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1970-71 Season Previews

1970-71 UMass Redmen

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Leaman's outlook

Leaman Feels UM Can Be “A Very Good Hoop Team”
By John Sullivan, The Massachusetts Daily Collegian Sports Editor, December 1, 1970

Between answering dozens of telephone calls in his office yesterday, head coach Jack Leaman of the UMass basketball team was able to find enough breathing room to answer several questions about the 1970-71 Redman hoopsters, who open defense of their New England championship tonight with a home game against St. Anselm's College at 8.

Leaman was a man in demand on the day before the big Cage opener. His phone spent most of its time off the hook, but when things calmed down a bit, the head coach was able to sit back a little and give some serious answers about this UMass team.

He was first asked how the squad shapes up right now, at the culmination of six hard weeks of practice in preparation for this season. “I don't think we're playing as well right now as I thought we would be playing,” he answered.

He explained this view by pointing out that the Redmen had to go through all those practice sessions without the benefit of a scrimmage against another school, because of an N.C.A.A. rule that allows a team to play a maximum of 26 games over the span of pre-season and regular season. Since UMass added contests with George Washington and Syracuse, it boosted its regular load to 26 tilts.

Leaman feels that this lack of pre-season scrimmages has left the cagers a little flat, but he asserted his faith in the team when he said, “I do think we're a good basketball team. As soon as we get a little maturity, I feel we're going to be a very good basketball team.”

Switching to another topic, the coach was asked if he and the team had set any goals for themselves as they embark on a new campaign. Leaman replied that there were no real specific goals, just a few general ones, shared by all the members of the team.

“We want to win more games than we did last year and we'd like to win a game in a national tournament,” Leaman offered as one goal. He added that, of course, the squad would be shooting to defend its Yankee Conference championship; he slipped in a clincher to this, “And, most important to our kids, we're going to try to defend that New England championship.”

Coach Leaman pointed out the advantages of the Redmen playing this season as defending champions of N.E. basketball, commenting, “It has to give us a great deal of confidence in our own ability… And this will allow us to play up to our potential.”

He knows that every opponent UMass will play will be aiming to upset the Redmen, and he enjoys every bit of it. He quipped, “I think everybody will be trying to beat us. It's a tremendous feeling to sit back and have everyone aiming at you.”

When considering the teams that would be mostly likely to knock UMass on its crown, Leaman picked out UConn, Rhode Island and New Hampshire from the YanCon crop his team must face and, among the out-of-league squads, he cited Holy Cross (“That Holy Cross is going to be an exceptional basketball team.”), Boston College, Providence College (“Providence College has the potential…. offensively the most explosive team in New England.”), Syracuse (“Syracuse will be excellent.”) and Fordham (“Fordham will be tough.”).

Who will the Redmen be starting in an effort to assert dominance against their high-hoping opponents? The coach was decided on four positions, relating that Ken Mathias and Julius Erving would be two starting forwards, and that John Betancourt and Mike Pagliara would be the starting guards.

The third starter up front will be chosen sometime between now and gametime; and the candidates are Chris Coffin, Rich Vogeley, Tom Austin and Bill Kesgen. “All four seem to excel in one part of the game, but we're looking for a consistent performer, one who will give us the same game day in and day out,” Leaman informed. Presently, both Coffin and Vogeley are being pestered by minor leg injuries.

Whomever should start, the abundance of fine performers in this area makes the forecourt a Redman strong point, one with talent and depth. Backing up the starting guards will be hard-working Bill Greeley. Should the situation call for a shooter after Greeley, Sam Provo or Chris Nichols will get the nod. Bob Dempsey will come in should the need exist for a good ballhandler.

Leaman took a few moments to talk about his star cager, Erving. In reference to what UMass fans should expect from No. 32 this year, the coach said, “I think you can expect an awful lot from Julius Erving.”

Leaman cautioned that Erving may not match his statistics of last winter, but his overall play should be better. He elaborated, “I personally believe that he is a better basketball player than last year… but, I think, overall, that he will perform better for us this year.”

The coach went a step further and commented, “I think he is going to be the best, the very best player in New England, bar none.”

Leaman was then requested to compare Erving on a national level, up there with the best basketball players in the land, and Leaman was more than willing to answer, “I think he could play anywhere. There is no doubt in my mind that he is among the best five or ten players in the country.”

In assessing Erving's tremendous knack at controlling a whole ballgame from any area on the floor, Leaman asserted, “I don't know if there are any players in the country who are better total players than Erving.” That's Julius Erving, No. 32.

As far as team spirit on this Redman contingent, the head coach could remark, “I think it's been excellent.” He made it clear that this group has had to muddle through six long weeks of practice without a scrimmage to break up the routine, but they have seen it through because they want very badly to repeat their feats of last winter. “They do realize what it takes to be a winner,” Leaman said.

UMass should have its best running basketball team ever this year assures the coach. “I think we should run more or better than we ever have,” he enthused, “There's a lot more freedom on offense than ever before.”

After talking about his aspirations for a running offense, the subject of defense, a Leaman favorite, was brought up and the coach was asked what role defense plays on a championship team. His answer: “Oh, I think its separates the good from the great. I don't think you can be a championship team in any sport without practicing defense.”

Praising the healthy aspects of what defense can mean to a hard-working team brought the meeting with Coach Leaman to a significant close as he ended up by saying, “I think, if we can play good defense, it can pull us together. I think this is integral part in our championship.”

SIDEBAR: Cage Doors
Curry Hicks Cage will be open to UMass students wishing to see tonight's basketball games at 5:30 p.m. The freshman game starts a half hour later at 6 p.m. and the varsity contest will get under way at 8 p.m. If enough students show a desire to enter the Cage in orderly fashion, then the doors will be opened at a slightly earlier time, between 5 and 5:15 p.m. Students will be admitted only if they have their UMass student identification cards with them. To facilitate matters, all are advised to have their ID's in their hands upon arriving at the doors so that the line can more easily flow into the building. Courtesy is at all times urged, especially as far as making room for someone else to have a seat by the moving of one's coat.

Player capsules

Each Cager Contributes To The Team’s Success
From The Massachusetts Daily Collegian, December 1, 1970

Although great teams must be made of great players, it is the working together of these players that eventually determines the success or failure of any team. Blessed with some tremendous individual talent, the success or failure of the 1970-71 Redman basketballers will depend upon how well they work together. That, truly, is the mark of any real super team. With that in mind, let us take a brief look at the individuals who make up the UMass basketball team.

JULIUS ERVING, No. 32, Junior
Bad contrast of this photo is due to the original black & white printing, then scanning in paper to digital.  Sorry Julius!

After setting twelve new UMass records and being named New England’s best college basketball player in his first varsity season one wonders what is in store for the multitalented junior.

The 6'5 co-captain averaged 25.7 points and 20.9 rebounds, second in the nation, in his unbelievable sophomore year. In his first varsity start, Erving pulled down 28 rebounds, a school record, as well as scoring 27 points against a powerful Providence College team.

Erving also pulled down 28 caroms against Maine as well as 27 against both Boston University and Northeastern. His biggest scoring nights were 37 against Fordham and New Hampshire and 34 against Boston University.

During the past summer, Erving led the Olympic Development team to a 103 record in Finland, Poland, Russia and Estonia and was chosen on several occasions as the game's top player. He was also named to the All-Tourney team in Estonia.

His long arms and fingers and his fantastic jumping ability make Erving one of the most exciting basketball players in the nation.

KEN MATHIAS, No. 42, Senior

After a solid sophomore season in which he averaged 10.5 points and 8.9 rebounds a game, the senior co-captain’s statistics fell off a bit last season as he hit for 7.5 points and collected six rebounds. However, the drop in statistics is probably due to the fact that Mathias was called upon to play an unfamiliar center position. This season, he will be able to move back to a forward and both he and the team should benefit.

Mathias is an aggressive rebounder and defensive player and should team with Erving to provide the Redmen with one of the finest forecourts in New England. His biggest games in '69-70 were 16 points versus both URI and UConn and 15 against Penn and AIC.


Coach Leaman described Betancourt as “possibly the second best sophomore in New England” in '69-70 and few UMass fans are likely to disagree. After a fantastic freshman year in which he helped lead the frosh to a 15-0 mark, Betancourt stepped right into a starting berth on the varsity.

Although only 5' 10, he possesses fine ball-handling ability and proved himself to be an exceptional clutch player last season. His biggest scoring nights came in two of UMass' toughest contests (25 vs. BC and 19 vs. Holy Cross). He was the team's third leading scorer last season, averaging 8.8 and will be counted upon to pick up some of the scoring slack left by the departure of Ray Ellerbrook. An excellent defensive player, his finest effort came against All-American Dean Meminger in the NIT against Marquette.

MIKE PAGLIARA, No. 14, Junior

Another member of the 15-0 frosh unit, Pagliara got a late start in '69-70 due to an injury but came on late in the year to prove that he is ready to move into a starting role this season.

Pagliara is an excellent shooter (47% in '69-70), especially from the charity stripe where he was second on the team last season with 74%. Like Betancourt, Pagliara is a fine ball-handler and the two team up to give UMass a well-balanced backcourt.

RICH VOGELEY, No. 44, Junior

One of the team's best shooters, Vogeley is battling for the fifth starting spot. Although he saw action in only fourteen games, Vogeley led the team in both field goal percentage (57%) and free throw accuracy (86%).

With a year of experience behind him, Vogeley may be ready, and if he can continue his accurate shooting, he could prove to be the key to UMass' success.

BOB DEMPSEY, No. 22, Senior

One of the squad's best ball-handlers, Dempsey will prove a valuable relief man for the starting backcourt. He has acquired a good deal of experience over the last two years, playing in 18 games in '69-70, and this should come in handy in clutch situations.

In his sophomore year, he was called into action due to an injury to Joe Disarcina and responded beautifully by leading the Redmen to six straight wins.

BILL GREELEY, No. 20, Senior

Like Dempsey, Greeley has had two years experience and will serve also as a backup guard. Although only 5'9, he runs the team exceptionally well and is regarded as a fine defensive player

CHRIS COFFIN, No. 24, Junior

Also fighting for a starting berth up front, Coffin's forte is defense. He is exceptionally quick and mobile and will probably play much the same role as Jack Gallagher did in '69-70 by guarding the opponent's leading scorer.

SAM PROVO, No. 34, Junior

Possibly the team's best shooting guard, Provo could see action if the backcourt is having problems scoring. He also is fighting for the third guard spot and if shooting is necessary, Provo will likely get the call.


Austin was red-shirted last year and seems ready this season to help fill up the hole in the middle. He played center on the 15-0 frosh team and is very quick for his size. Although a good defensive player, Austin is also a talented shooter for a big man and could help take some pressure off of Mathias and Erving up front.

BILL KESGEN, No. 50, Junior

Adding depth up front, Kesgen uses his size well underneath the boards. He could prove to be a valuable reserve and should add rebounding strength to an already strong forecourt.

CHRIS NICHOLS, No. 12, Junior

Another player battling for the third guard spot, Nichols is probably the most aggressive of the bunch. He was the third guard on the 15-0 frosh team and is returning to UMass basketball after a year's layoff.

TOM MCLAUGHLIN, No. 40, Junior

A transfer from Tennessee where he was the top performer on the Vols frosh team, McLaughlin should prove a valuable asset to the Redmen. Although ineligible until second semester, he can play both guard and forward and his size could make him a key man in the Redmen's somewhat short backcourt.

CHARLIE PETERS, No. 54, Sophomore

One of only two sophomores on the club, Peters will add depth to the somewhat weak pivot position. He proved to be an excellent rebounder late in his freshman season and if he can improve his offense a bit, he should see a lot of action this season.

CHUCK OLSEN, No. 52, Sophomore

Though not even a starter at the outset of his freshman season, Olsen has proved himself through hard work and determination. He will provide more depth to an already strong UMass forecourt.

Coaching staff

A Cavalcade Of Coaches For The Frosty Season
By Mark Vogler, The Massachusetts Daily Collegian Staff Reporter, December 1, 1970

The original article featured men’s basketball and hockey coaches. We only kept the basketball content for this site.

Jack Leaman . . . Basketball

In just four years at the helm head coach Jack Leaman has brought basketball to its best on the UMass hardwood. The climax came last season when the Redmen registered a club record-breaking high of 18-7, smashing the previous peak set a campaign earlier. On top of that the Yankee Conference titleists roared to a top-seeded ranking in New England and later attained their premiere entry to the NIT.

His overall career credentials of 60-38 (32-8 in Yan Con tilts) is indicative of Leaman's well-tutored teams which have landed three consecutive conference crowns.

UMass has put together some solid squads over the past two decades, but basketball is definitely in its prime now and Leaman credits it to the coaching staff's approach.

“Our biggest alteration has been a change to a positive attitude. We no longer think negative. We think in terms of what can be done rather than the impossible. And it certainly has been reflected in our success.

“I think that any time you find success you find a great deal of effort put into it. Coach Broaca has put long and lonely hours in on the road recruiting student athletes to UMass. Once they're here we spend lengthy hours teaching them that winning is all right, that they can win, and that the Massachusetts' way is the way to play.

“The coaching staff spends a while studying opponents and preparing game plans that will best suit our club to play and to win the game. Coaching is a continuous occupation, not a 9-5 job. Many of the decisions are made after midnight as to how or why we play a team a particular way.”

A graduate of Cambridge Latin High School, Leaman later went on to star for Boston University in basketball, captaining the Terrier team (1958-59) which got as far as the Eastern N.C.A.A. Regional finals, only to bow to Jerry West and West Virginia, 86-82.

Upon graduation he coached the Terrier Freshman unit and piloted Mills High School to one of it finer finishes the following winter. In 1961 Leaman entered the UMass basketball picture tending to the frosh dive. And during that four-year tenure he relished reasonable success, racking up 43 victories against 14 setbacks. His link from freshman coaching to the big time was sandwiched around a year of scouting and recruiting for the varsity.

With the resignation of head UMass coach Johnny Orr in 1966, Leaman became a sound shoe-in for the vacancy and has done an admirable job since his entrance.

“Too many people put the image of a coach at the win-at-all-costs level,” stated Leaman, adding, “I think it's a bum rap. In most cases performance is what we look for. But we want each one of our kids to think like a winner, accept winning graciously, and defeat not as a loss but as setback-as something we build on towards success.”

Ray Wilson . . . Basketball

Julius Erving was certainly a boom to the basketball club last year, but he wasn't the only fringe benefit that UMass has received from Roosevelt High (N.Y.) in the past. Erving's former coach, Ray Wilson, joined the varsity coaching ranks in 1969 as an assistant. He supplemented Peter Broaca 's scouting and recruiting work nicely, proving to be a valuable boost to the Redmen on the road to their first NIT berth.

“Basically my philosophy is to simulate coaches Leaman and Broaca,”' states Wilson, “If it wasn't we'd have difficulty in operating.”

Wilson, like Leaman and Broaca, is a graduate of Boston University and also lettered in basketball just as his coaching mates did.

In seven years at Roosevelt (Long Island, N.Y.) High, Wilson's teams sported an enviable 86-37 mark. Having coached schoolboy ball for a sizeable duration, and presently getting a taste of the varsity brand, Wilson elaborates on some slight adjustments he had to make:

“As a coach the big difference is being able to deal with the type of athlete which will fit into your system. In high school you have to work with the best 15 players who come out for the team, whereas in college you recruit your material from a highly-talented selection.

“A common situation that I've dealt with in high school is that basketball for many of them is a means to get into college. And it becomes necessary for them to acquire the proper exposure.

“In college you go three or four times a week and each tilt is a big one. On the high school level things aren't quite the same. You normally play twice a week and the team can usually anticipate its rough encounters ahead of time.

“Probably one thing that I've overlooked in terms of the high school situation is that the majority of players that we recruited this year haven't played in front of 4,000 screaming students. I think that this is a big adjustment in itself and I as the coach must be prepared to cope with the problem.”

Coach Jack Leaman regards Wilson highly and had this to say: “Ray joined us last year and is presently working with Coach Broaca in recruiting students, scouting opponents and preparation of game plans. Before it was just Peter and myself. Ray has been a valuable asset to both of us.”

Peter Broaca . . . Basketball

Now that the soccer season is over and done with, coach Peter Broaca finds more time on his hands. But as one of the busiest members of the UMass athletic department, the freshman basketball mentor must set his energy afresh to the upcoming season.

This past fall the Redman soccer skipper piloted his booters to a dandy 7-2-2 finish and the school's first Yankee Conference championship in the sport. But even with the soccer season is full swing, Broaca awaited the quick transition to basketball and was equally prepared to prime his hoopsters for a lengthy winter campaign.

Broaca originated his coaching career in 1960 at Castleton (Vt.) College while serving a stint as head baseball coach and basketball assistant. Switching his sights to the schoolboy scene from 1962-65, he was an assistant skipper in baseball, basketball and soccer for Northern Valley Regional High School in Demarest, New Jersey.

In one year as head mentor for the Pascack Hills High hoopsters (Montvale, N.J.), the native from Hyannis tempered a 12-11 mark and a state tournament berth out of a club which salvaged just one game out of 20 a season before.

Broaca is approaching his fifth year as freshman basketball coach at UMass. In a four year span, his teams have amassed a record of 39-29, including a perfect 15-0 slate in 1968-69.

In 1968 he took over the soccer helm on an interim basis with the club compiling a 4-6-1 log. But last year the Redmen rolled up an impressive 6-4 mark to secure runnerup honors in the conference.

“My job as freshman basketball coach,” asserts Broaca, “is to get the newcomers ready to play college varsity ball and hopefully as sophomores they'll bet set to go. I generally strive to prepare a sophomore to step into a starting role.”

Ray Ellerbrook . . . Basketball

A mighty fine high school athlete and a phenomenal success on the collegiate scene, Ray Ellerbrook likes trying his hand in the coaching circle this time around as an assistant to freshman coach Peter Broaca.

In his senior year at Hawthorne High (New Jersey), the unforeseen college prospect put on some nifty performances for his school's basketball and baseball teams which established mediocre showings of 5-17 and 7-11 respectively.

He gunned in 25 points per outing with the hoop squad and was immense on the diamond with a robust .400 average and a 3-1 pitching slate. Although these figures were impressive, in the shadow of defeat, attaining stature with a loser was tough. It appeared that no big name colleges were interested in Ellerbrook.

Meanwhile Peter Broaca, who at the time was coaching Pascak Hills High, had a fondness in this guy's talent. And upon his appointment as freshman basketball coach in 1966, he approached Ellerbrook and attempted to interest him in UMass. The star-to-be was set on attending Bridgeport (Conn.) at the time. But a visit and frequent chats with the athletic staff made such an impression on Ellerbrook that he reconsidered his choice.

In a breath of confidence head hoop coach Jack Leaman complimented the newest addition to the basket bailer's brain trust: “Ray was one of the finest basketball players that ever played at Massachusetts. Due to a change in major in his junior year he has an extra semester. We're happy to have him in our program to pass on to the incoming freshmen some of the ideas of our program and philosophy. It's effective to have the freshmen see someone who has been successful and know an idea of what success is.”

Opponents capsules

Previewing Redman Hoop Opponents
From The Massachusetts Daily Collegian, December 1, 1970

GAME 1 - ST. ANSELM'S (See game page)

GAME 2, 17 - VERMONT: COACH ART LOCHE (6th year)
PROSPECTS: There are only four veterans returning from last year's dismal season, and this coupled with the loss of Vermont's only consistent scorer, Frank Martiniuk, all point toward another long, cold winter in Burlington.
CAPSULE PREVIEW: Leading returnees include three starters. Among them are Captain Tom Clay, an eight-point scorer, strong rebounding forward Mark Miller, and junior guard Ray Ortiz, who averaged in double figures over the second half of last season. 6’7 John Deibert is also back to give some beef up front, along with veterans Rich Trela and Todd Schill. Leading sophomores include guards Larry Beck and Jim Ducey, forward Greg Ashford and center George Peredey. It is a young club with Clay being the only senior.

PROSPECTS: Fine sophomores and three returning starters will make Rhody as usual pretty tough to beat. Lack of height and loss of stars John Fultz and Claude English will hurt though.
CAPSULE PREVIEW: The Rams rely on transfers usually to boost their hoop program and two such transfers are back to make the hoop picture bright. Guard Dwight Tolliver, an 11-point scorer, and Nate Adger, another 11-point scorer are back. In addition a non-transfer, Phil Hickson, a nine-point scorer will also return. Height is a problem with forwards Adger and Hickson only 6'4. Two top sophomores will probably crack the starting five, guard Jose Pari, a 20-point frosh scorer and 6'5 forward Steve Rowell, with a 25-point freshman average. Rhody will go as far as its sharp-shooters can carry it.

PROSPECTS: A conference darkhorse, with a bunch of veterans from a year ago that produced the first winning season in 18 years. Good sophs will also help.
CAPSULE PREVIEW: UNH were winners for the first time in almost two decades a year ago under new coach Gerry Friel, and they have the principle cast back. Leading them will be junior forward Dave Pemberton, a 17-point scorer and 10 rebound man, along with guard Dwight Peters, who averaged 13-points per game. Another veteran is 6'4 forward Tom Weir. The best of the newcomers will be 6'6 JC transfer Greg Jackson, sophomore Jack Fogerty, a 15-point scorer as a frosh, and 6'4 sophomore McKeen Kessel. Also back is 6'6 center Frank Davis who missed last year with a knee injury.

PROSPECTS: A fine returning cast, momentum from a storybook finish a year ago, and a rabid basketball tradition make UConn a strong challenger for Yankee Conference honors.
CAPSULE PREVIEW: A bitter Redman rival in all sports, the basketball rivalry is no exception. The Huskies were voted the most improved New England team a year ago, and they have most of the talent back. Leading them will be guard Bob Boyd, a fine scorer and always a threat to steal, and so is sharpshooting Bob Staak, who may be moved to forward to help out a weak position. Guard Doug Melody is also back. A fine sophomore prospect at the back-court spot is Lee Barbach. Up front, UConn will have 6'5 Ron Hrubala and 6'5 Robert Taylor returning, along with Phil Hoagland. Top sophomores are 6'9 Pat Devries and 6'7 Bob Parsons. UConn will probably go as far as its questionable frontcourt can carry it.

PROSPECTS: Ineligibility, administrative problems, a new coach, have made a potentially great team into one big question mark.
CAPSULE PREVIEW: A.I.C. looked excellent on paper a couple of months ago and seemingly assured of a fourth straight NCAA college division (Referred to “College Division” at the time, this would later evolve into the NCAA’s Division II.) berth. But then, starters Curtis Mitchell, Al Carter, Ron Hill and Mike White became ineligible in addition to some top sophomores being questionable and it all makes the whole A.I.C. picture muddled. Some of the sidelined stars may be back midway through the season, and if so, A.I.C. can still be tough.

PROSPECTS: A tough schedule, may be balanced by a lot of experience and make Hofstra an above .500 team.
CAPSULE PREVIEW: The Dutchmen play a rough schedule that includes such powers as Manhattan, LaSalle, St. Joseph's and Temple, but Hofstra held its own a year ago, to place second in the eastern section of the Middle Atlantic Conference. Nine returning lettermen ease the situation. Among them is a 6'6 forward and high school teammate of Redman star Julius Erving, junior Quinas Brown. He is joined up front by returnees 6'8 center Dave Bell, and 6'4 forward Richie Burke. Returning guards include Gary Doyle and Ray Ingram, along with Jim Pugh and Tom Kelliher. A top sophomore prospect is 6'5 guard Larry Perry. Hofstra will be playing in a brand new 3200 seat center this year and they should christen it with a good season, christen it with a good season.

GAME 8 - FAIRFIELD (In Springfield Hall of Fame tourney) GAMES 9, 10 also in tourney. COACH: FRED BARAKAT (1st year)
PROSPECTS: A tough year may be in store for Fairfield who lost two stars and have little to replace them with.
CAPSULE PREVIEW: Mel Brown, a 6'5 transfer and 6'2 soph George Groom who averaged 25 as a frosh, will be the top guns, along with guard Bob Kelly, in a bleak outlook.


PROSPECTS: Loss of big stars Jim Hayes and Marty Schoepfer make a .500 season a tough goal.
CAPSULE PREVIEW: B.U. will have no returnee who scored in double figures a year ago, and the gaps left by Hayes and Schoepfer may be too much to fill. Among the best is sophomore James Garvin, who averaged 20 points as a freshman and is a fine rebounder. Also co-captain Richie Taylor and soph guards Vic Gathers and Mike Sheehan will help.

PROSPECTS: It's been a couple of years in the making, but pass the word, the Friars are back. They will score a lot but questionable rebound strength and a brutal schedule may temper things a bit.
CAPSULE PREVIEW : Providence has everyone back from its high-scoring unit of a year ago, and the presence of such veteran talent as Jim Larranaga, Ray Johnson, Vic Collucci, Don Lewis, and Gary Wilkins alone would make the Friars look good. But a wealth of some of the best sophomores in the east could make PC great. Leading the newcomers will be guard Ernie Digregorio, a ball-handling magician and 28 per game scorer as a frosh. A lot is expected from Massachusetts All-Scholastic star Fran Costello, a 6'7 forward and a prep school teammate of DiGregario's, 6'4 Nehru King. 6'5 soph forward Charlie Crawford will see a lot of action. A schedule that includes participation in the Volunteer Classic, and the Holiday Festival in New York, plus perennials like Niagara, St. John's, Duquesne, Villanova, St. Bonaventure, Creighton, in addition to Holy Cross, B.C. and UMass, is probably the toughest in New England.

PROSPECTS: A tough team to figure, what with seven lettermen returning, but little height, some sophomores and a new coach. A rugged slate of games, may make the always tough Rams hard-pressed to better the .500 mark.
CAPSULE PREVIEW: The Rams have their two top scorers of a year ago returning, 15-point scorer Charlie Yelverton, and 14-point man Bill Mainor. Also back are guards John Burik, Steve Cain and Peter Carlesimo. Fordham however has only one man over 6'5 and he is sophomore Paul Griswold, a 6'8 center. Also top newcomers will be 6'2 guard Ken Charles and 6'5 forward Bart Woytowicz. The Rams face such teams as Marquette, Temple, Notre Dame, and Army, in addition to all New York city schools, so it won't be an easy year.

PROSPECTS: (No information available at press time).

PROSPECTS: Could be one of the best teams in the east. Has everything; size, speed, shooting, experience and depth. An excellent basketball team, probably the team to beat in New England.
CAPSULE PREVIEW: Holy Cross will have its best team in six years. All returning starters are back and so is last year's sixth man. And if not enough, then there are the fine sophomores. Leading the returnees are Bob Kissane, a 6'8 forward with a 22-point scoring average, 6'8 Don Sasso, a 10-point, 11 rebound man, 6'4 forward Stan Grayson, another tough rebounder, guards Jack Adams, a 12-point scorer and Buddy Venne, a long range bombardier who averaged 17. Jim Schnurr, a 6'6 soph who averaged 24 points a year ago. and 6'8 Gene Doyle, a 19-point scorer as a frosh will add a lot of frontcourt depth, while Kevin Stacom will add backcourt depth. This is a team that is capable of handling its always rugged schedule.

PROSPECTS: (No information available at press time).

PROSPECTS: A good blend of veterans, transfers, sophomores and a potentially explosive backcourt make the Eagles a sure bet to improve over last year.
CAPSULE PREVIEW: Brilliant guard Jim O'Brien, a 16-point scorer and eye-catching ballhandler will lead the Eagles. He'll be joined in the backcourt by transfer Rick Bolus who averaged over 30 ppg as a VMI freshman. In addition soph Bob Smith will help the backcourt. Up front the loss of center Tom Verroneau will hurt but the return of forwards Frank Fitzgerald, a 14-point scorer and Vin Costello, who averaged 11 will help. Sophomores, Dave Freitag and Tom Anstett will be a big asset in the frontcourt, as will 6'7 Peter Schmid, who has recovered from mono which plagued him a year ago.

PROSPECTS: (No information available at press time)

PROSPECTS: A young but experienced team with seven lettermen, and talent from an undefeated freshman team make Maine improved. Lack of backcourt skill will hurt.
CAPSULE PREVIEW: Maine's two top scorers return, center Nick Susi, a 6'5 junior and 6'4 Craig Randall, both 12-point scorers. Returning guard Paul Bessey, will lead the backcourt, veterans John Sterling and Bruce Stinson will help up front. Top sophomore will be 6'6 forward Peter Gavett, who averaged 20 points and 13 rebounds as a frosh, along with 6'4 guard Jimmy Jones and Steve Lane. The loss of Marshall Todd will hurt.

PROSPECTS: Star center Bill Smith is still a question mark, due to disciplinary problems, and Syracuse hopes for a winning season will rise and fall with him.
CAPSULE PREVIEW: Bill Smith, a 6'11 center who averaged 20 points a game was suspended a year ago for an altercation, and his case is still being reviewed. With him there, along with returnee 6'7 Bob McDaniel, a 17-point scorer, Syracuse was the 14th best offensive team in the country.

GAME 24 - GEORGE WASHINGTON (Game at Madison Square Garden) COACH CARL STONE (1st year)
PROSPECTS: A host of returning vets and some fine sophomore potential make the always tough Colonials even tougher. A key could be the status of star Mike Tallent who has questionable knees.
CAPSULE PREVIEW: GW will have to bank on a healthy year from sharpshooting Mike Tallent, who averaged 21 points a game, but is hampered by ailing knees, to have a really fine year. Also returning is another high scorer, Walt Szczerbiak who averaged 17 a year ago. Junior guard, Ronnie Nunn, a high school Ail-American who disappointed a year ago is being looked at for improvement.


Gametimes Detailed For Basketball And Hockey
By John Sullivan, The Massachusetts Daily Collegian Sports Editor, December 1, 1970

The following are a few loose notes that are pertinent to this issue and that are best printed in a group. . . . thusly:

HOOP N' HOCKEY HOME COOKING-Most home varsity basketball games, including tonight's, will be served at 8 p.m. at Curry Hicks Cage, which for those who don't know, is that dingy, pyramid-shaped building just to the south of Bartlett Hall.

Out of this year's 13 home tilts, there are five exceptions to the 8 p.m. tap-off time and those are the games against New Hampshire (Dec. 12), Northeastern (Jan. 30), Vermont (Feb. 6), Connecticut (Feb. 13) and Maine (Feb. 20), which will all start at 7:30 p.m. instead.

At all home basketball contests a freshman game will be played two hours prior.

Varsity hockey games at home begin at differing times. All of them are played at Orr Rink, which is located on the Amherst College campus. Excluding last week's home opener against Lowell Tech, five of the remaining home games will start at 8 p.m., two at 8:30 p.m., two at 2 p.m. and one at 4 p.m.

Frosh hockey games get under way at three different times. Four home affairs will begin at 8:15 p.m., two at 3 p.m. and one at 4 p.m. All frosh home games will also be at Orr Rinks.

Only two times all winter do the varsity basketball and hockey teams play home contests on the same dates. On Dec. 18, the Redman hoopsters will host American International at 8 p.m., and the UMass pucksters will welcome Norwich to Orr, also at 8 p.m. The other date clash is Feb. 20. which has hoop vs. Maine at 7:30 p.m. and hockey vs. Boston State a few hours prior, at 2 p.m.

NEW CAGE FLOOR- The Cage will sport its almost brand new floor at tonight's game. This floor is almost 60 percent new wood, having been refurbished for the upcoming season, when the 100 percent old one was found to be wharped.

BASKETBALL PROGRAMS-A new and improved, 24-page program, sponsored by the UMass Varsity M Club, will be sold for 25 cents at all home basketball games this winter. This fine booklet will contain full rosters of the freshman and varsity teams playing, a full page of up-to-date Redman statistics, information on UMass' game opponent, Varsity M Club notes, the usual “Smoke Signals,” a new cover for each game and a feature story by one of several guest writers. In all, nine pages will change from game to game.

The proceeds gathered from the sale of these programs will go to the general support of Redman athletics.

VARSITY M WINTER LUNCHEONS-Weekly Varsity M Club Luncheons will be held throughout the winter on Wednesdays at the Newman Center. There will be 12 of these dinners; anyone willing to pay $1.50 is welcome to attend any one of these affairs. Here is a schedule by dates and speakers of the upcoming luncheons:

Dec. 2 : coach Ken O'Brien (cross country) and coach Peter Broaca (soccer); Dec. 9: coach Jack Leaman (basketball); Dec. 16: coach Jack Leaman (basketball); Jan. 6: coach Jack Canniff (hockey); Jan. 13: coach Jack Leaman (basketball); Jan. 27: coach Homer Barr (wrestling); Feb. 3: coach Jack Leaman (basketball); Feb. 10: coach Erik Kjeldsen (gymnastics); Feb. 17: coach Jack Leaman (basketball); Feb. 24: coach Joe Rogers (swimming); Mar. 3: coach Jack Leaman (basketball) and Mar. 10: coach Bill MacConnell (skiing).

HOOP ON THE AIR-Two radio stations will be covering UMass basketball games this year. One is campus radio station WMUA, 91.1 FM. Ken Horseman will handle the play-by-play for these broadcasts and Dave Melvin will chip in with the color. Also covering Redman basketball will be WHMP, AM and FM of Northampton. Play-by-play announcer for this station will be Joseph Fennessey.

N. E. HOOP ON THE RISE-This winter should witness one of the greatest years of college basketball ever in New England. Along with UMass, the defending champion of the six-state region, there are two very strong and potentially great teams at Providence College and at Holy Cross, a couple of sleeping giants at Harvard and at Dartmouth, a solid team at Boston College and some Yankee Conference perennial toughies at Connecticut and at Rhode Island.

Coach Leaman has this to say about N. E. hoop for this campaign, “This will be the best year since I can remember. There are more outstanding teams than ever before.” Adding one more name, New Hampshire, to the teams mentioned in the above paragraph Leaman comments, “I think there are eight basketball teams that could be New England champions.”

A few years aback the big names in N. E. hoop belonged to Providence and BC. It may appear that both of these teams have slipped a bit in the past couple of years but Leaman firmly disagrees. He judges PC and BC to be as good as ever, clarifying, “The other programs have grown to catch them.”

NO DUNKING-Once again, let it be pointed out that there can be no dunking by either basketball team in the pregame warmups tonight as referees will be on hand 30 minutes before the tilt itself starts in order to slap any violator with a technical foul should he break the rule (hat's been in existence now for four full years, but which has never been strictly enforced until the present time.

Column on dunking ban

In This Corner
Pregame No-Dunking Questioned
By Barry Rubenstein, The Massachusetts Daily Collegian Assistant Sports Editor, December 1, 1970

Once again, the doors of the Cage open Tuesday night as another UMass varsity basketball season gets underway. And a lot of things will be the same as they were last season as the Redmen marched through a triumphant year to become kings of New England college basketball.

People will queue up hours before gametime in hopes of crowding into the outmoded Cage to get some view of their beloved Redmen. The P.A. announcer will make frequent requests that the fans push together so that a few more hardy people can squeeze into one of those plush bleacher seats. Everyone will leap to their feet at the first sign of the Redmen and cheer wildly as the ball players run through their lay-up drills to the tune of “Sweet Georgia Brown” played by the pep band.

But one thing will be different this year. For this season, the fans will not get to see Julius Erving jam the ball through the strings on one of his patented stuff shots. That's right. No longer can the tremendous junior bring the crowd to its feet with one of his double pump reverse dunks.

The reason for this change in procedure is simple. If any player stuffs the ball before the beginning of a game, his team will be assessed a technical foul.

Actually, the rule has existed for a while. Most basketball fans can remember a few years back when a rule prohibiting dunking was put in in an obvious move to hurt Lew Alcindor when Alcindor was leading UCLA to three straight N.C.A.A. crowns. However, few people realize that at the same time, dunking was actually prohibited in pregame warmups as well. The enforcement of this rule was left to the disgression of the individual coaches and it was felt that pregame dunking was implied by the spirit of the no dunk rule.

Since that time, most college teams have ignored the pregame dunking ban. As far as UMass is concerned, Coach Jack Leaman has always followed the rule that his team would not dunk until the opposition had done so. But for in the 1970-71 season, some changes have been made.

From now on, officials will be on the floor thirty minutes before gametime and will be watching for any dunking violations. The reason for this change in policy is that too many teams were violating the rule and that players were getting hurt as well as damaging equipment.

Coach Leaman is one of the outspoken opponents of the no dunk rule. “It's a stupid rule,” exclaims the hoop mentor, “the dunk shot is to basketball what the home run is to baseball. It's what the fans come to see.”

Leaman feels that the justification for the dunking edict is faulty and believes that it should be eliminated altogether.

“Injuries and damages only occur in a minute percentage of dunks and it is always these instances that get publicized. Coaches must put basketball above themselves and we must see what we can do to make it a better game.”

Leaman also thinks that the rule is unfair and takes away from the game itself.

“99% of the time, if the defensive man has proper position no one can dunk the ball.”

The ironic thing about the whole situation is that most coaches agree with Leaman's point of view. In fact, the coaches always vote to bring back the dunk. Leaman describes a time a few weeks ago when he was attending a coaches convention in New Hampshire.

“There were about 90 coaches there and I asked how many of them thought the rule should be abolished. About 70 coaches raised their hands. Then I asked how many favored the rule and no one raised his hand.”

Why, then, does the rule still exist if even the coaches feel it is a needless prohibition? The only apparent answer is that the members of the rules committee are stubborn and are so above the game itself that they don't see that they are seriously hurting basketball. “If they want to take some of the advantage away from the big men,” Leaman feels, “they should rule the basket higher instead of banning the dunk.”

Eventually, the rules committee will likely come around and change the rule. However, this might not occur for two or three years or more. In the interim, many thousands of college basketball games will be played before millions of fans who will miss the excitement and thrill of the dunk shot.

From a selfish point of view, I feel bad because no longer will I get to see the fantastic feats of Julius Erving which were sometimes better than the games themselves.

But more than that, I feel bad for the freshmen and those who come after them who will never get to see what Julius Erving and other Julius Ervings to come can actually do.

In the end, however, I feel bad for the game of basketball. For it will suffer most.

Freshman team outlook

Frosh Try To Offset Lack of Size With Shooting
By Steve Ferber, The Massachusetts Daily Collegian Staff Reporter, December 1, 1970

Photos as run in the Collegian, with a slight typo for Mr. Pitino

Tonight at 6 p.m. the UMass freshmen basketball team begins the 1970-71 campaign and rebounding will be foremost in its minds. The lack of height on this year's squad could present many problems, but the team's shooting ability and quickness look to adequately balance this deficiency.

In his fifth year at the helm, Coach Peter Broaca is looking forward to a running ballclub. This running squad will have a front line of 6'5 center John Olson (Sommerville, Mass.). 6'5 forward Art Levine (Hillside, New Jersey), and 6'2 1/2 forward Al Skinner (Malverne. New York). In the backcourt the frosh will feature 6'3 Peter Trow (Old Rochester H.S., Mass ) and Rich Pitino, (St. Dominic's, New York) a 5’11 guard.

With the tallest man at 6'5, the boards will no doubt be a problem. Said Coach Broaca, “In comparison with the rest of New England we definitely have a small team. But we have shown some excellent shooting ability and a good deal of quickness. We just have to look for more consistent shooting.''

This year Broaca will be carrying only ten men, a sharp decline from the 15 boys he had on last year's freshman team. The five player decrease has to do with player's playing time, and with this year's running club the five substitutes are sure to see a good deal of action.

Backing up the starting five are two more 6'5 players, namely Craig Boyles, a center-forward, and Mike Brown, a forward. Peter McMahon. at 6'2 1/2 is also a front line man and Larry Heron, 6’1 and Dennis McHugh, 6'2, will be the backup backcourt men. Whereas just two of the starting five are home-staters, the freshmen bench will be all Massachusetts boys.

Adjusting is a big part of freshman ball, and Broaca had this to say, “All of these boys were THE players at their high schools. They did it all, they were the super star. What is important when they start playing college ball is the realization that everyone else is just as good.”

The question next turns to “how good” this freshmen team is. Said Broaca, “I don't like to compare anybody to anybody, especially before they have proven themselves. I think we have a fine ballclub, and I have worked my players hard. I am quite satisfied. But I would not like to prejudge their abilities. Our schedule is a tough one and I think that this squad will have a good chance to prove itself as the season progresses.”

The tough schedule that Broaca mentioned includes Boston College, Boston University, Holy Cross, St. Thomas More and UConn, with the Little Redmen facing UConn both home and away. St. Thomas More, a new addition to the freshman's 19-game schedule, will be just one of 13 home games that the frosh will play.

Defensively the Little Redmen will be working on a straight man to man setup. But man to man presses, as well as zone presses, will also be a part of their style, as the running and gambling types of defense will be called upon from time to time.

Offensively there should be a good deal of fast breaking, which makes the reduction of turnovers that much more of an important factor. But the key at both ends will be rebounding. If the freshmen can hold their own in that department they should be in for a fine season.

Otherwise who knows. By 8 p.m. tonight, after the St. Anselm's game, we should have a good idea about this freshman team's capabilities. Commented Coach Broaca, “We'll just wait and see, and as we play we'll see exactly what we have.”

season_preview_1970-71.txt · Last modified: 2020/11/27 13:35 by mikeuma