UMass notebook: Football injury woes worsen, men’s basketball schedule released

  • TJ Weeks Jr. and the UMass men’s basketball team will open the season against UMBC on Nov. 9. THOM KENDALL/UMASS ATHLETICS

Staff Writer
Published: 9/8/2021 9:33:45 AM

AMHERST — Two Big Ten teams, including a 2021 NCAA Tournament squad, highlight the 2021-22 UMass men’s basketball non-conference schedule released Wednesday.

Penn State will visit the Mullins Center on Nov. 15 and Rutgers, which reached the NCAA Tournament second round in March, is coming to Amherst on Nov. 27.

The Minutemen, who went 8-7 last season and reached the Atlantic 10 quarterfinals for the first time since 2016, open the slate against the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, on Nov. 9. The Retrievers famously completed the NCAA Tournament’s first No. 16 over No. 1 upset when they beat Virginia in 2018.

UMass Lowell (Nov. 24), Harvard (Dec. 4), Fairfield (Dec. 19) and the New Jersey Institute of Technology (Dec. 22) will also face UMass at the Mullins Center.

The Minutemen are traveling to Yale (Nov. 12) and Northeastern (Dec. 7) as their only true road games. They’re playing North Texas in Fort Worth, Texas, on Dec. 11 as part of the Basketball Hall of Fame Classic.

The schedule includes one tournament-style, multi-team event: the Jersey Mike’s Classic in St. Petersburg, Fla., from Nov. 18-21. UMass’ matchups aren’t currently set, but Ball State, Florida International, Green Bay, UNC Greensboro and Weber State are also scheduled to participate. The Minutemen will play three games regardless of the results of the first two.

The Atlantic 10 will release the conference slate at a later date.

FOOTBALL INJURY UPDATE – The UMass football team got beat up on more than the scoreboard against Pittsburgh last weekend.

Cornerback Bryson Richardson left the game with an injury, and UMass coach Walt Bell said the diagnosis is still unclear.

“I would guess (his status) would be doubtful,” he said.

Starting quarterback Tyler Lytle did not practice Wednesday because he was banged up after taking 10 hits against the Panthers. He’ll be a “game-time choice,” Bell said.

The Minutemen might also be without starting left guard Reggie Marks III for the second game in a row. He missed the Pitt game but practiced Wednesday. Bell said, “We’ll see.”

PRACTICE YOUR CURSIVE – UMass will debut a new a maroon facemask variant of its cursive script helmet for Saturday’s home opener against Boston College at McGuirk Alumni Stadium.

The Minutemen wore the script logo in 2019 against UConn but with a white face mask.

UMass sported a maroon helmet with the “Power U” logo at Pitt and in all four road games last season.

THE OTHER INDUCTION WEEKEND – UMass will induct its 2021 Hall of Fame class Friday at 6 p.m. at the Mullins Center. It includes Steve Baylark (football; 2003-06), Anke Bruemmer (field hockey; 1998-2001), Holly Hellmuth-Wiles (women’s soccer; 1989-92), Sam Koch (men’s soccer head coach; 1991-2013) and the 1995-96 men’s basketball team.

To attend, register online at Individual seating costs $50, and tables range from $400-$5,000.

Prior to the ceremony, UMass will unveil a statue of four of the pillars of its basketball program outside the Mullins Center at 3 p.m. It will depict Julius Erving, John Calipari, Marcus Camby and Jack Leaman. The free, public ceremony will begin near the north entrance of the Mullins Center visible from Commonwealth Avenue.

Kyle Grabowski can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @kylegrbwsk.
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