BOSTON — Four returning all-conference players from three different programs has been named to the 2017-2018 America East Women’s Basketball Preseason All-Conference Team.
The squad was determined by a vote of the nine coaches in the league, who were not permitted to vote for their own student-athletes.
Two members of the first team are back, including 2016-2017 Player of the Year Carlie Pogue from New Hampshire and Binghamton’s Imani Watkins. The preseason team also features Binghamton’s Alyssa James, a two-time Defensive Player of the Year, Albany’s Jessica Fequiere, and Harford’s Sierra DaCosta, the reigning America East Rookie of the Year.
Pogue led the Wildcats to their first outright regular-season title and a program-record 25 wins last season. She ranked third averaging 16.6 points per game and her 7.3 rebounds per game were second.
James led the league in blocks and was 28th nationally, averaging 2.3 per contest. Her 7.0 rpg ranked third in the conference en route to an all-conference, second-team selection.
Watkins was the No. 2 scorer last winter at 18.8 points per game. The guard also ranked second in America East in steals (2.2 spg).
Fequiere, an All-AE second-teamer, averaged 12.5 points and 7.0 rebounds as the Great Danes won their sixth straight title. As a junior, she led the league in field-goal percentage (.410).
DaCosta ranked second among America East freshmen in scoring last season (11.3 ppg).
Men’s team released
Seven returning all-conference picks from five different programs make up the 2017-2018 America East Men’s Basketball Preseason All-Conference Team.
Four first-team all-league choices from last season return, including Vermont’s Trae Bell-Haynes, the reigning America East Player of the Year. Albany’s David Nichols, New Hampshire’s Tanner Leissner and UMass Lowell’s Jahad Thomas are the three others. Rounding out the squad are Vermont’s Anthony Lamb, the 2016-17 America East Rookie of the Year, Albany’s Joe Cremo and UMBC’s Jairus Lyles, all second-team honorees a year ago.
Bell-Haynes, an honorable mention All-American, ranked in league’s top 17 in scoring, assists, steals, free throw percentage and assist-to-turnover ratio last year.
Cremo was a second-team All-Conference choice last year who ranked ninth in scoring (15.8 ppg, 5.3 rpg). He the most minutes of any America East player last year and led Albany to 21 wins and its sixth-straight postseason berth.
Lamb, the lone sophomore on the preseason squad, was a second-team All-Conference choice after averaging 12.8 points and 5.5 rebounds, good for 15th and ninth in the league, respectively. He also shot 51 percent from the field and was second in the conference in blocked shots (1.2 bpg).
Leissner is is America East’s active scoring leader with 1,381 career points.
He ranked third in conference scoring (17.1 ppg) and third in rebounding (6.8 rpg) last season in leading UNH to a program-record tying 20 wins.
Lyles is the conference’s top returning scorer after ranking second last winter at 18.9 ppg. The second-teamer led UMBC to a 14-win improvement from 2015-2016 season and 21 wins overall.
Nichols was a first-team honoree as a sophomore and was fourth among AE scorers (17.9 ppg). He helped Albany reach the conference championship game for the fourth time in five years last season.
Thomas became UMass Lowell’s first-ever first-team All-Conference pick. He was third in the conference in scoring (18.3 ppg) and was second in rebounding (9.0 rpg). He led the league by shooting 59 percent from the field.