One season removed from being voted last place in the America East preseason poll, UNH men’s basketball has launched into third place ahead of the 2020-21 season. This is the first time the program has been featured in the top three since 2016 and will likely be a threat to stand atop the conference by the end of February. 

The Wildcats trailed only the UMBC Retrievers and the University of Vermont Catamounts who once again find themselves in the top spot. 

A season ago the team increased their win total by 10 wins from the year prior and were on the verge of being able to host a first-round matchup in the America East Tournament. They have had a talented young core that have not been able to put the pieces together the past few seasons to make any sort of noise within the conference. 

Head coach Bill Herrion will be returning this season with a near identical roster featuring a strong group of juniors. Forwards Nick Guadarrama, Jayden Martinez and point guard Marque Maultsby headline that group. They’ll be joined by senior guards Josh Hopkins and Sean Sutherlin along with fifth year center Chris Lester. 

The team lacked size under the basket last season but hope that Sutherlin can help in that department. Sutherlin, a 6’5” point guard was at the top of the conference in rebounding a year ago and was effective in getting his shot off under the basket. 

America East also announced their preseason all-conference team on Wednesday afternoon. The Wildcats were represented by Guadarrama who was one of the main contributors last season.  

The junior commented on his nomination and what he believes the team is capable of as they are preparing for NJIT. 

“It’s an honor to be named to the all-conference team but a lot of people on our team deserve to be up on that list with me,” explained Guadarrama. “Pre-season polls don’t really mean a whole lot. As a team we are excited for the year to start. We know what we are capable of this year and we hope to improve our wins from last year.” 

The Wildcats will begin their 18-game slate on Dec. 12 and will play all the way through the end of February. 

Photo Courtesy of Cameron Beall: Junior Nick Guadarrama waits to check into the game.