Thursday, January 26, 2006

Closed for Renovation

Renovation of my life - The first year of law school with a soon-to-be new baby is too much for blogging. I will pick it up again in the summer and should continue forever after.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Lowe Elgible

Neither here nor there, but great news!

Will Work for Home Game (or 2)

Miami and Gonzaga scared to come to Amherst. Or something like that - read the link.

Miami will be rescheduled, but its a shame that we will lose one of our best games in Coach Ford's first season.

The DHG (Vautour of course) speculates that Gonzaga and UMASS are heading to court.

Net result: We need two more marquee home games to drive interest, ticket sales, and (dare I dream?) RPI rating.

Maybe a quick call to Louisville is in order.....

Manual Cass Weighing Scholarship Offer

6'6" Junior Small Forward from Carbondale, Illinois is weighing scholarship offers from Umass, as well as Wake Forest, Southern Illinois, Purdue, Bradley, Xavier, Nebraska, Dayton, Kansas State and Illinois.

It seems that, in addition to playing all three post positions in a run to the Illinois Class AA title game last season, Cass is a prolific scorer, penetrator, and three-point shooter.

According to the link, location will not be a factor in his decision.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Here is where Bonner's scholarship came from...


Meanwhile, Alassane Kouyate, who sat out the last two seasons with knee problems, has opted to stop playing basketball.


Kouyate, who played AAU basketball with Cleveland Cavalier star Lebron James, appeared in just 14 games during his career for the Minutemen, mostly late in contests where the outcome already was decided. The native of Mali took a medical redshirt during the 2003-04 season and sat out again last year as the knee injury persisted.

Kouyate will remain at UMass on a medical hardship scholarship that will not count against the team's NCAA-mandated limit of 13.

''I hope he stays around,'' Ford said. ''I think he'd be a great role model for a lot of these guys."

This one slipped past me the other day....

I'm running laps.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Olivier Lamoureux

From the same article:

In unrelated news, Ford said he has no immediate plans to explore a waiver that would give Olivier Lamoureux four years of eligibility. The 6-9 forward was injured last season but played 93 seconds in one game, which may cost him a full year, according to NCAA rules.

"He deserves (the waiver), but I'm not sure we can (get one)," said Ford, who added that while Lamoureux was not his recruit, he has not been ruled out of future plans.

"He does some things I like," Ford said. "He can shoot it, for a big man. We have a lot of big men, and he knows where we stand, but we'll just have to see how he fits in."

If Lamoureux, whose inclusion in the future plans of the team seem tenuous at best in the above quote, chooses to transfer, that's where Bonner's scholarship could come from.

He does sound like a big body that could play the three or the four, giving rest to some tired big men who are not used to running up and down the floor.

Click the link to his page on the UMASS site above... Is being "Rated the best big man prospect in Quebec" good? I have no context!

Coach Ford

Good Article from the Republican about the basketball diversity of the incoming class.

I tend to agree with Coach Ford regarding JC and transfer players having an axe to grind. I'm sure there is a chance of ending up with a head case, but the risk is outweighed by the potential rewards that these talented could potentially bring...

From the Neither Here Nor There department: Anyone notice the good press that Coach Ford has been getting? I know its still the honeymoon period, but did he bring a new SID with him when he came? Because either of our last two coaches would have loved this kind of fawning!

Big Time Transfer

7-Footer and brother of Toronto Raptors forward Matt Bonner, Luke Bonner will join UMASS this season and will be eligible to play next season. Coach Ford has some very complimentary things to say about Bonner and it seems that we weren't necessarily looking for a big man, but the highly recruited West Virginia Freshman (who is from New Hampshire) fell into our laps. He has three years of eligibility remaining (after he sits out the upcoming season).

I will try to find out if we have a scholarship for him and how - If not, as a resident of New England, he can enroll in the STPEC program (or something similar to take advantage of in-state rates! Lets hope it doesn't come to that...

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

UMASS Signs Swingman for Third Scholarship Spot

UMASS has signed 6'6" G/F Brandon Thomas to a NLI. Thomas, who played his Freshman and Sophmore years at LIU and sat out last year at Santa Fe Community College (in Gaineville, FL?), chose UMASS over Florida, Notre Dame, DePaul and Florida State.

"The atmosphere at UMass and in the town of Amherst is great," he said. "The coaches are very classy people who want to win. I was also impressed that they want to build lifelong relationships with their players and want the best for their players."

Says coach Ford:

"We are excited to welcome Brandon Thomas to the UMass basketball family," said Ford. "He is an incredibly talented and versatile player. We expect Brandon to be an immediate impact player for the upcoming season. He can play multiple positions including both guard and both forward spots. He is a proven Division I player who will be a factor for us. In addition to being a great basketball player, Brandon is a great person off the court and is committed to being the best student he can be in the classroom."

During his Sophmore year at LIU, Thomas shot 51% from the floor and led the Blackbirds with 12.3 ppg. Check out his stats here (story is the same as the previous links but the stats are in a more readable format - scroll to the bottom). He is described as a swingman who does a little of everything and has two years of elgibility remaining.

Some random thoughts:

*Coach Ford is certainly remaking this team in his image. He signed three players who can get up and down the floor and, aside from the pure point, are multideimensional players. It will be interesting to see what he does with the returning players to get them into the shape and mental state necessary to run up and down the floor and (probably) play less minutes. Specifically, I'm thinking of Rashaun Freeman and Big Deli.

*To get these three players, UMASS has pulled off recruiting coups under the noses of the ACC, the SEC, the Big East, the A-10, and a very good Utah State team. In the late recruiting period. I am looking forward to seeing what Coach Ford can do with a full year to recruit!

*There is a sense of excitement around the UMASS team that hasn't been seen in Amherst since Camby and Coach Cal left (in a cloud of scandel) - this signing should only add to that feeling. Based on the recruiting and the connection to the UMASS community, you would have to give coach Ford an A for his work so far.

Friday, April 29, 2005

UMASS announces signing... a pitcher?

Coach Ford signs deal to pitch for the Red Sox. Sort of. On Monday May 9th, Coach Ford will throw out the first pitch at Fenway Park when the Sox take on the Oakland A's.

Tickets can be purchased here. It is a 7:05 start - Get there early to see him throw out the first pitch. The best seats available right now are Section G14 - Box 13.

It is amazing to watch him go out of his way to become a member of the UMASS and greater Massachusetts community. Everything he is doing now will pay dividends in terms of UMASS Hoops tickets sold this season.

If I had told you 6 months ago that the UMASS basketball coach would be bringing this high a level of excitement to the team, school, and community 6 months before Midnight Madness, would you have believed me?

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

More on Saihou Jassey

Lexington Herald Leader (Scroll Down):

• Rose Hill's Saihou Jassey, the 6-6 Gambian who made the Kentucky All-Stars even though he didn't play basketball this season, has a 41-inch vertical jump and an abundance of athleticism. He played at Montrose Christian near Baltimore as a junior, and is expected to sign with Travis Ford at Massachusetts.

There really hasn't been alot of news on this guy, probably because he was inelgible to play this year due to Kentucky state High School basketball rules, but I like how the Kentucky papers are reporting his comming to UMASS as "expected" (as opposed to Massachusetts papers which have been more conservative).

I also liked it better when he was 6'8".

For the record, I'll take the 6'6" if he really has a 41" vertical. I would have to jump four times...