American East Conference
Basketball 2015-2016 Predictions

Jack Williams, 5:30pm October 28, 2015

Stony Brook is in a better positioned to win the American East regular season title. However, there are three (3) teams, in addition to Stony Brook, who are positioned to compete for the American East Conference title: Albany, New Hampshire and Vermont. Stony Brook hasn’t yet proven that they could win an American East Conference tournament. Over the past six seasons, Stony Brook has won three (3) regular season titles but failed to win the conference title. Albany dominates the Conference title Category. The team has won three (3) Conference Titles over the past six (6) years. Here is what the season may look like this coming season:

1. Stony Brook Basketball

Coach Steve Pikiell
Stony Brook gets deeper and better at the point guard position with the addition of Longwood’s transfer point guard, Lucas Woodhouse (junior). A team that already has a pretty good assist-to-turnover ratio will pick up a division 1college transfer who averaged 6.7 assists per game in his final season. Lucas was the third best player on the Longwood roster in 2013-2014. He played in all 32 games, averaging 33.0 minutes per game.

Stony Brook will also pick up a very good junior College recruit in Ahmad Walker (junior, shooting guard). Walker ranked 21st in the NJCAA in points per game and averaged 20.6 points per game in his final season at Barton Community College. His efforts earned him an NJCAA All-American Honorable Mention at the conclusion of the season.

With that said, Stony Brook will be returning all of their key players next season in Jameel Warney (senior, power forward), Carson Puriefoy (senior, point guard), Rayshaun McGrew (senior, power forward), Roland Nyama (sophomore, shooting guard) and Deshaun Thrower (sophomore, point guard).

Stony Brook placed 2nd in the American East last season which earned the team a trip to the (CIT) tournament. Stony Brook was defeated in the 1st round to Mercer.

Projected 2015-2016 Conference Wins: 14+
2014-2015 Conference Standings: 12-4

2. Albany Basketball

Coach Will Brown
Albany, a very good defensive team, should remain strong defensively. The team ranked 3rd in the American East and 37th overall in points allowed by the opponent. Their offense was good enough to put them over the top in the American East, but not good enough to get them past the second round of the NCAA tournament. Albany lacks depth at the point guard position. There were several guards to transfer after last season: Wheeler Baker, Terrelle 'Tre' Green, and Michael Wells. But even with these players on the roster Albany was one of the worst passing teams in the conference. The Great Danes ranked 310th overall in assists last season. No player on the team averaged more than 3.0 assists per game. Evan Singletary (point guard, senior) lead the team in assists with an average of 2.8 assists per game. The second best in assists was Peter Hooley (senior, shooting guard) with 2.3 assists per game, followed by RaAnthony Sanders (senior, point guard) who averaged 2.2 assists per game.

Singletary, the starting point guard, will have walk-on Reece Williams (senior) and freshman point guard David Nichols to back him next season.

Sam Rowley is gone, but Albany will return three (3) seniors, Peter Hooley (shooting guard), Singletary and Sanders, to help fight for the top position of the American East.

Albany should improve a little with their new additions. The team will add three (3) very good Junior college transfers to the 2015-2016 roster in Jamir Andrews (junior, shooting guard), Travis Charles (junior, power forward), and Chas Brown (junior, power forward). Andrews averaged 12.3 points and 2.7 rebounds per game in his final season at Sheridan College. Charles averaged 13.9 points and 6.7 rounds in his final season at Howard College, and Brown averaged 10.9 points and 7.9 rebounds in his final season at Baltimore City Community College.

Albany will also add three (3) promising freshmen to their roster in David Nichols (point guard), Joe Cremo (shooting guard), and Kyle McKinley (Center).

Projected 2015-2016 Conference Wins: 12+
2014-2015 Conference Standings: 15-1

3. New Hampshire Basketball

Coach Bill Herrion
As far as talent is concerned, New Hampshire can matchup with any of the teams at the top of the American East, except at the point guard position. New Hampshire had the 4th best assist-to-turnover ratio behind Vermont, Stony Brook, and Hartford. New Hampshire ranked 261st overall in assists last season. Jaleen Smith led the team in assists with only 2.8 assists per game.

New Hampshire was also a pretty young team last season. With four (4) of their key players returning, Tanner Leissner (sophomore, power forward), Jaleen Smith (junior, point guard), JaCoby Armstong (junior, power forward), and Daniel Dion (junior, point guard), the team will be much more experienced and should have better chemistry.

New Hampshire will also return a good number of support players: Ronnel Jordan (senior, shooting guard), Iba Camara (sophomore, power forward) Joe Bramanti (junior, shooting guard) and Frank Okeke (senior, power forward). One of the four (4) will, more than likely, step up into the starting position with the departure of Matt Miller.

New Hampshire will also add three (3) promising freshmen to the roster in Andrew Dotson (shooting guard), Pat McNamara (shooting guard), and David Watkins (power forward).

Projected 2015-2016 Conference Wins: 11+
2014-2015 Conference Standings: 11-5

4. Vermont Basketball

Coach John Becker
Vermont went 12-4 in the American East last season mostly due to their tenacious defensive style and their ability to protect the rim. The team ranked 15th overall in points allowed by the opponent, only allowing the opponent to score on average 59.2 points per game last season.

Vermont was defeated by Stony Brook in the American East semifinals. Their efforts earned the team a trip to the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) tournament. Vermont was defeated in the CBI semifinals by Louisiana Monroe.

Five key players from the 2014-2015 roster are returning: Ethan O'Day (senior, power forward), Trae Bell-Haynes (sophomore, point guard), Dre Wills (junior, point guard), Cameron Ward (sophomore, point guard) and Kurt Steidl (junior, small forward).

Vermont will add two (2) good freshmen to roster in which both are brothers, Ernie Duncan (shooting guard) and Everett Duncan (shooting guard). Ernie, the older brother, is a redshirt freshman who saw some playing time before getting hurt last season. The two will be the only freshmen joining the team this coming season.

In addition to the Duncan brothers Vermont will add a promising division 1 college transfer, Darren Payen (junior), to the roster. Payen transferred from Hofstra University due to lack of playing time. Payen played in all 33 games in 2013-2014. He averaged 3.1 points and 2.2 rebounds in just 10 minutes per game. Payen should see more playing time at Vermont.

Projected 2015-2016 Conference Wins: 10+
2014-2015 Conference Standings: 12-4

5. Binghamton Basketball

Coach Tommy Dempsey
Binghamton was a very young team last season and they’re still pretty young. Binghamton was pretty bad in several categories in particular, the point guard position. They had the worst assist-to-turnover ratios in the American East. Their offense was pretty bad. Binghamton ranked 345th overall in both assists and points scored.

Binghamton will return nearly all of their key players from the previous season: Wilfredo Rodriguez (sophomore, shooting guard), Dusan Perovic (sophomore, power forward), Romello Walker (sophomore, shooting guard), Marlon Beck II (junior, power forward), Bobby Ahearn (sophomore, small forward), and Justin McFadden (sophomore, small forward).

Binghamton will add a few promising freshmen to the team this season in John Schurman (shooting guard), Everson Davis (shooting guard) and Thomas Bruce (center).

This team has a lot of work to do to compete for the top of the American East.

Projected 2015-2016 Conference Wins: 7-
2014-2015 Conference Standings: 5-11

6. Maine Basketball

Coach Bob Walsh
Maine was pretty bad on both ends of the court last season. The team had the 3rd worst offense in the American East and the absolute worst defense in the American East- and perhaps in the Country.

With that said, Maine will be returning most of their key players in Kevin Little (sophomore, shooting guard), Aaron Calixte (sophomore, point guard), Till Gloger (senior, power forward), Shaun Lawton (senior, point guard), and Troy Reid-Knight (junior, point guard).

Maine will add five promising new freshmen to the team in Lavar Harewood (shooting guard), Isaac Vann (small forward), Devine Eke (small forward), and Vincent Eze (power forward).

Projected 2015-2016 Conference Wins: 4-
2014-2015 Conference Standings: 2-14

7. UMBC Basketball

Coach Aki Thomas
UMBC had, perhaps, the worst offense in the American East- better yet; they were one of the worst offenses in NCAA basketball. Several players from this young team will be returning this season: Cody Joyce (senior, power forward), Jourdan Grant (sophomore, point guard), Malcolm Brent (sophomore, shooting guard), and Will Darley (junior, small forward).

To add depth to the team, UMBC will add division 1 transfer Jairus Lyles (sophomore, shooting guard) to the team. Lyles is a transfer from VCU. The once three star recruit never got a chance to show what he can do under the Shaka Smart system. Lyles will get that opportunity at UMBC.

UMNC will also add several freshmen to the roster in Daquon Ervin (point guard), Joel Wincowski (point guard), Joe Sherburne (shooting guard), Nolan Gerrity (power forward), and Samson Schwietz (power forward).

Projected 2015-2016 Conference Wins: 3+
2014-2015 Conference Standings: 2-14

8. Hartford Basketball

Coach John Gallagher
Hartford lost a good number of players to graduation after the 2014-2015 season. Mark Nwakamma, Corban Wroe, and Yolonzo Moore II are all gone. Last season’s supporting players such as Justin Graham (junior, point guard), Taylor Dyson (senior, shooting guard), and John Carroll (sophomore, power forward) are going to have to step up their games in order for Harford to be competitive in the American East.

The team will get some help from three (3) division 1 college transfers: New Mexico transfer, Cleveland Thomas (junior, shooting guard), Eastern Michigan transfer, Jalen Ross (junior, point guard), and Fordham transfer, Jake Fay (sophomore, shooting guard).

The best news is that Evan Cooper (junior, shooting guard) will return to the lineup after missing the entire 2014-2015 season due to injury. Cooper was the fifth best point producer on the team in 2013-2014 with an average of 7.1 points per game that season.

Hartford will add four (4) promising freshmen to the roster this coming season in J.R. Lynch (point guard), Jason Dunne (shooting guard), George Blagojevic (small forward), and TreVaughn Wilkerson (power forward).

Projected 2015-2016 Conference Wins: 2-
2014-2015 Conference Standings: 7-9

9. UMass Lowell Basketball

Coach Pat Duquette
UMass is practically rebuilding. With so many players gone, Umass Lowell will bring in eight (8) new freshmen: Keith Hayes II (point guard), Isaac White (point guard), Ryan Jones (point guard), Logan Primerano (shooting guard), Jordan Shea (shooting guard), Donny Belcher III (small forward), Josh Gantz (small forward), and Dontavious Smith (power forward).

The only key returning player is Jahad Thomas (sophomore, shooting guard). Thomas was the only player on the 2014-2015 roster to average double digits in scoring (14.3 points per game). At 6’ 2” he was also the team’s top rebounder with an average of 6.5 rebounds per game.

Umass will probably look for support players like Tyler Livingston (junior, small forward) and Matt Harris (sophomore, shooting guard) to step up their games.

Projected 2015-2016 Conference Wins: 2-
2014-2015 Conference Standings: 6-10

Share by: