Posts Tagged ‘Randy Monroe’

Housecleaning in Catonsville

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013
UMBC head coach Aki Thomas served as a master motivator during his first season at the helm at UMBC, now he must become a miracle worker rebuilding the roster (Photo by Sam Perkins)

UMBC head coach Aki Thomas served as a master motivator during his first season at the helm at UMBC, now he must become a miracle worker rebuilding the roster (Photo by Sam Perkins)

(Catonsville, MD) – When UMBC’s season came to an end in heartbreaking but heart-warming fashion in the America East Tournament, the real work began for head coach Aki Thomas and his staff: rebuilding his roster from the rubble of a devastated and dilapidated program.

Thomas’ burdensome load may have been lightened, slightly, by jettisoning weight in the form of early departures of four returning players; sophomores Will Wise, Nate Basalyga, Jarrel Lane and Jordan Wejnert have all left the team.

In his first season at the helm, after being named the interim head coach two days before the start of practice, Thomas injected life into a program that had barely been clinging to life support. Two days before the start of the conference tournament, Thomas was official named the head coach – dropping the interim tag – and rewarded with a contract extension.

Two days later, the same Retrievers squad that had spent the last three seasons giving up by the first media timeout, out-worked, out-hustled and out-fought third-seeded Hartford to pull off a 69-62 upset in the Quarterfinal. A day later, running on heart, the sixth-seeded Retrievers showed more grit and guts in their 85-72 semifinal loss to Vermont than they had during their previous three seasons combined.

The final horn of the semifinals marked the end of the careers of seniors Ryan Cook – the team’s heart and soul, leading scorer, best player and hardest worker all rolled into in one –Brian Neller – a long-range sniper who, along with Cook, comprised the teams lone true shooters – and forward Adrian Satchell – who enjoyed a renaissance in his one-season under Thomas.

Now Thomas and assistant coaches (and former UMBC players) Jay Greene and John Zito were faced with the daunting task of trying to overhaul an undermanned – and drastically under talented – roster. (more…)

Chandler Thomas leaves UMBC

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

(Baltimore, MD) – Freshman forward Chandler Thomas has left the University of Maryland-Baltimore County basketball team and plans to transfer elsewhere, as confirmed by multiple sources.

Thomas, a 6’6” forward from Indianapolis, Indiana, averaged 6 points and 3.4 rebounds in a little over 17 minutes per game during his first season of college ball.

Thomas showed brief flashes of brilliance, and solid upside as the kind of high-energy undersized four-man that plays well in the America East. In just the fourth game of his career, Thomas scored 23 points on 8-12 shooting against VMI, and also added 19 points against America East rival Albany on February first.

But Thomas’ playing time became increasingly sporadic as the season wore on; and he seemed to spend more and more time in head coach Randy Monroe’s doghouse, coinciding with a sharp drop-off in confidence on the low blocks and increasingly tentative play in the post.

There is no word on Thomas’ transfer destination (although it would seem likely that he would head go the “D2” route), but what is certain is that he is getting the heck out of dodge.

Outside of Thomas, the rest UMBC’s returning roster will be back in uniform next year. Thomas’ scholarship will be going to walk-on guard Ryan Cook, who finished second on the team in scoring at 12.5 points per game despite playing in his first season at the Division I level.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder: Ugly play-in game was all that is good about the America East

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

On Thursday night, two teams boasting a combined record of five wins and 53 loses met in an empty, echo-filled arena in West Hartford. In the shadows on the outskirts of the State capital, the two lowest ranked teams in one of the lowest ranked conferences in the country faced off in front of the deserted chair backs and barren bleachers in the play-in game of the America East tournament.

The game featured air-balls and missed free-throws, blown dunks, blown leads and flagrant fouls.

The match-up between eight-seeded UMBC and ninth-seeded Binghamton was some of the ugliest basketball imaginable.

It was beautiful.

UMBC forward Jake Wasco battles Ben Dickinson and Jabrille Williams for a rebound (courtesy of America East Athletic Communications)

Thursday night’s game was all that remains good in the America East Conference – one of the last bastions of true amateurism in the increasingly dark and seedy world of college basketball. Two teams with seemingly nothing left to play for, refusing to let their seasons end. Powered by guts and heart, the Retrievers and Bearcats left everything they had on the floor, for just one more day toiling in basketball obscurity.

When the dust cleared, the Bearcats, who had crawled through a 1-28 record in the regular season, celebrated their 73 to 67 overtime win as if they had just won the league title.

Jake Wasco, a senior forward for UMBC who lost 94 games in his career, and tasted victory just 13 times during his final three-seasons, left the floor with tears in his eyes. He didn’t want it to end.

None of them did.

“It’s about winning one game and buying another,” remarked Binghamton head coach Mark Macon after the game. “To come in there where they could have put their heads down and walked away… it’s about the team and not myself.” (more…)

Dog eat dog: Terriers trounce Retrievers 83-48. BU moves to 7-1 in conference play, UMBC falls to 2-6

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

(Boston, MA) — UMBC guard Jerrell Lane drove down the court, pulled up from behind the arc, and fired up an uncontested 3. As the final buzzer sounded, Lane’s wounded duck struck nothing but the bottom of the backboard.

It was the Retrievers season in a nutshell.

Boston University romped to an 83-48 win Tuesday night over visiting UMBC in a laugher between two teams headed in polar-opposite directions.

The host Terriers hit on all-cylinders, posting season highs in points (83), rebounds (45), blocks (nine), and point-differential (35), while emptying the bench with roughly five minutes remaining in game time. The win moves Boston University to 7-1 in America East play, the program’s best start to the conference slate since the 2003-2004 season.

“I was very pleased with our overall effort, and we got significant contributions from a number of guys,” said Terriers head coach Joe Jones, who saw 11 different Terriers score.

For the Retrievers, who fall to 2-6 in conference play and 3-17 on the season, the wheels appear to have fallen off. UMBC has now lost two straight games by 35 or more points and has fallen in six of their last seven.

“[BU] certainly came out and pushed us around, and I don’t think we responded very well – it’s a little disappointing and a little discouraging,” said UMBC head coach Randy Monroe. “It’s college basketball; you have to compete… we didn’t do it.” (more…)

Walking Tall: UMBC falls 77-69, but walk-on Quentin Jones – the Retrievers’ smallest – shines.

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

(New Britain, Conn.) – The University of Maryland-Baltimore County fell to host Central Connecticut State Tuesday night in a game that was far closer than the final score of 77-69. The Retrievers fell to 0-5 on the season, but continued to show promise.

Despite playing without three starters, including their best player (senior point guard Chris De La Rosa), the Retrievers battled until the final buzzer, controlled the paint, and displayed a heart and tenacity that was non-existent for all of last season. UMBC out-shot CCSU from the floor (.453 to .429) and from downtown (.467 to .353), while grabbing 13 offensive rebounds to the Blue Devils’ seven.

“I was really proud of our energy, of our tenacity, and of how we fought until the end,” said UMBC head coach Randy Monroe. “We’re really inexperienced, and we need to learn how to win a game – I thought at times we were playing not to lose – but I saw a lot of positives.” (more…)

Coaching Carousel: Maine assistant coach Markwood heads to rival Vermont, UMBC assistant Stewart leaves for Division III head coaching gig.

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

Chris Markwood, who served as an assistant coach at Maine for the past five years, has reportedly been hired away by America East rival Vermont and will join the staff of new UVM head coach John Becker.

A Portland native, Markwood was heavily recruited out of South Portland High School and played two seasons at Notre Dame before returning to his home state to play his final two years of college eligibility at Maine. The soft-spoken Markwood was reportedly popular and well respected among the Black Bears players, and losing his is certainly a blow to a Black Bears coaching staff that is perennially short-handed.
(more…)

Buzz-saw Binghamton sets tournament record with 17 3’s in 91-65 win in conference tournament opener

Friday, March 4th, 2011

“We just ran into a buzz saw,” remarked UMBC head coach Randy Monroe following the Retrievers 91-65 loss to Binghamton in the play-in game of the America East conference tournament.

“The first two inches of the banana have all the sugar. The rest is just good food,” remarked Binghamton head coach Mark Macon. “We got the sugar going early, and just played good the rest of the night.”

Binghamton’s offensive performance was beyond words like “buzz saw,” “bombardment” and “beat down – phrases like that don’t do justice the shooting display the Bearcats unleashed before a mostly empty arena Thursday night. The final score was lopsided. Reality? That was more lopsided. (more…)

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…)

Week in review: Dec. 6 – 12

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

In case it wasn’t obvious earlier, the league is down. Forget about the basement; drill deeper. What do you call a league with one legitimately good team, a couple of decent contenders, and a giant mess down below? A lot of teams are scrambling to find solutions, which is causing a bit of a scramble in this week’s edition of our America East Power Rankings:

1. Vermont Catamounts (7-2)
Last week: Lost vs. BYU, 86-58, on Wednesday in Glens Falls, NY; Won vs. Marist, 75-67, on Sunday
This week: Idle
When Vermont played BYU, we found out that Jimmer Fredette can score. Not a surprise. But when Vermont hosted Marist, we learned that Brian Voelkel can score, and that is a surprise. Voelkel had a game-high and career-high 23 points – his first game scoring in double figures, let alone cracking 20 – and Vermont would need all of them to outlast a Marist team that had already lost eight games this year by double-figures and six games by 20+ points. Not exactly an impressive win, but UVM keeps on chugging along, and that alone is enough to sit atop these power rankings. (more…)