January 26th, 2013
Greetings from Long Island, NY where we're on the road this weekend taking on Stony Brook University. Up early and had some time at the hotel, so what better time to get a Blog entry done.
Huge week for us here at UMaine as we got an great win over defending America East Champions and NCAA Tournament team, the Vermont Catamounts, on Tuesday Live on ESPN3 71-68! It was Beach Night at Alfond Arena, and it was by far the best crowd and atmosphere that we've had at UMaine since I've been in Orono (and probably the best I've had for a home game since I've been in coaching). Definitely want to say thank you to all the students and fans who came out and supported our team, and our promotional staff that made it possible. It was our biggest win this season and was a phenomenal night to be a Black Bear!
It was also a phenomenal week for us on the recruiting trail as well. NCAA rules don't allow me to talk about that, but I can say it was an awesome week and news will come out soon.
Today we look to take the next step in our season and knock off the America East Regular Season Champions from last season, the Stony Brook Seawolves, on their home floor at 2pm. Stony Brook is lead by All-Conference jack-of-all-trades forward, Tommy Brenton, and 7-Time America East Rookie of the Week, Jameel Warney.
Great challenge, and a great opportunity to take the next step in our team's journey and build off the momentum of our quality win over Vermont...GO BLACK BEARS!
January 16th, 2013
Getting much tougher to stay up to date now that we're in the heart of the season, but definitely have to stay consistent and on top of everything I do!
Just getting healthy after a tough battle with a flu/cold that I caught while on the road in Albany. Getting sick is a reminder of just how precious and priceless our health really is. Being healthy is something that we can't take for granted as it can change for any of us at a moment's notice. My heart definitely goes out to those out there who don't have the blessing of good health and many who are fighting just to survive.
As far as basketball goes, 2013 started off very well for us with quality wins at home vs Boston University on Jan 2nd and UMBC on Jan 5th, which was 4 wins in a row for us going back to Dec 22nd. Since then we dropped 2 on the road vs Hartford and Albany, both teams that are playing very well right now. A couple of our guys were battling through illness themselves, but we can't use that as an excuse or take anything away from our opponents.
Overall I think our guys are starting to understand that defending at a high level as a team, dominating on the glass, and taking care of the basketball is what makes us a tough team to beat, but we definitely need to be more consistent and bring it every single day!
Next up we have Binghamton University coming into town for our last game this season in the Pit on Saturday Jan 19th at 2pm. One of my former players, Taylor Johnston, is playing really well for them right now, and I'm happy for him that's he's finally getting an opportunity to show what he can do as a Senior. Proud of my guy TJ, great young man! After Binghamton, we'll be back at Alfond on Jan 22nd to face defending America East Champs Vermont!
I'll be heading back to Canada to recruit tomorrow as well, always great getting home to the great white North! Should be a great week coming up...GO BLACK BEARS!
January 1st, 2013
Happy New Year everybody! New Year's is always a great opportunity to recap and look at the year that's passed, as well as re-focus, set new goals and make plans for the year ahead.
For me personally, 2012 was an excellent year and I am even more excited about the possibilities and potential of 2013!
The holiday season was great from a family perspective and was also excellent for our team. Had a chance to head down to Portland with the family for a couple of days during our Christmas break and check out a Maine Red Claws game. It ended up being a historic night with Fab Melo setting an NBA D-League record wth 14 blocks (part of a triple-double) in an exciting game vs the Erie Bayhawks. Also got a chance to catch up with former player Raheem Singelton and see Canadian Kris Joseph in action...great times!
The holiday season has also been very good for our program with very good wins over Florida Gulf Coast 84-78 at home and Quinnipiac 76-71! FGCU at the time had an RPI of #39 in the country and has wins this year over Miami (ACC) & Loyola Maryland ('12 MAAC Champs), and was a huge program win going into Christmas break. Quinnipiac was also a quality win being on the road vs one of the most physical teams we've played all year...it was a flat-out toughness/gut-check win!
Like we tell our team all the time, when the team succeeds, individual accolades take care of themselves, and Justin Edwards was recognized the past two weeks as America East player of the week!
It really feels like our team has started to come together and figure out what it takes to compete at a high level and win game-in-game-out. The next step now is carrying that momentum into conference play. America East play starts tommorrow, Jan 2nd at 7pm with our conference home opener vs Boston University!
I without a doubt feel great about what lies ahead for 2013...all the best and Happy New Year everybody!