Checking In On… the America EastPosted by jstevrtc on November 24th, 2009
Michael Hurley is the RTC correspondent for the America East Conference and Patriot League.
2009-10 America East Standings
- Stony Brook 2-0
- New Hampshire 1-0
- Maine 2-1
- Binghamton 1-1
- Vermont 1-1
- Albany 1-2
- Hartford 1-2
- Boston University 0-3
- UMBC 0-2
Team of the week: Stony Brook (2-0) (W 75-57 at UMES 11/13, W 87-53 vs. MSM 11/19)
Player of the week: Marqus Blakely, Sr., Vermont. (21.5 PPG, 9.5 RPG, 4.5 APG, 4 BPG, 3 SPG)
Thoughts on the AE:
- It looks like two-time reigning player of the year, Marqus Blakely, may have gotten even better. In Vermont’s first two games he averaged 21.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 4 blocks, and 3 steals per game. Blakely hit the game winning free throw against Buffalo. He missed the first, but sunk the second with nine seconds left. The game went back and forth in which there were seven ties and eight lead changes. Vermont looked like it would run away with nine minutes left and a ten point lead, but Buffalo chipped away and tied it up with 41 seconds left on a bucket by Calvin Betts. On a night when your team shoots 33% from the field, it feels good to come away with a victory no matter how slim. In the first game of the year, the Catamounts lost to the Loyola (MD) Greyhounds. Blakely started off with 26, including 15 in the second half. For the Catamounts to be successful though this year they desperately need some support for Blakely.
- If you think Vermont is the only team looking for role players to step it up, you’re wrong. Against George Washington, Boston University’s Corey Lowe and John Holland combined for 45 points on 14-of-30 shooting, while the rest of the team went 5-of-32 for 14 points. Holland finished with his sixth double-double, 24 points and 11 rebounds. Boston University’s biggest problem is how often they are turning the ball over. They have 40 turnovers through the first two games compared to only 19 assists. Holland and Lowe are averaging 9.5 turnovers a game between the two of them. The Terriers also need to find their long-distance stroke again. In the loss against George Washington, the team only shot 5-of-27 from 3-point range after shooting 12-of-28 against Iona in the first game.
- Stony Brook’s competition through the first two games is not what you could call tough, but they still came away with two huge victories, including a 34 point win over Mount Saint Mary’s. The Seawolves went on a run toward the end of the first half to separate themselves from Maryland-Eastern Shore. Muhammad El-Amin wants the recognition he and Stony Brook deserve and started the season off the right way to get it. El-Amin scored 25 points in the opener.
- In New Hampshire’s only game of the week five players scored in double-figures, led by Dane DiLiegro’s 14 points. DiLiegro also grabbed 15 rebounds for a double-double. UNH shot 75% from three-point range in the 46-point win.
- Maine definitely had the most exciting first week with it’s three games decided by three, one, and three points. Sophomore Gerald McLemore started off the season with seven 3-pointers in the three point victory at Fordham. He finished with 26 points. Fordham may be at the bottom of the A-10, but it was the America East’s highest profile victory of the week. McLemore followed that up with five 3-pointers against Norfolk in a one-point loss.
- Hartford started out the season 1-2, but in their third game crushed Marist, 75-38. In the previous game at Baylor the Hawks almost took out the America East’s first BCS opponent. The Hawks ended up losing the contest by two points. Joe Zeglinski led the way with 23 points. He is averaging 19 points per game. The story for the Hawks so far is at point guard. Andres Torres is averaging 7.5 assists per game so far and has an unreal 6 to 1 assist-to-turnover ratio.
- Binghamton opened up the season against DII Bloomsburg University and eked out a five-point victory. The win was important because it was the easiest opponent Binghamton will play all year. Moussa Camara scored a career-high 16 points to lead the way for the Bearcats.
- Albany took a thrashing at the hands of Syracuse to start the year off. Against Morgan State, Tim Ambrose tried to keep Albany in the game, scoring 14 points in the second half. Albany had the lead before DeWayne Jackson’s steal and slam dunk got the lead back for Morgan State with just over four minutes left. In Albany’s third game they were able to sneak out with a one-point victory over American. It was Ambrose’s follow with just under two minutes left that provided the difference. Albany shot under 40% for the game, but shut down American defensively.
- UMBC is still looking for their first victory, starting the year 0-2. Like Albany, they lost to Morgan State this past week. They also took on Loyola (MD) at home and found themselves on the losing end yet again. The Retrievers had the lead against the Greyhounds with 1:40 left, but Loyola’s Brett Harvey hit a couple free-throws to give the Greyhounds the lead for good.
Key Upcoming Matchup
- 11/20 Boston University vs. Indiana, Puerto Rico Tip-Off. Can BU get their first W on the year? With BCS matchups few and far between for the league this would mean a lot to the league if the Terriers could at least keep it close.