(Photo by Basketball Hall of Fame)
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today a matchup between the University of Massachusetts and Brigham Young University men’s basketball teams for its 2013 Holiday Showcase to be held at the MassMutual Center Saturday, Dec. 7, at 1:30 p.m. ET.
“We are thrilled to announce this very exciting match up between UMass and BYU,” said John L. Doleva, President & CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “It is honor to host UMass once again and to bring such a competitive game between two great teams to Springfield.”
BYU returns an experienced core and welcomes a talented crop of newcomers in 2013-14. The Cougars will be looking to continue their current streaks of eight-straight 20-win seasons and eight-straight trips to the postseason.
Returning to lead the Cougars is junior guard Tyler Haws, a contender for the nation’s leading scorer. Last season, Haws averaged 21.7 points per game to lead the West Coast Conference and finish seventh in the nation. Also back is junior point guard Matt Carlino. The native of Arcadia, Ariz., averaged 11.5 points, 3.6 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.8 steals in 2012-13.
Kyle Collinsworth returns for his sophomore season after spending the last two years on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Russia. Collinsworth started on BYU's 2011 Sweet 16 team as he averaged 5.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.1 steals.
Highlighting the newcomers is freshman Eric Mika, who averaged 16.4 points, 11.2 rebounds while leading Lone Peak High School to the 2013 MaxPreps.com High School National Title.
"We're very excited for this season and especially this game,” said head coach Dave Rose. “It's going to be a great opportunity to visit the Hall of Fame and to play a game in the city where basketball was invented. We're excited to play a great program in UMass and to give our fans out East a chance to see us play."
UMass returns seven letter winners and three starters, including All-America candidate Chaz Williams, who led the team in points, assists, steals and minutes a year ago. The Minutemen return 55 percent of their scoring and 73 percent of their rebounding from last season and have recorded at least 20 wins each of the last two campaigns, while qualifying for the NIT twice.
UMass is led by sixth-year head coach Derek Kellogg who has collected 85 career victories and sits fourth on the school's career coaching list behind legends Jack Leaman, John Calipari and Bruiser Flint.
"It's always an honor to play a game associated with the Hall of Fame and at the MassMutual Center – a place we consider our second home,” said Derek Kellogg, head coach. “BYU is an exceptional program with some very talented players so to have the opportunity to play them on national television will be a great challenge."
Ticket information for the 2013 Basketball Hall of Fame Holiday Showcase will be announced at a later date.
In conjunction with the Holiday Showcase, the Basketball Hall of Fame will also be hosting the fourth annual Springfield Rotary “Service Above Self” Luncheon Friday, Dec. 6 at 12 p.m. on the Basketball Hall of Fame’s Jerry Colangelo Court of Dreams.
About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where basketball was invented, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame promotes and preserves the game of basketball at every level – professional, collegiate and high school, for both men and women on the global stage.