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UMass Minutemen travel to Dayton for NBCSN battle with #15 Flyers at 12:30 pm


University of Massachusetts Men’s Basketball Game Notes & Information
Game 16 Massachusetts (7-8, 1-1) at No. 15/15 Dayton (11-2, 2-0)
Date | Time Saturday, January 11, 2020  |  12:30 p.m.
Location Dayton, Ohio  |  UD Arena
Listen WEEI (105.5 FM)  |  WCRN (830 AM) |  Tune-In App
Live Statistics StatBroadcast

AMHERST, Mass. – The UMass men’s basketball team heads back on the road for its third game in eight days when the Minutemen travel to No. 15/15 Dayton for a 12:30 p.m. tip on NBCSN. It marks the first time since the 2008-09 season that UMass will square off against two AP top-15 teams in the same season. The Minutemen also took on then-No. 7 Virginia on Nov. 23.

The series with Dayton
The series between UMass and Dayton is tied at 14. The Flyers took both meetings a season ago, including a five-point win at UD Arena on Jan. 13, 2019. The overall series dates back to 1996, and the Minutemen are in search of their first win against the Flyers since Feb. 3, 2018.

Stiff competition
Massachusetts has gone up against some of the nation’s top teams in 2019-20, including seven currently ranked in the top-100 of the NCAA NET Rankings: Rutgers (21), Akron (44), Yale (59), Saint Louis (66), Virginia (64), St. John’s (73) and Harvard (94).

Dayton (9 in the NET) will be the eighth on Saturday. It also marks the first time since the 2008-09 season that UMass will square off against two AP top-15 teams in the same season.

East Mode
Sean East II averaged 22 points and 5.5 assists in two games last week en route to his second Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week nod of the season.

It marks the first time since the 2003-04 season that Massachusetts has collected four conference rookie of the week nods in the same season, and makes East II the first Minuteman since Chris Lowe in 2005-06 to earn the honor twice in a season.

East II is sixth in the nation among freshmen, and t-54th overall, in total assists with 77 through 15 games, including a season-high nine against Yale on Dec. 11. His 5.1 assists per game are tied for 56th in the NCAA and fifth among rookies.

Pierre reaches career milestone
On Wednesday against La Salle, captain Carl Pierre became the 52nd player in team history to reach 1000 career points. He finished the game with 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting overall and a perfect 5-of-5 from three.

Dibaji Walker receives waiver from NCAA
UMass announced on Dec. 30 that Dibaji Walker has received a waiver from the NCAA and is immediately eligible for competition. Walker transferred to UMass this fall after a season at Cleveland State, and made his Minuteman debut on Dec. 30 at Akron.

Walker played a year of prep hoops at Woodstock Academy under current UMass assistant coach Tony Bergeron, where he helped guide the Centaurs to a 35-5 record and a No. 3 national ranking. The 14th-ranked recruit in the 2018 class of Conn. averaged 11 points per contest and added five boards, three assists and two steals at Woodstock.

Guess who’s back, back again
Jan. 5 at Saint Louis marked the return of freshman guard Kolton Mitchell, who had missed the previous 12 games with a hand injury. Mitchell played six minutes against the Billikens, going 2-of-2 from the floor.

Between Mitchell, John Buggs III and T.J. Weeks, the Minutemen have missed a combined 28 games due to injury this season. At the time of his injury, Weeks was leading the team in scoring (14.7 ppg) and was 10th in the NCAA, and first among rookies, in three-point shooting percentage (32-of-66; 48.5%).

We’ll be taking that
The Minutemen are averaging 8.1 steals per game, good for 62nd in the NCAA, including a season-high 13 against Maine, the fourth time this season and fifth time in the Matt McCall era that a UMass team had at least 10 steals in a game.

The Minutemen are also 52nd in the country in forced turnovers (16.13), and have forced their opponents into 20+ turnovers three times (CCSU, Maine, Saint Louis).

From deep
UMass is shooting better than 36% beyond the arc (132-of-362), and its 132 made threes are fourth in the Atlantic 10 this season and 72nd in the nation.

The Minutemen are 61st in the NCAA with 8.8 three-pointers per game, while Carl Pierre is 34th in the country and seventh in the A-10 from deep (45-of-109; 41.3%).

Double ‘em up
Samba Diallo’s 11 point – 14 rebound performance on Sunday at Saint Louis marked the first career double-double for the sophomore. He’s the third Minuteman this season to record his first-ever double-double, joining Carl Pierre (23 points, 10 rebounds at Akron) and Tre Mitchell (14 points, 12 rebounds vs. St. John’s).

Diallo followed it up with a 12 point – 12 rebound night against La Salle on Wednesday for his second straight double-double.

Chart topper
On Dec. 11 vs. Yale, junior Carl Pierre tied the school record with a career-high eight three pointers. It marked the 11th time in team history, and made Pierre the eighth player in program history to hit eight threes in a game.

Youth movement
It’s a new look roster for the Minutemen in 2019-20 with nine newcomers, including seven freshmen. The seven rookies are the most for UMass since the 2007-08 season.

All seven freshmen (John Buggs IIISean East IIC.J. JacksonKolton MitchellTre MitchellPreston SantosT.J. Weeks) have made their collegiate debuts, with Tre Mitchell and East II starting all 14 games.

The rookies have combined for 56.5% (604-of-1083) of the Minutemen’s scoring so far this season.

Weeks and East II started the season with back-to-back Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week accolades, marking the first time since the 2003-04 that UMass collected consecutive conference rookie of the week honors.

Veteran leadership
UMass’ four upperclassmen (Carl PierreKeon ClergeotDjery Baptiste, Davonte Higginbottom) are tied with Central Connecticut, Lipscomb and Long Beach State for the third fewest juniors and seniors on an NCAA roster.

Utah (two) and Florida (three) are the only schools in the country with fewer upperclassmen than the Minutemen.

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