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Scouting Report: America East Men’s Basketball

Maine Black Bears

Last Year: 19-11 (11-5) Lost in the first round of the America East tournament

Projected Finish: 3rd

Key Players Lost: Junior Bernal, G (5.7 rebounds per game 8.1 ppg)

Key Players Returning: Gerald McLemore, Jr., G (14.8 ppg)

Projected Lineup:

Gerald McLemore, Jr., G

Terence Mitchell, Jr., G

Murphy Burnatowski, So., F

Troy Barnies, Sr., F

Sean McNally, Sr., C

Maine is coming off of a surprising 09-10 season where little was expected of them coming into that year. They finished the season with 19 wins, fourth most in program history and come into this year as one of the favorites to win the America East. Maine is returning four starters from last season including pre season 1st team All-Conference Gerald McLemore. McLemore will need to continue his hot shooting from a year ago where he became the third player in league history to score over 100 three’s.

A key player for Maine will be college transfer Raheem Singleton, Jr.,G who will be taking over for a four year starter in Junior Bernal. Bernal was a leader on the team who bought tough defense, ball handling ability and rebounding. But the Black Bears have plenty of veteran leadership and are returning most of what was the number one scoring defense. Look for the growth of sophomores, Murphy Burnatowski and Mike Allison, to be the difference in Maine going deep into the conference tournament this year.

Vermont Catamounts

Last Year: 25-10 (12-4) Won America East tournament

Projected Finish: 5th

Key Players Lost: Marqus Blakely, F, (17.3 ppg)

Key Players Returning: Evan Fjeld, Sr., F (10.7 ppg 6.1 rpg)

Projected Lineup:

Evan Fjeld, Sr., F

Brendan Bald, So., G

Ben Crenca Jr., C

Matt Glass, Jr., F

Josh Elbaum, Fr., G

Vermont is coming off a year where they tied a program record with 25 wins, won the America East tournament over this years favorite, Boston College, and lost to Syracuse in the first round of the NCAA tournament. All those superlatives aside, Vermont lost four starters, three to graduation and one who transferred. The most devastating of these losses is that of Marqus Blakely. Blakely was a first team all conference player as well as the defensive player of the year in the America East. A superior athlete, Blakely’s loss is one of the reasons Vermont is among the preseason favorites.

Sr., Evan Fjeld is the most talented player in Vermont now led the league in shooting percentage, and will need to come up big in a newly made up roster. The keys to Vermont’s success this year will be health and how fast this group will mesh together. Two young forwards, Ben Crenca and Luke Apfeld are both coming off major knee surgery. Matt Glass, a UMASS transfer who sat out last year may be a pleasant surprise and can be a huge impact player for the Catamounts this year.

Vermont also has a big question mark at point guard between the more true point in freshman, Josh Elbaum and sophomore Simeon Marsalis who was inconsistent as a freshman.

Hartford Hawks

Last Year: 8-22 (6-10)

Projected Finish: 6th

Key Players Lost: Andres Torres, Sr., G (season-ending injury)

Key players returning: Joe Zeglinski, Sr., G (16.5 ppg 5.1 rebounds)

Projected Lineup:

Joe Zeglinski, Sr., G

Morgan Sabia, Sr. F

Milton Burton, Sr., F

Charles White, So., G

Anthony Minor, Sr., F

Hartford is a tough team to judge. They are returning all five starters from last season most of which were apart of the Hawks team that won 18 games three years ago and reached the conference title game. Since then, they haven’t been able to replicate this success going 8-22 last season.1st year head coach John Gallagher actually played a significant role in recruiting many of the players from that 07-08 season.

The Hawks will have to play again without point guard Andres Torres who was lost to a knee injury but will return 2-time all conference player Joe Zeglinski.

Hartford is a veteran team that takes good care of the ball but still had an 11- game losing streak last season, including six of their last seven resulting in a new coach. Expect this veteran group to rebound this year and surprise people after being picked 6th in the preseason poll.

Albany Great Danes

Last Year: 7-25 (2-14)

Projected Finish: 8th

Key Players Lost: Will Harris, G

Key Players Returning: Mike Black, So., G (7.2 ppg)

Projected Lineup:

Mike Black, So., G

Tim Ambrose, Sr., G

Russell Moore, Jr., G

Logan Aronhalt, So., F

Blake Metcalf, So., C

Albany was coming off of four consecutive 15 win seasons before last years disappointment. Now as they try to rebuild the program back to its former prominence, Albany has ushered in a younger less experienced roster. They will return veteran guard Tim Ambrose who last year fell short of expectations. According to head coach Will Brown, consistency is key for Ambrose who is the teams leading returning scorer with the departure of Will Harris. For Albany to be anything more than a bottom dweller in the America East, Logan Aronhalt, So., F and Mike Black So., F, will have to build on their freshman campaigns on a team with the second worst scoring offense and defense in the league. Black if he avoids the sophomore slump hold the success of Albany in his hands and will need to be a consistent double digit scorer for the Great Danes to compete.

UMBC Retrievers

Last Year: 4-26 (3-13)

Projected Finish: 9th (last place)

Key Players Lost: On a 4-26 team?

Key Players Returning: Adrian Satchell, (6.3 ppg) So., F/ Chase Plummer, Fr., F /Brian Neller, (4.4ppg) So., G

Projected Lineup:

Brian Neller So., G

Chris DeLarosa Jr., G

Adrian Satchell So., F

Laurence Jolicoeur Graduate, F/C

Justin Fry Graduate, F

In the 07-08 season the UMBC Retrievers won the America East Championship. That seems like a long time ago following the teams dreadful 09-10 season where they only won four games. The team is in a complete rebuilding phase with only one piece, Justin Fry remaining from that championship team. Fry who didn’t play last season because of a knee injury will be back this year but the success of this team for years to come will on how good their freshman class is and how much growth they get out of this years sophomores. Chase Plummer Fr., F, many think has the potential to develop into a star for UMBC and may be a quick fix for what was a terrible rebounding team last season. Adrian Satchell who made the all rookie team last season, and Brian Neller who averaged 4.4 ppg will be the players to watch to see if UMBC will be a contender in the years to come.

New Hampshire Wildcats

Last Year: 13-17 (6-10) Lost in Semi-finals of America East tournament

Projected Finish: 4th

Key Players Lost: Colbey Santos

Key Players Returning: Alvin Abreu,(14.4 ppg) Sr., G Tyrone Conley., Sr.,G (11.7ppg)

Projected Lineup:

Alvin Abreu, Sr., G

Tyrone Conley, Sr. G

Dane Diliegro, Sr., C

Ferg Myrick So., F

?          G/F

Consistency will be the key for the Wildcats this season. They have one of the most talented backcourts in the conference with senior co-captains, Tyrone Conley and Alvin Abreu. Their loss to Vermont in the semi-finals can partly be attributed to the loss of Conley for that game due to injury, and Vermont’s ability to focus their attention on Abreu, making him a non factor. Outside of these two senior guards the Wildcats had no where else to go for scoring. They were held to 55 points or less 10 times during the season and even the duo of Conley and Abreu only shot about 35%. The program is one that prides itself on defense but in order to get to the top of the conference they’re going to have to be able to score. The talent is there, as New Hampshire showed in a late season route of Stony Brook last season and maybe the addition of Scott Morris, Fr., G will help their scoring woes. If New Hampshire’s backcourt continues to improve and they can find consistent scoring in the low post, they could run deep into the tournament.

Binghamton Bearcats

Last Year: 13-18 (8-8)

Projected Finish: 7th

Key Players Lost: Dylan Talley G (transferred)

Key Players Returning: Greer Wright Sr., F (15 ppg and 6.0 rebounds per game) Moussa Camara, Sr., F (10.5 ppg)

Projected Lineup:

Chretien Lukusa, Sr., G

Moussa Camara, Sr., G

Greer Wright, Sr., F

Mahamoud Jabbi, Sr., F

Kyrie Sutton, Jr., C

In a season surrounded by question marks and NCAA investigations the Binghamton Bearcats had a remarkably good season under interim coach, Mark Macon who has yet to shed the interim title. After a chaotic season off the court, the Bearcats, champions of the 08-09 season, didn’t take part in the conference tournament as self-penalization. Even more punishing is the loss of the America East rookie of the year, point guard Dylan Talley who decided to transfer.

By the coaches own admission the team surprised their competition last year and many believed that they played over their heads at 13-18. But they played .500 in the conference and have on their rosters a star in the league. All conference forward, Greer Wright, who transferred to Binghamton last year look to improve beyond his break out season. Without Talley however the Bearcats are going to need someone to take up that scoring loss. Their best bet is Moussa Camara Sr., F, who played great defensively but will need to improve on his 37.6 percent shooting to make the Bearcats a serious threat. Little is expected out of Binghamton this year again after being picked to finish 7th in the conference. With the NCAA investigation into their school now closed and a talented roster the Bearcats can make a big splash this year.

Boston University Terriers

Last year: 21-14 (11-5) (Lost conference final)

Projected Finish: 1st

Key Players Lost: Corey Lowe

Key Players Returning: John Holland G (19.2 ppg and 6.1 rebounds)  Jake O’Brein, Jr., F( 13.8 ppg and 6.4 rebounds per game)

Projected Lineup:

Matt Griffin, Jr., G

John Holland, Sr., G

Patrick Hazel Jr., F

Jake O’Brien, Jr., F

Jeff Pelage, Jr., F

The Boston Terriers had a successful season last year losing in the conference final to Vermont.—but they lost nine seniors. Nevertheless the pre-season coach’s poll has picked them as the number one team in the conference heading into the year over Stony Brook and Maine. Boston who garnered six of the nine first place votes did so in part of the players they have coming back, John Holland, Sr., G and Jake O’Brein, Jr.,F. The pair are two of the best players in the conference. Especially Holland, two time all-conference player and tabbed to be this seasons player of the year, and thought of as the best player in the conference.

The lofty expectations for a team that lost nine seniors also has to do with a bunch of players now making up the Terriers rosters who never played for the team. Matt Griffin,Jr, Rider; Patrick Hazel,Jr, Marquette and Darryl Partin,Jr, La Salle, are all transfer students who sat out last season because of NCAA transfer rules. Transferring from a higher level, a lot is expected of these three and is impart why so much is expected of Boston this season. Their freshmen class is highlighted by forward, Travis Robinson, one of seven freshmen on the team. Scouts highly rate Robinson’s offensive and defensive game. Boston will play in the pre-season NIT including a trip to Kentucky. If this newly made up roster can get contributions from their freshmen and the three transfers can play up to expectations, the America East will be theirs to lose.

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