UMass tries generating student support

The UMass basketball student fan club known as the Mullins Militia seems to be off to a good start. After all, one guy sits in the student section dressed as a referee. Another is suited up as one of the Teletubbies.

According to masslive.com, the group is made up of 80 students and just finished its first season. The fan club is composed of mostly freshmen who are looking to build something after the school wanted to improve turnout.

Through initiatives on campus, the Mullins Militia has tried to increase attendance at men's basketball games. [Coach] Derek Kellogg worked with the group by asking students to attend basketball games while swiping meal cards at the school's dining commons.

It's now up to Kellogg to build something as well, as the Minutemen are searching for their first winning season since 2008 when Travis Ford was coaching. The team went 15-15 this season despite getting off to a 7-0 start, the best since the days of John Calipari.

It won't be easy replacing leading scorer Anthony Gurley next season, but the Minutemen do have Hofstra transfer Chaz Williams coming in to play point guard after making the CAA all-freshman team.

The season for UMass ended with a loss at Fordham that snapped the Rams' 41-game A-10 losing streak, a first-round loss in the conference tournament, and Kellogg's boss denying the coach's job was in jeopardy.

While the fans work to create atmosphere at the games, what will really help UMass liven up the place is some more winning.