Posts Tagged ‘Matt Glass’

League of Champions

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013
A three-time America East champion at Vermont, Taylor Coppenrath is playing for his fourth Spanish title.

A three-time America East champion at Vermont, Taylor Coppenrath is playing for his fourth Spanish title.

It’s been almost two months since America East season came to an end when the Albany Great Danes were bounced from The Big Dance by top-seed Duke and the Stony Brook Seawolves took a tumble in the second round of the NIT at Iowa. But several America East alums are still chasing titles in some of the best leagues in the world.

Former America East Champions Taylor Coppenrath and Rashad Bell will be playing for their league championships this week in Spain and Hungary, respectively, while former two-time America East champ Jason Siggers is in hot pursuit of the chip in France.

From 2001-2005 Coppenrath flat-out owned the America East as the most statistically dominant player in league history. Over his four-year career at Vermont, the 6’9” 250 pound Coppenrath amassed 2,442 career points, good for third in the league’s all-time record book. After winning the 2002 Rookie of the Year award, Coppenrath won three straight Player of the Year awards (joining late, great Reggie Lewis as the only players in league history to win the award three times), leading the Catamounts to the NCAA tournament each time. His 14 Player of the Week awards are tied with former-NBA player Vin Baker for the most in America East history.

Coppenrath scored a combined 80 points in the league title game over his last two seasons at Vermont, earning championship MVP honors both years. His 43 points in the 2004 Championship Game (despite missing the previous three weeks and playing the entire game in a brace because of a broken wrist) remain an America East Championship Game record. Coppenrath, of course, would lead the Catamounts to their historic first-round upset of Syracuse University in the 2005 NCAA Tournament as a senior.

After turning pro, Coppernath went to training camp with the Boston Celtics in 2005 and Indiana Pacers in 2006, coming that close to making the league (according to several NBA insiders, if not for persistent back injuries that have nagged him throughout his career, Coppenrath would have been all but guaranteed at least a cup of coffee in the league).

Even though he came up short of his NBA dreams, Coppenrath has followed up one of the greatest college careers in America East history with one of the most successful professional careers of any AE alumn. In his eight years as a pro, Coppernath has played in the Euroleague (a trans-national league made up of the best teams from across Europe), as well as the top league’s in Greece (A1), Italy (SerieA), Spain (ACB – regarded as the top domestic league in the world outside of the NBA) as well as the second-division in Spain (LEB Oro) – all regarded as top domestic leagues.

After winning three league titles in college, as a professional, all Coppenrath has done is win. The LEB Oro (or LEB Gold) may be the second division in Spain, but it is widely regarded as a top-five league in Europe and Coppernath has entrenched himself as one of the league’s best players, guiding three different teams to the championship and a spot in the ACB the following season (the regular season and post season champions of the second division move up to the first division and the bottom two first division teams drop down to the following year).

Now Coppenrath has a chance to do it a fourth time, leading Lucentum Alicante (a team he has previously guided to a championship) through the playoffs and into a best-of-five championship series. Coppenrath’s eighth season of pro ball may have been his best, as he has averaged a team-best 14 points per game while shooting a robust 58.5 percent from the floor to go along with 5.8 rebounds (good for second on his team).

Coppenrath’s quest for his seventh championship (and fourth as a pro) tips off Friday, May 24, in a best-of-five game series.

Rashad Bell won the 2002 America East Championship at Boston University, now he's playing for the Hungarian title.

Rashad Bell won the 2002 America East Championship at Boston University, now he’s playing for the Hungarian title.

If his career hadn’t coincided with Coppenrath’s, Bell would likely have been regarded as the premier America East power forward of his era. (more…)

Catamounts fight, fall, to 23rd Ranked UConn. Despite offensive struggles, positive signs abound in 67-49 loss.

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

Vermont’s Luke Apfeld (2) battles UConn’s Tyler Olander for a rebound (left background), while Catamount Clancy Rugg (31) and DeAndre Daniels fight for positioning in the foreground (Photo by Sam Perkins),

(Storrs, CT) — The Vermont Catamounts lost the war, but won several battles on the hardwood before falling on the road to the 23rd ranked UConn Huskies, 67-49.

“Another tough offensive night for us,” said Vermont head coach John Becker, whose Catamounts scored an ugly, come from behind 53-52 win on the road at Siena on opening night.

“Credit UConn; a very good team – obviously a great program. I give them all the credit. They’re physical, they’re big, they’ve got two special guards.”

The Huskies defenses – one of the most physical and ferocious in the nation – used aggressive full court pressure to smother the Catamounts, scoring 23 points off 16 Vermont turnovers (compared to just seven points off turnovers for the Catamounts).

“They’re really physical, it’s hard to get anywhere, it seems like you’re bumping into people all over the place out there,” said Becker.

The Huskies tremendous size advantage altered and intimidated numerous shots, holding Vermont to 30 percent shooting from the floor (15-of-50) and 16.7 percent from behind the arc (3-of-18).On the other end, UConn used its size and length to outscore the Catamounts 34 to 16 in the post.

Vermont forward Clancy Rugg (left) battles UConn center Tyler Olander for a loose ball during the first half of Tuesday’s action (Photo by Sam Perkins).

“They play pretty physical down low, and they’re big,” said junior forward Luke Apfeld. “Straight up, being physical, getting you off the block, it was tough. They’re a lot bigger than us down there so it was tough to get shots up.”

While the Huskies were able to keep the Catamounts at arms length for most of the game, they could never extinguish Vermont’s fire. The diminutive Catamounts refused to give an inch, and kept the game competitive until the final horn.

“It was a grind it out game,” said UConn first year head coach Kevin Ollie.

Vermont’s fight against the bigger, stronger, and more athletic Huskies, who have been playing with a chip on their shoulder after an offseason which began in controversy and ended in a post season ban and the retirement of legendary head coach Jim Calhoun, was admirable. Vermont lost the game, but they won the battle of the boards, as the smaller squad from the tiny America East outrebounded the giants of the Big East 39-32. The Catamounts rebounding numbers were even more impressive considering that 6’10” senior Ben Crenca, the team’s biggest player, missed his second straight game with a back injury, and 6’9″ freshman Ethan O’Day was limited to 21 foul-plagued minutes.

The Catamounts also dictated the tempo for most of the game, forcing a slower pace, preventing UConn from ever turning on the jets.

“We pride ourselves on defense and rebounding, I thought we battled on the glass,” said Becker.

The ultimate sign of respect from the national power, Ollie played his starters until the clock hit zero. After the game, Ollie was effusive in his praise of the Catamounts execution and coaching.

“Coach [Becker] does a great job; having them stay within themselves and play they’re type of offense,” said Ollie. “I thought the first half we’d play 25 good seconds and that last ten seconds we’d let up… and they’d get a lay-up off of penetration.” (more…)

Catamounts Roar into field of 64: Vermont knocks off Lamar 71-59 in the NCAA Tournament “First Four,” setting stage for showdown with 1-seed UNC

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Vermont head coach John Becker and freshman guard Four McGlynn celebrate the 71-59 win

When John Becker was announced as the next head coach of the University of Vermont Catamounts in a press conference last May, he had the full support of his players.

The outside world was another story.

Becker was a feel good story: A man who got his start as an assistant basketball coach at Gallaudet, the country’s only four-year liberal arts college for the deaf and hearing impaired, learning sign language after landing the job, while also doubling as the schools head tennis coach. Becker would risk everything, uprooting his family to move up to the great white north of Vermont for a job as the Catamounts’ director of basketball operations which paid only 10 thousand dollars and came with no promises of future promotion.

A true “players coach,” in his five years on Mike Lonergan’s staff, Becker was revered by the Catamounts as the program’s most popular assistant.

But when he was announced as the head coach, in the eyes of many, he was inexperienced, unproven, and, flat-out, the wrong man for the job.

Fast-forward to Thursday, and Becker has proven his mettle ten-fold, silencing every last doubter. When the Catamounts took the floor in Dayton, Ohio, for the NCAA tournament first-round, Becker had already set a program record for wins by a first-year head coach with 23 and become only the second rookie head coach in America East history to lead his team to the NCAA’s.

Hours later, Becker added the icing on the cake with the Catamounts second ever NCAA tournament win.

“Really don’t know what to say. I’m really excited and thrilled for our guys to be able to get this win in the NCAA Tournament,” said Becker.

In a matchup of 16-seeds in the NCAA Tournament’s “First Four,” Vermont completely controlled the tempo while flawlessly executing their game plan for a 71-59 win over a Lamar squad favored by most pundits.

“Second NCAA Tournament win in our school’s history. And this one’s for all the former UVM players and coaches and people who helped us get us to where we are today,” said Becker.

Freshman gunner Four McGlynn lit up the Cardinals for a game-high 18 points to go with three assists and no turnovers, and sophomore wrecking-ball/Moose Brian Voelkel ripped down 12 rebounds and dished out seven assists to go with a steal and a block, to lead the Catamounts.

“It was my first NCAA tournament game. I thought I played pretty well,” said McGlynn.

Senior Matt Glass added 11 points and sophomore point guard Sandro Carissimo chipped in ten. Senior reserve center Pat Bergmann gave the Catamounts a spark off the bench with eight points on a perfect 4-4 shooting. (more…)

UVM pries the lid off the rim, sneaks past Maine, 50-40

Sunday, March 4th, 2012

The America East Tournament is always a place where one can expect to find the good, the bad, and the ugly, usually in equal parts. Yesterday, though, the bad and the ugly took center stage, with the first game of the evening session providing both in abundance.

If fans were looking for offense in this one, there wasn’t much. As Groucho Marx would put it, “In the beginning, there was nothing.”

“Then God said, ‘Let there be light.’ And there was still nothing, but you could see it.” (more…)

Lose-Lose: Catamounts top Terriers in a battle of contenders… Neither team looks championship caliber (but then again, who does in the AE?)

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

(Boston, MA) – In the good-enough-on-guts America East – where parity reins supreme and little separates the teams atop the conference (or those at the bottom for that matter) and on any given night anyone can beat anyone else – there is one key to victory above all others: Play harder than the other team for 40 minutes.

Apparently neither the Boston University nor Vermont received the memo.

When the dust settled from Wednesday night’s high-speed car wreck between the Terriers and Catamounts, it was Vermont who remained standing with a 68-67 win. With the victory over a long-time conference rival, the Catamounts had both a signature road win and some distance between themselves and the (now) third place Terriers.

But while the game brought a measure of clarity to the top of the America East standings, the fallout for both teams was just as many (if not more) questions than answers. (more…)

Playing for those who came before: Catamounts honor the late Trevor Gaines before the game and on the court.

Monday, December 19th, 2011

(Burlington, VT) — Somewhere, Trevor Gaines was smiling.

On a day when the University of Vermont retired the number of arguably the hardest-working player to ever don a Catamounts uniform, Vermont fought with heart and determination that would have made Gaines proud.

The Catamounts fell 73-72 to Iona Saturday, but against one of the top mid-majors in the country – a team that had advantages across the board in speed and athleticism – Vermont played with an unyielding determination reminiscent of the late Gaines.

“I’m really proud of our guys: They played really, really, hard,” said Vermont head coach John Becker. “And if we continue to play with that effort… we’re going to have a really good season.”

Freshman guard Four McGlynn scored 19 points, forwards Matt Glass and Luke Apfeld added 14 points apiece, and sophomore forward/do-it-all Brian Voelkel had a workman-like day with seven points, seven rebounds, eight assists and four steals (the latter two both game highs), but three last-second shots didn’t fall and the Catamounts came up just short. (more…)

AE Daily: Jan. 7

Friday, January 7th, 2011

In last night’s action: Vermont secures their early position as king of the America East hill.

Vermont 60, Albany 48
The Catamounts (11-3, 2-0 AE) held an opponent below 50 points for the second consecutive game and dominated the offensive glass en route to a 12-point victory. The Albany (8-9, 1-1 AE) offense was held in check, partially due to the snail-like pace – each team had just 53 possessions, easily the slowest America East contest so far this season – but also due to Tim Ambrose having his worst offensive game to date. Ambrose was held to a season-low 10 points on 4-of-17 shooting, and while Logan Aronhalt and Mike Black combined for 34 points on 13-of-25 shooting, nobody else was able to counteract Ambrose’s inefficiency. At the other end of the floor, Vermont shot just 37 percent from the field but rebounded fully half of their misses and converted 19-of-22 free throws compared to just 4-of-10 for the visiting Great Danes. Brendan Bald and Matt Glass led UVM with 13 points apiece.

There are no games scheduled for today. America East action will resume on Saturday.

Week in Review: Nov 15-21

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

The first full week of America East hoops has come to an end. So what did we learn? That the league is still far more of question marks than answers. Can New Hampshire and Stony Brook overcome key injuries on top of inexperience? Is Binghamton going to be the train wreck on the court this season that was predicted last season? Will UMBC be less dreadful than last year? Will this be the year that Albany turns things around? Can Maine make the move from surprising upstart to true contender? Is Hartford going to turn it around? We still don’t know – only time will tell. However, what we do know is that Boston University and Vermont look legit, and Maine could join them in the “contender” bracket. Without further ado, here’s a look back at the previous week in America East hoops.

(more…)

Kemba Walker steals the show, Fjeld’s 26 not enough as Catamounts fall to UConn

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

HARTFORD, CT – “Kemba Walker is unbelievable.”

During the postgame press conference after Vermont’s 89-73 loss to the University of Connecticut Huskies (2-0). Evan Fjeld briefly reflected on Walker’s performance. And Fjeld couldn’t be more accurate: Walker’s 37 minutes produced some staggering numbers.

While on the court, Walker dropped 42 points on the visiting Catamounts (1-1), tying the single-game record for a UConn player before Connecticut head coach Jim Calhoun removed him with 1:32 remaining. Those 42 points required just 24 field-goal attempts (the junior guard would also attempt 10 free throws). Walker also pulled down eight rebounds from his perimeter position, which led all Huskies.

42 points is a staggering total, but most of those points proved to be necessary. Despite the typical deficiencies in athleticism that crop up whenever an America East squad encounters major-conference talent, Vermont converted 50 percent shooting from the field into a 36-33 halftime lead. While the Huskies’ various advantages manifested themselves in the second half to great effect – Connecticut scored 56 points in those 20 minutes, grabbed 60 percent of their own misses and accumulated seven steals and seven blocks – the Catamounts’ performance did not go unnoticed by their opponents. (more…)