Week in review: Dec. 20-26December 29th, 2010 by Matt Whitrock
Christmas has come and gone. What did your favorite team find in its stocking? Here’s a late Christmas present for you, from Sam and I: another batch of our America East Power Rankings – the abridged version.
1. Vermont Catamounts (8-3)
Last week: Lost at Fairfield, 65-57, on Monday; Won at Iona, 84-79, on Wednesday
This week: Wednesday vs. Mount St. Mary’s
In facing Fairfield, Iona, and Siena, all on the road, the Catamounts have experienced the toughest part of every MAAC member’s road slate – and Vermont came away with two out of three. Smells like an America East favorite to me.
2. Maine Black Bears (6-5)
Last week: Won at Penn State, 74-64, on Tuesday
This week: Thursday at Columbia, Sunday vs. BU
Speaking of impressive wins, how about Maine knocking off Penn State – a legitimate
Big Ten Big Televen… the conference with Michigan and tOSU and all those schools. Anyway, Penn State isn’t a doormat in that conference this year, and Maine worked the Nittany Lions. Biggest pelt of the season for an AE school.
3. Albany Great Danes (7-6)
Last week: Won at Colgate, 63-61, on Wednesday
This week: Tuesday at Xavier, Thursday at Wagner, Sunday vs. New Hampshire
Here’s something you don’t see every day. Nice job, Will Brown.
4. Boston University Terriers (5-7)
Last week: Won vs. Saint Joseph’s, 85-79, on Tuesday
This week: Wednesday vs. Quinnipiac, Sunday at Maine
The defense still isn’t fixed, and Saint Joseph’s isn’t in vintage form, but BU needed a win to stop the bleeding and remember what winning feels like. They got one. Meanwhile, John Holland’s game still doesn’t look quite right, but he attempted eight free throws for the first time since before Thanksgiving, which is a step in the right direction.
5. New Hampshire Wildcats (5-5)
Last week: Lost at Central Connecticut State, 71-50, on Wednesday
This week: Wednesday vs. Cornell (neutral), Thursday vs. TBA (neutral), Sunday at Albany
Ryan Herrion played more minutes against the Blue Devils than either Dane DiLiegro or Ferg Myrick, and Herrion attempted more shots than both of them combined. Nothing else needs to be said.
6. Stony Brook Seawolves (4-6)
Last week: Idle
This week: Wednesday vs. Colgate, Sunday at UMBC
The two weakest Division-I opponents on Stony Brook’s schedule are lined up back-to-back. Time to get back to .500.
7. Hartford Hawks (2-8)
Last week: Idle
This week: Tuesday at California, Friday at Saint Mary’s
Hartford’s convincing win against Brown recedes further and further into memory with each passing day. Hopefully the fortnight of rest the Hawks have enjoyed can translate to some improved play.
8. Binghamton Bearcats (3-7)
Last week: Lost vs. Saint Peter’s, 61-56, on Tuesday
This week: Tuesday at Marshall, Thursday at Morehead State, Sunday at La Salle
Saint Peter’s is a very solid team, and considering Binghamton’s situation there’s no shame in losing to the Peacocks by a narrow margin, but if the Bearcats are going to finish middle of the pack instead of 8th or 9th, those close losses against solid opponents will have to turn into wins during conference play.
9. UMBC Retrievers (0-12)
Last week: Lost at Notre Dame, 93-53, on Wednesday
This week: Thursday vs. Niagara, Sunday vs. Stony Brook
Niagara is the Retrievers’ best chance for a win until UMBC hosts Binghamton in February. Meanwhile, the KenPom odds of a winless season for the Retrievers stand at 2.3 percent – and rising.
Game of the Week
Maine 74, Penn State 64
Is shooting 11-of-19 from beyond the arc a repeatable strategy for winning on the road? Probably not – but controlling the glass and getting to the free throw line are, and the Black Bears did both. Grabbing 42 percent of their missed shots and attempting 35 free throws while granting just 18 allowed Maine to win in a BCS barn. Well, maybe not a barn from Maine’s perspective. Nowhere does drafty quite like Alfond.
Rookie of the Week
Brian Voelkel, F, Vermont
Play well. Win Rookie of Week. Rinse. Repeat.
Player of the Week
Darryl Partin, G, BU
Partin scored 29 points on 15 shots against Saint Joseph’s. That’s efficiency at its finest.
Tim Ambrose, G, Albany
Key Stats – 17.4 PPG / 5.1 RPG / 3.6 APG / 53.2 FG% / 49.0 3fFG% / 2nd in scoring
Ambrose has gone from super-bust, to 1st Team All-Conference front runner, and now an early contender for conference Player of the Year. Ambrose continues to bull his way to the hoop, score and an incredibly effective percentage from both long range bombs and bull-drives to the basket, and is even beginning to – no way! – take care of the ball and dish out assists.
Logan Aronhalt, G, Albany
Key Stats – 17.1 PPG / 4.5 RPG / 35.6 3FG% / 4th in scoring
Aronhalt continues to look like the real deal, combining with Ambrose (and Mike Black) to form the best back-court in the conference. While his scoring numbers took a minuscule dip, he’s making up for it in hustle plays and physical defense, and continues to be the engine that is driving the surprise of the conference in Albany.
Evan Fjeld, F, Vermont
Key Stats – 17.3 PPG / 7.2 RPG / 2.1 BPG / 3rd in scoring / 1st in blocks / 5th in rebounds
Teams are adjusting a bit to Fjeld, and his production has slowed slightly, but he is still the early front runner for Player of the Year (although the margin is decreasing between him and Ambrose). The best player for the conference’s best team in the early going, Fjeld continues to make a big impact on all aspects of the game as the Catamounts best rebounder and defender, while occupying bodies to help Brian Voelkel clean up the glass.
John Holland, G/F, BU
Key Stats – 17.6 PPG / 1st in scoring
Holland has been an invisible man for much of the season after a tremendous amount of preseason hype as the predicted conference Player of the Year, and while he is leading the league in scoring, he is still a long ways away from being the dominant player he was projected. Holland has stepped it up a notch on getting the ball to the hoop and getting to the line.
Brian Voelkel, F, Vermont
Key Stats – 10.0 RPG / 5.1 APG / 1.8 SPG / 1st in rebounding / 1st in assists / 1st in assist to turnover ratio / 3rd in steals
Voelkel has been a guy who has shown that you can have a huge impact on a game without scoring a single point (or at least scoring sparsely) but he showed some offensive flashes with a 23 point outburst against Marist. He continues to dominate the glass, make uncanny, Sports Center worthy passes, and generally lead the league in “hustle plays,” and is the clear front runner for Rookie of the Year.
Tags: Albany, Awards, Binghamton, Boston University, Brian Voelkel, BU, Darryl Partin, Evan Fjeld, Fab-Five, Hartford, John Holland, Logan Aronhalt, Maine, New Hampshire, Stony Brook, Tim Ambrose, UMBC, Vermont, Weekly Awards