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Burlington Free Press: Accuracy is key to Catsí climb PDF Print E-mail
Written by VT Sports Network News Feed   
Sunday, 25 January 2009

By John A. Fantino • Free Press staff writer • January 25, 2009

That’s what the University of Vermont men’s basketball team has been making America East Conference opponents do during its four-game winning streak.

Marqus Blakely is the most electrifying post player in the league, but teams converging on the reigning America East player of the year have found that the Catamounts are just as lethal from the perimeter.

“If teams don’t double Marqus, he is going to go for 40,” UVM senior guard Mike Trimboli said. “When the double comes, he always finds the next guy and gives us wide-open shots.”

And the Cats are knocking them down.

Heading into this afternoon’s home game against New Hampshire, UVM leads the America East in field-goal percentage (47.8) and 3-point percentage (38.4).

A Catamount team that also topped the league in shooting last year is 4 percent more accurate this season. UVM has also improved its 3-point conversion rate by 3 percent — that despite the NCAA pushing the 3-point line back a foot this season.

“I think our players have done a much better job of not taking bad shots,” said UVM coach Mike Lonergan, who has the highest scoring team in the league at 77.9 points a game, almost nine points more than second-place Boston University.

“Some guys have taken some bad shots the last few years; now, we have enough talent and enough offensive firepower that it really stands out if you take a selfish shot,” Lonergan added. “We’ve been a lot more selective this year.”

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