Gotham Classic tips off Thursday
December 6, 2016
PRINCETON, N.J. – The fifth annual Gotham Classic tips-off on Thursday when Massachusetts hosts Pacific at the Mullins Center in Amherst, Mass.
Joining UMass and Pacific are Kennesaw State, North Carolina A&T, and Rider. UMass will host four games in the Gotham Classic, while Pacific will host three. Kennesaw State, NC A&T, and Rider will each play one home game.
—- SCHEDULE —-
Dec. 8 –
Pacific at UMass
Dec. 17 –
Kennesaw State at UMass
In the 2015 Gotham Classic, Pittsburgh won all four of its games, including a 94-69 win over Davidson, the lone loss in the event for the Wildcats. Eastern Washington, Morehead State, and Western Carolina also competed in the event.
Massachusetts (5-2) – Head Coach: Derek Kellogg (Atlantic 10 Conference)
Derek Kellogg is in his ninth season at the helm of his alma mater’s basketball program and is already the third winningest coach in school history…eight letterwinners return from last season, including the starting guard junior Donte Clark and classmate C.J. Anderson, who started 11 games in the back court…they are joined by a seven-member, consensus Top 30 recruiting class – tops in the Atlantic 10 – in 2016-17.
Pacific (3-4) – Head Coach: Damon Stoudamire (West Coast Conference)
Damon Stoudamire, who played 13 seasons in the NBA after earning first-team All-America honors at Arizona, was named head coach at Pacific in March…most recently, Stoudamire spent the 2015-16 season at Memphis after two seasons at his alma mater…he inherits a program that returns 13 players, including three starters, led by senior guard T.J. Wallace and redshirt-junior wing Ray Bowles.
Kennesaw State (3-6) – Head Coach: Al Skinner (Atlantic Sun Conference)
In his first season at KSU last year, Al Skinner led the Owls to their first .500 record in A-Sun play since the 2006-07 season…leading the way was senior guard Kendrick Ray, who set a school Division I record with 579 points scored in earning A-Sun Newcomer of the Year honors…he and junior back court mate Nick Masterson top a list of nine players (three starters) returning from a year ago.
North Carolina A&T (1-7) – Head Coach: Jay Joyner (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference)
Jay Joyner is in his first full season as head coach of the Aggies after being named interim coach for the final month of last season…he benefits from the return of seven players, two of whom were starters, from a year ago, headlined by last year’s leading scorer, junior guard Sam Hunt…Hunt is joined in the back court by fellow starter, senior Denzel Keyes.
Rider (4-3) – Head Coach: Kevin Baggett (Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference)
Kevin Baggett is in his fifth season at Rider…the 2015 MAAC Coach of the Year sees the return of eight players, including three who started at least 18 games a year ago…tops among the returning players is senior forward Kahlil Thomas, a third-team All-MAAC selection who started 32 of 33 games last season…he is joined up front by senior Xavier Lundy.
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