Florida Gulf Coast visiting the UMass Minutemen has been a known December 7 match up for awhile, but now it has been announced that the game will not be played in Amherst but rather at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts. The game will a 2 PM tip in the MassMutual Center and will be dubbed as the Basketball Hall of Fame Holiday Showcase.
UMass head coach Derek Kellogg commented on the change of venue:
"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. 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 is coming off their first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 1998 behind the leadership of Chaz Williams. Williams is gone but the Minutemen still have a solid core in Cady Lalanne, Derrick Gordon, and West Virginia transfer Jabarie Hinds.
Florida Gulf Coast is the heavy favorite in the now lean, eight team Atlantic Sun. Dunk City veterans Brett Comer and Bernard Thompson are expected to lead the Eagles back to the NCAA Tournament this season.