Corey Johns is the RTC correspondent for the America East Conference.
If it was anything it was an average week for the America East. They did go a combined 24-20 and play close against some top teams, but they only beat the teams they were supposed to beat and didn’t have many really impressive wins. So far the conference is going as expected with just one surprise: Hartford is at the bottom. Last year the Hawks were in the conference finals and returned all but one key player but have been struggling inside the paint and coming up short in close games.
- Boston U (3-1)
- UMBC (3-2)
- Albany (3-2)
- Maine (3-2)
- Vermont (2-2)
- New Hampshire (1-2)
- Binghamton (1-2)
- Stony Brook (1-3)
- Hartford (1-4)
Boston U: As expected forward John Holland and guard Corey Lowe have been the catalyst for success this year. Last year Holland won the America East Rookie of the Year and now leads his team with 19.2 ppg with highs of 27 against St. Peter’s and 22 against George Washington. As for Lowe, he was second in the conference last year in points and is off to a great start with 17.5 ppg to go with his 4.2 apg. The big surprise for the Terriers is freshman forward Jake O’Brien who is averaging 13.0 points. Their lone loss was against George Washington in the season opener, but since then they’ve won three straight highlighted by an 83-75 win at Northeastern who is currently second in the CAA.
UMBC: All-conference point guard Jay Greene is showing he is more than just the game manager he was last year when he averaged 7.2 apg. This year he’s not only passing the ball (7.8apg), he is scoring (14.2 ppg). Helping Greene is Darryl Proctor, who was also a first team all-conference player last year. He has been, well, Darryl Proctor, leading the team with 19.4 ppg, 9.0 rpg, and 1.8 spg. Sophomore transfer from Fairfield Richard Flemming has burst onto the scene as a much needed big man on a team with just one big bench player who is just a freshman. Flemming has scored double figures each time he’s been on the floor and has been getting key rebounds, but the problem with him, as well as center Justin Fry, is that they are getting into foul trouble. On multiple occasions either one of both had three fouls or more on them early in the second half, which really takes away the depth, despite UMBC using a six man rotation for the most part.
Vermont: Two teams may be ahead of them in the standings but Vermont’s losses were a one point loss to George Mason and a 15 point loss in overtime against Maryland. Reigning player of the year and defensive player of the year Marquis Blakely is off to a very strong start averaging a team high 17.8 points, 8.5 rebounds, 3.2 steals, and 3.0 blocks. Against Maryland he carried the team with 23 points and 11 rebounds and was the only reason the game went into overtime. As expected Mike Trimboli has been a solid offensive threat for the team getting 15.2 ppg with his 6.0 assists, but Colin McIntosh was a semi-question mark coming into the season even after starting last year. He’s been a delight for the Catamounts and has helped to make one of the best groups of forwards with Blakely. He’s improved his numbers from last year in just about every area. He’s shooting 13% better from the floor (63.6%), though that number will definitely fall, while averaging 16.8 points and 6 rebounds, both doubling last year’s averages. Vermont has a very good chance of winning the conference this year if he can stay at the level he is at and the highly touted Michigan State transfer, Maurice Joseph, can increase his offensive output. He’s averaging 9.5 ppg which isn’t bad but the rest of his numbers are average at best.
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