Vermont 2010 NCAA Tournament Preview
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Vermont Catamounts - America East Conference (25-9, 12-4)
Seed: #16 - West Region
Big Wins: 11/15 at Buffalo (58-57), 2/9 at Boston U (76-75), 2/20 Fairfield (77-67)
Bad Losses: 12/20 Delaware (50-56), 1/24 at Binghamton (67-73), 1/27 at New Hampshire (56-75)
Last NCAA Appearance: 2005, Second Round loss to Michigan State
Coach: Mike Lonergen (First NCAA appearance)
Probable Vermont Starters:
Nick Vier, Senior, Guard, 5.4 ppg, 2.5 apg
Maurice Joseph, Senior, Guard, 14.1 ppg, 1.1 apg
Garvey Young, Sophomore, Guard, 7.5 ppg, 1.4 apg
Marqus Blakely, Senior, Forward, 17.4 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 3.7 apg
Evan Fjeld, Junior, Forward, 10.6 ppg, 6.1 rpg
Key Vermont Roleplayers:
Joey Accaoui, Junior, Guard, 6.8 ppg, 1.5 apg
Brendan Bald, Freshman, Guard, 2.9 ppg, 1.5 rpg
Ben Crenca, Freshman, Center, 3.5 ppg, 2.9 rpg
Garrett Kissel, Junior, Forward, 2.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg
Simeon Marsalis, Freshman, Guard, 1.5 ppg
Why The Catamounts Can Surprise:
If there is a statistic for it, chances are Marqus Blakely leads Vermont in it. Blakely leads the team with 17.4 points, 9.4 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 2.4 steals and 1.9 blocks.You will not find many players who can do all of that anywhere else in the country. The 6-5 senior may sound a little undersized, but he is as tenacious and tough under the basket as anybody. The only place where his size comes into consideration is on the defensive end, but that is what Evan Fjeld is for.
Fjeld is a 6-8 junior who is a more traditional big man. Like Blakely, Fjeld can block some shots, but he has also turned into a relatively consistent scorer around the basket and that has made him a very valuable piece to the Catamounts team. At 6-9, Garrett Kissel brings some more size off the bench. Kissel will not do much scoring, but he is a good rebounder and available for Coach Mike Lonergen when he needs some more size and rebounding on the floor.
Why The Catamounts Can Disappoint:
This is not a horrible shooting team, but they can be streaky. Maurice Joseph, a former Spartan of Michigan State, is the team’s second best scorer and easily the most prolific outside shooter on the team. However, Joseph is known for his shooting inconsistencies and if his shot is not falling, Vermont is in trouble. The other option from beyond the arc is Joey Accaoui who connects on 33 percent of his attempts from long range. Garvey Young is not in the starting lineup for his shooting, but he can hit the long ball, but he is on the floor for his rebounding ability. Down the bench a ways is Brendan Bald. The freshman is not having a good shooting year, but he can provide a little spark by attacking the basket on occasion.
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Who To Watch for Vermont:
The key to victory for Vermont is taking care of the ball. The team commits way too many turnovers. Nick Vier will not put up big numbers, even in the assist department where he averages 2.5 per contest, but he is the player who must keep this team under control and make sure Blakely gets his touches. Accaoui is also a decent ballhandler, but he seems to be better off as a shooter off the bench since Vermont lacks any other options to play that role. Yet, Accaoui can certainly handle bringing the ball up the court when necessary.
Vermont By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 70.2 (139th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 64.2 (72, 4)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.8 (157, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.7 (28, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 4.6 (300, 9)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: na
Free-Throw Percentage: 69.0 (165, 4)
Rebound Margin: 2.9 (84, 2)
Assists Per Game: 12.0 (237, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.2 (204, 7)
Joel’s Bracket Says: First Round loss to Syracuse