Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Celtics’ Marcus Smart takes in Wednesday’s UMass men’s basketball win, catches up with longtime friend Trey Davis

Alec Zabrecky/Daily Collegian
Alec Zabrecky/Daily Collegian

Massachusetts guard Trey Davis said he’s attended two or three Boston Celtics games already this season, which has allowed him to see his childhood friend from Dallas, Texas and current Celtics guard Marcus Smart play in the TD Garden.

Wednesday night against in-state rival Boston University, Smart returned the favor as the No. 6 overall pick from the 2014 NBA draft made it to the Mullins Center to see Davis and the rest of the Minutemen pull away early in a 99-69 blowout victory.

Davis finished with 20 points, including 14 in the first half, to lead a UMass attack that included five double-digit scorers and 13 total 3-pointers.

According to Davis, having his longtime friend in attendance was a welcoming experience. Smart promised Davis earlier this year that he’d make at least one trip to Amherst to watch the Minutemen (5-1) play.

“It was cool,” Davis said following Wednesday’s win. “We’ve been playing together since we were young growing up. So he seeing me play wasn’t a wild thing, but I guess it was to everybody else.”

Smart, who didn’t travel with the Celtics for their road game against the Sacramento Kings in Mexico City Thursday due to a leg injury, arrived at Wednesday’s game during the halftime intermission due to traffic. He missed Davis’ early attack when he scored 10 of UMass’ first 12 points in the opening five minutes of play as the Minutemen cruised to a 54-26 lead at the break.

“Traffic backed me up,” Smart said in a halftime interview with the Collegian. “But I’m guessing it was a great half (for UMass) being up 28.”

According to Smart, the two have known each other since middle school when they played with and against each other back in Texas.

“It was crazy, man. (Davis and I) grew up together going against each other, playing against each other and that’s like my brother,” Smart said. “So being out here able to support him tonight is a good feeling.”

Minutemen forward Zach Coleman, also from Dallas and a childhood friend of Davis, played against Smart in local tournaments around the same age. While he doesn’t know Smart on the same personal level as Davis, he acknowledged having Smart in attendance was a cool sight.

“It shows that UMass basketball has definitely extended past Amherst,” Coleman said. “It’s pretty big for us.”

Smart was quick to say that he was the best player out of the three Dallas products when they used to battle head-to-head, ending his blunt answer with a smile.

Davis was more hesitant in answering the question, but admitted that Smart had the decisive advantage in one area at a young age.

“I don’t know, man. He was playing defense at a young age. And we weren’t really playing that much defense,” Davis said. “He’s probably got us there.”

Wednesday night marked the third straight game Davis tied for or held the outright highest-point total for the Minutemen. The senior is now averaging 18.8 points per game, which is second behind senior guard Jabarie Hinds (19.7).

Acknowledging his quick start to the game against the Terriers, Davis said it was part of setting the offensive tone for the Minutemen following their first loss of the season last Wednesday to Creighton where UMass had its worst shooting game of the young season.

“We just wanted to get back to the right track,” Davis said. “We’ve got a good game Saturday against Ole Miss, so we wanted to get things flowing and get ready for that.”

Anthony Chiusano can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @a_chiusano24.

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