UMass basketball teams to hold fan event during Saturday’s football tailgate

Thursday, September 29, 2016

In lieu of Midnight Madness, the UMass men’s and women’s basketball teams will hold a fan event during the tailgate before Saturday’s 3:30 p.m. football game against Tulane at McGuirk Stadium.

Men’s coach Derek Kellogg thought his players would have a dunking exhibition and that both basketball teams would then lead students into the stadium.

The event is contingent on weather and there is rain in the forecast.

“We’ll be in the tailgaiting lot around 2:20 p.m.,” said Kellogg, whose team will practice earlier that morning. “We’ll do a little dunk contest and some fun games. Then we’ll lead the students and any of our fans into the stadium to support our football team. We want to go in, get everyone hyped up for the football game as well as the men’s and women’s basketball seasons. I’m excited to get this team in front of the students.”

Kellogg said a full court with a hoop will be set up in the student tailgate lot, which is visible from university drive.

The Minutemen will have their first full practice Friday morning.

ELIGIBILITY/HEALTH UPDATES — Four out of the five UMass incoming freshmen — DeJon Jarreau, Tyrn Flowers, Chris Baldwin and Unique McLean — have been fully cleared to play.

UMass is still waiting on the status for Brison Gresham, who attended two high schools last year, which slows the eligibility verification process. Kellogg said Gresham, who suffered a hip injury over the summer, is healthy and is eligible to practice.

Jarreau was slowed this week by a minor ankle injury but is expected to be at full strength for Friday’s practice.

NO EXHIBITIONS — The Minutemen will play two closed controlled scrimmages instead of exhibition games during the preseason. UMass will host Albany for one game and a Canadian team for the other. Dates haven’t been disclosed. Fans and media are not allowed to see the games and UMass isn’t allowed to release results or statistics.

BIKE-A-THON — Some members of the men’s basketball team will take part in a Bike-a-thon that begins Wednesday at 10 a.m. outside the Campus Center. The event, which will take place on stationary bikes, is put on by Pi Kappa Phi, and raises money for Ability, an organization that helps people with disabilities.

Matt Vautour can be reached at mvautour@gazettenet.com. Get UMass coverage delivered in your Facebook news feed at www.facebook.com/GazetteUMassCoverage