Checking in on the… America East

Posted by rtmsf on December 14th, 2008

Corey Johns is the RTC correspondent for the America East Conference.

Two weeks ago when I last posted, Marquis Blakely tore it up in the paint, Boston U had played great all around, and Hartford had been the disappointment.  Well not much has changed except although Boston U is still atop the conference, they had a down two weeks.

Standings

  1. Boston U    5-3
  2. UMBC    5-3
  3. Vermont    4-3
  4. Binghamton    4-3
  5. Albany    5-4
  6. Stony Brook    5-4
  7. Maine    5-5
  8. New Hampshire    3-4
  9. Hartford    3-7

The Contenders:

Boston U: Like I said, they had a down two weeks, going just 2-3 but they lost to Mount St. Mary’s, Marshall, and Notre Dame, so two of those losses are nothing to worry about.  John Holland is continuing to show just how good he is with an average of 14 points in the two week stretch.  But Corey Lowe can’t be left out as he’s led the team with 20.6 ppg in the stretch, leading the team in each game except one (Mount St. Mary’s) where he scored 16.  They look to be hitting on all cylinders and they have won arguably every game they are supposed to win, with the questionable one being a loss to Marshall, a Conference USA team, by four points.

Vermont: Marquis Blakely is good, really good.  In his four games over the last two weeks he averaged 18.5 ppg and 11.3 rpg.  His most impressive performance, maybe of his career, had to be in his last game against the number three team in the nation, Pittsburgh.  In that game he loaded the stat sheet with 19 points, 14 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 blocks, and 4 steals.  That combined with the fact that Pittsburgh is definitely playing like a national title contender says a lot about what kind of athlete and basketball player he is.  But he’s not it on the team. Mike Trimboli averaged 15.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 4.5 assists and Colin McIntosh, who is now actually taking a reserve role now that Even Fjeld is back in action, averaged 12.5 points.  The disappointment about Vermont has to be Maurice Joseph.  After coming from Michigan State he was expected to be one of the highest scoring players in the conference and one of the best.  He’s only averaged 7.3 points, but hey they’re winning.

UMBC: They went 2-2 over the past two weeks, but their losses were to a high-powered Towson team who is in a much better CAA conference, and Pittsburgh who is the third best team in the nation.  Both teams destroyed UMBC with three pointers (28 between the two teams) but in the wins against Toledo and Central Connecticut State, UMBC has shown some promise.  They are still battling the six man rotation but again, they’re winning.

The Middle of the Pack:

Albany: Tim Ambrose continues to dominate the competition but if they want to win Anthony Raffa really needs to pass more.  He’s the point guard and only has 1.9 assists per game.  He’s become a solid scorer but as a point guard he cannot be one of the teams best scorers.  They haven’t played anybody exciting (aside from a bad loss to Siena) but they only managed two losses in the time.

Binghamton: Malik Alvin is back from his suspension and lighting it up scoring.  Once Theo Davis is eligible and ready the Bearcats could be a big time team to beat at least for this year.

Maine: Mark Socoby and Gerald McLemore has continued to run the show but if they want to move up any farther they have to have Junior Bernal and Sean McNally step up.

The Bottom Feeders:

New Hampshire: No matter how much scoring a team has, a four guard team is not the best lineup and doesn’t help a team inside.  Untill another forward steps up (which doesn’t look like it will happen this year) they will remain at the bottom.

Stony Brook: The have been a little bit of a surprise with a 5-4 record, but we know what to expect from them at the start of the New Year.  They can get their hopes up all they want but they are missing their best players from last year and haven’t been playing many talented teams to compare to.

Hartford: Rebounding is key.  Joe Zeglinski, Jaret Von Rosenberg and Morgan Sabia have been solid this year but without rebounding they lose extra chances.  It’s a shame because they got so far last year, but this year they might stay at the bottom.

Top Athlete:

Marquis Blakely F Vermont- Second time in a row but when you average 18.5 points and 11.3 points you deserve it.  He impressively loaded the stat sheet against Pittsburgh (even better than against Maryland) even though it was a still a loss.

Top Freshman:

Chauncey Gilliam G UMBC
- Gilliam may not have been the most effective player but he is averaging 11.3 points over the past few weeks and has carried UMBC twice.  They may have lost twice but they were to good teams, and being the only bench UMBC has, he is a top freshman.

Top Team:

Vermont: They are 3-1 with wins against Loyola (MD) and Delaware and only lost to Pittsburgh.  Overall the Catamounts are in serious contention and playing great with guys coming back from injury.

rtmsf (3738 Posts)


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