Albany's Jamar Wilson (Bronx, N.Y./Our Savior New American School) earns America East Player of the Week honors for the second time this season and the sixth of his career, while Hartford's Joe Zeglinski (Philadelphia, Pa./Archbishop Ryan) led the Hawks to two victories on the week en route to being named America East Rookie of the Week for the second time in three weeks. The awards were announced on Monday (December 18).
Wilson, a 6-1 senior guard, ranked in the top-10 in nine major statistical categories on the week and led the Great Danes to two victories. Wilson totaled 22 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and four steals as Albany won its third straight in a 71-56 victory over St. Bonaventure. Earlier in the week, he dropped in 20 points with nine rebounds, three assists and tied a career-best with two blocks against Harvard. Albany came from 13 down with 14:11 remaining and Wilson broke a 74-all tie by following his own miss in the lane and making a pair of free throws.
On the week, Wilson averaged 21.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg and 5.5 apg. He has scored 20-plus points in back-to-back games for the first time this season and moves past the 1,700-point mark (1,708) for his career.
Zeglinski, a 6-0 guard, averaged 13.5 ppg and 4.5 rpg as the Hawks picked up wins over Yale and St. Francis. Zeglinski finished with a team-high 18 points at Yale, including seven of Hartford’s eight points in the overtime period. He also went 5-of-5 from the free throw line in overtime. The freshman scored nine points, all on three-pointers, against St. Francis.
AMERICA EAST NOTEBOOK
With three-quarters of the non-conference schedule in the books, America East's successes and improvements are being felt around the league and across the country.
• Over the last 17 games played, only five conferences boast a better non-conference record than America East (12-5), with the Missouri Valley (13-4) being the only mid-major with a better mark during that span. The Big Ten and SEC are a Division I-best 14-3, while the ACC and Big East are 13-4 as well.
• With at least 29 regular-season non-conference games remaining, America East squads have already sailed past last year's non-conference win total. America East teams are currently 38-46 (.452) in 2006-07, compared to just 33-69 (.324) a season ago. The conference is on pace to register 51 regular-season non-conference victories this campaign, which would be the most since the league recorded 52 in 1994-95 when there were also nine teams in the league.
• Probably the biggest component to America East's non-conference success this season has been the ability of league teams to win on the road. Conference teams have combined to win 22 road games in 2006-07, compared to just nine a season ago. The most notable road victory to date was Vermont's victory at #14 Boston College, but the overall road successes of the league could loom large when the league's automatic qualifier is seeded for the NCAA Tournament and for other postseason candidates as well.
• Five league teams are currently .500 or better on the 2006-07 season, with one squad just one game below the break-even point as well. Last season, only Albany (8-8) posted a non-conference mark of .500 or better.
The Collegiate Basketball News RPI (Ratings Percentage Index) Report was release on Monday (Dec. 18) and America East remains the 24th-ranked league in the nation. The only significant change from last week comes with a rise from 231 to 151 by defending champion Albany.
• As a conference, the league ranks 24th in the country, which is three spots higher than last season's final RPI of 27, and 13th among other mid-major leagues. Most notably, America East ranks ahead of the MAAC (25th overall/14th among mid-majors) and the Ohio Valley (27th/16th).
• Six of the nine America East members currently boast higher RPIs than they finished with a season ago.
• Four America East members have made significant jumps in the RPI when compared to the 2005-06 campaign. See the list below that compares last year's final RPI with this year's current RPI and the number of spots each school has moved up.
School 2005-06 2006-07 Increase
UMBC 297 172 +125
Hartford 268 146 +122
Stony Brook 310 196 +114
Vermont 212 132 +80
Holiday Reporting Schedule
With the holiday season upon us, the weekly reporting schedule has been slightly altered. The next two weekly reports will be produced and distributed on Tuesday, December 26 and Tuesday, January 2.
Vermont senior Chris Holm (Henderson, Nev./Green Valley/Rhode Island) has been a dominant force on the glass all season long for the Catamounts. Holm leads America East and ranks third in the country with an impressive 11.7 rebounding average, which is 4.3 more than the next highest mark in the league. The 6-11 forward has led Vermont in rebounding in all 10 games played on the season and has eclipsed the double-digit plateau eight times, including five straight. Over the last five outings, Holm is averaging 13.8 caroms per contest.
Former League Foes Collide
New Hampshire travels to Boston on Monday (December 18) to take on former America East member Northeastern at Cabot Gym (7 p.m.) in a game that features plenty of side stories.
• The Huskies lead the all-time series 81-35 and are riding a six-game win streak versus the Wildcats that dates back to Jan. 18, 2003. The two have not met since the 2004-05 season.
• Second-year Wildcat head coach Bill Herrion takes on the Huskies for the first time since the 1998-99 season when he was the head coach of another former America East school, Drexel. Herrion boasts a 16-3 lifetime record versus Northeastern, all coming during his eight seasons with the Dragons. Of Herrion's 16 wins over NU, three came in the America East Championship.
• UNH assistant coach Jean Bain, a 2002 Northeastern grad and the 1999 America East Rookie of the Year, returns to his alma mater as an opponent for the first time. Bain ranks sixth on Northeastern's all-time assist list (320), eighth in three-point field goals made (132) and sixth in three-point field goal attempts (385).
Albany's Jason Siggers (Dallas, Texas/Skyline/New Mexico JC) and Binghamton's Richard Forbes (Rockaway, N.Y./Far Rockaway/Howard JC) both put together impressive scoring stretches to lead their teams to victory. At Harvard, Siggers scored 15 of his 17 points in a six-minute span in the second half that enabled the Great Danes to get back into the game and come-from-behind in the win. Forbes netted all 19 of his points in the second half, including eight consecutive in a span of 1:28 to snap a 71-71 tie and give Binghamton the lead for good in a victory over Long Island.
America East youngsters have been an integral part of the league's success in 2006-07 with the freshmen class carrying more than its weight around the conference. Five freshmen rank in the top-20 in the league in scoring and assists with three more in the top-20 in rebounding. While freshmen have made an impact on nearly every roster in the league, below is a list of the top freshmen to date.
Name, School Top Stats
Corey Lowe, Boston U. 14.5 ppg, 3.0 apg
Joe Trapani, Vermont 14.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg
Tyler Morris, Boston U. 13.5 ppg, 3.3 apg
Junior Bernal, Maine 11.5 ppg, 3.7 apg
Joe Zeglinski, Hartford 12.6 ppg
Lazar Trifunovic, Binghamton 6.3 rpg
Help Me, Help You
The conference's top eight players in the assists category also rank in the top 20 in scoring. Below is a list of the league's top playmakers that are making things happen for themselves and others on the offensive end of the floor.
Name, School PPG/Rank APG/Rank
Jamar Wilson, Albany 18.2/1st 5.4/3rd
Corey Lowe, Boston U. 14.5/4th 3.0/8th
Jermaine Anderson, UNH 13.7/9th 4.7/4th
Tyler Morris, Boston U. 13.5/11th 3.3/7th
Mike Trimboli, Vermont 12.8/13th 5.5/2nd
Jon Sheets, Maine 11.8/18th 3.4/6th
Jay Greene, UMBC 11.0/20th 5.9/1st
Junior Bernal, Maine 11.5/19th 3.7/5th
Lights, Camera, Action
America East announced its most comprehensive television schedule in history with more than 50 men’s and women’s basketball games slated for broadcast in 2006-07 (see following page for complete schedule). Included in the package is the America East Men’s Basketball Championship, which will air live on ESPN2 on March 10 at 12 noon. It marks the 19th-consecutive year that the championship game will appear on ESPN/ESPN2.
America East and ESPN Regional Television will team up to produce and distribute games throughout the America East geographic footprint, which includes several of the nation’s top 25 media markets including New York (No. 1), Boston (No. 5), Washington, D.C. (No. 8), Baltimore and Hartford. In addition, no fewer than 12 games will be included in the ESPN Full Court package, the subscription service provided by ESPN. The games will also be available on-line via video streaming at AmericaEast.com, through the conference’s multi-media partner, XOS Technologies.
Championship Tickets On Sale Now
Tickets for the 2007 America East Men's Basketball Championship on March 2-4 at Boston University's Agganis Arena are on sale now. To purchase tickets visit www.AmericaEast.com.
Championship Returns to Boston
The America East Men’s Basketball Championship returns to Boston in 2007 as Boston University hosts the nine-team tournament on March 2-4 at Agganis Arena. The first round game will take place on Friday, March 2, followed by the quarterfinals on Saturday, March 3 and the semifinals on Sunday, March 4.
Tournament ticket packages are $30 for youth/students and $60 for adults. To purchase tickets call 617-353-GoBU or online at www.AmericaEast.com. To request media credentials for the conference’s premier event, email K.J. Cardinal (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Albany Great Danes
Albany (5-4, 0-0 America East) is above the .500 mark after nine games for the first time as a Division I program... The Great Danes, who have won three straight, came from 13 down with 14:11 remaining to defeat Harvard, 79-76, for their first road win of the season on Dec. 12... UAlbany rallied from a double-figure, second-half deficit for the seventh time at the Division I level... Brian Lillis (Urbandale, Iowa/West Des Moines Dowling) blocked two of his career-high four shots in the final 20 seconds to preserve the win... Jason Siggers (Dallas, Texas/Skyline) had 15 of his 17 points in a six-minute span of the final period to help get his team back into the contest... Siggers owns a six-game, double-digit scoring streak... Brent Wilson (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Prairie) and Jamar Wilson (Bronx, N.Y. /Our Savior New American School) each netted 20 points against Harvard... The Wilsons became the first 20-20 scoring duo since Dec. 3, 2005 and the 11th overall in the UAlbany program’s Division I history... UAlbany limited St. Bonaventure to 32.8-percent shooting in a 71-56 decision on Dec. 16... The Great Danes, who have held three opponents under 33 percent this season, evened their all-time Division I home record at 45-45 overall... Jamar Wilson scored 20-plus in back-to-back games for the first time this year with 22 points against the Bonnies... Wilson, who moved past 1,700 career points, is averaging 9.0 rebounds over his last five games... Brent Wilson recorded his first career double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds... Wilson, a 6-8 junior, has scored in twin figures in three-straight contests, and is shooting 69.2 percent (18-of-26) in that stretch... Sophomore Brian Connelly (Audubon, N.J./Camden Catholic) had 10 points off the bench against St. Bonaventure after spending the previous two days in bed with the flu... Carl Ross (Fresno, Calif./Washington Union) posted career-highs in points (4) and rebounds (4), all in the second half, against the Bonnies.
Binghamton (4-4, 0-0 America East) won its lone game of the week, rallying from 17 points down in the second half to defeat LIU 91-80 at the Events Center... It was the largest comeback in the team’s six-year Division I tenure... The Bearcats scored 62 points in the second half - the most in its Division I history... The team converted 24-of-26 free throws in the second half and forced 20 LIU turnovers to snap a three-game losing streak... Junior guard Richard Forbes (Far Rockaway, N.Y./Far Rockaway/Howard JC) scored all 19 of his points in the final period... He scored eight consecutive in a span of 1:28 to snap a 71-71 tie and give Binghamton the lead for good... Forbes hit 5-of-8 from the field and 7-of-8 free throws to earn America East Player of the Game honors... Senior guard Steve Proctor (Largo, Md./Paul VI/Pensacola JC) added a career-high 17 points, six assists and four steals... Senior guard Troy Hailey (Hyattsville, Md./Montrose Christian) hit 4-of-7 three-pointers en route to 19 points... Three of those points came courtesy of a 40-foot three-pointer as the shot clock expired... Hailey is shooting better from three-point range (50 percent) than from inside the arc (46 percent) and the free throw line (47 percent)... Junior guard Mike Gordon (Plainfield, N.J./Plainfield) added 15 points, four assists and three steals.
Boston University Terriers
Boston University’s (3-5, 0-0 America East) valiant comeback attempt fell one 3-pointer short in a 56-54 loss to Massachusetts on Dec. 6 at Agganis Arena in front of a crowd of 3,101... The Terriers erased two 12-point deficits in the second half only to see a three by red-shirt freshman Tyler Morris (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North) negated by a called Boston U. timeout with 4.2 seconds left... The Terriers were unable to get a good scoring opportunity in the final possession... Boston U. led briefly in the first half but spent most of the second half repeatedly cutting into UMass’s leads... Freshman Corey Lowe (Newton, Mass./Newton North) led the Terriers with 16 points and a career-high seven rebounds... Lowe scored four of Boston U’s final eight points (during an 8-0 run in the final 4:33) to help get the Terriers within two of the Minutemen with 58 seconds left... Senior co-captain Brian Macon (Boynton Beach, Fla./Miami Dade CC) was second on the team in scoring, with 13 points on 5-for-8 shooting with two rebounds and three steals... Boston U. takes a two-week break for final exams before facing the Rams of Rhode Island at URI on Friday, Dec. 22 at 7 p.m.
Hartford (6-4, 0-0 America East) picked up wins over Yale and St. Francis (N.Y.) last week en route to its best start in 10 years... The Hawks have won six of their last seven games and are 6-4 for the first time since 1996-97... Only the 1990-91 squad has had a better record (7-3) through the first 10 games of the season... Hartford overcame a 15-point second half deficit at Yale to force overtime before pulling out a 66-65 victory... Freshman Joe Zeglinski (Philadelphia, Pa./Archbishop Ryan) led the way with 18 points and scored seven of Hartford’s eight points in the extra period... Senior Bo Taylor (Reston, Va./Paul VI/Bishop O’Connell/South Lakes) scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half before fouling out with four minutes to play... Taylor netted a game-high 16 points in the win over St. Francis... The Hawks shot a season-high 80 percent (16-of-20) from the free throw line in the contest... Hartford already has six victories thus far with two games to play before the end of the month... The last time the Hawks won seven games before the end of December was in 1990-91. No Hartford team has ever won eight games by the turn of the new year... Taylor leads the team in scoring (13.8 ppg) while sophomore Michael Turner (Novato, Calif./Marin Catholic/West Valley) leads the team in rebounding (5.3 rpg)... The Hawks play only one more game before taking a break for the holidays... Hartford will travel to Brown University for a match-up on Friday, December 22 at 1 p.m. The Hawks are 3-0 against Ivy League teams this season with wins over Dartmouth, Cornell and Yale.
Maine Black Bears
Maine (5-5, 0-0 America East) defeated UMaine-Farmington 75-34 on Thursday night in a game which was played in “The Pit” in Memorial Gym in Orono... The Black Bears have now won five of their last seven games... The 34 points were the fewest points that Maine has allowed in a game since November 23, 1996 when it defeated Southern Maine 77-33... Maine went on a 27-0 run in the first half against the Beavers... The Black Bears had 17 steals against UMF, four shy of tying the school record for steals in a game which is 21... Maine had 15 steals in the first half alone... Jon Sheets (Grass Valley, Calif./Nevada Union/Yuba City CC) led the way with five steals in the game... Sheets also chipped in with nine points, six rebounds, and five assists... Kevin Reed (Yarmouth, Mass./Dennis-Yarmouth/St. Thomas More) scored his 1,300th career point in the win... He moved into ninth place on Maine’s all-time scoring list, passing Matt Rossignol (1985–89) who finished with 1,297 career points... Reed also moved into fourth place on Maine’s all-time steals list with 187... Reed had 13 points against UMF, marking the 70th time in his career that he has scored 10 or more points in a game... The Black Bears return to action on Saturday, December 23 when they travel to Penn State for a match up with the Nittany Lions.
UMBC (4-7, 0-0 America East) played at 20th-ranked Marquette (10-2) on Saturday without the services of its top two scorers, junior reserve guard Brian Hodges (Upper Marlboro, Md./Bishop McNamara) and sophomore guard Jay Greene (Whitehall, Pa./Whitehall)... Hodges served a one-game suspension for violation of a team rule... The reigning America East Conference Player of the Week received an unsportsmanlike technical foul in the second half of Tuesday’s game at George Washington (7-2)... Greene, the conference’s league-leader in assists, suffered a sprained knee ligament versus the Colonials and was unable to play versus the Golden Eagles... Only six Retrievers saw action in the game, and senior guard Chris Pugh (Clinton, Md./Oxon Hill) and freshman forward Justin Fry (New Bloomfield, Pa./West Perry) played all 40 minutes... Sophomore guard Thomas Young (Philadelphia, Pa./Plymouth-Whitemarsh) tied his season and career-best with 17 points as UMBC cut a 22-point halftime deficit in half with nine minutes remaining... Redshirt freshman Matt Spadafora (Richboro, Pa./Archbishop Wood) tripled his previous high with 32 minutes played and came up with six rebounds... Hodges led UMBC with 17 points versus GW while Fry hit five of six shots from the floor and three of four from the charity stripe as he scored a season-high 13 points... Sophomore forward Uwem Eshietedoho (Miramar, Fla./America), who started the first eight games, missed his third-straight game versus Marquette, but he was in uniform for the first time since suffering a sprained ankle on Dec. 7... UMBC’s last three opponents now have a combined record of 22-6... The Retrievers face William & Mary in Williamsburg on Friday... UMBC won the first meeting, 64-60, in Baltimore last December.
New Hampshire Wildcats
New Hampshire (1-7, 0-0 America East) posted an 0-1 record for the week... UNH recently fell to Big East member Rutgers, 55-48, on Wednesday... The Wildcats trailed by 23 heading into the halftime and rallied in the second to pull within seven points on three separate occasions led by the play of junior forward Mike Christensen (Reston, Va./Flint Hill) who posted 18 of his 22 points in the second half, while senior co-captain Blagoj Janev (Sydney, Australia/Australia Institute of Australia) recorded 10 points and five boards in the loss... UNH has lost six of its eight games by seven points or less, including three overtime losses in their first eight games of the season... Christensen leads the team in scoring and rebounding, averaging 13.9 points and 5.8 rebounds per game... The Wildcats continue an eight game road trip with a visit to Northeastern on Monday (Dec. 18) followed by a game against Iona on Friday (Dec. 22).
Stony Brook Seawolves
Stony Brook (5-6, 0-0 America East) played three games in six days this past week, going 2-1, enroute to eclipsing its total win output from last season... In a 65-61 win at NJIT, the Seawolves topped the Highlanders behind four double-digit scorers... Junior Ricky Lucas (Herndon, Va./Herndon/George Washington) led the way with 17 points and nine rebounds, while senior Andre Vanterpool (Manhasset, N.Y./Manhasset/M.C.C.) added 15 points and five boards... The Seawolves struggled versus Dartmouth on Thursday evening, falling to the Big Green, 71-50... Ten Seawolves scored in the game, but none reached double-digits as Stony Brook shot just 33 percent in the game and made only five field goals in the first half... The Seawolves managed to go just under 12 minutes without a field goal in the first half... Stony Brook convincingly defeated Fairleigh Dickinson, 82-58, for its first home win of the season... Mike Popoko (Baltimore, Md./McDonough School) was named the America East Player of the Game as he netted a game-high 21 points, including 17 in the first half... Lucas and Vanterpool once again made major contributions in the victory, as Lucas scored 18 and Vanterpool went for 15... The Seawolves defense was the difference in the game, holding FDU to 29 percent shooting and 26 percent from downtown... The Seawolves have plenty of rest, as they don’t play their next contest until Dec. 30 when they travel to Notre Dame to take on the Fighting Irish in a game that will be televised on MSG.
Vermont (5-5, 0-0 America East) fell in its only contest of the week, 84-76 in overtime at home to Harvard on Sunday... Freshman Joe Trapani (Madison, Conn./Daniel Hand) led the Catamounts with 20 points while senior Chris Holm (Henderson, Nev./Green Valley) posted his third double-double of the season with 17 points and 12 boards and sophomore Mike Trimboli (Norwalk, Conn./St. Luke’s) added 14... Freshman Marqus Blakely (Metuchen, N.J./Metuchen) ended with a new career-high of eight points and two blocks... Sunday marked the fourth time that Vermont has played on television this season as the game was televised on CN8... The Catamounts are 2-2 on TV this year... UVM blocked a season-high 11 shots... Holm has double-digit rebounds in eight of the last nine... The Catamounts held a 20-2 advantage on bench points... It was the first overtime game of the season for Vermont and first since it fell to Boston University 69-64 on February 23 of last season at home... Harvard is only the second team to out-rebound Vermont this year (Michigan State)... Vermont has lost its last four games in overtime with the last OT win coming on March 18, 2005 against Syracuse in the first round of the NCAA Tournament (60-57)... Vermont wraps up a three-game home stand and on Thursday when the Catamounts host Dartmouth at 7 p.m... UVM also plays at Quinnipiac on Saturday at 1 p.m. on NESN.