Coppenrath Named to All-American Team

Taylor Coppenrath (West Barnet, Vt.) of the University of Vermont has been named to the 2003 Associated Press NCAA Division I All-American Team. The sophomore forward was a honorable mention selection to the squad which was announced Thursday night in New York. Coppenrath is the second straight Catamount to be named an AP All-American and the school’s third overall. He joins teammate T.J. Sorrentine (Pawtucket, R.I.), who was honored last season, and UVM Athletic Hall of Famer, Mike Evelti ’82, who was selected in 1981. He is one of four New England collegians on the squad joining BC’s Troy Bell (second team), UConn’s Emeka Okefor and Patrick Whearty of Holy Cross. Of the 55 players honored, Coppenrath, Okefor, T.J. Ford of Texas and Notre Dame’s Chris Thomas are the only sophomores. Also, Coppenrath, a Vermonter, and Florida’s Matt Bonner of Concord, N.H. are the lone New England-natives on the AP team. It is yet another honor for the sophomore who this season was named the Kevin Roberson America East Player of the Year and garnered spots on the America East all-conference, first team; the America East Championship all-tournament team and the NABC All-District I (New England), first team. Coppenrath scored 604 points this season, fourth all-time in a single season at Vermont and the most by a frontcourt player, while his 211 field goals set a new UVM mark. He led the America East in scoring at 20.1 points per game and was among the conference leaders in rebounds, field goal percentage and free throw shooting. As a freshman, he was the America East Rookie of the Year and a second team, all-league selection and has been a large factor in the basketball renaissance at Vermont. After never winning 20 games in their first 101 years of basketball at UVM, the Catamounts have won 21 games in each of the past two seasons. In 2002, Vermont won their first America East regular season title and this season they won their first conference championship to advance to the NCAA tournament for the first time. Coach Tom Brennan’s Catamounts will open their 2003-04 season in the Preseason National Invitational Tournament next November. The invitation to play in the NIT came after a strong recommendation from America East commissioner Chris Monasch and was accepted by UVM Director of Athletics Richard Farnham. “We at the University of Vermont would like to thank Chris Monasch for his efforts on our behalf in securing an invitation to such a prestigious tournament,” commented Farnham on the bid. “This rewards the continuing hard work and success of our student-athletes, and the coaching staff, who have elevated the stature of the program.” Vermont joins Texas Tech, UConn, Georgia Tech, Utah, Minnesota, UMass, Davidson, Hofstra, Georgia State, Louisiana-Lafayette, Marist, Missouri-Kansas City, Nevada, St. Francis, and Yale in the 16-school field. Early round games are played at home-sites beginning November 17th. The semi-finals and finals will be held at New York’s Madison Square Garden during Thanksgiving week. The 2002-03 America East champions, Vermont is coming off their first-ever trip to the NCAA Basketball Championship. After never winning 20 games in the first 101 years of basketball at the school, the Catamounts have won 21 games in each of the last two seasons. Coach Tom Brennan graduates just two seniors from this season’s team, guard Andre Anderson (Carlisle, Pa.) and forward Grant Anderson (Minnetonka, Minn.). Next year they will be bolstered by the return of the 2002 America East Player of the Year, point guard T.J. Sorrentine (Pawtucket, R.I.), as well as guard Alex Jensen (Mystic, Conn.), a transfer from Lehigh who was among the Patriot League leaders in assists and three-pointers in 2001-02. -SportsInfo