As the America East continues to be dominated by Stony Brook, we are going to switch things up for a few weeks after this edition of the weekly roundup.
First off, there were some great stories this week, amongst them was this one from USA Today about the conference’s partnership with the You Can Play Project, which was formed to combat homophobia in athletics.
Here’s a look at what the Playoffs would be if the season ended today. 1 Stony Brook vs 8 Binghamton, 4 Vermont vs 5 Maine, 2 Albany vs 7 Hartford, 3 New Hampshire vs 6 UMBC.
Here’s a look at the numbers that made the last week of conference play:
19 – That is the ranking that Fletcher Mackel gave Stony Brook in the most recent AP Top 25 poll, accounting for seven of their eight points in the most recent ranking on Monday.
38.9% – The current chances, according to KenPom, that the Seawolves win out and finish the regular season 16-0.
36 – The new career-high Jameel Warney set on Monday night in Stony Brook’s win over Hartford. UMBC’s Jairus Lyles scored 37 points in the Retrievers 83-79 win at Maine.
1 – The number of teams that UMass Lowell has not beaten in their three seasons in the America East. They have one more transition year, under NCAA rules, before they are eligible for postseason, but the only team that the River Hawks have not beaten is Stony Brook. The closest to beating the Seawolves came two seasons ago, but UMass Lowell has already swept four teams in regular season play (Binghamton, Maine, UMBC and Vermont).
45.8% – The home winning percentage of America East teams, which now ranks last amongst the 32 conferences. That is with Stony Brook and Albany, who are currently undefeated in league play at home.
70.1 – The current tempo per possession of the conference, which ranks as the eighth highest amongst the 32 conferences. It is the highest in the KenPom era (since 2002) and three more than the previous high (67.0 in 2003).
Tweets of the Week
Albany pulled out a big win at home over Vermont to deliver a win at the Big Purple Growl.
Jameel Warney, by the way spent just four minutes of Monday night’s bobblehead night on the bench in their win over Hartford.
Quotes of the Week
“You just put him out on the basketball floor with a ball in his hands and its like he hadn’t missed any time at all.” – Maine head coach Bob Walsh on freshman Issac Vann
“Even though I had a torn ACL, he still had a lot of confidence in me. It’s almost like he put it on the back burner and he wasn’t really worried about it. He’s like ‘yeah man, we still want you we care about you’, it’s like that doesn’t change nothing. It really meant a lot to me, that’s why I really give him my all on the court.” – Hartford junior Pancake Thomas on being recruited by head coach John Gallagher after transferring from New Mexico, Thomas tore the ACL in his right knee three days after announcing he would leave the Lobos
“It’s crazy, I’ve never thought this would be happening, it’s just this year has been flying by and I’m just trying to embrace everything. Coach has been telling me that to just can’t give up any practice, any film session, any time just hanging out with the guys, I’m just trying to embrace every moment.” – Vermont senior Ethan O’Day on the final stretch of conference play
“I felt like Jahad Thomas had a clear advantage and we were able to take advantage of that and play through him. He made two tough shots at the end there.” – UMass Lowell head coach Pat Duquette on the game winner the sophomore delivered to win at Hartford
“It has to come from within a little bit. I’ll keep trying [to coach], but I can’t get out there and guard anyone.” – Vermont head coach John Becker after their 100-89 loss to UMass Lowell, it marks the second time the Catamounts have given up 100 points this season
“If you can play, you can play — I mean, that’s a great saying. We have guys from differnet backgrounds, different countries, guys who have different likes. Guys who are different. If you can play, you can play. That’s all they care about. They’re accepting of everyone, and our university has really embraced this, too.” – Stony Brook coach Steve Pikiell on the You Can Play project
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.