America East Stock Watch took a break last week, but will come back when conference play starts in 2015 full throttle.
Counting Down: Here are some numbers to know from the last week of conference play.
4 – the total number of points that Vermont’s last two losses have come by. The Catamounts dropped a home game against Yale by one and their final game, prior to the holiday break, at Saint Louis, by three.
3 – After losing four in a row for the first time since 2011, Albany has run off three-straight non-conference victories for the first time since two seasons ago. The Great Danes play at the slowest adjusted tempo in the conference.
2 – Don’t look now, but UMBC has started to put their rotation together with back-to-back wins prior to the holiday break. Freshman Jourdan Grant won America East rookie of the week after tallying 11 points in UMBC’s win over Kennesaw State. The Retrievers scored 66 points in 61 possessions, which easily stood out as their best offensive performance of the season.
1 – Binghamton’s total number of victories on the season. That same number also stands for the margin in their final game before holiday break, a 69-68 loss at Mount St. Mary’s. The Bearcats shot a season-best 57% from the field and did it without sophomore Nick Madray (DNP – injury), who scored a season-high 20 points in their last game against St. Bonaventure.
This stock watch will be a little different, as over the last few weeks I have talked to coaches in the area and got their takes on teams they’ve watched. So this edition will be on how coaches in the area take stock on America East teams, all speaking on the condition of anonymity.
On Binghamton… “I know its his third year, yet they’re going in the right direction. I know every kid on his team and the talent, skills that they have and they’ve got good players in the program, it just takes time to grow that program… They need some stability in the program right now and [Tommy Dempsey] will bring that to them and he’s doing the right things, they just have to continue to trust him and he’ll turn it around.”
On Albany… “I think with Albany, they’ve always been big and tough guys like that big and strong, they’re not as formidable inside but they’re probably a little bit better on the permitter. Hooley’s a winner and really instills confidence.”
On Vermont… “I know everybody’s handing it to Stony Brook and Will [Brown] got his thing going where he can win certain games… I don’t know what’s going on, but like is Stony Brook anointed the champion of the America East that big guy is good, but be careful of Vermont; it would not surprise me one iota to see Vermont cut down those nets this year.”
On Hartford… “I think Nwakamma’s pretty good, like let him score 40 and shut down the other guys out. Corban Wroe is not like he was last year.”
Ryan Restivo wrote the America East conference preview for the 2014-15 Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook. He covers the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, the America East conference and Hofstra for Big Apple Buckets. You can follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanarestivo or contact Ryan at rrestivo[at]nycbuckets.com.