|Albany's Mike Black|
What's the other thing? Most teams have played three or four games at this point. In any sport, it's human nature to take a peak at the stat sheet. And it's incredibly easy to draw conclusions from those first few games, right or wrong. What's funny is that when you have nothing else to reference, these stats take on a whole new meaning. For example, if Player A (who averaged 12 ppg a year earler) goes his first three games without reaching double figures, people may start to ask questions. What's wrong with A? Why isn't he scoring more? Now, take that same three game lull, but put it between games 20 and 23, when the player has already put together an extended stretch of good offense. People don't think much of it then, do they?
That's the thing about early season stats -- it's so hard to put your finger on exactly what they mean. But they are there, nonetheless, and we're going to look at them anyway. So let's take a look at the stat sheets and get first impressions from around the league with the perspective, of course, that things can and will change.
Over the next few weeks, we'll take a look at each team to get a sense of the dynamic early on. We'll start with the men and go in alphabetical order, then move on to the women. Look for these posts on Tuesday's and Wednesday's.
Last season the Great Danes had three players in the top 10 in points per game in the America East. With some departures before the 2012-13 season, there were questions about who would step up and fill that void. Truth be told, it's been a two-headed monster for Albany thus far.
Mike Black made the game-winning layup to sink Washington last week. Those two points were the last of his 22 for the game, which led all scorers. Lost a little bit in the euphoria of Black's game-winner was the excellent game that teammate Jacob Iati had played, as he had 20 points of his own. But just one game later, Iati took the lead, scoring a career-high 24 points. Given that Black is the team's primary ball-handler, there will be times that he is smothered by the opposing defense. That's where Iati comes in. The fifth-year senior has been deadly from downtown so far, leading the conference in three-point field goals made while shooting a ridiculous 51.6 percent. It's early, but they make a tandem to be reckoned with for sure.
The Bearcats were dealt a tough card when they learned the last year's leading scorer, Robert Mansell, would miss the season following knee surgery. But that blow has been lessened at least somewhat with the play of freshman Jordan Reed through his first three games. Reed has been the team's leading scorer every time he's taken the floor so far this season, including his monster double-double in the win over St. Peter's.
Reed doesn't yet qualify for the leaderboards because he missed the first two games of the season, but if he did, he would rank second in scoring and first in rebounding. It's pretty clear that Reed is a threat for a double-double night in and night out. With Reed as a scoring threat inside, senior guard Jimmy Gray becomes so valuable for this team. Gray has a 3/2 assist to turnover ratio so far this season, with nine dimes coming in the past three games. It wouldn't be surprising to see that rate go up as he and Reed continue to mesh.
|Boston U.'s D.J. Irving|
D.J. Irving has been in double figures in all three games this season. As a result, he's second in the conference in scoring so far. The scary part is that Irving has yet to shoot the ball well from deep. After shooting 35.7 percent from downtown last season, Irving is hovering right around 30 percent to start 2012-13. Assuming that he can put up a number close to or better than last year, he becomes even more dangerous.
Irving has also been dishing the ball out (4 apg) while playing the fifth most minutes per game in the conference. The Terriers are going to need a lot from Irving this year. So far he's delivered.
Former Stony Brook pitcher and now Miami Marlins hurler Tom Koehler is hosting two clinics to benefit relief efforts for Hurricane Sandy damage.
Staying with the Seawolves, Miguel Maysonet and Head Coach Jim Priore are finalists for national awards.
Amber Bepko is Hartford's Mooyah Player of the Week.
In case you missed it from last Friday, check out the latest episode of Catamount Weekly from Vermont.
Check out the Fall All-Conference team videos on the America East video portal!
AmericaEast.com has previews for all of the men's and women's basketball action tonight. Plenty of action on tap.