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Massachusetts Minutemen
2004-05 Season | Team Page
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The Lowdown
Coach: Travis Ford
2004-05 Record (A-10): 1612 (97)
Key Losses: G Anthony Anderson (10.2 ppg, 2.9 apg), G Chris Chadwick (4.9 ppg, 2.1 apg)
Postseason: None
Returning Players
No. Player. Pos. Ht. Yr. PPG RPG APG
40Nana AmpimG6'1"So.
34Art BowersG6'4"Jr.
23Lawrence CarrierF6'8"So.
1Rashaun FreemanF6'9"Jr.
11Olivier LamoureuxF6'9"Fr.
5Stephane LasmeF6'8"Jr.
3Maurice MaxwellF6'5"Jr.
10Drew RossiG6'1"Jr.
24Jeff SalovskiC6'11"So.
22Jeff ViggianoF6'6"Sr.
Fresh Faces
No. Player Pos. Ht. Cl. School
n/aJames LifeG6'4"Jr.Leigh Acres, FL/Manatee (FL) CC
n/aChris LoweG6'0"Fr.Mount Vernon, NY/Mount Vernon
n/aDante MilliganF6'8"So.New York, NY/Transfer from Pitt
n/aBrandon ThomasG/F6'6"Jr.San Antonio, TX/Transfer from LIU
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Depending on whom you listen to, the powers that be at UMass are either out of touch or thirsting to win. Maybe it's a little of both. UMass fired coach Steve Lappas last March after a first-round loss to La Salle in the Atlantic-10 tournament. He had just finished a 16-12 regular season, a healthy gain over a 10-win campaign in 2004, but it clearly was not enough for a school that believes it should compete for conference championships.

Enter Travis Ford, a young, aggressive coach with Kentucky roots whom UMass leaders feel can make an impact in the Northeast. Ford walks into a solid situation; an NIT berth is certainly within reach. If he provides the spark that Minutemen fans expect, he can even become a mini-John Calipari, something that UMass supporters insist is still possible in Amherst.

While UMass had major offensive problems -- the Minutemen averaged just 64.4 points and committed 15.5 turnovers per game -- four starters return from a team that beat UConn, Florida State and A-10 champ George Washington. Ford says he'll pump some life into the offense with the running-pressing style he learned under his college coach, Rick Pitino, and used while at Eastern Kentucky. Whether he's successful depends, in part, on the newcomers he scraped together late in the recruiting process.

Freshman Chris Lowe, a point guard with some New York flash-and-dash, is an important player and the only pure lead guard on the team. If he can run the show, Ford can free returnees Maurice Maxwell and Artie Bowers to run and score. Ford's also very excited about the offensive skills of junior college recruit James Life, who could give UMass its first legitimate wing scoring threat since Monty Mack left town in 2001.

Up front, the Minutemen can ride the broad shoulders of returning first-team all-conference forward Rashaun Freeman, one of the most athletic big men in the league. Freeman has some help up front in shot-blocking forward Stephane Lasme.

Three other key players are transfers Brandon Thomas (Long Island), Dante Milligan (Pittsburgh) and Lawrence Carrier. Ford recruited Thomas - who attended junior college last year but did not play basketball - because of his versatility and insists he could play some point guard. Milligan never got a chance at Pitt but was a highly recruited prep player. If either of those forwards steps up, Ford may have the mix to be an instant winner in the Atlantic 10.

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