Thirty Minutes Til Tip

By David Scott - February 08, 2007

AMHERST, Mass. – We’re 30 minutes from tip at the Mullins Center and the end zone student sections are filling in with black-clad fans as part of “Black Out Night.”

The Rams started stretching with about 50 minutes before tip. They are in their road baby blue uniforms with blue shooting jerseys and now are shooting around. UMass took the floor with 27:00 until tip. They are in marron warm-ups with home white uniforms underneath.

. . . Lots of Johnny Cash (the man in black) being played over the sound system in honor of Black Out Night. We're cool with that.

. . . Spearheaded by local Daily Hampshire Gazette scribe, Matt Vautour, the media and assorted hangers-on take part in a friendly game of predicting obscure statistics for each UMass home game. Tonight’s category is “Number of points that will be scored by foreign-born players.”

Hang Time, in the interest of fitting in with the locals, has entered a guess and we have also sponsored the entry of a Sports Information assistant named Ally. We chose 34 points and Ally - expecting a big, huge, monster game out of Gabon-born Stephane Lasme - went with 61. There are four total players (and one walk-on) who fit the category. For UMass, it’s Lasme, Gary Forbes (Panama) and seldom-used Nana Ampim (England). On the Rhody side, we have Jo Mbang and Parfait Bitee (both from Cameroon).

Alli’s estimate is way too high, but when you’re as cute and endearing as Alli (with an "i"), you tend to be allowed to over-estimate.

. . . Lasme is UMass’s career leader in blocked shots, with 340. He passed Marcus Camby of the Denver Nuggets at the end of January. Lasme is also closing in on the top 25 all-time in NCAA history (which have been kept since 1985). No. 25 is current New York Knick Jerome James, who had 363 blocked shots in his career at Florida A&M from 1995-98. The all-time NCAA record for blocks is 535 by Wojciech Mydra at Louisiana-Monroe from 1999-2002. Lasme also leads the A-10 in rebounding with 9.7 per game including a league-best 11.5 rebounds per game in A-10 games.

. . . A-10 commissioner Linda Bruno is expected to be in attendance for tonight’s pivotal contest.

Posted by David Scott at 07:08 PM on February 08, 2007

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