One game holding up UMass men’s basketball nonconference schedule release

  • Frank Martin during the press conference introducing Martin, as the UMass men's basketball coach on Tuesday, March 29, 2022.

  • UMass mens basketball coach Frank Martin in his office Wednesday in the John F Kennedy Champions Center in Amherst. STAFF PHOTO/KYLE GRABOWSKI

Staff Writer
Published: 8/25/2022 5:47:44 PM
Modified: 8/25/2022 5:44:09 PM

AMHERST – Confirming one game is holding up the release of the UMass men’s basketball team’s nonconference schedule. The rest of the games are in place, and the Minutemen have announced they’re participating in the Myrtle Beach Invitational (Nov. 17-20) and games against Hofstra in Brooklyn (Dec. 11) and North Texas in Springfield (Dec. 17).

Athletic Director Ryan Bamford tweeted that both the men’s and women’s basketball programs would open the season against Central Connecticut State in a doubleheader Monday, Nov. 7.

UMass will also host Towson on Nov. 10, visit South Florida on Nov. 29 and play at Harvard on Dec. 2. All of that information has come from other teams, however.

“For three weeks, I had a school that had agreed to play. The guy called me two days ago and said, ‘You're gonna kill me, but I can't play the game’ because he wouldn't sign the contract,” UMass coach Frank Martin said. “I'm hoping that later (Wednesday) I'll be able to confirm it and then people on campus can sign the appropriate contracts so we can release it.”

Martin acknowledged that scheduling is always difficult, especially when taking over a new program. With so much change in college basketball, he’s trying to figure out which games fit UMass. 

“We're all over-analyzing each other's rosters. You don't want to under-schedule, but you can get yourself in trouble if you over-schedule, especially when you're trying to build a program,” Martin said. “Confidence is such a big part of building a program, and if you over-schedule, I don't care how hard you work, you're limiting your confidence. Last thing you ever want to do is have young kids lacking confidence.”

He’s also found himself in a position where finding partners has been difficult due to the threat Atlantic 10 teams present.

“The Atlantic 10 is the league that, in our sport, the big programs don't schedule because we're a multi-bid league. They know if they play school whatever from a one-bid league, they’re not losing NCAA spots. When they schedule the Atlantic 10, they’re giving teams in our league which are good enough to beat them (a chance),” Martin said. “It's that caliber of a league the Power 5s, they avoid at all possibilities scheduling the Atlantic 10. If somebody don't like the fact I said that, I used to be on their side, so I know what those conversations were.”

When Martin worked at Power 5 schools like South Carolina and Kansas State, he had his players on campus by August 19 and would be starting workouts about now. UMass will begin workouts September 7. The Minutemen’s first official practice is scheduled for September 26. Between those dates, they’re allowed eight hours a week total between the weight room and practice court.

That number jumps to 10 hours a week once practice starts for two weeks, then they’re full time six days a week starting Oct. 10.

“All systems go, and we're on that saddle and we're gonna ride that horse to hopefully sometime in late March early April,” Martin said.

Kyle Grabowski can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @kylegrbwsk.

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