WEST HARTFORD, Conn. — Troy Barnies joined some select company Friday afternoon.
The senior forward from Auburn was named to the All-America East First Team, becoming the 13th University of Maine player overall and the fourth instate product to be so honored.
Barnies joins Dean Smith, Rickey White and Andy Bedard in the group of UMaine’s Maine first-teamers.
“I hadn’t gotten anything since I’ve been playing and it’s nice now to be recognized for all the hard work I’ve done,” Barnies said. “I’m really proud to be part of UMaine and I showed everybody what I could do, but we still have a good weekend to go starting (Saturday) night.”
Joining Barnies (14.3 points, 7.7 rebounds per game, .527 field-goal percentage) on the all-league first team were Kevin Roberson Player of the Year winner John Holland and Darryl Partin of Boston University, Evan Fjeld of Vermont and Albany’s Tim Ambrose.
Black Bears junior guard Gerald McLemore was named to the all-conference second team, while junior guard Andrew Rogers earned All-Academic accolades during a ceremony on the University of Hartford campus.
McLemore, who was a first-team pick last year, averaged 13.8 ppg while shooting almost 38 percent from beyond the 3-point arc.
“It’s always great to be recognized, but it’s always team first for me,” McLemore said. “But any time you’re recognized, you’re very thankful for it and appreciative.”
Vermont dominated the rest of the top individual honors. Sophomore Brendan Bald was chosen the top defensive player, freshman Brian Voelkel was the rookie of the year and Mike Lonergan earned coach of the year.
Rogers was among five All-Academic selections and was honored for the second straight season after posting a 3.82 grade point average while studying kinesiology and physical education.
“Ann Maxim, our athletic academic coordinator, helps out a lot,” Rogers said. “I’ve been lucky. All my advisors and all my teachers in my time at the University of Maine have been very good to me.”
Injuries could affect top teams
UMaine is among the top-seeded teams dealing with significant ankle injuries going into Saturday’s quarterfinals.
Senior Terrance Mitchell has been sidelined since injuring his ankle during last Sunday’s regular-season finale against Albany at Alfond Arena in Orono.
Maine coach Ted Woodward said whether the dynamic shooting guard plays will be a game-time decision. Mitchell continues to improve, but did not participate in Friday’s practice at a local high school.
His absence likely will mean swing players Malachi Peay and Murphy Burnatowski will have to contribute more quality minutes.
UMaine is not alone in having been hit by the injury bug. Top-seeded Vermont has been without the services of two starters in Fjeld and Bald, both of whom have been instrumental in the Catamounts’ surge to the regular-season title.
Fjeld was hurt Sunday during Vermont’s last regular-season game against Boston University, while Bald was injured in practice Feb. 25 and did not play against BU.
John Fantino of the Burlington Free Press reported Bald is expected to play, while Fjeld will be a game-time decision. Neither has practiced this week.
BU’s Holland, who also sat out the Terriers’ last game, is questionable with an ankle injury.