High praise for UVM hoops

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The University of Vermont basketball teams will finish towards the top of the America East Conference standings, if the coaches’ predictions are accurate.

UVM’s women were picked first in the coaches’ preaseason poll for the second consecutive year while the Catamount men were tabbed second in the nine-team league. The America East revealed the polls during the league’s Media Day this afternoon in Hartford, which will be the site of this year’s league tournaments. Here’s the America East’s news release.

UVM’s women’s team, the defending America East champions, received five first-place votes and 61 points, edging Hartford (60). New Hampshire and Binghamton tied for third with 38 points apiece.

“It’s flattering to earn the top spot in the preseason poll an to be thought of this way by the other coaches,” UVM women’s coach Sharon Dawley said in a news release. “It was a thrill to win the championship last season, but it is time to put last season behind us. We will work hard and use the experience we gained to help  us get the same result.”

The Catamount men grabbed 56 points and one first-place vote, finishing behind Boston University, which took 64 points and eight first-place votes. Albany (43 points), Stony Brook (42) and New Hampshire 39) round out the top five.

Vermont seniors Courtnay Pilypaitis and May Kotsopoulos landed on the all-conference team, as did Marqus Blakely, the men’s two-time defending player of the year and defensive player of the year.

Both UVM teams have preseason games at Patrick Gym this weekend, the women playing host to Laval on Saturday and the men facing Concordia on Sunday.

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