America East Weekly Roundup: Jan. 4

Conference play is two days away for eight of the nine teams in the America East.

But before they do, the America East battled the Ivy League in six games over the weekend, where the conference took four of the six games. Here are some numbers to know as the conference gets set to face each other:

55-70 – The non-conference record of the nine America East teams this season as they enter conference play on Wednesday. The league’s best three wins in out of conference play, according to KenPom rankings, are wins by Albany over Yale (76), Stony Brook over Hofstra (83) and Vermont over (112) Harvard.

26-3 – That was the run Stony Brook went on to erase a 17-point deficit in their win Saturday against Columbia. The Seawolves picked up their 9th non-conference win, something they have now done in each of the last four seasons.

1.295 – As of Sunday’s games, Jameel Warney ranked 9th amongst the 2016 kenpom.com Player of the Year Standings. If the 6’8″ senior continues the season he is having, he would become the first player from a mid-major league since Mike Muscala did during the 2012-13 season. That year he was drafted in the second round in the NBA draft and made the NCAA tournament.

Tweet of the Week:

In your, almost bringing the roof down nominee for 2016: This didn’t spark the comeback, but it caught Columbia on their heels…

Speaking of non-conference successes…

pikiell_stonybrook_bench
Stony Brook head coach Steve Pikiell believes in his team after they accumulated nine non-conference wins for the fourth straight season.

Stony Brook accounted for three of the conference’s seven wins against Patriot League schools (Loyola (Md), American, Lehigh). It should also be noted that the conference’s 10-3 record against the MAAC is a little deceiving: Siena is the only top 4 team in the MAAC that played against America East teams, going 1-1. America East teams got lean on beating up the MAAC’s likely bottom feeders in Niagara (3-0), Quinnipiac (3-1) and Marist (2-0).

Quotes of the Week:

“We’ve been behind a lot this season. This is nothing new to us. We just stuck together and started playing a little defense and the ball started going in, we started making shots.” – Stony Brook senior Jameel Warney on their 17-point comeback win over Columbia

“I think this team is very special and I think we’re extremely prepared for conference.” – Stony Brook senior Carson Puriefoy on their 9-4 start to non-conference play

“I know that Stony Brook is the clear, clear, heavy, heavy, heavy favorite in our league, and that is fine. Once we get to the first conference game, it’s a brand new season, and we will have a gigantic target on our back. You want to feel pretty good about yourself going into league play, feeling pretty good about what you are doing.” – Albany head coach Will Brown on their non-conference finale win over Cornell

“We’ve shown signs of being tough, today was the second half we were tough, but we defended the way we’re supposed to defend. So if you call that toughness, then that’s fine, but I call it doing what we’re supposed to do on the court: getting in stance, making it difficult for guys to score. We ran and pushed the ball in the 2nd half, which we didn’t do in the first half, and that hurt us, so I just thought we played more like we’re supposed to play in the second half.” – Stony Brook head coach Steve Pikiell on their 69-60 win over Columbia

“We’re sharing the basketball. It was an 84-possession game, we only had 11 turnovers, 20 assists. We’re stepping up and knocking down shots with confidence.” – Maine head coach Bob Walsh on their 98-92 win over Brown to end non-conference play

“We feel good, but not satisfied, and (we’re) not getting too comfortable yet. We’ve still got work to do.” – Maine sophomore Kevin Little on their two-game win streak

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.

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