With the holidays, right around the corner, the America East Conference is finishing up their non-conference scheduling. A milestone was reached over the weekend by a head coach and the NCAA released the first Net rankings of the college basketball season. It’s a busy time of the year, so here is what going on in America East.
Albany Head Coach Will Brown made some history over the weekend. This past Saturday night at home, the Great Danes play host to Niagara. When the night was over, Brown had collected his 300th career victory. The 84-80 win was made even sweeter because the team roared back from an eleven point halftime hole to outscore Niagara by fifteen in the second half to give their coach the milestone victory. All of Brown’s 300 wins have come as the head man of the Great Danes. A team that the head coach believes will become a better team once it gets healthy.
The NCAA made known the first Net rankings of the 2019-20 season. For the America East, the news was not all that bad. The Vermont Catamounts were the highest ranked team from the league. The 92 ranking was 60 spots higher than the Stony Brook Seawolves were given in the first ranking of the 2018-19 season. This week, Vermont will have a chance to improve their place in the rankings with games against UNC Greensboro and Lipscomb. Vermont still leads the league in defense allowing only 58.9 points per game and their margin of victory is second in the league at 7.9 a game. They are number one in the league in field goal percentage defense at 0.359 a night.
The UNH Wildcats are putting together a pretty good start to the season. They have the best offense in the league scoring 77.3 points per game. They have the best margin of victory in the conference at 10.4 and are the only team in the league with a double-digit margin. However, as good as their offense has been, their defense has been giving up almost as much as they score. The defense is ranked sixth allowing 66.9 a game. The Wildcats are shooting at 44.1% and the defense is giving up 39% percent shooting to their opponents.
The Maine Black Bears are at the top of the list in a couple of departments that may not associated them with. First, they have the best defensive rebounding team in the league averaging 29.7 a game in the first 11 games played. But in those same 11 games, they are last in defensive rebounds at 24.3 a game. The Black Bears are second in blocked shots with 38, an average of 3.45 a contest. They are third in rebounding margin at 3.5.
The Player of the Week and the Rookie of the Week come from the same team, the Albany Great Danes. Ahmand Clark is the Player of the Week. The senior guard averaged 18.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, and four assists in two games last week. In the big win over Niagara Clark dropped 26 points and passed out eight assists. For Clark, this is his first Player of the Week honor of his career.
The Rookie of the Week is Trey Hutcheson. The freshman out of Marion, Iowa scored a career-high 18 points in the victory over Niagara. Hutcheson played 34 minutes in this game and he dished out four assists and made only one turnover. He shot 6-for-10 from the field and was 3-for-5 from three point range. For Trey this is his first weekly award.
Next week, we will have more from America East.
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