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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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Hoopla: Men’s America East previews

UMBC is coached by Aki Thomas, who is in his second year with the school. This is his first full season, after spending last season as acting coach. The team looks to bounce back after finishing tied for seventh place with an 8-23 record last season, 5-11 in the America East. They were picked to finish sixth this season in the America East preseason poll. Senior Chase Plummer is the top returning scorer from last season, where he averaged 11.8 points and 6.4 rebounds, and was a letterwinner. He is also the leading scorer in the conference with 1013 points and is the only one who has amassed 1000 points in the America East. UMBC was second in the league last season, allowing 30.7 percent from three point land. Their first game is Nov. 8 at Arizona State.

 

New Hampshire is coached by Bill Herrion, who is in his ninth season with the team. He is the league’s all-time leader in conference wins with 155 and in championship wins with 21. Herrion is also tied for second with three America East titles. They are coming off of a 9-20 record, 5-11 in the America East, which led them to a tie for seventh place in the conference. They return nine letterwinners and three starters, and were picked to finish fifth in the America East. Senior forward Patrick Konan returns and was top 15 in both points (11.8 ppg) and rebounds (5.4 rpg). Senior Chris Pelcher was third in the league last season with a .534 field goal percentage. UNH was third in the league last season in holding their opponents to a 40.8 shooting percentage from the floor. Their first game is Nov. 8 against Suffolk.

 

Binghamton is coached by Tommy Dempsey, who is in his second season with the Bearcats. They look to improve on a 3-27 record last season, 1-15 in the America East, where they finished ninth. The Bearcats were picked to finish seventh in the America East this season, their top spot since 2009. They have eight letterwinners back, including sophomore Jordan Reed, a preseason all-conference player. Reed was second in scoring last season with 16.6 ppg and was named to the third-team All-America East and all-rookie honors. He also had 13 double-doubles last season, which was tops in the league and most among guards across the country. Junior Robert Mansell is coming back after missing last season with a knee injury. Mansell was their top scorer in the 2011-12 season with 14 points per game. Binghamton opens up against Loyola on Nov. 8.

 

Maine is coached by Ted Woodward, who is in his tenth season with the team. The Black Bears finished 11-19, 6-10 in the America East, which was good enough for sixth place and the number five seed in the tournament. They fell to Albany in a heartbreaker 50-49 during the quarterfinals last season. Maine finished third in the conference averaging 66.3 points per game, but allowed 69.7 points per game. They are only one of three teams to be at or above a .500 record over the last four seasons with a 32-32 record, joining Stony Brook and Vermont.  Junior Xavier Pollard is top leading scorer returning, with 9.7 ppg. Maine must find a way to replace two players who were all-conference selections. Justin Edwards transferred to Kansas State and Alasdair Fraser went overseas to play professionally. They do have a new home court at the Cross Insurance Center, and they open with Fisher on Nov. 10.

 

UMass Lowell is coached by Pat Duquette, who is in his first season with the school. The River Hawks are in their first season in the America East, and their first season as a Division I school, after going 15-13, and 10-12 in the Northeast 10 conference. Duquette is familiar with Division I play, as he was an assistant/associate coach with Northeastern for three years and Boston College for 13 years. Senior guard Akeem Williams leads the River Hawks, after leading the Northeast 10 in scoring with 19.9 ppg. He was also a first-team all-conference player last season. UMass Lowell averaged 76.3 points per game last season, shooting 45.3 percent from the field and 37.2 percent from three. They will take on national runner-up Michigan and another tough team in Cincinnati. They open league play at home Dec. 18 against Vermont.

 

Hartford is coached by John Gallagher, who is in his fourth season with the team. They finished 17-14 last season, 10-6 in the America East last season, finishing in fourth place. They lost in the first round of the CIT. They are returning 10 letterwinners and four starters from last year’s squad. Mark Nwakamma is back after averaging 14.7 points per game and 5.5 rebound per game. Yolonzo Moore II is also back this season, after averaging 9.2 points per game and 3.7 rebounds per game. They are picked to finish fourth in the poll after making their first-ever postseason appearance. Their first game is Nov. 9 vs. Quinnipiac in the Connecticut 6 Classic. They then play Florida Gulf Coast on Nov. 12 as part of ESPN Season’s Tip-Off Marathon.

 

Albany is coached by Will Brown, who is in his 13th season with the Great Danes. They finished 24-11 last season, and a 9-7 record in the America East. They finished in fourth place last season and won their third America East title since 2006. They were the lowest seed to ever win a league title. Brown is tied for second all-time in America East history with three league crowns. Returning to the team are Sam Rowley Jr. who averaged nine points per game and 6.3 rebound per game last season. Peter Hooley averaged eight points and earned All-Rookie honors last season for the Great Danes. Albany’s first game is Nov. 8 against Siena.

 

Vermont is coached by John Becker, who is third season with the Catamounts. They finished 21-12 last season, and 11-5 in conference play. Becker became the first coach in school history to lead Vermont to back-to-back 20-win seasons. They were picked first in the coach’s poll for the second consecutive season. Vermont will return all five starters and six seniors for the 2013-24 season. Two transfers, Hector Harold and Ryan Pierson are both eligible this season. The team is led by Sandro Carissimo and Clancy Rugg. Rugg averaged 11.4 points last season and Carissimo averaged 10 points per game. Vermont opens up Nov. 9 vs. Saint Joseph’s at 7 p.m.

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