Vermont picked to win America East - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vermont picked to win America East

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

The University of Vermont men's basketball team was picked first in the 2013-14 America East Preseason Coaches Poll that was released by the league office on Wednesday.

The Catamounts are the preseason favorite for the second straight year. UVM garnered six of the possible eight first-place votes (coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team) and 64 points.

UVM posted its fifth straight 20-win season and 10th in the last 12 years with a 21-12 mark in 2012-13. Vermont advanced to the America East Championship game for the eighth time in 12 years and the Catamounts earned their fifth straight postseason appearance after being selected to the 2013 College Basketball Invitational (CBI).

Head coach John Becker, who enters his third season at the helm of the Catamounts, returns all five starters and six seniors in 2013-14. Vermont returns its top three scorers and rebounders from last year, as well as 10 letterwinners. Transfers Hector Harold and Ryan Pierson, who both sat out last season, are now eligible to compete on the court and Becker adds three freshmen to the squad in Kurt Steidl, Naasir Williams and Dre Wills (click here to meet the freshmen).

Defending regular season champion Stony Brook came in second with 58 points and three first-place votes. Albany, which won the America East Tournament last year, placed third with 49 points and was followed by Hartford (44 points) to round out the top four teams.

New Hampshire came in fifth (31 points) and was followed by UMBC (28 points), Binghamton (24 points) and Maine (20 points). America East newcomer UMass Lowell rounded out the poll in ninth place with eight points.

Fans can get their first glimpse of the 2013-14 Catamounts on Saturday (Oct. 19) at the annual Catamount Tipoff. The event begins at 11:30 a.m. with a pre-game party. Tickets are $5, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the Vermont Cancer Center in support of cancer awareness. UVM students with a valid ID and kids under the age of 10 will be admitted for free.

The Catamounts will also host a pair of exhibition games on October 26 and November 3 versus a Saint Michael's and Concordia (Quebec), respectively.

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The University of Vermont women's basketball team was picked to finish fifth in the 2013-14 America East Preseason Coaches Poll that was released by the league on Wednesday.

Head coach Lori Gear McBride, who begins her fourth season on the Vermont sidelines in 2013-14, returns three of the team's top four leaders in scoring and rebounding.

The Catamounts also return 10 letterwinners from last season's team that finished tied for fourth in the regular season standings and advanced to the America East Semifinals for a conference record 18th time with a victory over UMBC in the quarterfinals.

UVM will also add three newcomers to the squad this year in Kylie Butler, Jordan Eisler and Kristina White.

Defending America East Champion Albany was picked to repeat in 2013-14. The Great Danes earned eight of the nine first-place votes available (coaches could not vote for their own team) and 64 points. Hartford was 10 points behind in second place with 54 points and followed by Stony Brook (48 points) and New Hampshire (46 points) to round out the top four teams. The Wildcats picked up the other first-place vote in the poll.

The Catamounts earned 30 points for fifth place and were followed by Maine (27 points), UMBC (24 points), and Binghamton (23 points). America East newcomer UMass Lowell rounded out the poll in ninth place with eight points.

Fans can get their first glimpse of the 2013-14 Catamounts on Saturday (Oct. 19) at the annual Catamount Tipoff. The event begins at 11:30 a.m. with a pre-game party. Tickets are $5, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the Vermont Cancer Center in support of cancer awareness. UVM students with a valid ID and kids under the age of 10 will be admitted for free.

The Catamounts will also host a pair of exhibition games on October 26 and November 2 versus a Saint Michael's and Stonehill, respectively.

Courtesy: Vermont Athletics

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