EMERGING THREATS

With the Vermont men’s and the women’s basketball teams both expected to be contenders in the America East, new scoring threats have emerged for both squads. For the women, May Kotsopoulos, a junior guard and team captain, is tied with fellow junior Courtnay Pilypaitis as the team’s leading scorer, though she is typically known for her defensive prowess. However, she has recently increased her productivity on the offensive side of the ball as well.Not only has this reflected in the box score, it has also caught the attention of head coach Sharon Dawley. Katsopoulus has always been a tough defender, but now she has proven that she is a threat on both sides of the ball, Dawley said.On the men’s court, senior forward Colin McIntosh has evolved into one of the team’s leading scorers. He has managed to double his points per game while adjusting to a position change from swingman to forward. Both players won last week’s America East Player of the Week award and were praised by their coaches. “I thought it was a well-deserved honor,” men’s basketball head coach Mike Lonergan said. “Through the first four games he was terrific.” “It feels good,” McIntosh said of the award, adding that he hadn’t received any collegiate accolades like it before. He attributed his recent success not to his physical capabilities but to an improved attitude on and off the court.”My attitude is a little different this year,” McIntosh said. “I have a more competitive mindset and I’m a lot more comfortable on the court so I’m enjoying playing a lot more.” “I think he’s put a little more time in, too, in the offseason. I think he’s more focused academically as well,” Lonergan said.Katsopoulus, on the other hand, attributes the accomplishment to becoming more comfortable with her offensive game courtesy of her defensive efforts.”I think I’ve noticed that the better I’ve done on defense, the more confidence I have on offense,” Kotsopoulos said. “That’s helped me with attacking the rim and shooting more open shots.”Dawley agreed with the three-year starter, adding, “She’s be?come a terrific scorer, especially in her mid range game.”As the season continues, Dawley believes that Kotsopoulos’ leadership is key to the team’s success. “She’ll be our defensive stopper and she has a personality that she’ll do whatever else we’ll need,” Dawley said. “If it’s points, she’ll get points for us, if it’s assists she’ll get assists, but basically her floor leadership is the most important part of her game.”Though he isn’t a captain, McIntosh said he has also taken on more of a leadership role. His main focus is to maintain consistency as a scoring threat and, like Kotsopoulos, as a defensive stopper. “Right now I’m looked at as one of the top three of four scoring options but my job is to defend the big guys,” McIntosh said.The forward has also faced challenges from his teammates and coaches to step up and contribute more during his senior campaign. Thus far, Lonergan said he has been pleased with the results. “I’m happy for him because we challenged him last season saying this is your senior year and you were a big recruit for us and you haven’t lived up to the expectations,” Lonergan said. “This year he’s been more focused”.The improvements from both McIntosh and Kotsopoulos have come at a crucial time during a tough non-conference schedule for both teams. The two look to continue their improvement as their teams coast toward conference play.No. 3 Pitt defeats CatsThe undefeated Pittsburgh Panthers beat the men’s basketball team going away on Dec. 6, 80-51.Led by forward Sam Young, four Panthers reached double-figures against UVM.Marqus Blakely paced the Catamounts with 19 points and 14 rebounds, however UVM could not keep up with the physical play of Pitt and the game was never close.