Mar 12, 2014, 10:00 PM EDT
Get to know all of the NCAA Tournament’s automatic bids here.
Conference: Patriot League
Coach: Mike Brennan
Record: 20-12 (13-5)
Rankings and Ratings:
- Kenpom: 115
– RPI: 135
– AP/USA Today: Not ranked
Names you need to know: G Jesse Reed (14.1 ppg, 4.4 rpg), C Tony Wroblicky (12.1, 7.3, 3.0 apg), G Darius Gardner (11.3, 3.7, 4.2 apg)
Stats you need to know: American led the Patriot League in scoring (59.4 ppg allowed), field goal percentage (41.5%) and three-point percentage (32.3%) defense this season, and the Eagles’ work on that end of the floor was the biggest reason why they managed to win the automatic bid. A good man-to-man team, American also made very good use of the 2-3 zone in the second half of its 55-36 win over Boston University in the Patriot League title game. Offensively they aren’t a high-scoring team but American has four players averaging double figures, and they led the Patriot League in field goal percentage (49.3%) and ranked fourth in three-point percentage.
Tendencies: That offensive balance, with Reed and Wroblicky leading the way, is one of American’s best assets. And in their win over BU guard Darius Gardner stepped forward, scoring 18 points to go along with four assists and three rebounds. Tempo is key for Mike Brennan’s team, as they were ranked 342nd nationally in adjusted tempo per Ken Pomeroy’s numbers. Making teams play a full 35 seconds on both ends of the floor puts American in the best position to win.
Big wins, bad losses: American won two of its three games against the regular season champion BU, including an 86-56 home win in January. There were no major wins of note in non-conference play, and the Eagles dropped Patriot League road games at Lafayette and Loyola (MD).
How’d they get here?: Won the Patriot League tournament, beating Boston University 55-36 in the title game.
Outlook: It’s difficult to see the Eagles winning a game next week, but it was also difficult for many to see this group contending in the Patriot League back in October. Pace will be critical, and controlling it can be difficult against the caliber of opponent they’re likely to face.
How do I know you?: Despite being led by a first-year head coach in Brennan, American began Patriot League play with ten straight wins. And they’ll be making their first NCAA tournament appearance since 2009.
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Oct 22, 2014, 5:00 PM EDT
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Oct 22, 2014, 4:25 PM EDT
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Oct 22, 2014, 4:06 PM EDT
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Oct 22, 2014, 3:18 PM EDT
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Oct 22, 2014, 2:55 PM EDT
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Oct 22, 2014, 2:09 PM EDT
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Oct 22, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT
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Oct 22, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT
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Oct 22, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT
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Oct 22, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT
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Oct 21, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT
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Oct 21, 2014, 9:45 PM EDT
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Oct 21, 2014, 8:38 PM EDT
Nebraska has been recruiting the state of Illinois very hard and it paid off with a 2016 commitment.
Oct 21, 2014, 8:15 PM EDT
Kansas State has taken a hit to its front court depth this week.
Oct 21, 2014, 7:15 PM EDT
Florida’s backcourt depth received a big boost this week.
Oct 21, 2014, 6:15 PM EDT
Georgia State loses Kevin Ware with a high ankle sprain.
Oct 21, 2014, 6:00 PM EDT
American went from ninth in the Patriot League preseason polls to a No. 15 seed in the 2014 NCAA Tournament. Safe to say, the Eagles will be viewed much differently this time around with four returning starters.
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