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New Fan Guide

By Michael Fetterer, UMass 1995 alumnus, UMassHoops.com Owner/Administrator

Here are some facts that’ll help get you up to speed on the 2017-18 Minutemen, as well as some history on the program.

2016-17 Summary

What happened last season will have a lot to do with this one, so let's start with a quick recap.

UMass had a bad year, plain and simple. (2016-17 Season page)

A lot of new talent was brought in, and the roster was loaded with guys competing for minutes, but consistency eluded the team all season.

UM got off to a 10-3 start in non-conference play, registering decent wins over Temple and Harvard, and put a scare into Ole Miss on the road. However, most of the rest of the non-conf slate was littered with home games versus low-tier teams that didn’t help prepare for the grind of conference play.

A competitive Atlantic 10 hit UM with a 1-4 record right off the bat, 2-9 by early February, and 4-14 at the end. The Minutemen bowed out of the A-10 Tournament in the second round. Coach Derek Kellogg was relieved of his duties shortly after the game.

2017-18 Season Outlook

UM’s first task of the off-season was securing a new head coach. Winthrop's Pat Kelsey was tabbed and was within 30 minutes of his introductory press conference in Amherst, when he got cold feet and backed out.1) Bent but not broken, Athletic Director Ryan Bamford regrouped and chose Matt McCall from Tennessee-Chattanooga.

Coach McCall

McCall spent eleven years on Billy Donovan's staff at Florida, before a two-year stint at Chattanooga. In the off-season, the youthful McCall has been saying all the right things in the media. McCall built an assistant coaching staff from the ground up, with no hold-overs from Kellogg's staff.

The team

Coaching changes always lead to some player departures, but UM lost a total of 8 players from last season’s roster, including more than half of their scoring output. McCall has his work cut out for him in getting the most out of a roster that’s almost completely new.

Leaders in 2017-18 will be:

  • Rashaan Holloway – big man has improved a lot in his first two seasons, has a chance to be one of the better players in the Atlantic 10 in 2017-18.
  • Luwane Pipkins – point guard averaged 10.2 ppg as a freshman last season.
  • CJ Anderson – the team’s lone senior will get more minutes and last season’s 4.9 / 2.7 numbers will almost certainly take a significant jump.

Others in the rotation:

Newcomers:

Faces on the bench:

  • Jaylen Brantley was to be a grad-transfer for us this season, but a heart condition detected in the off-season ends his playing career. Another bit of bad luck that we'll have to deal with.
  • Four incoming transfers all have to sit out this season: Jonathan Laurent (Rutgers), Curtis Cobb (Fairfield), Kieran Hayward (LSU via Australia), Keon Clergeot (Memphis).

Predictions

In the Atlantic 10’s Pre-Season poll, UMass was picked to finish 12 out of 14.2) This isn’t too surprising considering all the changes in personnel, and coming off a sub-par season.

Arena: The Mullins Center

The Minutemen have played primarily at the Mullins Center since it opened officially in 1993. New this season are the giant video screens above center court and on both ends.3)

Honorary Banners & Retired Numbers

  • Lou Roe, 15 – A beast of a player and a key part of UM’s rise to the national stage in the early 1990s. Helped lead UM to four straight Atlantic 10 titles.
  • Marcus Camby, 21 – Height of a center with ball-skills of a guard, Camby was the 1996 Naismith National Player of the Year. He left after his junior year, became the 2nd overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft, and went on to play 17 seasons in the NBA.
  • Al Skinner, 30 – One of UM’s star players in the early 1970s, helping lead the team to consecutive Yankee Conference titles in 1973 and 1974.
  • Julius Erving, 32 – NCAA rules at the time prohibited dunking, and freshmen could not play with the varsity teams, so Erving was only with the team for two seasons, but in those seasons he averaged 26.3 ppg and 20.2 rpg. “Dr. J” emerged in the pros and he stands as one of the greatest players of all time.
  • George “Trigger” Burke, 32 – A standout for the 1955-56 team that went 17-6, Burke was the first player ever to lead the program in both scoring and assists in the same season. Burke has made generous contributions to UMass Athletics after a successful law career.
  • John Calipari, 193 Wins – As the head coach from 1988-96, Calipari took UMass from an also-ran to a long run as the #1 ranked team in college basketball.

History

The University of Massachusetts started an official men’s basketball team for the 1899-1900 season. The team has gone through a few different names, but since 1972 they’ve been known as the Minutemen, a tribute to Massachusetts history in the war for independence.

new_fan_guide.txt · Last modified: 2017/11/09 17:23 by mikeuma