What did you think we only roll these out during Big East play for basketball? Every once in a while we are able to hook up with a quality mid-major site and BusterDouglas from our new sister site Unranked American East stepped up to talk up some Vermont basketball. In this edition of Bulls Recon, we talk about the Catamounts' NCAA chances, who will replace Evan Fjeld's mustache, and a kid named Four.
1. What is the feeling coming out of fall camp for the Catamounts. Does the team think they can replicate their 23-9 record from last year?
There is no doubt that this Catamounts team could exceed last year's win total and compete for an NCAA tournament bid. The Cats return two of their three best players, including the America East DPOY, Brendan Bald, and Brian Voelkel, a preseason AE First-Teamer. We have good incoming freshmen in Four McGlynn and Chris Santo. We have a veteran leader in Matt Glass. The big question mark is the post play.
2. Its going to be difficult to replace Evan Fjeld and his majestic mustache. Who will be asked to shoulder the load down in the post this year?
That is the question, my friend. This is the real wild card for the Catamounts. Sophomore Luke Apfeld will step up, but there are question marks as to whether he is really a scorer. Pat Bergmann and Ben Crenca will see a lot of time down low, but they aren't the most agile big men. Matt Glass stands at 6'8" but is not much of a post presence. There are a lot of "buts" in this section because post play is the big mystery heading into the season for Vermont. As far as the mustache is concerned, the early odds are on Matt Glass growing some extra hair above the lip.
3. UVM has a couple of players in Brendan Bald and Brain Voelkel. Can you tell us what makes each them so dangerous?
Bald is a tremendous defender. He can also shoot the ball from the outside. What's scary is that he might not be the best player on our team. Voelkel is just a sophomore, but he proved a great deal to UVM and AE fans alike during his freshman campaign: he's the best rebounder (9.6 rpg last year) and might even be the best passer (4.5 apg) in the conference. All that and he's 6'6" -- which simultaneously seems to small to lead the league and rebounding and too tall to be an assist man. But that's Brian Voelkel: an unorthodox stat sheet stuffer.
4. Four McGlynn. Other than having the best name in the country, he seemed to impress everyone during the exhibitions for his instant offense off the bench. Is his game as good as his name?
The story is that Four is the best shooter on the team. I have yet to see this with my own eyes, but we have good sources (aka Oscar the Geezer) that say this is the case. We'll have to wait and see, but don't be surprised if Four is letting it rain from Three. Of course, we're all excited to be making awful puns like that one for the rest of the season.
5. Finally, how do you think this game goes? Do the Cats pull off the Red Line Upset this Saturday?
That's a tough question. So I'll do that side-stepping thing that all the ESPN analysts do these days: if we can control the tempo and hang with you guys down low, we should compete.
Thanks to Buster and the guys at UAE for helping out this week. If you are ever in the need to get your fill on anyone from Albany to Vermont, head on over to the site. While you're at it, make sure to give them a follow on Twitter as well.