Tag: Hartford Hawks

Jameel Warney of Stony Brook (AP Photo)

2014-15 America East Preview: Does Stony Brook finally make the Tournament?

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Jameel Warney of Stony Brook (AP Photo)

Beginning on October 3rd and running up until November 14th, the first day of the season, College Basketball Talk will be unveiling the 2014-2015 NBCSports.com college hoops preview package.

Today, we are rolling out our America East preview.

MORE: 2014-2015 Season Preview Coverage | Conference Previews | Preview Schedule

The major storyline entering the America East in the 2014-2015 season is if Stony Brook can finally get over the hump and make the program’s first NCAA Tournament. After four 20-win seasons in five years and multiple losses in the America East conference tournament title game, the Seawolves are the close favorites in a conference that loses some talented and experienced players.

Stony Brook and head coach Steve Pikiell return reigning conference player of the year Jameel Warney at forward and guard Carson Puriefoy and his 12.9 points and 43 percent three-point shooting to the rotation and gain some talented players as well. Redshirt freshman Roland Nyama is a high-upside athlete from Germany who could see significant minutes and Pikiell is expecting a potentially deep rotation.

Hartford likely poses as the biggest threat to Stony Brook as the Hawks will welcome back their top seven scorers from last season. Senior forward Mark Nwakamma is an all-league talent and Yolonzo Moore II and Wes Cole are an experienced senior back court. If there is one thing Hartford has to improve: rebounding. The Hawks were outglassed by an average of 4.3 rebounds per game last year.

Albany is always stronger as the season goes on under head coach Will Brown, and they’ve won the America East conference tournament title four times — including last season — to only one league regular season title. Junior guard Peter Hooley and senior wing forward Sam Rowley both return for the Great Danes and that should give them a good start to build one.

After winning 22 games a season ago, Vermont loses six seniors and its top four scorers, but the program hasn’t had a losing record in league play since 2005-06 and returns some talent. Junior forward Ethan O’Day and senior forward Hector Harold is the foundation of an experienced front court and Vermont also has a decent recruiting class.

Binghamton and UMBC will compete in the America East thanks to all-league guards. The Bearcats have 6-foot-4 guard Jordan Reed while UMBC returns league Rookie of the Year Rodney Elliot.


The reigning America East Player of the Year is only a junior and the 6-foot-8 forward has shot 61 percent from the field in both of his seasons at Stony Brook. Warney averaged 14.5 points, 8 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game last season and is one of the most dominant offensive forces in the conference.


  • Mark Nwakamma, Hartford – The 6-foot-8 senior forward was a first-team All-America East selection last season after averaging 15.3 points and 5.8 rebounds per game.
  • Peter Hooley, Albany – The 6-foot-4 junior guard averaged 15.5 points per game last season and will be the Great Danes’ key player this season.
  • Jordan Reed, Binghamton – Another 6-foot-4 junior guard, Reed totaled 15.4 points and 8.9 rebounds per game while upping his three-point percentage to 35 percent from 13.
  • Rodney Elliott, UMBC – The 6-foot sophomore is the reigning America East Rookie of the Year after averaged 15 points, 3.6 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game.



1. Stony Brook
2. Hartford
3. Albany
4. Vermont
5. Binghamton
7. UMass Lowell
8. Maine
9. New Hampshire

Report: Hartford’s Evan Cooper to sit out the ’14-’15 season

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Evan Cooper will not play for the Hartford Hawks this season, according to a report from One Bid Wonders.

Cooper will be taking a leave of absence from the school as well, although Hartford’s head coach declined to comment on why the rising junior will be sitting out.

Hartford is coming off of a season in which they finished 10-6 in America East play and put together a second straight winning season for the first time in 16 years.

Cooper, a 6-foot-1 point guard from Texas, started 13 games as a sophomore and averaged 7.5 points. He’ll have two seasons of eligibility remaining if he makes it back to Hartford for the 2015-2016 season.

Former New Mexico guard Cleveland Thomas transfers to Hartford

Cleveland Thomas
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After averaging just over 15 minutes per game as a sophomore at New Mexico, 6-foot-3 guard Cleveland “Pancake” Thomas made the decision to leave Craig Neal’s program last week. Even with the departures of Cameron Bairstow, Alex Kirk and Kendall Williams, the Baton Rouge, La. product felt he needed to leave in order to reach his full potential as a basketball player.

According to a report from Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com, Thomas has found that place as he will be transferring to Hartford. Shortly thereafter, Thomas confirmed the news via his Twitter account.

Thomas is the second reported transfer to join the Hartford program this offseason, with former Eastern Michigan guard Jalen Ross being the other. Thomas started ten of the 34 games in which he played for New Mexico this past season, averaging 3.9 points and 2.4 rebounds per game.

Thomas reached double figures in five games last season, scoring a season-high 12 points in a tight win at Wyoming on January 8. He’ll have two seasons of eligibility at Hartford after sitting out the 2014-15 campaign per NCAA rules. Hartford has three guards who will have exhausted their eligibility when Thomas becomes eligible, with point guard Yolonzo Moore and shooting guards Wes Cole and Corban Wroe all being rising seniors.

Of the three Moore was the most productive last season, as he averaged 9.8 points and 2.8 assists per game. Hartford’s biggest personnel loss from last season is forward Oren Faulk, who made 17 starts but averaged just 3.7 points and 2.2 rebounds per game.