Iacobellis named Hockey East Player of the Week

Cade Belisle/Collegian

Cade Belisle/Collegian

UMass forward Steven Iacobellis was named Hockey East Player of the Week this morning for his performance in a two-game weekend series against Michigan State. Centering the second line for the Minutemen, Iacobellis scored two goals and notched two assists in the second game of the weekend on Saturday, and his efforts helped fuel the Minutemen to a 4-3 comeback victory against the Spartans.

Iacobellis has centered what has been the most productive UMass line so far. Iacobellis leads the Minutemen with four points, and his linemates Ray Pigozzi and Patrick Lee are tied for second with three points each.

A sophomore, Iacobellis is the highest scoring player returning from last years team, when he scored 10 goals along with 11 assists in 34 appearances. He was named Rookie of the Year for UMass, and was fourth in the country among freshmen in face-off wins, as well as 16th among freshmen in goals.

Saturday’s win was the first of the season for the Minutemen. Down 3-2 with just under five minutes remaining, Iacobellis scored to tie the game, and with less than 10 seconds remaining in regulation, assisted on Lee’s game winning goal.

Highlights from the 4-3 win, from UMass Athletics

UMass defense rises to challenge against Eastern Michigan

Photo by  Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian

Photo by Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian

The Massachusetts football team boasts a prolific offense this year, but it was the defensive unit which lagged behind for most of the season.

But after holding Kent State to just 17 points a week ago and following that performance up by allowing just 14 points to Eastern Michigan, the Minutemen are rounding into shape on the defensive end.

UMass held Eastern Michigan to 280 yards of offense and didn’t allow the Eagles to score a single point in the second half of the game. On three difference occasions, UMass turned the ball on offensive in the fourth quarter, seemingly inviting Eastern Michigan to play its way back into the game.

But the Minutemen held strong.

“I thought there was some great energy and leadership,” UMass coach Mark Whipple said. “We’re improving, some guys are getting in the system. A lot of times we’ve got 11 guys on the same page where earlier in the year it was nine or 10.”
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Gameday: What To Watch For

Photo by Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian

Photo by Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian

Here is a list of five things to watch for in today’s game between UMass and Eastern Michigan.

1. How will the Minutemen respond after last Saturday’s 40-17 win vs. Kent State.

UMass won its first game of the 2014 season last weekend at Kent State. Whipple has been happy with his team’s preparation and practice this week. Look to see if the Minutemen come out with the same intensity right out of the gate.

2. Can UMass contain QB Reginald Bell Jr?

In the Eagles last game against Buffalo Bell went 8-for-13 with 144 passing yards and a touchdown. He also ran for 202 yards on 17 carries with three touchdowns. Bell had touchdown runs from 72 yards and 71 yards respectably. The last time UMass played a dual-threat quarterback, Boston College’s Tyler Murphy ran for 188 yards.

3. Who will get carries along with Lorenzo Woodley?

Against the Golden Flashes Woodley ran for 160 yards on 23 carries and a touchdown after Shadrach Abrokwah left the game with a shoulder injury. Both Abrokwah and J.T. Blyden will dress for the Minutemen after being limited in practice this week.

4. What will Eastern Michigan do with Tajae Sharpe?

Kent St. made it an emphasis to game plan for Sharpe, sending double-coverages and had the defense roll their zone to his side. Sharpe leads the Minutemen this season in receptions and receiving yards.

5. Who’s going to step up?

Outside linebacker Kassan Messiah lead UMass with 10 tackles last week and also had a blocked field goal. Whose turn is it to have a break out game for the Minutemen?

Andrew Cyr can be reached at arcyr@umass.edu, and can be followed on Twitter @Andrew_Cyr.

Gameday: UMass expected starting lineup vs. Eastern Michigan

Judith Gibson-Okunieff/ Daily Collegian

Judith Gibson-Okunieff/ Daily Collegian

Offense

QB: Blake Frohnapfel
FB: Rodney Mills
TB: Shadrach Abrokwah
WR: Tajae Sharpe
WR: Jalen Williams
TE: Jean Sifrin
LT: Tyrell Smith
LG: Fabian Hoeller
C: Josh Bruns
RG: Michael Boland
RT: Elijah Wilkinson

Defense
DE: Peter Angeh
NT: Daniel Maynes
DT: Sha-Ki Holines
OLB: Kassan Messiah
ILB: Stanley Andre
ILB: Jovan Santos-Knox
OLB: Trey Seals
CB: Randall Jette
S: Joe COlton
S: Trey Dudley-Giles
CB: Jackson Porter

Special Teams
KO: Blake Lucas
PK: Logan Laurent
P: Brian McDonald
LS: Nick Berus
H: Blake Frohnapfel
KR: Khary Bailey-Smith
PR: Trey Dudley-Giles

Andrew Cyr can be reached at arcyr@umass.edu, and can be followed on Twitter @Andrew_Cyr

Gameday: UMass/Eastern Michigan viewing information

Photo by Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian

Photo by Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian

MASSACHUSETTS MINUTEMEN (1-6) VS. EASTERN MICHIGAN EAGLES  (2-4)

  • Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts
  • 3 p.m. EST
  • Game Preview
  • TV broadcast – ESPN 3
  • Radio broadcast – 105.5 FM WEEI (Springfield/Amherst), 1440 AM WVEI (Worcester), 95.9 FM WATD (South Shore), 1200 AM WXKS (Boston, Worcester, Manchester, Providence);
  • Twitter updates: @MDC_Sports /@Mark_Chiarelli / @Andrew_Cyr

GAME NOTES

  • UMass enters today’s game coming off its first victory of 2014 a week ago against Kent State. The Minutemen won 40-17 behind strong performances from Blake Frohnapfel and Lorenzo Woodley.
  • Eastern Michigan also won last week behind a breakout game from quarterback Reginald Bell Jr. Bell entered EMU’s victory over Buffalo in the second quarter and proceeded to rush for 202 yards and three scores. Two of his rushing touchdowns were 70+ yards.
  • UMass will start Woodley at running back, but reserves Shadrach Abrokwah and J.T. Blyden will see action as well. Both Abrokwah and Blyden have started at times this season, but battled injuries leading up to Saturday’s game. Center Matt Sparks, who missed last week’s game with an ankle injury, will not start Saturday but is active.

Mark Chiarelli can be reached at mchiarel@umass.edu and followed on Twitter @Mark_Chiarelli

UMass basketball coach Derek Kellogg agrees to contract extension through 2018-19 season

Taylor C. Snow/ Daily Collegian

Taylor C. Snow/ Daily Collegian

Massachusetts men’s basketball coach Derek Kellogg agreed to a contract extension through the 2018-19 season, according to a report by the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

Kellogg, who led UMass to its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1998 last season, reportedly agreed to an extension which runs five years but also contains incentive language which could provide two more additional guaranteed years and bump the total to a seven-year deal. Financial terms were not made available.

“I think Derek’s done a great job,” Athletic Director John McCutcheon told the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

“We’re happy with where we are and the direction we’re going,” McCutcheon said. “He’s built the program. We wanted to put something in place that he’s comfortable with and we’re comfortable with that will keep him around for a long time.”

Kellogg signed a contract extension in 2012-13 which was set to run through the 2016-17. The new extension will replace the final three years of that extension and continue on for two more seasons.

Rumors circulated this past off-season that Kellogg was a potential candidate for other positions across the country. Now, the UMass graduate and Springfield native is in a comfortable position with the Minutemen for years to come.

Mark Chiarelli can be reached at mchiarel@umass.edu and followed on Twitter @Mark_Chiarelli

UMass basketball’s Bergantino ready for increased role if called upon

Photo by Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian

Photo by Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian

Before Massachusetts men’s basketball practice Wednesday, Minutemen coach Derek Kellogg said he’s still trying to carve out roles for a majority of the players on the team.

UMass has four players — Cady Lalanne, Derrick Gordon, Maxie Esho and Trey Davis — who played significant minutes a season ago and will again this year. That’s about the extent of concrete answers for Kellogg, who has a variety of moving parts to work in around that core. Transfer guard Jabarie Hinds, redshirt freshman Zach Coleman and freshman Donte Clark were all with the team last year, but did not play for various reasons.

Sophomores Demetrius Dyson and Seth Berger, who played sparingly last year, are vying for more time despite relative inexperience. And Kellogg also has freshman guard C.J. Anderson at his disposal.

All that’s left is junior center Tyler Bergantino, who doesn’t play extensive rotational minutes but has played enough minutes to skirt the “inexperienced” designation.

The 6-foot-9 center played 7.3 minutes per game last season as Lalanne’s backup. His role was that of a defensive bruiser, someone who could spell Lalanne and short bursts, protect the paint and distribute his five personal fouls if necessary.

Bergantino served that role well, but enters this season with a fresh mindset and an eagerness to get involved with more aspects of the team. And it started with the transformation of his body. Despite having two years of experience, fans may have a hard time recognizing Bergantino, who is growing out his hair and slimming down.

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