UMaine men’s basketball team losing two more players

Posted March 27, 2014, at 6:27 p.m.
Last modified March 27, 2014, at 10:40 p.m.
Dimitry Akanda-Coronel
Dimitry Akanda-Coronel
Mitchell Worcester
Kevin Bennett | BDN
Mitchell Worcester Buy Photo

ORONO, Maine — Two members of the University of Maine men’s basketball program have decided to transfer.

Sophomore forward-guard Dimitry Akanda-Coronel of East Boston, Mass., and freshman guard Mitch Worcester of Washburn have decided to leave the program, according to a news release from the university.

Worcester was a walk-on and a redshirt this season. He will still have four years of eligibility.

The 6-foot-6, 210-pound Akanda-Coronel, who was suspended for three games during the season for an undisclosed violation of university policy, was Maine’s third-leading scorer. He averaged 10.3 points per game. He also averaged 2.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists. He started 21 games and played 22.5 minutes per game.

He was a 37.9 percent shooter from the floor including 30.9 percent from beyond the 3-point arc. He was a 59.8 percent free throw shooter.

However, after the suspension, Akanda-Coronel played only 13.4 minutes per game and averaged only 2.9 points, 1.1 rebounds and 1.0 assists.

“We appreciate the contributions Dimitry and Mitch have made to our program and wish them the best of luck in their further athletic and academic pursuits,” Maine coach Ted Woodward said in the release.

Woodward did not return a phone call seeking further comment and Akanda-Coronel could not be reached for comment.

Akanda-Coronel and Worcester are the fourth and fifth players to leave the program prematurely over the last year.

Last spring, Justin Edwards transferred to Kansas State, Alasdair Fraser left to play pro basketball in Germany and Jon Mesghna transferred to Montana State. Fraser and Mesghna would have been seniors this season, while Edwards has two years of eligibility remaining.

The Black Bears went 6-23 this past season which represented the fewest wins since the 1955-56 season when Maine posted a 6-12 record. It was the second-lowest winning percentage (.207) in school history.

Maine went 4-12 in America East and lost to Stony Brook 80-54 in the conference quarterfinals, its ninth straight loss in either a first-round or quarterfinal playoff. Maine last won a playoff game in 2005.

Maine went 11-19 in 2012-13.

Worcester said he missed playing and “didn’t feel like I would get substantial minutes the next two years.”

He added that he wants to go to a Division III school in Maine.

“I want to go someplace where I can play and contribute right away,” said Worcester, who listed Husson University in Bangor and the University of Maine-Presque Isle as two of his leading choices.

He said he has no regrets about going to Maine because he wanted to see if he could play at the Division I level.

“I’m glad I gave it a shot. I didn’t want to look back someday and ask myself, ‘What if I had just tried it?” he explained.

He called it a “good experience” and feels he benefited from practicing against Division I players and following the off-court training regimen.

“I definitely feel like I’ve improved. I’ve gotten stronger from lifting weights,” he said.

The 6-foot-3, 175-pound Worcester also likes the idea of going to a smaller school with smaller classrooms.

“I came from a high school that had 10-15 people in each class. In my first semester here, I had three classes with over 300,” said Worcester. “I like smaller classes because you develop relationships with your professors and they hold you accountable.”

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