From Rob Washburn, Assistant Commissioner/Communications for the Colonial Athletic Association, here are excepts of his weekly conference report on men’s basketball news. CO-PLAYERS OF THE WEEK Junior Hairston, Jr. (F, 6-8, 205), Towson and Vladimir Kuljanin Sr. (C, 6-10, 265), UNC Wilmington. ROOKIE OF THE WEEK Gerald Colds, Fr. (G, 5-11, 160), Drexel MORE CONFERENCE NOTES CAA Goes 8-5 On Opening […]
From Rob Washburn, Assistant Commissioner/Communications for the Colonial Athletic Association, here are excepts of his weekly conference report on men’s basketball news.
CO-PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Junior Hairston, Jr. (F, 6-8, 205), Towson and Vladimir Kuljanin Sr. (C, 6-10, 265), UNC Wilmington.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Gerald Colds, Fr. (G, 5-11, 160), Drexel
MORE CONFERENCE NOTES
CAA Goes 8-5 On Opening Weekend: The CAA posted an 8-5 mark on the opening weekend of the 2007-08 campaign with all 12 teams in action. The league got off to a perfect 5-0 start on Friday night and went 7-1 in home contests.
Mason Picked To Win CAA Title
George Mason, which returns all five starters from last year’s 18-15 squad that advanced to the conference title game, is favored to win the CAA men’s basketball championship in 2007-08 according to a vote of the league’s coaches, sports information directors and media. The Patriots were followed in the voting by the four CAA teams that advanced to postseason play last season – VCU, Old Dominion, Drexel and Hofstra. Picked sixth was UNC Wilmington, followed by James Madison, Northeastern, William and Mary, Delaware, Georgia State and Towson.
Maynor Preseason POY
VCU junior guard Eric Maynor was chosen as the CAA Preseason Player of the Year in voting by the league’s coaches, SID’s and media. Maynor, who averaged 13.9 points per game and dished out a school-record 224 assists last season, earned first-team All-CAA honors and was the MVP of the CAA Tournament.
Maynor is also among a group of 50 preseason candidates for the John R. Wooden Award, the nation’s most prestigious college basketball honor.
Three CAA Squads in National Polls
Three CAA teams received votes in the two major national polls released on Nov. 12. In the Associated Press Top 25, VCU picked up 25 points (34th) and George Mason got three points. In the ESPN/USA Today Top 25, VCU received six points, Old Dominion got four points and George Mason had three points.
Mason (1-0 overall, 0-0 in CAA)
The Patriots rallied past Vermont 60-53 in their home opener on Friday. Mason used a 19-4 second-half run to overcome a nine-point deficit and win their season opener for the fifth straight year. Senior forward Will Thomas scored a team-high 16 points and grabbed a career-best 17 rebounds despite battling leg cramps. His 17 boards were the most for a Mason player since 2005. The Patriots grabbed 52 total rebounds, which was the most in over seven years. Guards Folarin Campbell, Jordan Carter and John Vaughan each chipped in 11 points. The Patriots struggled from the perimeter, hitting only 1-of-17 from three-point range. Freshman forward Vlad Moldoveanu contributed five points and nine rebounds in 25 minutes in his debut. Mason hosts Cleveland State on Tuesday.
ODU (1-0 overall, 0-0 in CAA)
The Monarchs captured their season opener for the fourth year in a row, downing South Carolina State 64-54 on Sunday. Senior guard Abdi Lidonde made 6-of-10 from three-point range and poured in a career-high 20 points. His previous career-best of 15 points came versus North Carolina in his first collegiate game. Senior center Sam Harris played 18 minutes, which was his most since 2006, and contributed eight points and a career-high nine rebounds. Junior forward Jonathan Adams had seven points and a career-best nine boards. Ten of the 11 Monarchs who saw action in the game scored points. Freshman point guard Darius James tallied seven points and five assists off the bench. ODU played without senior wing Brian Henderson, who was hospitalized after a fainting spell on Thursday. The Monarchs meet Toledo and Clemson this week.
VCU (1-0 overall, 0-0 in CAA)
The Rams began defense of their CAA title by cruising to a 70-51 victory over Maryland-Eastern Shore in their home opener on Friday. VCU never trailed in the contest and led by as many as 23 in the second half. Senior guard Jamal Shuler led a balanced scoring effort with 15 points while preseason CAA Player of the Year Eric Maynor added 12 points and five assists. Freshman forward Larry Sanders had an impressive collegiate debut with nine points, a team-high nine rebounds and three blocked shots off the bench, while rookie forward Lance Kearse had seven points in nine minutes. The Rams’ defense forced 24 turnovers that led to 30 points. Last season, VCU forced 20 or more turnovers 10 times. The Rams face Houston on Thursday in the opening game of the eight-team Puerto Rico Tip-Off Tournament.