High Scoring Performances Net Suero, Edwards Men's Basketball Weekly Honors
Suero (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) racked up 60 points and shot 64 percent from the floor in two games last week to earn his first career America East Player of the Week honor. Averaging a league-best 25.7 points over his first three games as a Great Dane, Suero contributed 30.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.5 steals per game last week.
A junior transfer, Suero scored 29 points and added nine rebounds, three assists and three steals in leading Albany to its first win of the season, a 77-68 victory over Brown, on Monday. The guard shot 9-of-12 from the floor and made 9-of-11 free throw attempts. Suero was just as good against Syracuse, the fifth-ranked team in the country, on Tuesday as he scored 31 points and added six rebounds four assists and two steals. He shot 9-of-16 against the Orange and was 11-of-12 from the line. The 31 points were the most for an Albany player since 2007 and the most given up by Syracuse in the Carrier Dome in almost three years.
Edwards (Whitby, Ontario) impressed in his first two collegiate games, averaging 22.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.5 steals in helping the Black Bears start 1-1.
The freshman guard scored 24 points on 11-of-13 shooting while adding nine rebounds, five steals, three blocks and a pair of assists in the Black Bears' win over Maine-Machias Monday. He then helped Maine stay with #4 UConn, scoring 20 points to go with five rebounds, two assists and two steals. The Black Bears trailed by only five at the half before falling, 80-60. For the young season, Edwards ranks third in scoring, is tied for eighth in rebounding and leads the league in steals.
The Honor Roll
Several other America East players had top performances last week:
• Albany's Logan Aronhalt (Zanesville, Ohio) tallied his second career double-double in Monday's win over Brown, totaling 19 points and 13 rebounds.
• Binghamton's Robert Mansell (Glenside, Pa.) set a new career high for the second straight game, scoring 26 points on 10-of-18 shooting in Monday's loss at Cornell.
• Boston University's Darryl Partin (Seattle, Wash.) scored a game-high 29 points against Cornell Sunday.
• Maine's Gerald McLemore (San Diego, Calif.) scored 21 points and eclipsed the 1,200 career point mark (1,220) against Maine-Machias Monday.
• UMBC's Brian Neller (Red Bank, N.J.) tallied a career-best 27 points and canned seven three-pointers against Loyola Thursday.
• Four McGlynn (York, Pa.) scored a career-high 22 points while Brendan Bald tallied a career-best 21 points in wins over Marist Saturday and Dartmouth Thursday, respectively.
Several newcomers have made a significant impact to the league in a short time as four newcomers rank among the league's top-10 scoring leaders in the early going. Albany's Gerardo Suero, the league's Player of the Week is averaging a league-best 25.7 points and is tied for eighth with 7.5 rebounds per game, His 77 total points are the most for Albany player in any three-game stretch since 2006. Rookie of the Week Justin Edwards (22.0 points, 7.5 rebounds) ranks third and tied for eighth, respectively in those categories. Binghamton's Ben Dickinson is eighth averaging 15.0 points in four games. He scored 27 in his Binghamton debut, the most ever for a Bearcat in his debut. Vermont's Four McGlynn ranks ninth averaging 13.8 points in four games and scored a career-best 22 in leading the Catamounts to a win over Marist Saturday.
Becker Earns First Win
Vermont earned its first win of the season with a 65-53 win over Dartmouth on Saturday. The victory was also John Becker's first as the Catamounts' head coach and first at the Division I level. Becker's only other collegiate victories as a head coach game at Galludet.
Welcome Return for De La Rosa
UMBC's Chris De La Rosa came into the season as America East's top returning scorer and assist man after averaging 15.5 points and 6.0 helpers per game. But offseason foot surgery sidelined the all-conference guard for the first three games of this season. He came back with vengence on Saturday against VMI, scoring 17 points and adding 10 assists in 33 minutes off the bench.
Streaking Start to the Season
A pair of teams have made a habit of winning on opening day. New Hampshire extended its streak to four years with a win over Suffolk on Friday. The Wildcats also grew its streak of winning its home opener to six. Maine won its fourth straight opener, beating Maine-Machias, 113-49 Monday.
Boston U. Raises Banner
Before kicking off its 2011-12 season, Boston University raised its 2010-11 banner to the rafters of Case Gym prior to its opener on Nov. 11 against Northeastern. The Terriers won their sixth America East Championship, the second-most in league history, and first since 2002 last season.
Back and Better than Ever
Two former America East all-conference players returned to the court after missing significant time last season. New Hampshire's Alvin Abreu, a second-team all-league choice in 2009-10, played in just four games last year before tearing his ACL. He returned to the lineup on Friday and didn't miss a beat, scoring 19 points on 8-of-14 shooting. Abreu, a senior guard, is averaging 15.7 points and 4.7 rebounds through three games. Also back in action was Stony Brook's Tommy Brenton, also a second-team all-leaguer in 2009-10, who missed all of last season with an injury. The league's leading rebounder as a sophomore, the junior forward nearly had a triple double in the Seawolves' win over Mount Ida on Nov. 13 as he contributed 11 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists.
It's Tourney Time
Three America East teams, Albany, Boston U. and Vermont, are participating in early season tournaments. The Great Danes are playing four games as part of the Dick's Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off. Albany beat Brown and fell to #5 Syracuse in the first and second rounds last week. It will play two more games as part of the tournament, against Monmouth and George Mason, in Virginia Monday and Tuesday. Boston U. is playing the Legends Classic and opened with a loss at Texas Sunday. The Terriers play three more games as part of the Classic Nov. 25-27 and will face Cleveland State, Hofstra and Rhode Island in Kingston, R.I. Vermont played two games as part of the Hall of Fame Tip-Off at Mohegan Sun last weekend. The Catamounts reached the championship game of the Springfield Bracket by beating Marist Saturday, but fell to Long Island U. Sunday.
New Faces on the Bench
America East welcomes two new head coaches to the fold in 2011-12. Former Columbia head coach Joe Jones was named Pat Chambers' successor after he went to Penn State and John Becker was promoted at Vermont after Mike Lonergan took the George Washington position. Jones, who got his coaching start in America East as an assistant at Hofstra was most recently Associate head coach at Boston College, while Becker has spent the last five years as an assistant for the Catamounts.
Seven of the 15 players who earned all-conference recognition last season return for 2011-12, including four of the league's top 10 scorers. Additionally, two others who earned second-team recognition in 2009-10, New Hampshire's Alvin Abreu and Stony Brook's Tommy Brenton return after missing last season with injuries. Senior Darryl Partin, who helped Boston U. win its first conference title since 2002 last year, is the lone first-team all-league returnee. He ranked seventh among league leaders averaging 14.6 points per game last season. UMBC's Chris De La Rosa is the conference's top returning scorer. He averaged 15.5 points per game last season and also handed out a league-best 6.0 assists per game.
Terriers Again the Top Choice
For the fifth straight year, Boston University, the reigning America East champion, is the coaches’ preseason choice to repeat as champion in 2011-12. The Terriers, who return four starters from last season, including first-team All-America East guard Darryl Partin, garnered six of eight possible first-place votes (coaches were not allowed to vote for their team) and 62 points, followed by last year’s runner-up Stony Brook University, which received three first-place votes and 56 points. University of Vermont, the reigning America East regular-season champion, was picked third, tallying 46 points, and was followed closely in fourth by University at Albany, which received 42 points. University of New Hampshire was next in fifth place with 39 points while University of Maine followed in sixth with 32 points. University of Hartford and UMBC were tied for seventh place with 18 points and Binghamton University rounded out the nine-team poll with 11 points.
Four All-Leaguers on Preseason Team
Four returning All-America East selections from last season and the league’s reigning Rookie of the Year highlight the 2011-12 America East Preseason All-Conference Team. Boston University’s Darryl Partin (Seattle, Wash.), a first-team all-conference selection last year, headlines the group. He is joined by a trio of 2010-11 second-team all-league honorees in University of Maine’s Gerald McLemore (San Diego, Calif.), UMBC’s Chris De La Rosa (Washington Heights, N.Y.) and Stony Brook University’s Bryan Dougher (Scotch Plains, N.J.). University of Vermont’s Brian Voelkel (Pleasantville, N.Y.), last year’s America East Rookie of the Year, rounds out the five-man squad.
America East will look to keep up its recent track record of sending multiple teams to the postseason in 2011-12. Last year, the conference had multiple teams playing into the middle of March (Boston U. - NCAA, Vermont - NIT) for the third straight year and seventh in the last nine. In total, 17 teams have reached the postseason since 2003, including three in both 2005 (Boston U., Northeastern, Vermont) and 2010 (Boston U., Stony Brook, Vermont).
Five of a Kind
Dynasties have been an important part of the history of America East basketball. Eight teams, including six different schools, have won consecutive league titles and of those, three (Drexel, Northeastern and Vermont) have won three in a row. However, parity has hit the league of late as five different teams have won the last five America East titles, the only such stretch in the league's 32 year history.
Making a Mark on Defense
Several America East teams hope to pick up where they left off last year on the defensive end of the court. Six teams held opponents under 65 points per game last season and ranked in the top-70 nationally in scoring defense. Stony Brook led the charge, ranking 15th by holding foes to just 60.4 points per game, while New Hampshire followed closely behind in 18th (60.9 papg). The Seawolves were even better in field goal percentage defense, holding opponents to 39 percent shooting, which ranked ninth nationally. Four other schools ranked in the top-65, including Vermont (10th - 39.2 percent) and Boston U. (23rd 0 39.9 percent), which both held foes under 40 percent.
Alphabet Soup: AE and the BCS
America East has had eight wins over a Bowl Championship Series (BCS) conference school since 2008. Maine beat Penn State last season, which was the league's second against a Big Ten program in as many seasons. Boston U. downed Indiana in 2009 and also knocked off Oregon St. of the Pac 10 in the College Basketball Invitational that season. Vermont and New Hampshire both came close to adding to that total this season. The Catamounts fell by just two points at South Florida (61-59) on Nov. 12 while UNH nearly knocked off Boston College before falling, 67-64, on Nov. 14.
Back from Injury
A trio of players who played important roles on their teams in 2009-10 return this season after missing all or most of last season. Stony Brook's Tommy Brenton, a second-team all-conference performer and all-defensive choice two years ago, is back after missing all of last year with a knee injury. Brenton, the league's active leading rebounder (577) despite having played just two seasons, led America East with 9.7 boards per game to go with 7.6 points, 2.7 assists and 1.8 steals two years ago. New Hampshire's Alvin Abreu is back for a fifth season. The former second-team all-league choice (2009-10) played in just four games last season before going down with a knee injury. He ranked eighth among scoring leaders as junior, averaging 14.4 points per game. Abreu's teammate Ferg Myrick averaged 12.1 points and 4.1 rebounds per game, before missing the last 16 games of the year with a knee injury. Hartford will get senior point guard Andres Torres back. Torres, who redshirted last season with an injury, averaged 6.7 points and 4.4 assists in 2009-10.
All Nine in Bracketbusters
For the first time in league history, all nine teams will participate in Sears BracketBusters, ESPN’s three-day men’s college basketball event pitting potential NCAA Championship hopefuls against each other. The event, which will feature 13 televised contests on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU or ESPN3, will take place Feb. 17-19 with the matchups being announced Jan. 30. Albany, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont will serve as home teams for the event, while Binghamton, Boston University, Hartford, UMBC and Stony Brook will be on the road. America East teams have appeared on national television as part of the event in five of the last seven years, including Vermont last year.
Back to Hartford
For the third straight season, University of Hartford will be the host of the America East Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships. The tournament, which will be combined for the third straight season, will be held on March 1-4, 2012 at Chase Arena at the Reich Family Pavilion on University of Hartford’s campus. The first, quarterfinal and semifinal rounds for both the men and women will be held at the combined tournament, while the title games will again both be held the following weekend at the site of the highest seeds remaining.
New Commissioner on Board
Amy Huchthausen was named the conference's fourth commissioner on September 29. A former assistant commissioner at America East, Huchthausen returns after spending four years as Director of Academic and Membership Services at the NCAA working primarily with Division III’s strategic branding team. She's also worked in three other Division I conference offices, including the Big East, Ivy League and Missouri Valley Conference.
Albany Great Danes (1-2)
Albany earned a split in the NIT Season Tip-Off’s opening rounds at the Carrier Dome … Gerardo Suero (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic/Our Savior New American) had 29 points and nine rebounds as the Great Danes held off Brown, 77-68, in the first round … Albany has played two national top-10 programs already this year after losing to No. 5 Syracuse, 98-74, in the second round … Suero scored 31 points, the most by an Albany player since Jan. 13, 2007 and the highest total by a Syracuse opponent at the Carrier Dome in three years … Suero’s three-game total of 77 points is the highest by a Great Dane since Feb. 2006 … Syracuse was the second-highest ranked opponent in UAlbany’s history … the Great Danes played before a crowd of 10,000-plus for the 26th time … Albany will play in the NIT’s third and fourth rounds at George Mason’s Patriot Center on Nov. 21-22 … the Great Danes meet Monmouth on the first day, before tangling with George Mason, who advanced to the NCAA Tournament’s third round one year ago … Albany is competing in an in-season tournament for the third straight year (2009 2K Sports Classic, 2010 Legends Classic) … Logan Aronhalt (Zanesville, Ohio / Zanesville) recorded his second career double-double with 19 points and 13 rebounds against Brown … the junior guard had 20 points vs. Syracuse, his seventh game with 20-plus points as a collegian … Mike Black (Chicago, Ill./Oak Park Fenwick had nine points and seven assists vs. Brown, plus scoring 11 at Syracuse.
Binghamton Bearcats (0-4)
Binghamton is still looking for its first win after dropping all three road games during the week ... The Bearcats averaged just 51 points in losses at Cornell, Fordham and St. Peter's ... Sophomore guard Robert Mansell (Philadelphia, Pa./Cheltenham) averaged 13.7 points on the week, including a career-high 26 points at Cornell. He hit 10-of-18 from the field and added seven rebounds against the Big Red ... Freshman forward Ben Dickinson (Alexandria, Va./Gonzaga) averaged 11.0 points and a team-best 5.7 rebounds in the three games. Dickinson, last week's America East Rookie of the Week, struck for a team-high 17 points at Fordham and for the season is averaging 15.0 points and 6.0 boards ... The next week doesn't get any easier for the Bearcats, who travel to Columbia, Mo. for a Sunday matchup with No. 21 Missouri in a game that will be broadcast on ESPN3. It will be the program's first game against a ranked opponent since the NCAA first round game against Duke on March 19, 2009.
Boston University Terriers (0-3)
For the second time in three games, Boston University rallied from a double-digit second-half deficit but was unable to get over the hump with a 71-66 defeat at Cornell on Sunday ... The Big Red led by 13 (52-39) with 10:35 remaining, but the Terriers came back to cut the deficit to one (62-61) at 3:43 ... Neither team scored again until the 55-second mark, when Cornell hit a contested jumper ... Cornell then went 7-of-8 at the charity stripe in the final minute for the victory ... Senior Darryl Partin (Seattle, Wash./Charis Prep) led all players with 29 points, while sophomore Dom Morris (Newark, Del./Friends Central) had a career-high 14 rebounds and nine points ... D.J. Irving (Chester, Pa./Archbishop Carroll) finished with 10 points and eight assists ... The Terriers will remain on the road with a trip to Rhode Island for the completion of the Legends Classic ... After opening the event with a loss at Texas, Boston U. will first face Cleveland State on Friday (Nov. 25) at 2:30 p.m. and follow with URI (Nov. 26) and Hofstra (Nov. 27).
Hartford Hawks (0-4)
Hartford dropped its third and fourth games of the season last week, first falling to Mount St. Mary's by a 63-50 final in its home opener on Wednesday before dropping a 59-52 decision at Brown on Saturday ... The Hawks fell behind early to the Mount and never recovered as they struggled to get things going offensively with a 27.7-percent (13-of-37) effort from the floor which included 16.7-percent from three (4-of-24) ... Nate Sikma (Bellevue, Wash./Bellevue) and Corban Wroe (Brisbane, Australia/Australian Institute of Sport) each finished with 10 points while Mark Nwakamma (Leander, Texas/Leander) added eight ... Hartford led at the half for the first time this season at Brown but saw its five-point advantage disappear as Brown shot over 50-percent in the final stanza, including 56-percent from behind the arc ... The Hawks never trailed at Brown until the 10:22 mark and managed to tie the contest one last time before the Bears rattled off a 9-0 run ... In his first collegiate start, Sikma scored 17 points, a game-high and the most for a Hartford player this year, on a 50-percent effort from the floor (7-of-14) while adding two assists and a a pair of blocks ... Freshman Yolonzo Moore II (Austin, Texas/Akins) added 10 points in the loss ... The Hawks travel to Holy Cross on Wednesday (7 p.m.) before taking on local rival Central Connecticut in New Britain on Saturday (2 p.m.).
Maine Black Bears (1-1)
Maine defeated Maine-Machias 113-49 Monday before falling at defending national champion and fourth-ranked UConn, 80-60, Thursday ... In the home opener against Maine-Machias, freshman Justin Edwards (Whitby, Ontario/Anderson CVI) scored 24 points, grabbed nine rebounds, had five steals and three blocks to lead the Black Bears ... Senior Gerald McLemore (San Diego, Calif./Worcester Academy) added 21 points on 8-11 shooting while Alasdair Fraser (Falkirk, Scotland/Falkirk Clark Eriksson Fury) notched a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds ... He went 7-8 from the field and added a pair of blocks ... At #4 UConn on Thursday, Maine kept it close in the first half, down just 36-31 at halftime nefore the Huskies pulled away in the second half...Edwards scored 20 points on 7-15 shooting while grabbing five rebounds ... Fellow freshman Kilian Cato (Espoo, Finland/Finland Under-18) started along with Edwards and scored eight points while senior Andrew Rogers (Philadelphia, Pa./Archbishop Ryan) played 37 minutes, scoring eight points and giving out six assists while only having one turnover ... Maine held UConn to 21.7 percent shooting from long range ... The Black Bears made all eight of their free throw attempts ... McLemore is up to 1,220 career points, 14th on the all-time list at Maine ... The Black Bears continue play on Saturday when they host Holy Cross.
UMBC Retrievers (0-4)
UMBC outshot both of its opponents from the floor this week, including hitting a season-best 53.8 percent at VMI, but the Retrievers dropped decisions to Loyola (73-63) and the Keydets (84-79) ... Against the Greyhounds, junior guard Brian Neller (Red Bank, N.J./Christian Bros. Acad.) scored a career high 27 points, including a career-best seven 3-point field goals ... The seven treys in a game is tied for fourth place with seven other Retrievers ... Neller became the 11th player in school history to record 100 trifectas (101) when he hit his first of two at VMI ... Freshman forward Will Wise (Philadelphia, Pa./The Hun School) aided Neller with 15 points and 9 rebounds ... The Retrievers went from down 15 points (25-10, 10;46 first half) to up 11 points (55-44, 16:22 second half) over a 15-minute span at VMI ... The Keydets rallied and iced the game with the shot clock running down on a trifecta to go ahead, 82-77 with 10.4 seconds remaining ... Senior guard Chris De La Rosa (Washington Heights, N.Y./All Hallows/Siena) played 33 minutes in his season debut at VMI and sparked UMBC with 17 points and 10 assists ... It was his eighth career double-double ... Sophomore newcomer Quentin Jones (Ellicott City, Md./Mount St. Joseph/Wallace State), a walk-on to the program, got the start at point guard at VMI after freshman Joey Getz (Philadelphia, Pa./Archbishop Wood) suffered a leg injury vs. Loyola and did not make the trip ... Freshman point guard Jarrel Lane (Rahway, N.J./St. Patrick) suffered a hand injury in the exhibition game vs. College of New Jersey and has not dressed for a game this season ... Freshman forward Chandler Thomas (Indianapolis, Ind./Cathedral) scored 17 second-half points in a 23-point effort in at VMI ... The Retrievers continue a five-game road trip at Central Connecticut on Tuesday.
New Hampshire Wildcats (1-2)
New Hampshire (1-2) dropped a pair of losses in its second week of action, falling to Boston College (Nov. 14) and Loyola (Nov. 20) ... Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va./Air Force Prep) led four players in double figures with 14 points, as UNH was defeated by Loyola University (Md.), 66-60, at Lundholm Gymnasium ... Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla./The Rock School; 12), Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass./Boys to Men Academy; 11), and Ferg Myrick (Philadelphia, Pa./Prep Charter; 10) also scored in double-digits for the Wildcats ... Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y./Greece-Athena) chipped in with six points, nine boards and two blocks ... In the game prior Rhoads matched a career-high with 20 points, and Abreu poured in 15 of his 17 points in the second half, but the 'Cats were edged by Boston College, 67-64, at Conte Forum ... Jordon Bronner (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y./Iona Prep), who played all 40 minutes, tallied 11 points on 5-of-8 shooting, handed out three assists and grabbed five rebounds ... Benson led the 'Cats on the glass, pulling down a game-high 12 boards while also chipping in with six points, three blocks and two steals ... Konan added 10 rebounds and four points ... Following a Thanksgiving break, the Wildcats resume their schedule with a home game against intrastate rival Dartmouth College on Wednesday, Nov. 30, at 7 p.m.
Stony Brook Seawolves (1-2)
Stony Brook lost its only game last week, a 74-63 decision at Sacred Heart...the Seawolves forced 19 Pioneers turnovers that turned into 30 points, but the defense allowed the Pioneers to shoot 49 percent from the field and outrebound them 39-28 ... Sacred Heart had 14 second chance points on 12 offensive rebounds...junior Tommy Brenton (Columbia, Md.) continues to round into form coming off a season-long injury last year...he had 10 points, seven rebounds and five assists at Sacred Heart ... he leads the team with 14 assists in three games and is on pace to set a career high in that category ... senior Dallis Joyner (Norfolk, Va.) had 11 points and five rebounds and is currently the team's leading score (9.7 ppg ... Stony Brook will play two games this week, hosting Columbia Tuesday and traveling to Northwestern Friday ... the Seawolves and Columbia are playing each other for the 10th consecutive season while the team has never faced Northwestern.
Vermont Catamounts (2-2)
Vermont went 2-1 on the week … The Catamounts earned their first victory of the season on Wednesday when they topped Dartmouth on the road 65-53 … Junior Brendan Bald (Millersville, Md./Severna Park) netted a career-high 21 points and added five steals, while senior Pat Bergmann (Burlington, Vt./Rice) earned his first career double-double with 14 points a new personal-best of 12 rebounds … The Cats outscored Dartmouth 43-24 in the second half … The win was the first Division I victory for first year Vermont head coach John Becker … UVM took part in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off over the weekend at the Mohegan Sun Arena … Vermont defeated Marist 84-75 behind career highs both freshman Four McGlynn (York, Pa./Dallastown) and sophomore Luke Apfeld (Wolfeboro, N.H./Brewster Academy) … McGlynn netted 22 points after going 12-for-12 from the line, while Apfeld tallied 19 on 7-of-9 shooting from the floor … Vermont went 30-for-39 from the free throw line in the win … The Cats wrapped up the week with a hard-fought loss against Long Island 80-75 … Sophomore Brian Voelkel (Pleasantville, N.Y./Iona Prep) led Vermont with 13 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, as the Cats shot 51.7 percent from the floor … The Catamounts return to action this week when they travel to face Old Dominion on Wednesday (7 p.m.) and then will host Siena on Saturday in their home opener.