November 22, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

UMass basketball can’t corral Grant, Irish in 81-68 loss -

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Frustration haunts Minutemen in 5-3 loss to Boston College -

Saturday, November 22, 2014

UMass hockey drops 5-3 decision to No. 12 Boston College Friday night -

Saturday, November 22, 2014

UMass hockey prepares for nationally ranked Hockey East foes BC, Vermont -

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Food scientist proposes way to improve health via breast milk -

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons shine in ‘Whiplash’ -

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Masculinity: A feminist’s perspective -

Thursday, November 20, 2014

UMass women’s basketball uses size and speed en route to its first win against Maine -

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Why Melissa McBride is the best actor on television -

Thursday, November 20, 2014

‘Gienie’ in a bottle: Patriots, Browns, and Seahawks highlight week 12 picks -

Thursday, November 20, 2014

UMass women’s basketball secures first victory of the season against Maine -

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Revisiting ‘The Hobbit’ trilogy as the final installment looms -

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Establishing the rules of classroom attendance -

Thursday, November 20, 2014

UMass hockey’s Troy Power reflects as his 100th career game approaches -

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sophomore swimmer Meriza Werenski excelling in increased role -

Thursday, November 20, 2014

SGA senator plans survey on bigotry -

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Minutemen fall to Akron 30-6 on Tuesday night MACtion -

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Awaken your awareness to sleeping -

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

T-Swift v. Spotify: The battle over dying album sales -

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The pumpkin spice pandemic -

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Senior Night for Gurley, Correia, Big City

Maria Uminski/Collegian

Maria Uminski/Collegian

When the Massachusetts men’s basketball team takes the floor against Temple on Wednesday night, three players will see the Mullins Center parquet for possibly the last time in their collegiate careers.

The contest for UMass (15-12, 7-7 Atlantic 10) against the rivaled Owls (22-6, 12-2 A-10) will mark Senior Night, as the trio of Anthony Gurley, Gary Correia and Hashim Bailey will be honored in a pregame ceremony.

For UMass coach Derek Kellogg, all three players have been with the program since he took over the reins from former coach Travis Ford in 2008. Not only have the seniors helped Kellogg rebuild the program in the present, but they have also set it up for success down the road.

“[They] have done a nice job of being guys that have put the program back on solid footing to where we’re starting to get some respect back, not only in the league but [at] a somewhat regional level to eventually a national level,” Kellogg said in practice on Tuesday.

Along with being contributors on the court, Kellogg has relied on his three veterans to be leaders in the locker room and help the younger players adjust to the college level.

That leadership has been valuable, especially for a team which is comprised of 10 underclassmen and has five sophomore players as its foundation.

“It was good to have some older guys in the program who have been through some of the battles and the wars,” Kellogg said. “That’s hard to teach young kids until you’ve had enough old guys who have been through it.”

Both Bailey and Gurley, while being mainstays at UMass, transferred from their previous colleges before joining the Minutemen.

Bailey originally played at Memphis for former Minutemen coach John Calipari in his freshman and sophomore year. The 6-foot, 10-inch big man saw action in 14 games over that span, before heading to UMass in 2008 and sitting out his initial season due to transfer eligibility rules.

Gurley, meanwhile, elected to play for Wake Forest after his high school career. However, after a promising freshman season in which he averaged 6.4 points, the guard decided to transfer to UMass where he sat out his first year before playing three seasons.

Coming from an elite conference in the Atlantic Coast Conference to the A-10, Gurley had high expectations placed upon him. Now in his senior year, Gurley has taken over the role of leading scorer (team-high 18.3 points per game) and has grown in front of Kellogg’s eyes.

“I don’t think that comes naturally or easy for him to be that leader and that guy that takes over, but he’s matured into that role nicely,” Kellogg said.

“I think what he’s been able to do especially this year, to help me to get the team and the program where it is at this point, has been huge,” Kellogg said. “He’s been a rock and a foundation for a UMass program.”

Though Gurley is the driving force of the team, Correia is UMass’ steady hand at the point guard position. Having played all four years as a Minuteman, Correia has seen many memorable moments in his time – both good and bad.

Still, his first game at the Mullins Center – an exhibition contest against American International – is one that sticks out.

“I remember the first thing, all I wanted to do was hit the rim,” Correia said. “I didn’t want to [shoot an] air ball [and] I was so nervous. I think it’s been a long journey. Obviously, it’s had its ups and downs, but I’m happy. It’s sad to see it come to an end.”

This season, more so than his first three years, has been a challenge for Correia. After losing backup point guard Daryl Traynham mid-season, Kellogg has had to rely on Correia as his only true point guard, playing him for 30-plus minutes at times.

While Correia, Gurley and Bailey will enjoy Wednesday night, they are still focused on reaching the postseason and having a chance for the Minutemen to host the first round game of the A-10 tournament.

Jay Asser can be reached at jasser@student.umass.edu.

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