From Rob Washburn of the Colonial Athletic Association: Co-Players of the Week: T.J. Carter, UNC Wilmington, Sr., G, 6-3, 200; Jamal Shuler, VCU, Sr., G, 6-3, 180. Rookie of the Week: Heiden Ratner, James Madison, Fr., G, 6-0, 170. George Mason (6-2 overall, 1-0 in CAA) The Patriots rolled past Drexel 85-38 in their CAA opener on Thursday night, […]
From Rob Washburn of the Colonial Athletic Association:
Co-Players of the Week: T.J. Carter, UNC Wilmington, Sr., G, 6-3, 200; Jamal Shuler, VCU, Sr., G, 6-3, 180.
Rookie of the Week: Heiden Ratner, James Madison, Fr., G, 6-0, 170.
George Mason (6-2 overall, 1-0 in CAA)
The Patriots rolled past Drexel 85-38 in their CAA opener on Thursday night, but suffered a 68-65 setback to East Carolina in the BB&T Classic on Sunday. Mason’s victory over Drexel was its largest ever in a CAA game and biggest overall since 1998. The Patriots shot a season-high 50.8% from the floor, canned 10 treys and out-rebounded the Dragons 42-28. All 11 Patriots played at least 11 minutes against DU and 10 of them scored five or more points. Junior guard Dre Smith tallied a team-high 16 points off the bench in each game and was 8-of-15 (53.3%) from 3-point range for the week. Senior forward Will Thomas averaged 12.0 ppg and 9.5 rpg for the week, including his fourth double-double (14pts/11reb) of the year against ECU. Sophomore forward Louis Birdsong was a point shy of his career scoring high with 12 points and eight boards versus the Pirates. Mason’s 6-1 start was its best since opening the season 12-1 in 1983-84.
James Madison (5-1 overall, 1-0 in CAA)
The Dukes are off to their best start since 1986-87 after road victories over Eastern Kentucky (82-71) and Northeastern (68-65) last week. James Madison, which is riding its first three-game winning streak since 2003-04, hadn’t won a conference opener on the road since 1994-95. Senior forward Terrance Carter averaged 14.5 ppg and 8.5 rpg per game for the week. He posted his second double-double (17pts/10reb) of the season at EKU and sank four free throws in the final 25 seconds to seal the NU win. Sophomore guard Pierre Curtis had an excellent all-around effort at NU with a season-high 19 points, a career-best nine rebounds and five assists. Junior guard Abdulai Jalloh tallied 13.0 ppg and 6.5 rpg, highlighted by a double-double (15pts/10reb) at EKU. The Dukes are 3-1 on the road this season after winnig just seven road games in the past four years combined.
Old Dominion (4-4 overall, 1-0 in CAA)
The Monarchs fell 66-48 to 5th-ranked Georgetown last Wednesday, but ended a three-game skid by topping Georgia State 72-64 in their CAA opener. Sophomore forward Gerald Lee tallied career-highs of 24 points and 12 rebounds against the Hoyas and added 13 points at GSU. Lee, who is leading the Monarchs in scoring (13.8 ppg) and rebounding (7.3 rpg), accounted for more than half of ODU’s field goals versus Georgetown. Senior guard Brian Henderson poured in a season-best 19 points at GSU and has tallied double digits in five of his seven contests. Senior guard Brandon Johnson has moved into seventh on ODU’s career steals list with 168. Freshman center Frank Hassell made his first career start at GSU and had team-highs of six rebounds and three blocks. A sellout crowd of 8,424 watched the ODU/Georgetown matchup. It was ODU’s 11th crowd of more than 8,000 at the Constant Center.
VCU (4-3 overall, 0-0 in CAA)
The Rams rebounded from a 64-55 loss at Hampton to knock off ACC foe Maryland 85-76 in the BB&T Classic on Sunday. Senior guard Jamal Shuler poured in a career-high 30 points versus the Terps, hitting 10-of-19 from the floor including 6-of-11 from 3-point range. Shuler, who also had 15 points and seven rebounds at Hampton, is shooting 60.9% (14-23) from beyond the arc over his last three games. Junior Eric Maynor added 25 points against Maryland, with 23 coming in the second half. Maynor also netted a team-high 22 points at Hampton and has scored 20 or more in three of his past five contests. The backcourt duo combined for nearly 66% (92-of-140) of the Rams’ points last week. VCU is 2-1 against ACC teams over the past two years. Freshman Joey Rodriguez added 10 points off the bench against the Terps, while rookies Ed Nixon and Larry Sanders made their first career starts.
William & Mary (1-4 overall, 0-0 in CAA)
The Tribe dropped to 0-4 on the road this season after a 58-55 setback at Richnond last Wednesday. William & Mary erased a five-point halftime deficit and led 49-42 with 7:39 remaining, but failed to hold on. Senior guard Nathan Mann drained 4-of-6 from 3-point range and finished with a team-best 13 points at UR. Mann moved into third on W&M’s career treys list with 154. Junior forward Alex Smith returned to the lineup after battling injuries and contributed 10 points and four rebounds. Sophomore guard David Schneider turned in a solid all-around game with eight points, six rebounds and a career-high tying seven assists. Junior forward Chris Darnell tallied double figures for the second straight contest with 10 points, while senior forward Chris Stratton grabbed a career-best seven rebounds. The Tribe completes a stretch of six of seven on the road this week, starting with their CAA opener at VCU on Wednesday.