the 8-foot backyard hoop that was lowered to make you look good.
But there was more than that. There were soft, feathery turnarounds, with a deft touch that is uncommon at this level. There were athletic alley-oop slams that required instinct, and timing, and patience. There were blocked shots that devastated the Tigers.
It all had the spirited crowd at the Mullins Center out of their seats, savoring the delicious possibilities of a developing young star.
“I've been telling these guys not to pressure themselves,” said coach John Calipari. “When Camby puts pressure on himself, he's not this kind of player. I think that's what happened against Kansas. But when he just lets it fly . . . ”
He was flying on both ends of the floor. When Camby tells you he thinks about defense, he means it. He has watched his favorite player, Hakeem Olajuwon, and he knows The Dream became the best by breaking opponents down with a complete game.
“I want to be known for defense,” said Camby. “Last year I tried to block every shot. Now I'm trying to be patient.”
It is hard to be patient when you are 6 feet 11 inches (and growing at halftime) and running the floor and blocking shots and knocking down tough turnarounds. But Camby is clear on the situation. This is senior Lou Roe's team, and he can wait.
Was last night merely a preview? In the second half, Camby scored the first seven field goals for his club. He was whirling in the post, and turning, dribbling, exploding to the basket. There was that finish of the lob on the block, and the straight-on jam that kept the rim rattling for an extra tick of the clock, and the alley-oop slam, and the behind-the-head slam, and guess what. We haven't even told you about the best play of that stretch.
The best play was a monster block on Mitch Henderson, who was going strong to the hole but was swallowed, chewed up and spit out by the kid who didn't want to look silly on defense.
One game doesn't give anyone the right to talk about the total package. Last night's virtuoso effort should be tossed in the trash bin along with Camby's disaster against Kansas. The games in between will tell whether he is as gifted and as exciting as he sometimes appears.
When asked if Camby surprised him last night, Calipari answered, “No, I almost expect it. When he doesn't do it, I think, 'Geez, he must be worried about something.' ”
So how good is he?
“He's been special,” the perfectly manicured coach continued. “He's got a chance. If he gets stronger, he's a 7-footer who can shoot, who can pass, who is quick. He's just not strong enough. Maybe another year of maturity takes care of that.”
Only a mature player would realize the disheveled coach on the other end of the bench had no answers to stop him, but would choose to keep that thought to himself. Marcus Camby knows he made the Princeton team look very, very silly, but he has another game Saturday against Western Kentucky, so he's already forgotten that.
Camby leads UMass past Princeton
From The Hartford Courant Staff Reports, December 15, 1994
Marcus Camby scored a season-high 30 points as No. 5 UMass, playing the uptempo game it prefers, defeated Princeton 88-67 Wednesday night in Amherst, Mass.
Camby, a 6-foot-11 sophomore from Hartford, was too much for the defense of the smaller Tigers. And the slowdown tactics that Princeton coach Pete Carril uses to stay close to more talented teams didn't work.
UMass (4-1) played only its second unranked team. Princeton (3-4) allowed more than 59 points for the first time this season. The Tigers were led by Rick Hielscher with 20 points and James Mastaglio with 15. Camby missed his career high by two points.
PRINCETON (67) – Jason Osier 0-1 0-0 0, Sydney Johnson 1-7 2-2 4, Chris Long 2-3 0-0 5, James Mastaglio 5-8 3-4 15, Mitch Henderson 3-5 0-0 7, Chris Doyal 5-8 0-0 12, Steve Goodrich 2-6 0-0 4, Rick Hielscher 7-12 5-8 20, Ben Hart 0-0 0-0 0, Darren Hite 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 25-50 (50.0%) 10-14 (71.4%) 67.
MASSACHUSETTS (88) – Dana Dingle 4-5 1-2 10, Donta Bright 1-2 2-3 4, Jason Germain 0-0 0-0 0, Mike Williams 2-6 4-4 8, Andre Burks 0-1 0-0 0, Edgar Padilla 1-3 0-0 3, Derek Kellogg 1-2 4-4 7, Louis Roe 5-9 7-7 17, Marcus Camby 14-20 2-4 30, Carmelo Travieso 1-2 0-0 3, Jeff Meyer 1-1 0-0 2, Tyrone Weeks 0-0 0-0 0, Ted Cottrell 0-0 0-0 0, Rigoberto Nunez 0-1 0-0 0, Inus Norville 2-4 0-0 4. TOTALS: 32-56 (57.1%) 20-24 (83.3%) 88.
HALFTIME: Massachusetts 40, Princeton 32. 3-POINTERS: Massachusetts 4-9 (Dingle 1-1, Kellogg 1-1, Padilla 1-2, Travieso 1-2, Nunez 0-1, Williams 0-2), Princeton 7-16 (Mastaglio 2-3, Doyal 2-3, Hielscher 1-1, Long 1-2, Henderson 1-3, Osier 0-1, Johnson 0-3). REBOUNDS: Massachusetts 32 (Dingle, Camby 5), Princeton 23 (Hielscher 6). ASSISTS: Massachusetts 23 (Bright 6), Princeton 20 (Mastaglio 8). FOULED OUT: None. TECHNICAL FOULS: Hielscher, Princeton bench 2. TOTAL FOULS: Massachusetts 18, Princeton 17. ATTENDANCE: 9,493. RECORDS: Massachusetts 4-1, Princeton 3-4.
Princeton 32 35 -- 67 Massachusetts 40 48 -- 88