Tuesday, October 27, 2009

America East Conference Preview


As usual, the America East was the scene of an exciting race that ended in a first-place tie between the two hottest teams in the league, Vermont and Binghamton. Binghamton received the top seed in the tournament, though, as the Bearcats swept the Catamounts. The conference was tight throughout the season, as even Vermont started the league season 0-2. Boston University finished two games back of the leaders, while three teams tied at 8-8. Binghamton got to the Big Dance by winning the automatic bid, but a tumultuous offseason leaves the Bearcats with a possible first-to-worst scenario on their hands.

1. Boston University: With Binghamton falling, John Holland, Corey Lowe and the Terriers are the clear-cut favorite to win the league.
2. Vermont: The always-tough Catamounts will be in the mix once again, led by two-time Player of the Year forward Marquis Blakely.
3. Albany: The Great Danes could be a sleeper in the conference because of the inside-outside duo of Tim Ambrose and Will Harris.
4. Stony Brook: The Sea Wolves feature an outstanding defense, and a solid offense led by all-conference guard Muhammad El-Amin.
5. New Hampshire: The Wildcats are on their way up in the conference, and Alvin Abreu will have to keep the positive change going.
6. Maine: The Black Bears have been struggling for a few years, but Gerald McLemore and Sean McNally will keep them competitive.
7. Hartford: Don't be surprised to see the Hawks make a move in the standings this year; Joe Zeglinski will have to carry them.
8. UMBC: The Retrievers dropped off after reaching the NCAA Tournament, and will likely struggle somewhat again this season.
9. Binghamton: The Bearcats were the favorite before the dismissal of six players and the suspension of their coach -- this season will be a disaster.

Player of the Year: Marquis Blakely, F, Vermont

All-Conference Team:
G- Joe Zeglinski, Hartford
G- Corey Lowe, Boston University
G- Muhammad El-Amin, Stony Brook 
G/F- John Holland, Boston University
F- Marquis Blakely, Vermont

Second Team:
G- Tim Ambrose, Albany
G- Alvin Abreu, New Hampshire
G- Gerald McLemore, Maine 
F- Will Harris, Albany
F- Jake O'Brien, Boston University

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