After catching breath, UMass heads for home
National college basketball
By Joe Burris, Boston Globe Staff, 2/11/1996
The nation's No. 1 college basketball team took a break last Wednesday and Thursday. The hiatus could not have come at a better time; the University of Massachusetts Minutemen were visibly drained from a three-game, seven-day road trip they completed last Tuesday in New York.
UMass also could not have picked a better time to rejuvenate itself. Today at 1:30 p.m., the Minutemen host Atlantic 10 Conference foe and bitter rival Temple, which will be bent on avenging a 59-35 loss to UMass Feb. 1 at Philadelphia.
“Their legs were really live the last two days,” said UMass coach John Calipari, who celebrated his 37th birthday yesterday. The Minutemen (22-0, 10-0) practiced Friday for the first time since returning home from Tuesday night's 73-47 win over Fordham, in which UMass squandered a 13-point first-half lead and needed a strong second half to put away a team it beat by 30 Jan. 30.
“They needed a couple of days off, and I needed a couple of days off,” said Calipari. “The good news is after the Temple game, which is an afternoon game, they will be done all day Sunday. Then I'm giving them Monday off and then we don't practice until Tuesday night, so it's another 48 hours before we get ready for Thursday's game against La Salle.
“We needed to get through the run we went through and now we'll do this. And now I think we all feel better. I thought I had food poisoning on the night of the Fordham game and I think I was a bit run down, too.”
Against Temple at McGonigle Hall, the Minutemen gave one of their best defensive performances ever, and that could have left them emotionally drained for the games at Xavier (a 78-74 overtime seat-squirmer) and Fordham.
“I think the effort against Temple was one of the best because we didn't stop playing; there was intensity the entire time we were on the floor,” said Calipari.
“Other times we have played them, one or two guys broke down, so they'd get an open shot, and BANG. Or two or three 3-point baskets in a row, and then a 13-point game was a 4-point game. Last game, we were fighting for our lives and guys did what they had to do.”
Temple (12-9, 8-2) is led by sophomore center Marc Jackson, who is averaging 16.1 points and 9.1 rebounds. The Owls are coming off a 60-58 win over A-10 rival St. Joseph's. With six regular-season games left, Temple is approaching must-win territory.
“This is an NCAA tournament game for Temple,” said Calipari. “If they can beat us, I'd say they'd be in the NCAA tournament easy, but I think they need to beat us to make it a lock. I think they know that. They know they shot the ball poorly down there. They will expect to shoot the ball better up here.
“They watched the tape like we watched the tape. We're throwing in some new wrinkles, new things, so I think we'll both have some things the other team hasn't seen yet.”
Despite their success against the Owls 10 days ago, the Minutemen aren't taking today's game for granted. “You always have to be ready for their trapping, matchup zone,” said guard Edgar Padilla. “You have to rebound, play hard and run the floor. If we do that, we should be all right.”
Calipari said tragedies like the sudden death of Dayton center Chris Daniels Thursday “sometimes make you wonder what the heck is going on. A lot of times you go three years and nothing like that happens. Then you go one year, we have a swimmer at UMass, a player at Dayton and there's probably a couple of others. I know there was a high school player or two that collapsed. There are probably four or five things this year that happened that way that make you wonder what is going on.
“Then you have some years where nothing happens. Hopefully this is the last of a bad run. I feel bad for his family, and I have somewhat of an idea of what Oliver Purnell, Dayton coach is going through because of what I went through with Marcus Camby and what our team went through.”
Daniels, 22, died after going into full cardiac arrest, but a definitive cause of death has not been determined. Camby, UMass' standout center, collapsed minutes before a game at St. Bonaventure Jan. 14. He underwent a battery of tests over the next several days, but doctors could not determine what caused the collapse.
Massachusetts tries to drub Temple again Sunday
By Justin C. Smith, The Massachusetts Daily Collegian Staff, February 9, 1996
Last Thursday the Massachusetts men’s basketball team went into McGonigle Hall and embarrassed John Chaney’s Temple Owls, holding them to the lowest scoring output since the inception of the shot clock.
The Minutemen (22-0, 9-0 in the Atlantic 10) have also had a tough time of it since the Feb. 1 clash, though still remaining undefeated. Xavier and Fordham both gave UMass scares, but the Minutemen prevailed on both occasions.
After being away from Amherst for more than a week, the Minutemen return to the William D. Mullins Center Sunday at 1:30 p.m. for their second tilt with arch-rival Temple this season. The three-game road trip left the team tired and in need of some home-cooking in order to refuel for what will be a game of pride for the Owls.
If Temple (11-9 overall, 7-2) hopes to improve on the 24-point loss, it must find someone other than Marc Jackson to hit shots from the field. The center hit six of his team’s 13 field goals and only Derrick Battie hit more than one.
Jackson has been the go-to man for the Owls all season and leads the team with 17 points per A-10 contest. In his first meeting with national player of the year candidate Marcus Camby, Jackson attempted to draw the big man into foul trouble but was unsuccessful. Camby picked up only three fouls, the last with 10 minutes remaining in the game.
The 6-foot-10-inch 270-pound center needs fellow sophomore Johnny Miller to step up his long-range bombing. Miller has averaged only four points a game since his return from a shoulder injury.
Outside shooting has been the biggest problem for Temple in recent games. From behind the three-point arc, the Owls are a collective 2-for-43 – an abysmal 4.5 percent. Overall this season Temple shoots 27.5 percent from three-point land.
The 59-35 destruction by UMass was the first conference loss for Temple, who then went to D.C. and lost to George Washington, 64-47. It was the Owls first loss in their last 14 games at the Smith Center. The Owls hosted the St. Joseph’s Hawks last night but results were not available as of press time. Temple won 60-58.
It's been the bench that has come up with quality minutes in the Minutemen’s two games against Xavier and Fordham, as Tyrone Weeks and Charlton Clarke have begun to contribute off the pine. Weeks grabbed a career-high 13 boards against Xavier and followed that up with seven rebounds against Fordham. He has also averaged 8.5 points in those two games.
Clarke has started to find his range after going three games without a field goal, as he has scored in his last three games. More importantly from his coach’s standpoint, his defensive pressure has improved since recovering from a broken bone in his foot.
After stepping on a Xavier player’s ankle last Sunday, Camby said he wasn’t suffering at all from the injury, although the area was just a bit sore. Donta Bright and Edgar Padilla, who both had stinging injuries in the Fordham game, are showing no effects of injury.
Broadcast notes: The UMass/Temple game will be broadcast live on WMUA 91.1 with play-by-play by Brian Perillo and Dan “The Walrus” Welch on color analysis. Pre-game begins at 1:15 p.m.
Minutemen methodically crank out 23d victory
By Joe Burris, Boston Globe Staff, 2/12/1996
AMHERST – The rivalry is now resting on its reputation. During previous seasons, it was one of the best series in college basketball. Intensity, boisterous fans and nailbiting finishes (seven games decided by 2 points or fewer in the 1990s) typified a University of Massachusetts-Temple game. Twice this season, the crowds have shown up on cue, setting the stage for high drama. But the games have been about as thrilling to watch as C-SPAN.
Yesterday, for the second time in 11 days, No. 1 UMass outplayed Temple at both ends of the floor en route to an uncharacteristically easy win. The Minutemen raced to a 14-point first-half lead, withstood a rally that cut the lead to 7 at halftime, then blew the game open early in the second half en route to an 84-55 Atlantic 10 victory.
UMass' point total was the most it has scored against Temple. The previous high was in an 83-82 triple-overtime loss Feb. 11, 1990, at Curry Hicks Cage. Coupled with their 59-35 win at Temple Feb. 1, the Minutemen have won nine of the last 10 meetings with the Owls. It's hard to figure that the Minutemen lost the first 21 games in the series. With its win, UMass improved to 23-0 and 11-0. Temple dropped to 12-10 and 8-3.
“I thought it might have been closer this season because usually the games are a war,” said UMass shooting guard Carmelo Travieso, who scored a game-high 26 points on 9-of-12 shooting. He hit eight 3-point baskets, tying a team record.
“I think now we know how to play them,” Travieso added. “We know that if we play tough defense, the game is going to go our way.”
Visibly drained from last week's seven-day, three-game road swing, the Minutemen undoubtedly benefited from a two-day hiatus. While Temple shut down UMass' leading scorer, Marcus Camby (10 points on 3-for-9 shooting), the center made nifty high-low and backdoor feeds to his teammates that helped UMass put five in double figures. UMass turned the ball over six times, tying a Mullins Center record low.
Defensively, the Minutemen forced 15 turnovers and held Temple to 36-percent shooting, employing the type of chest-to-chest perimeter D that stunted Temple 11 days ago.
“Temple just hit us on two great days when we were playing with a lot of intensity,” said UMass coach John Calipari. “It's all about intensity against Temple, and these were probably two of the best five games we've played all year. Unfortunately for them, it came against them.”
Many of the Owls' wounds were self-inflicted, however, particularly on the perimeter, where Temple continued its year-long struggle. UMass' perimeter pressure made it even more difficult for guards Johnny Miller, Levan Alston and Huey Futch, who shot a combined 3 for 21 from the floor.
“We really know how to play them, and they no longer have Aaron McKie now with the Portland Trail Blazers,” said UMass point guard Edgar Padilla (13 points, 9 assists). “Our team knows how to play against their matchup zone. We play very well against them.”
“We don't match up too well against them,” said Temple coach John Chaney. “Our big men do a good job, but our guards have hurt us all year. What I know about my team everyone else knows as well. So they just plant their players in the middle against us.”
Temple cut a 35-21 deficit with 2:12 left in the half to 36-29 at the break. But the Minutemen re-established their intensity after intermission and outscored Temple, 18-3, over the first eight minutes of the second half to go ahead, 54-32, with 11:55 left in the game.
While Temple was unable to mount any consistent offense, UMass continued its rout. A 3-point basket by Travieso with 8:34 left put the Minutemen ahead, 65-37. A jumper by forward Dana Dingle with 5:48 remaining made it 73-43. The Minutemen stretched the lead to 84-50 on a jumper by reserve Inus Norville with 1:08 to go. By then, much of the crowd had begun filing out of the arena.
“I'm not sure if we can play better than that,” said Calipari. “I hope that puts an end to all the talk about us tiring out. We were well-rested after our layoff and it showed.”
Hotshot Travieso proves a 3-point machine
By Joe Burris, Boston Globe Staff, 2/12/1996
AMHERST – Shooters are born, not trained. It's like having the ability to do long division in your head or to throw a 90-mile-per-hour fastball. You come into the world with the gift, and then it's up to you to develop it.
University of Massachusetts guard Carmelo Travieso is a shooter. In an empty gym, he can drain jumpers with anybody on the planet. Growing up, he was one of those guys who stayed on the court shooting, long after it was dark, pledging that he would not go home until he made 10 3-pointers in a row.
“I did a clinic once in Boston,” said Celtic scout Rick Weitzman. “I was in a rhythm and making my shot pretty well and I said, 'Any shooters here? Anybody think they can shoot with me?' All the kids pointed to Carmelo. He was just a young teenager then. But the way they were all talking, I knew I didn't want to go up against the kid.”
Born in Puerto Rico, raised on the streets of Dorchester, Travieso perfected his shot at the Daniel Marr Boys Club and now he's the designated shooter of the top-ranked 23-0 Minutemen. Yesterday he connected on 8 of 11 shots from 3-point range in UMass' 84-55 rout of Temple.
Travieso was in the proverbial 'zone'. This is when a shooter looks at the basket and it appears to be bigger than an oil drum, bigger than the silos that stand proud on Hooterville horizon.
When a shooter is in 'the zone', he knows that his shot will drop from any spot on the floor. Yesterday was one of those days for Travieso. He hit from the left baseline. He hit from up top. Falling-down, out-of-bounds, off-the- dribble, off-a-screen, around-the-world-in-30-minutes . . . it didn't matter. Travieso let it fly and the ball kept crashing through the net. Everything went in.
It's nice that UMass actually has a couple of local players. Travieso played his high school ball at Thayer Academy (Edgar Padilla played at Springfield Central) and came to Amherst in the fall of 1993. He spent most of his freshman year on the pine, then finally got some serious minutes last spring when the Minutemen advanced to the Elite Eight. But he never played enough to get into any kind of rhythm and in two seasons he shot a measly 35 percent.
Still, everybody around the team knew what he could do. Last year, in practice, Travieso hit 22 consecutive 3-ointers. But his was a skill that only insiders knew. We never saw much of it in the games.
Everything changed with the graduation of Derek Kellogg. Travieso finally got his chance and now he gets all the minutes and all the shots he wants. And that's the difference. That's why he's hitting 40 percent of his 3-pointers. That's why he's the go-to guy when Marcus Camby is boarded up by three players under the basket.
Yesterday, in front of Dick Vitale and a national television audience, Travieso buried the Owls with five treys in the first half. Camby was smothered under the basket, but Travieso kept getting the ball on the left wing and his shot was money. He finished with 26 points, 7 fewer than his career high (33 against Duquesne earlier this year).
“Knowing that I'm going to get my shots and that the ball is coming my way, that makes a big difference,” Travieso said after target practice. “Coach John Calipari believes I'm the best shooter on the floor anytime I'm out there.”
What about you, Carmelo. Do you believe that?
“Yeah, I honestly do,” he said. “I can't worry about two or three misses. You just have to hope you get into a groove.
“I knew I could always shoot. Everybody on my team thinks I'm the best. It's been that way since I was 12 or 13 years old. And then when I came here, they just told me to keep shooting and not to mess with my shot.”
His eight 3-pointers tied a school record, also held by Rafer Giles and Lorenzo Sutton. When the record was announced, Travieso wanted to go back in the game, but Calipari said no. The Minutemen were leading by 30.
Coach Cal no doubt remembers when Temple coach John Chaney threatened to kill him after a Sunday matinee at the Mullins Center. Calipari said it would be “disrespectful” to run up the score on the Owls.
The Minutemen have six regular-season games remaining, then the Atlantic 10 tournament, and six potential thrillers in the NCAA tournament. It's nice knowing that Travieso is hot. There is considerable comfort in the knowledge that your outside threat is heating up at the best possible time. Happiness is a warm gun, and Travieso, the Minutemen's best shooter, is hot.
Minutemen humiliate Temple, Travieso ties record
By Justin C. Smith, The Massachusetts Daily Collegian Staff, February 12, 1996
When a team loses badly in a rivalry, such as when the Massachusetts men’s basketball team embarrassed the Temple Owls in their own building 10 days ago, it’s often the case that the losing team comes out and exacts revenge on their nemesis.
Yesterday, the Minutemen would not let that happen.
UMass (23-0, 11-0 Atlantic 10) put together what arguably could be their most complete 40 minutes of basketball so far this year and for the second time this season blew out the Owls (12-10, 8-3), 84-55.
“I’m not sure we can play much better than that,” said Massachusetts coach John Calipari. “I hope we squelched all the rumors that we were wearing out. I gave the kids a couple of days off after the seven-day road trip. I think you see their legs are back.
“We’re one of those teams that has seen the match-up zone so many times that we’re comfortable against it.”
The Minutemen used their fresh legs to come out quickly against Temple’s match-up zone defense and established a 12-point, 18-6 lead within the first 10 minutes of the game. The early charge was led by Donta Bright who drove the lane for three easy baskets. The senior co-captain finished with 13 points and six assists.
UMass extended its biggest lead of the half to 14 when Carmelo Travieso hit his fifth trey with just over two minutes remaining, before Temple went on an 8-1 run to close out the half, climbing to within 7 at 36-29.
The junior guard led the way for the Minutemen with 26 points on 9-for-12 shooting from the field. Eight of his baskets came from behind the three-point line and tied the team record for most three-pointers in a single game.
Even with that finishing run, Temple coach John Chaney didn’t feel any more comfortable about the game.
“No, because our team is only going to rise to that level when we have a lucky night shooting,” he explained, pointing to his team 35 percent shooting from the field in the first half. “When we are hitting baskets it might happen that we hold on with our defense, but [UMass] is a great team.”
The Minuteman proved the Temple coach right by blowing the doors off the Owls, coming out of the locker room with an 18-2 run to start the second half pushing the lead to 54-32 with less than 12 minutes to play. Temple would never get any closer than 19 the rest of the way.
Though coach John Calipari didn’t get quite the usual production from his Player of the Year candidate Marcus Camby, 10 points, seven boards, four assists and five blocks the other four starters picked up the slack.
Forwards Bright and Dana Dingle once again were solid up front, each contributing 13 points. They also did the little things well as Dingle grabbed eight boards while Bright dished out six assists, many of them spectacular, highlighted by a no look pass to Camby for an uncontested dunk.
Travieso’s and his backcourt mate Edgar Padilla’s line score reads like a coach’s fantasy: 39 points, seven rebounds, 10 assists and seven steals to only three turnovers.
Chaney emphasized the guard play of both teams as being a major difference in the game.
“Our guards [are] our problem,” Chaney said about his backcourt of Johnny Miller and Levan Alston. “I’ve never had a team where the lead guard has committed four turnovers and my two guard made four turnovers, and they have been shooting very poorly. We struggle when the ball is in the hands of our guards.”
Temple was led by Marc Jackson with 13 points and received some support from Derrick Battie and Lynard Stewart, 12 and 11 points respectively, but was not enough collectively. Their coach afterwards pointed their archrivals as being the consummate team.
“That is a great team. You can’t take anything away from that team,” Chaney said. “They have all the elements. They have leadership at the guards, a well oiled machine in terms of coaching and all those guys are players. It goes beyond talent, because that is a team, the essence of what a team should be.”
The Minutemen return to action on Thursday when they host new Atlantic 10 member La Salle. Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m. at the William D. Mullins Center.
Backcourt too tough
By Candice Flemming, The Massachusetts Daily Collegian Staff, February 12, 1996
When a team plays the Massachusetts men’s basketball team, its plan is usually to try to stop National Player of the Year candidate Marcus Camby, and hope the UMass backcourt has an off day.
That was what Temple tried to do yesterday. The Owls shut down Camby (1-for-7 first-half shooting, 3-for-9 overall) for much of the game, but UMass’ backcourt made them pay.
It was the hot shooting of Carmelo Travieso and the outstanding overall play by Edgar Padilla that helped give the Minutemen their second straight blowout victory over the Owls, 84-55, yesterday at the William D. Mullins Center.
“We wanted to contain Camby and hope the other guys outside would throw up some bricks, but they didn’t. They had to hit them [from outside] because we ain’t giving up nothing inside,” said Temple coach John Chaney. “This is a great team. You can shut down one guy, [but] that doesn’t stop a team with balance.”
The Owls couldn’t stop Travieso.
The Boston native was feeling it from downtown, finishing with eight treys on the day, tying the UMass record for most in a game. His previous high was seven, which he accomplished twice.
“It’s nice to tie the record but that’s really not important,” Travieso said.
“He’s just a great shooter and [yesterday] he was shooting well, and I was just trying to get him open shots,” Padilla said.
When the Owls concentrated on Camby inside in the first half, Travieso made them pay knocking down five treys before intermission.
“If Marcus is double-teamed, then someone else should be wide open. Marcus and Dana did a good job of finding me, I just spotted up. After the third one, the release felt good. I knew I would have a big night,” Travieso said. “Once the first one goes down, that’s a big boost. After the second and third, you feel good. Your confidence should be high.”
The 6-foot-2 inch junior kept it going in the second half, draining all threes he attempted.
“When I’m beyond the three-point line, wherever I get the ball, I feel comfortable – anywhere on the court,” Travieso said. “It’s just a matter of letting the ball go. Coach believes I’m the best shooter on the floor wherever we go. Everybody on the team thinks I’m the best shooter and I just feed off that. So my confidence is pretty high.”
“He’s shot the ball well all year,” Massachusetts coach John Calipari said.
When it wasn’t Travieso knocking down the three-pointer, it was Padilla making a steal or dishing the rock to a teammate. The point guard finished with 13 points, nine assists, six rebounds and a game-high five steals. His nine assists were more than the entire Temple squad came up with for the whole game (eight).
In one span during the first half, the quick-handed Padilla came up with two steals in a little over a minute. Soon after, the 6-foot-2 inch junior almost grabbed a rebound away from Temple’s Marc Jackson, who at 6-foot-10, was a force on the boards all game for the Owls, pulling down 11 in the first half alone (14 for the game).
In the second half, it was Padilla who started a UMass fast break with a steal and a pass to a streaking Donta Bright, who scored on a layup, that gave UMass its first 20-point lead of the game.
“[Travieso and Padilla] play well together. They play hard, they pressure the ball well,” Calipari said. “I’ve got the two best guards in the country.”
“I believe they are the best [backcourt] in the country,” Dingle said. “I enjoy playing with these two guys more than anybody [else] in my career.”
Dingle was another Minuteman who made the Owls pay when they focused on Camby. The Bronx native shot 6-of-11 from the field, including three open jumpers, to finish with 13 points. He also grabbed a team-high eight boards.
Even freshman back-up guard Charlton Clarke got into the act, sinking his only attempt of the game, a three-pointer with 10:41 left in the contest, while playing tough defense throughout the contest.
“This is a great team. This team’s got all the elements. They’ve got good leadership guards and they’re a well-oiled machine in terms of their coach,” Chaney said. “Every single one of those guys are players.”
Temple (55) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Stewart 25 3-8 3-3 1-2 1 2 11 Battie 31 5-8 2-2 1-4 2 2 12 Jackson 35 3-11 7-11 7-14 1 2 13 Alston 36 2-10 0-0 0-3 2 3 5 Miller 28 1-6 0-0 0-1 1 5 3 Futch 16 0-5 0-0 1-2 0 5 0 Rios 3 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 3 Laws 1 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Cunningham 5 0-1 0-0 0-1 0 0 0 Ivey 13 3-5 0-0 3-5 0 0 6 Adams 4 0-1 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 Van Velsen 3 1-2 0-0 1-2 0 0 2 _______________________________________________ Totals 200 19-59 12-16 14-34 8 19 55 _______________________________________________ Percentages: Fg-.322, Ft-.750. 3-Point Goals: 5-21, .238 (Stewart 2-5, Alston 1-6, Miller 1-6, Futch 0-3, Rios 1-1). Team rebounds: 6. Blocked shots: 1 (Ivey). Turnovers: 15 (Alston 4, Jackson 4, Miller 4, Stewart 2, Ivey). Steals: 3 (Battie 2, Stewart). Massachusetts (84) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Dingle 31 6-11 1-2 3-8 2 1 13 Bright 31 6-12 1-2 3-4 6 4 13 Camby 30 3-9 4-5 2-7 4 2 10 E Padilla 37 4-8 4-6 0-6 9 1 13 Travieso 32 9-12 0-1 0-1 1 2 26 Clarke 7 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 3 Burns 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 G Padilla 2 0-1 0-0 0-1 1 0 0 Maclay 1 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Weeks 17 1-3 0-0 1-3 2 4 2 Cottrell 3 1-1 0-0 0-1 0 0 2 Nunez 3 0-0 0-0 1-1 0 0 0 Norville 5 1-3 0-0 0-1 0 1 2 _______________________________________________ Totals 200 32-62 10-16 10-33 25 15 84 _______________________________________________ Percentages: Fg-.516, Ft-.625. 3-Point Goals: 10-19, .526 (E Padilla 1-4, Travieso 8-11, Clarke 1-1, Maclay 0-1, Norville 0-2). Team rebounds: 3. Blocked shots: 8 (Camby 5, Weeks, Cottrell, Nunez). Turnovers: 6 (Camby 2, E Padilla 2, Nunez, Travieso). Steals: 11 (E Padilla 5, Camby 2, Travieso 2, Bright, Dingle). __________________________________ Temple 29 26 - 55 Massachusetts 36 48 - 84 __________________________________ Technical fouls: None. A: 9,493. Officials: Larry Lembo, Tom Lopes, Michael Sanzere.