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UMass basketball lining up Florida State, lands BYU in Springfield

The University of Massachusetts is close to finalizing a couple of big name opponents to its men’s basketball schedule according to a source close to the program.

UMass is also closing in on playing Florida State in the Orange Bowl Classic in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., this year. The Minutemen beat the Seminoles in the annual event in 1999.

Also, a tripleheader of teams from Massachusetts, which will feature a game between UMass and Boston College, is expected to be announced shortly.

The Minutemen’s annual game at the MassMutual Center in Springfield will be against Brigham Young on Dec. 7. The matchup is part of a home-and-home series with the Cougars. It will return to Utah in 2014-15.

The Minutemen have completed a home-and-home deal to play Providence over the next two seasons, beginning Dec. 28 at the Mullins Center.

The series will be completed during the 2014-15 season at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, R.I. A date has yet to be determined.

The December game is one of three high-profile New England games on UMass’ schedule. In addition to BC, the Minutemen are playing at Harvard in a game that could be part of ESPN’s Tip-off Marathon. It would be the second straight season UMass has participated in the national event.

WILLIAMS MISSES SPAIN TRIP — As it turns out, Raphiael Putney was the only Minuteman to go on the Athletes in Action trip to Spain and the Canary Islands. Chaz Williams was a late scratch due to a knee injury he suffered right before the trip. According to UMass coach Derek Kellogg, the injury was minor and isn’t expected to affect his preparation for the 2013-14 season.

“He had it checked out and he’s fine now,” Kellogg said.

While statistics are inconsistent from games on the tour, Putney did have five points, eight rebounds and four blocks in Tuesday’s game.

NEW HOCKEY ASSISTANT — UMass hockey coach John Micheletto filled a coaching vacancy on his staff with another coach with Vermont ties. The hiring of UVM alumnus Ryan Miller was announced Wednesday.

Miller coached at Culver Military Academy for the past two years. He led Kimball Union (N.H.) for four years prior to Culver.

UMass assistant coach Joey Gasparini and director of hockey operations John Gobeil both graduated from Vermont, where Micheletto coach for eight seasons.

Matt Vautour can be reached at mvautour@gazettenet.com. Get UMass coverage delivered in your Facebook news feed at www.facebook.com/GazetteUMassCoverage.

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