Posts Tagged ‘Morgan Sabia’

Fans storm court, Maciel lets it rain in Hartford’s 66-63 “upset” win

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

The notion that “it’s hard to beat a team three times in one season,” has been heard by anyone who’s been interested in team sports for a significant period of time. This saying, of course, is demonstrably false. Thousands of games played at every level conclusively show that when one team beats another in each of their first two meetings, the victor in those games is significantly more likely to win the third game as well.

Add another data point to the sample. No. 6 Hartford pulled the nominal upset on Saturday, but the Hawks’ regular-season sweep of No. 3 Maine proved to be a reliable indicator of how the nightcap would conclude.

How the Hawks got there, however, proved to be completely unpredictable. With Hartford’s primary outside shooters mired in 0-fers, it was time for the big men to go to work. And Genesis Maciel let it fly. (more…)

Forgotten Man: Despite fading into obscurity in the minds of fans, Hartford senior Kevin Estes has never given up on the Hawks or himself

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

(Photographs courtesy of Steve McLaughlin)

Kevin Estes took a jab-step to his left, momentarily freezing his defender. Seeing the smallest glimmer of daylight, he cut back hard to his right. It was a read-and-react move he perfected during a career on the high school gridiron in Virginia, only now the closing linebacker had been replaced by 7’3” UConn shot-eraser Hasheem Thabeet. A single misstep, bobble, or a moment’s hesitation and his shot was landing in the third row. With the future NBA lottery pick close on his heels, Estes caught the inbounds pass mid-stride at an all-out sprint and, with one fluid motion, launched himself at the hoop.

Estes felt the wind on the back of his neck as he floated towards the hoop, and then rattled the rim with a 2-handed slam, leaving the backboard shaking behind him and the sure-fire NBA pick grasping at thin air.

As Estes turned and headed back up the court – and almost twelve-thousand rowdy Husky fans suddenly fell silent – he closed his eyes and soaked in the moment.

And just like that, the moment was gone. (more…)

Before the home stretch: Postseason awards if the season ended today

Friday, February 4th, 2011

Postseason awards are a funny and fickle thing in the America East. The culmination of the season, they are often the highlight of the careers of players toiling in small-conference obscurity, many of whom will never experience the bright lights of March Madness.

Sadly, many times, the most deserving players don’t win the awards their play on the court should have earned. Awards are supposed to be based on merit, but the AE coaches and athletic directors often take other factors into account. Some of these factors are born from good intentions – the desire to give graduating seniors, many whom have previously been snubbed, one last piece for their trophy cases, one last “hurrah,” among them. But many elements that factor into the voting, sadly, fly in the face of what college basketball – and the America East – is all about. Grudges against opposing coaches and players, attempts to avenge previous players who were wronged, and trying to make a statement to 18-to-20 year old kids who are too outspoken are among the dozens of petty – not to mention stupid – reasons that have influenced the AE’s behind-closed-doors voting and contributed to countless snubs.

My awards are based solely on merit and merit alone. I don’t care what class someone belongs to – a fifth-year senior who has never won an award competes on equal footing with a first-year freshman. These are not “lifetime achievement” awards. Rather, these awards are simply based on my opinion about who has been the best player – or players – this season. I will update my rankings at the conclusion of the final regular season game of the America East slate for my final picks, but if the season were to end today, here’s how I think the awards should play out: (more…)

Week in review: Jan. 17-23

Monday, January 24th, 2011

At one point or another, most games this week looked like blowouts. Some of them were. Others featured the Terriers.

But we’ll try to keep a lid on the snark just long enough to pump out another edition of the America East Power Rankings. Why are you not excited? There’s a new team at the top!

1. Maine Black Bears (12-7, 6-1 AE)
Last week: Won at Vermont, 72-58, on Tuesday; Won vs. Stony Brook, 70-59, on Saturday
This week: Tuesday vs. New Hampshire, Saturday at Binghamton
The Black Bears caught Vermont at an opportune moment after the Catamounts were felled by the Terriers, and Maine did not waste its chance. In victory, the Black Bears displayed how their formula for victory works when Maine is at its best. Balanced scoring is a good place to start – nobody scored more than 14 points, because nobody had to – but more importantly, Maine did not waste possessions and made Vermont work for everything. When the Black Bears are in form, it takes a superlative effort to beat them. (more…)

AE Daily: Jan. 21

Friday, January 21st, 2011

In last night’s action: UMBC decides it likes this whole ‘winning’ thing, Binghamton sinks farther into the abyss, Vermont overcomes its traditional stumbling block, and BU bounces back on its home court

UMBC 74, Hartford 70 (2OT)
You are Hartford (6-12, 3-2 AE). You are at home. Your opponent is UMBC (3-16, 2-4 AE), one of the worst teams in Division-I by any reasonable standard. You hold your opponent’s four starters not named Justin Fry to 3-of-26 shooting, including 1-of-13 from star point guard Chris De La Rosa. You have a nine-point lead with seven minutes to play in regulation. And somehow, some way, you end up losing this game in double overtime? As has become standard operating procedure, the Hawks let this one get away late. That being said, credit Fry’s 10 rebounds and 18 points on 6-of-7 shooting, as well as Brian Neller‘s 24 points on 8-of-14 shooting coming off the bench, which was easily the best performance of the sophomore’s career. Morgan Sabia had 17 relatively inefficient points (not that impressive) to go with 17 rebounds (very impressive) for Hartford in the loss. (more…)

AE Daily: Jan. 12

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

In last night’s action: Another second-half comeback at the Hawks’ expense.

New Hampshire 57, Hartford 54
In a must-win game, Tyrone Conley and Dane DiLiegro stepped up when UNH (7-9, 1-3 AE) needed them the most, propelling the Wildcats to a come-from-behind victory. Conley scored a career high 33 points on 10-of-16 shooting (6-of-10 from behind the arc) and DiLiegro ripped down a game high 11 rebounds – 10 defensive – as New Hampshire stormed back after trailing by as many as 16 points. Morgan Sabia paced Hartford (5-11, 2-1 AE) with 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting, but was the only Hawk in double figures. (more…)

No Minor feat: Hartford senior Anthony Minor is the key to the Hawks’ season – and he’s finally happy

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Hartford first-year head coach John Gallagher left his office late one night towards the end of August. It had been the latest of an uncountable string of twelve-plus hour days that came from trying to right the ship of a program in shambles. Exhausted, Gallagher wanted nothing more than to get home to his wife and young daughter and pass out, when he saw a light on in Chase Family Arena, heard the familiar sound of a basketball bouncing off of the hardwood, and went to investigate.

Gallagher stopped dead in his tracks and began frantically dialing numbers on his cell phone at what he saw unfolding before him: Anthony Minor, alone in the empty gymnasium, shooting.

“I called up everyone on my coaching staff, I was so excited. I said ‘you’ll never guess what I’m looking at; Ant Minor is in the gym right now!’” exclaimed Gallagher, still unable to contain his excitement several months after the event. (more…)

Week in review: Jan. 3 – 9

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

The results of this past week’s results haven’t yielded any major shuffles in the conference pecking order, but one team took a hard fall while at least one other is clearly on the upswing. To whom could that refer? Read our America East Power Rankings to find out.

1. Vermont Catamounts (11-4, 2-1 AE)
Last week: Won at Stony Brook, 55-49, on Tuesday; Won vs. Albany, 60-48, on Thursday; Lost at Boston University, 74-65, on Sunday
This week: Saturday vs. UMBC
No team wants to lose a game, but for the Catamounts, an wake-up call early in conference play might not be the worst thing in the world. Vermont didn’t display the requisite hustle or execution in their loss to the Terriers yesterday, something head coach Mike Lonergan can use to rekindle his team’s sputtering spark. While the defense had remained sound prior to Sunday, the Catamounts’ last real offensive outburst (84 points at Iona) has been in the rear-view mirror for three weeks now. Vermont has posted three straight games of sub-50 eFG% for the first time since January of last season. Saturday’s walkthrough, er, game against the Retrievers in Burlington should provide a necessary tune-up. (more…)

AE Daily: Jan. 10

Monday, January 10th, 2011

In yesterday’s action: The Terriers issued their challenge to Vermont’s early-season dominance, and Hartford kept the Great Danes on a short leash.

Boston University 74, Vermont 65
The Catamounts (11-4, 2-1 AE) saw their four-game win streak come to a screeching halt, as host Boston University (7-10, 2-1 AE) got it done at both ends of the floor. The Terriers’ offensive rating of 113.7 was their highest since hosting Saint Joseph’s before Christmas, and was the highest figure allowed by the Catamounts since Vermont’s loss to BYU back on December 8. BU got all but 10 of its points from three players: Darryl Partin (24), John Holland (24) and D.J. Irving (16). Meanwhile, the Catamount starters were held to 34 percent shooting from the field, a handicap too severe for the UVM bench to overcome.

Hartford 62, Albany 42
The Hawks (5-10, 2-0 AE) never trailed yesterday and won their second straight conference game due to some stifling defense. The Great Danes (8-10, 1-2 AE) were held to the lowest point total of any Hartford opponent since the Hawks’ 75-38 defeat of Marist on November 18 of last season. Tim Ambrose had his second straight clunker, posting just four points on 2-of-10 shooting from the field, 0-of-3 shooting at the stripe, and four turnovers. Meanwhile, Hartford eclipsed the point-per-possession mark for the third consecutive game despite miserable shooting from the normally dynamic duo of Joe Zeglinski and Morgan Sabia (combined 7-of-28). The Hawks made more shots from outside the arc (12) than from inside (11) – Hartford attempted 36 triples! – and committed just six turnovers to Albany’s 17.

There is one game tonight – Stony Brook takes on the Bearcats at the Events Center in Vestal.

Quick hitters

Saturday, January 8th, 2011

One-Bid Wonders writer Sam Perkins takes 5 minutes off from the back roads of the America East to check with some early thoughts on each team from around the conference.

The America East has already been one hell of a roller coaster ride,

Sam Perkins: Always watching over the "AE"

and we’re only a few games into the conference slate. We’ve already seen one lowly-regarded team in Hartford knock off a “contender” on its home court in Maine; another devastating injury to an explosive talent in New Hampshire forward Ferg Myrick; and an early-season battle between two of the top-teams in the conference in Vermont and Albany – a battle from which Vermont emerged as the clear “team to beat.” Here are my thoughts on each AE squad. (more…)