When UMass first put together its schedule for the 2014-15 season, their non-conference matchup with FGCU was expected to be held on December 7 at the Mullins Center on the UMass campus in Amherst. However there’s been a change, as it was announced Friday that the game will now be played in Springfield at the MassMutual Center.
Neither the date nor the time (2:00 p.m. EST) changed for the contest, which will be the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Holiday Showcase Game.
“Any time we can take our team to other parts of the Commonwealth is a good thing for our program. We like playing in Springfield and have enjoyed our relationship with the Hall of Fame,” UMass head coach Derek Kellogg said in the release. “FGCU is a strong team with some major talent that has established itself as one of the better teams in college basketball in recent years.”
UMass and FGCU put together successful seasons in 2013-14, with the Minutemen winning 24 games and making their first NCAA tournament appearance since 1998 and FGCU winning a share of the Atlantic Sun regular season title and appearing in the Postseason NIT. Both teams return key contributors from last season, with FGCU returning its perimeter triumvirate of Brett Comer, Bernard Thompson and Jamail Jones and the Minutemen welcoming back the likes of guards Derrick Gordon and Trey Davis and forward Cady Lalanne.
UMass will have to account for the loss of point guard Chaz Williams, with Davis and West Virginia transfer Jabarie Hinds the most likely options to serve as primary ball-handler for the Minutemen.