Plenty was learned as we hit the holiday week as teams in the America East go through their final tune ups before conference play.
Here are some numbers to know from the short week and conference play starts in nine days:
25 – The new season-high in points set by Stony Brook senior Carson Puriefoy in their win at Lehigh, which was thanks to his career-high six three-pointers made. The Seawolves have yet to showcase their outside game as a weapon, but they are showing signs of finding it, which could be dangerous to the rest of the conference.
5 – The Black Bears totaled five players in double figures at Holy Cross, but 23 turnovers – including some late – doomed their chance to pick up a road win in a 76-75 loss. Maine plays the third fastest adjusted tempo in the country, according to KenPom, but have struggled to score in spurts against a tough non-conference schedule.
19 – Ernie Duncan’s new season-high in points set in their loss to Northeastern on Tuesday. With senior Ethan O’Day struggling out of the gate and Dre Wills suspended for an NCAA rules violation until Jan. 18, this will become Duncan and Trae Bell-Haynes’ team to lead the way until their front court can find their footing.
25.5 – The points per game so far for VCU and Robert Morris transfer Jairus Lyles. The 6’2″ guard has taken his shots at will and is finding a way to score, now the question is how the Retrievers set up behind him.
Tweet of the Week:
Here’s how you set that career-high six three-pointers, set up your own shot.
Another way to set up your own shot? Get around the basket like Albany’s Joe Cremo does to get by his man
Quotes of the Week:
“It hit a home run in the first year, so it’s hard to hit two home runs in a row, but we’re hoping that that becomes the standard now for what our men’s basketball playoffs look like. If that’s the case, then we feel really good about the fact that we’re able to get so many more people the opportunity to watch their team play in the postseason that just didn’t exist under the old format.” – America East commissioner Amy Huchthausen, who said the playoff format will remain indefinitely for the men’s side
“We have not progressed at the rate that I hoped we would. For us to be playing the way we’re playing and be 9-4… We haven’t played good basketball at all.” – Albany head coach Will Brown after their win over Niagara
“I hope he’s just scared us. He’s got to see some people tomorrow, so we’ll find out tomorrow.” – Stony Brook head coach Steve Pikiell on Jameel Warney, who left in the second half with an injury to his right leg
“He used to be in the gym three times a day, but it calmed down once the season started.” – Senior Evan Singletary on freshman Joe Cremo
“[Cremo] has tried to fight everybody on our team in practice I’ve had one guy in my career as competitive as Joe way back, Levi Levine… Joe’s cut from the same cloth. When you tell him he’s got to work on this, he will.”- Albany head coach Will Brown on his freshman guard who earned Rookie of the Week on Dec. 28
Games to Watch: Tuesday 12/29 Siena at Vermont 2pm, Mount St. Mary’s at Binghamton 7pm, Wednesday 12/30 New Hampshire at Boston College 2pm ESPN3, Saturday 1/2 Albany at Cornell 7pm, Columbia at Stony Brook 7pm, Sunday 1/3 Vermont at Harvard 2pm ESPN3
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.