Every America East team has now reached the win column as the conference continues to build on a strong start to the year.
Conference play is a month away, but already there have been some key developments and injuries. Hartford lost sophomore John Carroll to a knee injury in their home opener. New Hampshire has been without First Team All-Conference forward Tanner Leissner, who suffered from concussion-like symptoms in practice.
America East Non-D1 standings: Stony Brook 2-0, Albany 1-0, New Hampshire 1-0, UMass Lowell 1-0.
Ugliest Box Score of the Week: It will have to go to New Hampshire’s 18 point loss at home to American, in their second game without Leissner, they managed to make 50% of their two-pointers, but made just one three-pointer (7% 3-point FG%).
Numbers to Know:
54% – That is the percentage of two-pointers Albany has made in their Division I games, excluding their win over Oneonta. While the Great Danes were thought to be known as a perimeter-oriented team they have been doing a great job converting inside. They made 62% of their two’s against Yale and 67% of them against NJIT, which proves that they will be going well when they attack the basket.
17.6 – That’s the number of points per game redshirt sophomore Jahad Thomas has averaged in UMass Lowell’s three victories this season. After suffering a season-ending ACL tear to his opposite knee to end last season a month early, he has surged back in style. On top of that, in five games he is averaging 8.6 rebounds per game.
2 – Maine has won two in a row and will shoot for their first three-game win streak since three seasons ago on Wednesday. They also put together back to back games where they scored better than a point per possession and have managed to do it with plenty of options. Junior Garet Beal poured in a career game with 23 points in their win over Longwood, while freshman Devine Eke shined off the bench with 11 points to help lift the Black Bears over Central Connecticut. Maine’s bench has outscored their opponents in all but one game, which was their season opener at UConn.
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Quotes of the Week
“We’ve proven that we can play well at home, now we need to bottle some of this up and take it with us on the road.” – Albany head coach Will Brown. The Great Danes are 4-0 at home and 0-3 on the road.
“This is the most talent we’ve had and we can’t shy away from it. We can’t be putting our head in the sand and crying about it. We got some talent here.” – Hartford head coach John Gallagher after their loss Friday to North Florida, referring to losing John Carroll for the season.
“Whatever minutes I get, I am going to go in and make the most of it. It doesn’t always mean scoring. Tonight, I was able to score.” – Albany freshman Joe Cremo on his career-high 18 point performance in their 74-73 win over NJIT.
“We could go on the road 100 times, but we need to play some home games, too.” – Stony Brook head coach Steve Pikiell, on why his team has has played two non Division-I teams .
“I definitely take pride in my shooting… It’s just time in the gym on my own and after practice. Sometimes I try to get here early and my teammates call me and ask me to shoot around in the gym. We all just want to get better.” – Albany senior Evan Singletary, who has made 50% of his two-pointers and 38.5% of his three-pointers.
“I feel like I’ve just got to play my game, keep attacking the basket and if they collapse on me I’ve got to kick out… that’s really it. I think we have the pieces around me that I don’t got to be too aggressive and try to do everything.” Binghamton sophomore Willie Rodriguez, who scored 53 points in the last two games.
Games to Watch This Week: Tonight Albany at Quinnipiac 7pm on SNY, Saturday 12/5 Princeton at Stony Brook 2pm and Vermont at Yale 2pm.
Ryan Restivo wrote the America East conference preview for the 2015-16 Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook. He covers the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, the America East conference among others for Big Apple Buckets. You can follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanarestivo or contact Ryan at rrestivo[at]nycbuckets.com.