UMass to retire Marcus Camby’s No. 21 jersey
University of Massachusetts star Marcus Camby raises his arms to the crowd in victory Saturday, March 16, 1996 at the Providence Civic Center in Providence, R.I., as UMass defeated Stanford University 79-74 in their second round game of the east region 1996 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship. (AP Photo/Jim Rogash) Purchase photo reprints »
New York Knicks center Marcus Camby smiles as he answers a question during their NBA basketball media day at the team's training facility in Greenburgh, N.Y., Monday, Oct. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle) Purchase photo reprints »
University of Massachusetts' center Marcus Camby is all alone near the basket as he finishes this second half alley-oop at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on March 23, 1996. Massachusetts defeated Georgetown 86-62, and will advance to the Final Four in New Jersey. UMass announced Tuesday it will retire Camby's jersey. Purchase photo reprints »
UMass sophomore center Cady Lalanne, left, defends a shot by Wesley Saunders of Harvard in the second half of the Minutemen's 67-64 season-opening win over the Crimson on Tuesday morning at the Mullins Center.
KEVIN GUTTING Purchase photo reprints »
AMHERST — After quietly hanging the 2012 NIT Final Four banner in the Mullins Center, the University of Massachusetts announced before the men’s basketball opener that there’s another banner raising in its future. This one figures to have plenty of fanfare along with it.
UMass announced that it will officially retire Marcus Camby’s No. 21 on Jan. 19, when the Minutemen host George Washington at 4 p.m.
Camby, who is in his second stint with the New York Knicks, will be in the middle of a three-day break between games.
Camby, the consensus national player of the year, led UMass to the 1995-96 Final Four. He left UMass after his junior year and was the second overall pick by the Toronto Raptors in the 1996 draft.
Following his collegiate career, the NCAA vacated UMass’ appearance in the Final Four because Camby’s dealings with agents negated his amateur status.
He’ll join Julius Erving (32), George “Trigger” Burke (32), Lou Roe (15) and Al Skinner (30) among UMass’ retired numbers.
GOVERNOR IN ATTENDANCE – Gov. Deval Patrick was among the 3,874 fans in attendance for Tuesday’s game at the Mullins Center between his state university and Harvard, his alma mater. UMass won 67-64.
“This is great. I don’t get to spend too many Tuesday mornings this way,” said Patrick, who was wearing a white UMass cap. At halftime he was noncommittal on which way he was rooting, but was glad the game was close.
“I have a stake in both of these teams,” Patrick said. “I like how it’s trending.”
He thought the successful sports programs were good for the university.
“It isn’t easy to get to the elite level of college sports,” he said. “But when it works, and it’s been working beautifully for the football team, it’s great for the university and great for the whole state.”
LALANNE STARTS – UMass coach Derek Kellogg waited until game day to determine who would start at center and he settled on Cady Lalanne. The sophomore made him look good with nine points, 13 rebounds and four blocked shots in 32 minutes. Kellogg said in preseason that he thought Lalanne would play only 18-22 minutes, but he was comfortable with his workload.
“If he’s still playing hard and competing ... he’ll be a really good player,” Kellogg said. “I’m going to play him as many minutes as I can. Thirty-two, I would have preferred 26, but I thought he was rebounding for us, and if you see him get in a little better shape, I think he’s going to be a big-time player.”
NEXT UP – The Minutemen will play Providence Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in the Puerto Rico Shootout in Bayamon. The Friars (2-0) beat New Jersey Institute of Technology and Bryant. Their star point guard Vincent Council’s status is uncertain for the game after suffering a hamstring injury against NJIT.
ROOKIES – Of the three UMass freshmen, only point guard Trey Davis saw action. Davis picked up two fouls in one minute of play. Neither Tyler Bergantino nor Izzy Freeman got in the game.
“I think Tyler and Izzy will play more in a traditional game where they’re playing a couple big guys or a bigger team,” Kellogg said. Harvard “played kind of how we played, a hybrid team with one big guy and four dribble-drive guys or guards.”
Matt Vautour can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow UMass coverage on Twitter at twitter.com/GazetteUMass. Get UMass coverage delivered in your Facebook news feed at www.facebook.com/GazetteUMassCoverage.