UMass to open men’s hoop season with exhibition against Westfield State; nonconference schedule set

  • UMass sophomore guard Luwane Pipkins, right, is pressed by Kahlil Dukes of Niagara at the Mullins Center in Amherst on Nov. 19. The Minutemen released their nonconference schedule Monday. UMass opens the season at home with an exhibition against Westfield State. GAZETTE STAFF/KEVIN GUTTING

Published: 6/26/2018 9:04:48 PM

The UMass men’s basketball team’s nonconference schedule includes at least one game against an NCAA Tournament qualifier.

The Minutemen will visit Providence on Dec. 7, one of three true road games. UMass also visits longtime rival Temple on Dec. 12 and Georgia on Dec. 30.

UMass opens with an exhibition against Westfield State on Oct. 30. Home games with UMass Lowell (Nov. 6), New Hampshire (Nov. 9) and Harvard (Nov. 13) follow before the Minutemen enter the Las Vegas Holiday Invitational.

The Minutemen will host opening-round games against Howard (Nov. 16) and Arkansas-Pine Bluff (Nov. 19). They then visit the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas for games against Southern Illinois (Nov. 22) and either Nevada of Tulsa on Nov. 23. Nevada reached the Sweet 16 in March.

UMass will also host Quinnipiac (Nov. 28), Holy Cross (Dec. 4) and Fairleigh Dickinson (Dec. 21).

The Minutemen will have conference home-and-away games against Dayton, George Mason, La Salle, Rhode Island and Saint Joseph’s.

UMass will also host Davidson, Fordham, Richmond and St. Bonaventure.

Road games for UMass will include Duquesne, George Washington, Saint Louis and VCU.

Dates and times will be announced when television schedules are finalized.

The Minutemen will be led by the return of all-conference guard Luwane Pipkins.

Guard Carl Pierre, who led all rookies nationally in 3-point shooting percentage last year, center Rashaan Holloway, guard Unique McLean, center Khalea Turner-Morris and guard Jaylen Franklin also return.

Four Transfers — guard Keon Clergeot, guard Curtis Cobb, guard Kieran Hayward and forward Jonathan Laurent — will be eligible to play this season after sitting out 2017-18.

Freshmen Samba Diallo, Tre Wood and Sy Chatman are also expected to join the Minutemen this season.

UMass quarterback Randall West remains on the roster.

UMass lost three players since the end of the season. Rayshawn Miller (Albany) and Malik Hines (McNeese State) took advantage of the graduate transfer rule. Chris Baldwin announced his intention to transfer.

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