New Hampshire Wildcats
UMBC wasn't the only America East squad who gained a big man this season. Much like previous Brett Roseboro, Chris Pelcher came to New Hampshire after two years with Iona. The one time top 300 recruit according to ESPN has transitioned nicely to the America East and is currently fourth in blocked shots. The junior is averaging 9.7 points per game on the season and is also seventh in the conference with 6.8 rebounds per game.
Pelcher gives the Wildcats a legitimate threat in the paint, something every coach on the planet wants. Paired with fellow junior Patrick Konan, New Hampshire has a duo to build around. Pelcher in particular has been very efficient from the field this season, ranking third in the conference with a 53.3 percent field goal percentage.
The Seawolves have shown themselves to be deep on the offensive end, with a duo of Dave Coley and Jameel Warney leading the way most nights. Tommy Brenton also falls into this category, though he's always been more of a do-it-all player than a pure scorer. Stony Brook's under the radar guy is someone who stepped into a starting role this year.
Anthony Jackson has been the primary back-up point guard for the past two years, only this season becoming the guy in the backcourt. Earlier this season he missed a few games with an injury and Carson Puriefoy had to step up to fill the void. Jackson has been dangerous this season, averaging 11.4 points and shooting 85.1 percent from the charity stripe, which ranks second in the conference. His experience and poise will be a huge factor in Stony Brook's postseason run this year.
One of the biggest questions for Vermont this season was who would score the basketball. The departures of the Catamounts leading scorers left a cast of role players needing to step up and take control. While the offense still runs through guys like Brian Voelkel, Sandro Carissimo and Luke Apfeld, it's been someone else who has become the go-to-guy for Vermont.
Named Mr. Basketball after his senior year at Burlington High School in Vermont, Clancy Rugg did a post-grad year at Northfield Mount Hermon with fellow Catamount Josh Elbaum. When he came back to Burlington, there was not immediately a primary role for him. But now, Rugg is Vermont's leading scorer with 11.1 points per game. The junior really stepped up when his team needed him, averaging 17.8 points per game in the five games that Apfeld missed.
The Burlington Free Press has a pair of articles talking Vermont basketball, one on the men and one on the women.
In addition to the America East baseball preview posted on our website earlier, Baseball America released their preview, which is free to all.
Today we released our first Black History Month feature. Stay tuned for all four videos, which will be released each Wednesday throughout the month of February.