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America East Notebook

by Adam Reich

Breaking Down the America East

Halfway through the conference schedule a few things have become quite clear: Taylor Coppenrath is by far and away the conference's best player, Chaz Carr has emerged as BU's go-to-guy, and Marcus Barnes and Jose Juan Barea can light up the scoreboard.

But beyond the obvious, the America East has raised its level of play. Earlier in the season BU went into Ann Arbor and took down the Wolverines. Vermont gave UCLA all they could handle in Pauley Pavilion, while Northeastern won at West Virginia and played Florida tough in the swamp. Newcomer UMBC, who has shown glimpses of brilliance in its inaugural season, has added more depth to the conference.

Overall, the America East is deeper and more talented than it's been in a number of years. Although Vermont and BU are the perennial frontrunners, Northeastern, Maine and Binghamton are all playing well enough to score an upset and dethrone the league's elite teams come tournament time. Hartford has rebounded after a slow start, evening its conference mark despite playing without Jerell Parker. UMBC is potentially explosive, while Stony Brook, UNH and Albany have all shown they cannot be taken lightly in any game. Let's break it all down, shall we.

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