What’s easier, winning an America East basketball title or a high school state crown?

Players from the University of Maine go through pregame warmups for Saturday's America East women's basketball quarterfinal against New Hampshire at the Events Center in Vestal, New York. (Pete Warner/BDN)

Players from the University of Maine go through pregame warmups for Saturday’s America East women’s basketball quarterfinal against New Hampshire at the Events Center in Vestal, New York. (Pete Warner/BDN)

About a month ago a basketball fan asked me an interesting question on whether it was easier for an America East basketball team to win its conference tourney and advance to the NCAA Tourney or for a Maine high school basketball team to win a state title.

I’ve been pondering that question and with the state high school finals just finishing up and with the America East tourneys underway, I thought it would be a good time to answer that question.

Here are the comparisons for fans to think about in trying to answer the question.

— America East teams automatically qualify for their tournament while a high school team has to be in the top two-thirds to qualify.

— AE men’s teams play their tournament games at the home court of the higher seeded team while high school teams play on a neutral site.

— AE teams have to win three games to advance to the NCAA Tourney while a high school team has to win four or five games to win a state title.

— The season for AE teams is October to March while season for high schools is from mid-November to early March.

— AE coaches can work individually with their players in the off-season but high school coaches can only do so for six weeks in the summer.

— AE coaches can recruit the type of players they want but high school coaches cannot.

—  AE coaches are full-time coaches while high school coaches are not.

— AE coaches have several full-time paid assistants that high school coaches do not have.

— AE teams get to play over 30 games before their tournament and high school teams play 18.

— AE teams play the same conference schedule to get seeded for their tournament but high school teams do not.

— AE coaches sign multi-year contracts and usually have buyout clauses while most high school coaches receive one-year contracts.

After evaluating those differences, how do you now answer the above question.?

I’ve also been mulling some basketball questions for readers. Test your basketball knowledge:

  1.  What is the only basketball skill that is the same for every middle school, high school, prep school, college and professional player?
  2. What is the most common error in shooting a basketball at any level?
  3. Who was the first Division I college basketball player to score 100 points in a game?
  4. A player in the act of shooting misses a 3-point shot, but is fouled by two defensive players at the exact same time, what is the foul called?
  5. How many shots does the 3-point shooter get on the 3 -point shot that is missed and when the shooter is fouled by two defenders at the exact same?
  6. Why has the one-hand set shot become extinct?
  7. What college team is the only one to win NCAA and NIT tourneys in the same year?
  8. What year did the 3-point shot become a rule in Maine?
  9. What is the correct term for the area the coach must stand during a game?
  10. What is the Minnesota Rule?

Here are your answers:

  1. The foul shot, 2. Not enough leg depth, 3. Bevo Francis of Rio Grande College in Ohio, 4. Multiple foul, 5. Four shots awarded, 6. Because of the worry of stepping on the 3-point line when taking the shot, 7. City College of New York, 8. 1987-88 season, 9. The coaching box, 10. Players cannot foul out, the penalty is two shots and the ball on any foul after five.