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season_preview_1968-69

1968-69 Season Previews

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

All Players Together Spell Success
From The Massachusetts Daily Collegian, 12/2/1969

No one person determines the success of a basketball team, or of any other team for that matter. Strike up the band! Clash the cymbals! And shout it loud and clear! Success is a team effort, folks! Ta da! Hurray! …… Big deal, everybody knows that! Right?

Hopefully right, but most certainly right in the case of Coach Jack Leaman’s ’69-70 Redman hoop team. Everyone does his part under the Leaman system and, in the past two years, it has spelled success. It should again this year. The following are profiles of the individual players who make up the complete unit, the UMass Redmen.

Ray Ellerbrook, No. 12, 6’1, 190, Senior

A unanimous All-Yankee Conference guard as a junior last year, the Redmen captain is known for his pretty left-handed pop shots from long ranges which pour through the nets in an abundance of hot streaks.

Ellerbrook has been a star now for two seasons, during which time he has tallied 811 points to rank 11th on the UMass career list. He scored 432 of those last winter for a fine 18 point average, best in both categories for the Redmen.

A likable performer because of his hustle, Ellerbrook took home the Sportsmanship Trophy at the Evansville Christmas tourney last year. In ten games he topped the 20-point barrier with highs of 31 and 27 against Maine and Tennessee Tech.

Dennis Chapman, No. 40, 6’3, 212, Senior

A transfer of two years ago from Baltimore Junior College, Chapman quickly won recognition last year when he came off the bench to help push the Redmen past early season opponents, Rhode Island and UConn.

He then graduated to a starting berth and put forth good efforts all season long, including his 22-point performance in UMass big win over Fordham. An accurate outside shooter, Chapman hit double figures in 13 contests and finished a fine junior year with 271 points for an 11.3 average and 183 rebounds for a 7.6 average.

Ken Mathias, No. 42, 6’7, 200, Junior

As a sophomore Mathias started at forward but will be moved to center to take up where departed Peter Gayeska left off. With that one big season under his belt, he could develop into one of the best and most consistent players in New England.

He canned 251 points in ’68-69 for a solid 10.5 average; his rebounding average was 8.9 as he hauled down 214 over the course of the year. Mathias also hit double figures on 12 occasions and had a big 13-point, 16-rebound game in UMass 61-57 overtime conquest of Navy.

Julius Erving, No. 32, 6’5, 185, Sophomore

With tremendous body control and jumping ability, Erving has that special ability to excite crowds. As a frosh, he hit for 273 points for an 18.2 average; his 214 rebounds came at a 14.2 per game clip. Both marks were frosh highs as Erving helped lead the talented freshmen to a 15-0 record.

He had an impressive 51% shooting average from the field and recorded 31, 29 and 26 points in games against Chamberlayne, Rockwood, and Amherst. His best effort came in a key away tilt with Dartmouth. He scored 22 points, grabbed 22 rebounds, had eight assists, eight blocked shots, and five steals.

Jack Gallagher, No. 24, 6’4, 190, Senior

Seeing most of his action in reserve roles, Gallagher has started at times but, regardless of the role, has always given his best. Leaman will again count heavily on the veteran senior to come off the bench and do his part. Over two seasons, Gallagher has scored 124 points and has nabbed 98 rebounds.

Dick Samuelson, No. 44, 6’6, 196, Senior

Like Gallagher, Samuelson has priceless experience as a reserve after two years of backing up Gayeska. He tends to alternate between adequate and spectacular and, with two full years behind him, should be more consistent. His rebounding and point totals over two seasons stand at 180 and 216 respectively.

John Betancourt, No. 10, 5’11, 170, Sophomore

A shining frosh guard last year, Betancourt teamed with Mike Pagliara to form a most potent backcourt tandem. He compiled a fine 13.7 average with 206 points for the season and broke double figures 13 times.

A good outside shooter who can handle the ball well, he shot 45% from the field and 73% from the line and was extremely cool under pressure.

Mike Pagliara, No. 14, 5’10, Sophomore

In watching Pagliara and Betancourt lead the powerful freshmen last year, one could not be distinguished from the other; both play the same type of game and both play it well. Pagliara handles the ball well and can shoot with accuracy, as his 52% from the field and 70% from the line testify.

He totaled 205 points and had 22 against AIC, and 21 against Rhode Island, Dartmouth, and St. Anslem’s. Like Betancourt, Pagliara is calm in the clutch.

Rich Vogeley, No. 30, 6’5, 194, Sophomore

Another talented sophomore, Vogeley will see plenty of action as a vital cog in the UMass basketball machine. Leading his list of credentials is the 36-point performance he turned in against Rockwood to set a new frosh scoring mark. He was in the double figures categories in 11 other games last winter on his way to scoring a total of 231 points.

An excellent shooter, he hit on 52% and 81% of his shots from the field and the line. He is also a solid rebounder, grabbing 119 caroms as a frosh.

Bob Dempsey, No. 22, 6’0, 175, Junior
No photo
Playing in the absence of injured Jo DiSarcina for seven games last year, Dempsey gained valuable experience running the ball club as UMass won six of those encounters. A sure-fisted ballhandler, he adds depth to the backcourt.

Bill Greeley, No. 20, 5’9, 174, Junior
No photo
As a sophomore, Greeley played the same reserve role that he will be counted on to fill again this year. Like Dempsey, he adds depth to an already deep backcourt.

Chris Coffin, No. 54, 6’5, 185, Sophomore

As a freshman, Coffin put in a lot of playing time at forward and center and will move up to a reserve role with the varsity.

Tom Austin, No. 52, 6’8, 183, Sophomore

Playing center on the frosh squad, Austin gained valuable experience and will be counted on for reserve strength as a sophomore.

Bill Kesgen, No. 50, 6’5, 210, Sophomore

A foot injury prevented him from playing a great deal for the frosh, but he has the ability to be a key reserve for the varsity.

Sam Provo, No. 34, 6’0, 178, Sophomore

Yet another guard, Provo has yet to be heard from, but that situation shouldn’t persist as he is an exceptional shooter with a good basketball head on his shoulders.

John Sage, 6’4, 200, Junior

A transfer from the Naval Academy, Sage will provide bench strength at forward, an already strong position.

Leaman Worries About Rebounds and Defense
From The Massachusetts Daily Collegian, 12/2/1969

Jack Leaman, in three years, has taken UMass basketball from dormancy to its greatest heights, and has brought the Redmen to the brink of New England supremacy.

Now on the eve of his fourth season, the personable Leaman had comments on what could be a most interesting season.

MDC – Injuries have been a problem during practice. How is the physical shape right now as the season begins?

Leaman – We’ve had a tough time getting everyone together healthy and it has had an effect. Right now, the only one sub-par is Mike Pagliara. His shoulder is still injured and he’ll be a doubtful participant against Providence.

MDC – After seeing the team practice for over a month, what do you consider your main strengths?

Leaman – I’d say that we have good shooting ability and will be a fine shooting team. I also think that our overall team speed will be an asset.

MDC – Any obvious weaknesses?

Leaman – We lack real size and strength. Also, we are not as good a defensive team as I would like us to be.

MDC – Is the fact that you will have to depend a great deal on sophomores, going to be a hindrance early in the season?

Leaman – If they play like sophomores than it will hurt us. It could be a source of trouble. But it is not a big worry for me, because I think they will perform with poise. They came through last year to be 15-0. (At the time, freshmen were ineligible to play on the varsity team, and had their own team.) I think they will be ready.

MDC – How will this team compare to last year’s? You have those two big holes left by Gayeska and DiSarcina.

Leaman – We will be much different from last year. We have no dependable rebounder like Peter (Gayeska) and don’t have a leader and ball handler like Joe (DiSarcina). We won’t be as steady or dependable as we were a year ago. However, we will be trying to make up for it in other areas such as improved shooting and speed. We hope we can offset those two big losses and be a quality basketball team.

MDC – Who will start against Providence?

Leaman – Well, for Providence, and this is only for Providence, we’ll probably go with John Bettancourt and Ray Ellerbrook at guards, Ken Mathias at center, with Julius Erving and Dennis Chapman at the forwards.

MDC – Have you set any objectives for the coming season, any goals you hope to attain?

Leaman – Always our main goal, every year, is to improve our record from the year before. It will be tough to improve over last year because we got the maximum out of that team. Our second goal will be to win the Conference title again. And our third goal is to become the best in New England. We have the potential to do that but we aren’t yet there. The first six games will have a lot to say about realizing that dream.

MDC – Who’ll be the big trouble in the Conference?

Leaman – Unquestionably Rhode Island. They have brought in three junior college transfers and are spending the most money in the Conference on basketball. They are professing to become a national power, so we have to be wary of them.

MDC – Is this now or can it be the best UMass team ever?

Leaman – It definitely is not now. We have to fill two big holes, and improve our rebounding and defense. These are two things that have always been our strong points. But this is potentially an outstanding team and if we improve in those areas we can realize our goals.

Hoop Ducats on Sale
From The Massachusetts Daily Collegian, 12/2/1969

Applications for season tickets to UMass home basketball games for non-students can be picked up at any time in Boyden 255. A special season ticket rate of $15 is available to faculty, staff, professor emeritus and their immediate families.

Ticket applications, when filled out, should be forwarded to Walter R. Novak, Ticket Manager, Boyden Building, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts.

If these persons should desire individual game tickets instead of season tickets, they should pick up individual game applications in Boyden 255. These applications, when made out, should be forwarded as the others. Prices are $2 for all home games except those in which the Redmen host Providence, URI, UConn, and Holy Cross.

Improvements on the Cage have been administered over the last six months with promises of a better lighted, better heated and more water resistant Cage than in times past.

A new roof will eliminate further puddles of water on the basketball floor during showers and will make the Cage a warmer place to watch games. The gross netting has been removed, while improved lighting and the painting of reserved seats is expected in the near future.

The new lighting, to be installed in early January, will allow for black-and-white TV cameras to focus in on Cage events. Convenient parking is another Cage asset as lot #1 west of Whitmore and the lots south of Whitmore are in easy walking distance of the Cage.

season_preview_1968-69.txt · Last modified: 2019/12/02 15:39 by mikeuma