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UMass has selected Matt McCall’s ‘bonus games’ and they’re tough ones

Matt McCall will have to do a great coaching job to earn his single-game victory bonuses this season.

NCAA Basketball: Barclays Center Classic-BYU vs Massachusetts Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Later this month Massachusetts head coach Matt McCall will get his first chance to earn an extra $2,500 when the Minutemen head to New Jersey to take on Rutgers. The Nov. 29 contest against the Scarlet Knights is one of five bonus games that come from a unique clause in McCall’s contract.

McCall, as we highlighted in our announcement of the Mid-Major Coaching Contract Database, has an incentive clause whereby the Director of Athletics, Ryan Bamford, picks five games prior to the start of the season. If UMass wins any of those contests, McCall receives a $2,500 bonus added onto his compensation.

A public records request to UMass helped us figure out which fives games McCall stands to profit from this season. As outlined in the memorandum we received, the games are:

  • Nov. 29, 2019 at Rutgers
  • Dec. 4, 2019 vs. South Carolina
  • Feb. 4, 2020 at Rhode Island
  • Feb. 15, 2020 vs. Dayton
  • March 7, 2020 vs. Rhode Island

Unfortunately for McCall, those happen to be some of UMass’s toughest games this season. As of Sunday, KenPom’s ratings gave the Minutemen no better than a 33 percent chance of winning any of them. It could’ve been (slightly) worse. At least Bamford didn’t include defending national champion Virginia or the game at Davidson on the list.

Still, McCall will have to work hard for the money this season. Currently KenPom projects UMass to pull one upset in those five games, which would earn McCall an extra $2,500.

McCall ended up winning two of his five bonus games last season despite UMass finishing 11-21 (4-14). Victories over Rhode Island and Saint Joseph’s in the Mullins Center accounted for half of the Minutemen’s victories during A-10 play and earned McCall $5,000.