WBB: America East Up for Grabs

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WBB: America East Up for Grabs

Postby MaineBBFan99 » Wed Jan 18, 2017 12:41 am

It looks like the period of regular season dominance by Maine and, to a greater extent, Albany, might be over. Over the past two conference regular seasons, Maine and Albany lost a combined six games - four of those coming against each other. Through the first couple of weeks in conference play, each squad has already lost four conference games. To a certain degree, this might have been expected given Maine’s youth and the departure of Shereesha Richards (graduation) and Zakiya Saunders (transfer) from Albany. Even so, it was a bit shocking seeing Maine fall to Vermont and Albany drop a home game to UMBC, a squad Maine recently blew out by 32.

Bottom line: the conference is now wide open. Even UNH, the sole unbeaten team in the conference, has hardly been dominant. With the interesting exception of Albany, each of its wins has been by single digits. Frankly, I think an argument could be made for up to seven teams having at least an outside shot of winning the conference tournament title. Who’s to say a team like Stony Brook or UMBC couldn’t peak at the right time and string together three strong games in March? As a Maine fan, I would certainly prefer the predictability associated with Maine’s dominance, and perhaps Maine will prove me wrong and suddenly find consistency and exert control over the rest of the conference from here on out. However, the unpredictability associated with a conference title that is truly up for grabs will make for a compelling season.
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Re: WBB: America East Up for Grabs

Postby turkeyman » Wed Jan 18, 2017 9:52 am

Great observations, 99. What a concept: Any of seven teams could win the championship! Of the six losses by Albany and Maine, other than the four to each other, Albany lost to Stony Brook in 2015, which gave Maine the championship and No. 1 tournament seed, and Maine lost at UNH in 2015, after the No. 1 seed had been locked up.

The two games remaining this week may well help determine the seed Maine gets in the tournament. Maine could finish the weekend at 5-2, 4-3 or 3-4 with only Bingo to go in the first half of the conference season.

I've seen all five of Maine's conference games. And, I watched the second half of UMBC-Albany online. As MJ noted, UMBC is much better with its full lineup -- Pandora Wilson was her usual get-free-for-a-catch-and-shoot-down-low self against Albany -- and despite a slow start can make a serious run. McCarley is a legitimate all-conference point.

SBU lost the rookie of the year (Ogechi Anyagolibo) in a transfer to Kentucky but still has speed and quickness. And smarts. And another very good point in Bayne-Walker.

Albany still has Imani Tate, though she has been hurt and did some sort of no-no to get a T against UMBC. If Saniya Saunders hadn't gone to UCF with Abrahamson-Henderson, Albany might be formidable. Could still be pretty good.

Hartford seems to have a short bench, and a couple of key injuries could hurt a lot. When its bigs got into foul trouble against Maine, UH didn't have anyone to go to. And, if you can hold down Deanna Mayza or Sierra DaCosta, you seriously impede Hartford. Blanca Millan did a super job on Mayza, especially in the first 25 or so minutes.

Haven't seen Bingo but the Bearcats appear competitive and have played a tough mid-major schedule.

Like 99, I don't see UVM or Lowell as contenders. As one observer said, pointing to the UVM team leaving the floor after beating Maine and shaking her head, "That is NOT a good team." But UVM wanted the win, and got it. A UML player's mom told me Lowell's players are as good as Maine's but they just don't play as a team. Sorry, mom, it just ain't so. Recruiting with the 4-year ineligibility for the tournament must be difficult for the UML coaches. I hope AE never imposes that long a sit-out for another new member. Albany, Bingo, SBU and UMBC had shorter sit-outs when they went DI and came into AE.

Tomorrow at Durham might tell us a lot about where Maine can finish in the mix. AE is weak overall, and only Maine, and to some extent Bingo and Albany, have played strong non-conference schedules. Some lessons of that schedule may have been evident in the way Maine played against Hartford, which has long been a tough mark for Maine.

Common opponents: Maine beat Bryant there, 77-52. UNH beat Bryant at Durham, 62-60. Maine hammered Northeastern at home 68-49 while UNH beat NU 66-63 on the road. But, UNH beat Dartmouth by 17 while Maine hung on to beat the Green at home by five. UNH beat UVM and Stony Brook by eight and three points, respectively. UNH was about as successful at Kentucky as Maine was at South Carolina. But those games can be instructive.

UNH is 104 in rpi, Maine is 108. But, UNH is 270 in strength of non-conference schedule and 274 in overall SoS. Maine is 29th in non-conference SoS and 87th overall SoS. Maine has played four games more than UNH, which may have helped the freshmen learn faster.

UNH appears to have more speed than last year and still plenty of bigs. How is Carlie Pogue only a junior? Seems she's been there forever, and has always been tough on Maine. The three Mainers on the UNH roster may have special incentive.

It's been a long time since people looked at UNH as a serious contender. Tomorrow night, we might find out just how serious. And we may find out whether Maine can play better than its current 2-8 on the road.

Bob Neal
New Sharon
Last edited by turkeyman on Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: WBB: America East Up for Grabs

Postby parquetfloor » Wed Jan 18, 2017 2:10 pm

turkeyman wrote: Some lessons of that schedule may have been evident in the way Maine played against Hartford, which has never been an easy mark for Maine.


Good stuff, but I would beg to differ on that comment. Prior to Jen Rizzotti getting to Hartford, they were not very good at all. When they first joined the league in 1985-86, they were bad and Maine beat them all the time. I think through the 99-00 season, Maine had an advantage of something like 29-3 in victories but as Jen got her own players and built that program, Maine really struggled with them. My guess is they will drop back off now that she has left the program.

If you are referring to the most recent 15 or so years, you would be quite correct as Hartford dominated much like Maine did for so long.
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Re: WBB: America East Up for Grabs

Postby turkeyman » Wed Jan 18, 2017 3:41 pm

PF,
Quite true. To write "never" was hyperbole. I should have written "long." Hartford was awful, though in '97-'98 (Cindy's senior year), UH gave Maine quite a scare at the Alfond. I remember that night because we got caught in a snowstorm and turned around at Newport. Saw the second half on TV at home.

Rizzotti didn't take long to build a program. She was a learner. In her first year, a Hawk fouled Amy Vachon, who was throwing up a "Hail Mary" from half court at the final buzzer. Refs called the foul. Maine was down two or three, and Amy hit the free throws to tie, if I remember correctly, and Maine won in overtime. Afterward, Rizzotti said she learned that night to tell her players not to foul on a "Hail Mary." Probably hadn't occurred to her because UConn was never in that situation when she was playing.

Since '99-'00 or '00-'01, though, Hartford has been tough for Maine. Hartford may have been the second AE team to win in the NCAA after Maine ('99), but I don't remember the year.

Bob Neal
New Sharon
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Re: WBB: America East Up for Grabs

Postby bcbc55 » Wed Jan 18, 2017 4:37 pm

As of yesteday afternnon Jen Rizzotti's George Washington team is 12-6 overall, 5-1 in the Atlantic 10 Conference and their team RPI in realtimerpi.com is 76 and their power ranking is 86

The A10's conference raking is 12 in the RPI and Power Rankings
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Re: WBB: America East Up for Grabs

Postby TAL1957 » Wed Jan 18, 2017 5:06 pm

bcbc55 wrote:As of yesteday afternnon Jen Rizzotti's George Washington team is 12-6 overall, 5-1 in the Atlantic 10 Conference and their team RPI in realtimerpi.com is 76 and their power ranking is 86

The A10's conference raking is 12 in the RPI and Power Rankings
And your point on this is what ?
Jeez Bob, when ya post, plz. post some relevance. Just dropping stuff like ya do with zippo relevance to crappola, is ........ ?????? Yep, crappolla.
Maybe you need somethin' else in your life ?
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Re: WBB: America East Up for Grabs

Postby bcbc55 » Wed Jan 18, 2017 5:28 pm

TAL1957 wrote:
bcbc55 wrote:As of yesteday afternnon Jen Rizzotti's George Washington team is 12-6 overall, 5-1 in the Atlantic 10 Conference and their team RPI in realtimerpi.com is 76 and their power ranking is 86

The A10's conference raking is 12 in the RPI and Power Rankings
And your point on this is what ?
Jeez Bob, when ya post, plz. post some relevance. Just dropping stuff like ya do with zippo relevance to crappola, is ........ ?????? Yep, crappolla.
Maybe you need somethin' else in your life ?


TAL1957: Don't be so touchy. POINT IS...Just wanted to show how well Jen Rizzotti is doing at GW. That's all.

Sorry you don't like it. If you don't like my posts just don't read them that's all.
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Re: WBB: America East Up for Grabs

Postby parquetfloor » Wed Jan 18, 2017 8:40 pm

bcbc55 wrote:
TAL1957 wrote:
bcbc55 wrote:As of yesteday afternnon Jen Rizzotti's George Washington team is 12-6 overall, 5-1 in the Atlantic 10 Conference and their team RPI in realtimerpi.com is 76 and their power ranking is 86

The A10's conference raking is 12 in the RPI and Power Rankings
And your point on this is what ?
Jeez Bob, when ya post, plz. post some relevance. Just dropping stuff like ya do with zippo relevance to crappola, is ........ ?????? Yep, crappolla.
Maybe you need somethin' else in your life ?


TAL1957: Don't be so touchy. POINT IS...Just wanted to show how well Jen Rizzotti is doing at GW. That's all.

Sorry you don't like it. If you don't like my posts just don't read them that's all.


Well I believe she took over a team that was the 2-time defending A-10 Champions. She didn't really have to build that program as it has always been a strong program with some excellent coaches. Joe McKeown left to take over at Northwestern and this last coach, Jonathan Tsipis, a longtime Notre Dame asst, left to take over the reins at another Big Ten school, Wisconsin. That said, Jen is a very good recruiter, motivator and pretty good with x's and o's. It will be interesting to see if she enjoys the same success at GW as she had a pretty strong name in the state of Connecticut but may not have that luxury as much in the capitol region.
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Re: WBB: America East Up for Grabs

Postby bcbc55 » Wed Jan 18, 2017 9:25 pm

parquetfloor:

Interesting post. Thanks for posting it excellent information.

Where is that NCAA ranking website that you use? I would like to use it.
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Re: WBB: America East Up for Grabs

Postby turkeyman » Wed Jan 18, 2017 9:31 pm

Cim,

Google this:

ncaa wbb rpi

Voila.

Bob Neal
New Sharon
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