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Pre-season all conference

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The coaches released their pre-season all conference team on the AE site. JJ Barea is all-conference first team?


Coppenrath, Bell Lead Preseason All-Conference Team

Reigning America East Player of the Year Taylor Coppenrath of University of Vermont and junior Rashad Bell of Boston University were unanimous selections to the conference's preseason all-conference team as voted by the men's basketball head coaches. The team was announced at America East Men's Basketball Media Day at Eilberg Lounge on the Boston University campus.


Coppenrath, Bell and Jerell Parker of University of Hartford, each of whom earned first-team all-conference honors a season ago, were joined on the preseason all-conference team by 2002 America East Player of the Year T.J. Sorrentine of Vermont, who missed last season after suffering broken bones in both wrists in the preseason, junior center Nick Billings of Binghamton University, and sophomore guard Jose Juan Barea of Northeastern University.


The teams were selected regardless of position. Six players were named to the team due to a tie in the voting.


Coppenrath was named the winner of the Kevin Roberson Award, given to the America East Player of the Year, after leading the conference in scoring last season with 20.1 ppg. He was eighth in the conference with 6.2 rpg. The 6-9 junior led the Catamounts to their first America East Championship and NCAA Championship berth and a 21-12 overall record.


The 5-11 Sorrentine will see his first game action since 2001-02 when he led America East in scoring with 18.8 ppg, added 4.0 assists per contest and led the conference with 90 three-pointers. He was chosen as the Roberson Award winner that season.


Bell emerged as the top player on the regular-season champion Terriers last year. The 6-8 swingman averaged 12.0 ppg and 5.2 rpg in leading Boston University to a 20-11 mark and a berth in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT).


Parker was one of the most complete players in America East in his first season at Hartford after transferring from Loyola (Ill.). The 6-4 swingman was the only player to rank among the conference’s Top 15 in scoring (13.6), rebounding (7.0) and assists (2.5). He led the Hawks to a 16-13 overall mark and the No. 3 seed in the Choice Hotels America East Championship.


The 7-0 Billings averaged 9.0 ppg and 6.7 rpg with 4.3 blocks per game, second in the nation to Connecticut's Emeka Okafor. Billings led the Bearcats to a 14-13 record last season. Binghamton, which was ineligible for the Choice Hotels America East Championship in its transition to Division I, finished fourth in the conference a year ago.


The 5-11 Barea averaged 17.0 ppg with 3.89 assists per game as an all-rookie choice last year. He scored 38 points in the quarterfinal win over Maine in the Choice Hotels America East Championship en route to all-championship honors. The point guard led Northeastern to a 16-15 mark, the Huskies' first winning season since 1994-95.


The return of Roberson Award winners Sorrentine and Coppenrath marks only the second time in NCAA history where conference players of the year will be teammates for an entire season. The only other occurrence was in the 1999-2000 season when Stefan Ciosici and Brian Ehlers teamed at Lafayette. Ciosici, a center, was the Patriot League Player of the Year in 1998 before suffering a knee injury that forced him to miss the 1998-1999 season. Ehlers, a point guard, was chosen Player of the Year that season. Ehlers also won the league’s top honor in 2000 when the two played together.

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