Former UMaine men’s basketball player heading to Bryant

Posted April 15, 2014, at 6:35 p.m.
Dimitry Akanda-Coronel
Courtesy photo
Dimitry Akanda-Coronel

It didn’t take long for former UMaine basketball player Dimitry Akanda-Coronel to choose his next school.

College Basketball Magazine has reported on its Twitter feed that the 6-foot-5 guard has verbally committed to attend Bryant University in Smithfield, R.I.

On March 27, Akanda-Coronel became the first of three prominent UMaine men’s basketball players to request and receive a release to transfer. Since then, sophomore combination guard Shaun Lawton and junior starting point guard Xavier Pollard also have filed paperwork and been granted release from UMaine.

The regular recruiting period for Division I basketball begins Wednesday, meaning transfers such as those three players may sign a National Letter of Intent to play at another school.

However, under NCAA rules, Division I players who transfer to other Division I schools are required to sit out a year before they are eligible to compete. Thus, Akanda-Coronel won’t be able to play at Bryant until the 2015-16 season.

He will have two years of eligibility remaining.

Akanda-Coronel was the No. 3 scorer last season for the Black Bears. He averaged 10.3 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 22.5 minutes per contest. He made 21 starts.

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

During his final season at UMaine, Akanda-Coronel was suspended for three games for an undisclosed violation of university policy. After the suspension, he played only 13.4 minutes per game and averaged only 2.9 points, 1.1 rebounds and 1.0 assists.

Akanda-Coronel, Pollard and Lawton are the most recent of six scholarship players to depart UMaine since the end of the 2012-13 season. Last spring, star forward Alasdair Fraser signed a pro contract to play in Germany, dynamic guard Justin Edwards transferred to Kansas State, and 3-point specialist Jon Mesghna transferred to Division II Montana-Billings.

America East baseball features parity

There appears to be good parity this spring in the America East baseball ranks.

The University of Maine demonstrated the benefits of that dynamic over the weekend.

Coach Steve Trimper’s Black Bears, who had slipped into the conference cellar after dropping a three-game home set with Hartford a week earlier, bounced back by taking all three games Saturday and Sunday at UMass Lowell.

UMaine (13-19, 4-5 AE) snapped a five-game America East losing streak while sweeping the River Hawks (10-13, 3-5 AE), vaulting all the way up to fourth place in the league standings.

The Black Bears, who suffered two one-run losses and an extra-innings setback against Hartford, bounced back with three one-run wins at UMass Lowell.

UMaine averaged only 3.3 runs per game in the series, sparked by junior Nick Bernardo (4-for-10), sophomore Shane Bussey (5-for-11, 3 RBIs) and senior Alex Calbick (4-for-12).

The pitching staff continued to perform well, combining to allow 26 hits and only six earned runs (2.00 ERA) in 27 innings with 20 strikeouts and 10 walks.

The starters posted a 2.89 ERA in 18 ⅔ innings, while UMaine’s relievers worked 8 ⅓ innings and allowed only six hits and no runs.

Freshman Jeff Gelinas (1-3) turned in his second straight strong start and notched his first collegiate win. The right-hander from Saco scattered three hits and a single run in Sunday’s finale, with two strikeouts and three walks in six innings.

Gelinas, who stepped in because of a foot injury to junior Scott Heath of Westbrook, has given up only five hits and one run with nine strikeouts and three walks in his last 13 innings.

UMaine returns to action Saturday and Sunday with a three-game league series at Binghamton University in Vestal, N.Y.

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