Max Brooks (UMass Lowell)

Junior forward Max Brooks was selected to the America East (AE) Conference all-defensive team last season as a sophomore and now enters his junior year with the River Hawks. Brooks looks to build off his strong sophomore campaign, in which he started in all 29 games that he appeared in and averaged 10.7 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. He accomplished this while shooting 63.1 percent from the floor, leading the AE. He also registered 67 blocks throughout the course of the season, doubling the previous UMass Lowell record in Division I. As the River Hawks look to bounce back after next season, they will rely on Brooks’ tenacious defense and efficient scoring to have success on the court this year.

Jacob Falko (Binghamton)

Last season, senior guard Jacob Falko was selected to the AE all-conference first team, the program’s first selection to the first team in 12 years. During this breakout season, he averaged 30.7 minutes per game, the most on the team, and started in 24 out of the 27 games he appeared in. Falko averaged a team-high in both scoring and assists, putting up 12.9 points and 3.1 assists per game. He also averaged 4.0 rebounds per game and had 28 steals last season, both good enough for second on the team. At the charity stripe, he was efficient, shooting 79 percent. Additionally, the guard returned from an injury late in the season and led Binghamton to a quarterfinal upset over New Hampshire, along with its first semifinal appearance in a decade. Falko is in line, once again, to be a major factor in Binghamton’s success on the court this year.

Dylan Penn (Vermont)

After spending four seasons at Bellarmine, fifth-year guard Dylan Penn looks to continue his success with Vermont. At Bellarmine, he was a two-time all-conference pick and, in his final season, he led the Knights to the Atlantic Sun Championship. Last season, Penn started in all 33 games and scored in double figures in 28 of them. He also led his team in scoring with 16.6 points and 5.0 assists per game while shooting 49.6 percent from the floor. On the defensive end, Penn was second on the team with 37 steals and also led the team with 19 blocked shots. With years of experience, Penn will be a major threat to AE defenses this season.

Charles Pride (Bryant)

Senior guard Charles Pride looks to build off a stellar junior campaign where he averaged 17.7 points, 8.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.6 steals per game. Last season, he started all 32 games, leading Bryant to a Northeast Conference (NEC) championship over Wagner. He posted 10 double-doubles and 11 20-point games while shooting at a 45.1 percent clip from the field and 32.6 percent from beyond the arc. The guard also set a Division I program record for Bryant, scoring 44 points in a single game last season. As Pride’s growth has been evident throughout his first three seasons, this year, he will take control of the Bulldog offense and play a major role in the team’s pursuit of an AE championship.

Finn Sullivan (Vermont)

Last season, in his first year at Vermont, fifth-year guard Finn Sullivan was a vital part of the Catamounts’ championship team. Last season he averaged 7.2 points and 3.3 rebounds per game while shooting 41.5 percent from the field. Defensively, he tallied 33 steals and 16 blocks. This was good enough to earn a preseason all-conference pick. In the Catamounts’ AE championship victory over No. 2 UMBC, Sullivan recorded 14 points and three steals, securing him a spot in the AE All-Championship team. With his experience, Sullivan looks to build on his strong senior campaign and lead UVM to yet another AE Championship.

Earl Timberlake (Bryant)

Junior guard Earl Timberlake will make his AE debut along with his Bryant debut during this upcoming season. The junior transferred from Memphis where, as a sophomore, he averaged 4.7 points and 3.4 assists per game last year while shooting a solid 46.8 percent from the field. He did this while averaging only 17.1 minutes per game off the bench. Due to a career riddled with several injuries, Timberlake has been unable to show off his talent and play to his full potential. Despite a mediocre sophomore year, Timberlake has joined the Bulldogs program in the hopes of having a breakout season. With the combination of Timberlake and Pride in the backcourt this season, AE defenses will certainly have their hands full.