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Danes picked 5th

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CBS Sportsline has released their conference previews. While it's short on info they pick Albany to finish fifth-the highest I've seen them picked.CBS America East Preview

BTW it was free


America East Conference preview

By Tony Mejia

SportsLine.com Staff Writer

Tell Tony your opinion!



What Vermont forward Taylor Coppenrath accomplished in last year's league tournament final was the stuff of legend.



Vermont will rely Taylor Coppenrath to lead the offense this season.(AP)

He'd missed seven games with a broken bone in his left wrist but wanted to be out there for the championship game, figuring anything he could do to help the team reach it's main objective was worth putting himself out there.


Good call.


Coppenrath outscored Maine 28-23 by himself in the first half, looking like a floppy-haired Larry Bird-clone as he rained jumpers and flew in for tip-ins against the shocked Black Bears. The performance was a treat for both a national television audience and the standing-room-only crowd that piled into Patrick Gym for the Catamounts' coronation.


He ended up with a conference tournament-record 43 points on 14-for-19 shooting from the field and 14-of-15 from the line, incredible statistics given that he should've been rusty and felt some form of pain while he was firing up shots.


Stock Chart

Team Stock

1. Vermont

2. Maine

3. Boston U.

4. Northeastern

5. Albany

6. Hartford

7. New Hampshire

8. Binghamton

9. Maryland-Baltimore County

10. Stony Brook

A pro prospect, Coppenrath returns for his senior year, making Vermont the heavy favorite to win the league and reach its third consecutive NCAA Tournament.




Top three: PF Taylor Coppenrath, PG T.J. Sorrentine, SF Germain Njila.


On the rise: The Catamounts come off the best season in their 104-year history, but this year should be even better if they stay healthy. Coppenrath is the AEC's top performer, and Sorrentine makes sure everyone remains focused on their tasks. Depth is fairly strong and the majority of the team's key contributors are seniors who have grown accustomed to winning.




Top three: G/F Kevin Reed, C Mark Flavin, PF Joe Campbell.


On the rise: Long-time boss John Giannini took the LaSalle job but left the roster well-stocked for assistant Ted Woodward. Four starters are back, and UNLV transfer Ernest Turner should help ease the loss of all-league guard Eric Hobson. The Black Bears defend and hit the boards as well anybody, making them a tough assignment every night out.


Boston U.


Top three: SG Chaz Carr, PF Rashad Bell, G/F Shawn Wynn.


On the decline: A 17-1 league mark didn't help the Terriers avoid a collapse in the conference tournament, but the school was rewarded with an NIT berth. They'll be in contention again, especially if Notre Dame transfer Omari Peterkin hits the ground running when he gains second-semester eligibility.




Top three: PG Jose Juan Barea, SG Marcus Barnes, PF Bennet Davis.


On the decline: The Huskies broke through with 19 victories last season and will again be competitive because of guards Barea and Barnes, who combined for over 37 points in their first year as a tandem. The graduation of Northeastern's top frontcourt players will require the them to do be even more productive and also forces Davis, a promising sophomore, into the go-to role inside.




Top three: PG Jamar Wilson, G Jon Iati, PF Levi Levine.


On the rise: All five starters return from last season's last-place finishers, but the key returner is Wilson, who averaged 19 a game in 2002-03 but missed last season with a knee injury. Coupled with the arrival of a pair of transfers, the Great Danes will be deep and have the ability to mix things up.




Top three: SG Aaron Cook, PG Charles Ford, SF Bo Taylor.


On the rise: The Hawks played their best basketball at the end of last season, which bodes well considering they return four starters and have added a couple of JC transfers to upgrade the frontcourt. Cook will be key; he could potentially average 20 per game.



New Hampshire

Top three: F Ben Sturgill, F/C Blagoj Janev, F Craig Walls.


On the rise: In the three names above, the Wildcats have perhaps the best rebounding front line in the conference. Sturgill's history of foot injuries is a concern, as is the lack of a dependable perimeter scorer. Australian freshman Phil Collins may be the answer.




Top three: C Nick Billings, PG Troy Hailey, PF Sebastian Herbanier.


On the rise: The Bearcats were among the league's biggest surprises a year ago, finishing 10-8 in league play. It sets the stage for a potentially big season; they are set to play host to the conference tournament and will go as far as Billings, a legitimate 7-foot NBA prospect, can take them. He must become more assertive offensively, and the improvement of some of the league's other teams hampers this one's chances.



Maryland-Baltimore County

Top three: PG Rob Gogerty, PF Cory McJimson, SF John Zito.


On the rise: Long-time assistant Randy Monroe takes over as coach, and he'll have nearly everyone back from last year's squad. They went 7-21, so that's not necessarily good news, but in Gogerty and McJimson, he has a few decent pieces.



Stony Brook

Top three: PF Cori Spencer, SF Mike Popoko, SG Mitchell Beauford.


On the decline: Popoko and Beauford had strong freshman seasons, but it remains to be seen how much the loss of graduated point guard D.J. Munir hampers their development. Spencer takes up a lot of space in the paint and is effective, but there has to be more production around him.

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