This report on the Colonial Athletic Association’s week came in from Rob Washburn, Assistant Commissioner/Communications: Conference Play Resumes: The race for the CAA regular-season title begins in earnest on Wedneday with the first full night of conference action. All 12 teams played one league game in either late November or early December, but then resumed non-conference […]
This report on the Colonial Athletic Association’s week came in from Rob Washburn, Assistant Commissioner/Communications:
Conference Play Resumes: The race for the CAA regular-season title begins in earnest on Wedneday with the first full night of conference action. All 12 teams played one league game in either late November or early December, but then resumed non-conference competition. Teams will play a pair of CAA games each week for the next nine weeks, with the only break coming on February 23 for BracketBusters. George Mason was the pre-season pick to win the CAA title, followed by VCU, Old Dominion, Drexel and Hofstra.
Five CAA Teams In Top 130 Of RPI: Five CAA teams are ranked among the top 130 in the latest RPI report produced by Collegiate Basketball News through games of Dec. 31. George Mason led all CAA teams at #28, followed by VCU at #69, James Madison at #116, Northeastern at #124 and Drexel at #130. The CAA is ranked #14 among the 31 Division I conferences.
Rams On A Roll: VCU is riding a season-best five-game winning streak as it returns to action at James Madison on Wednesday. The Rams started the streak with an 85-76 triumph over ACC foe Maryland in the BB&T Classic and posted an impressive 79-64 triumph at Bradley in their most recent game on Dec. 22. VCU has won its last five games by an average margin of 18.2 ppg.
CAA In Non-Conference Play: The CAA has posted a 61-65 (.484) record in non-conference action through the first month of the season. Twenty-two losses have come against squads from the ACC, Big East, Big Ten and SEC and nine were against teams in the Top 25.
George Mason (9-3 overall, 1-0 in CAA)
The Patriots improved to 6-0 at home following a 72-64 victory over Liberty on Sunday. Mason used an 18-2 run early in the second half to take control of a tight contest. All five Patriots’ starters were in double figures for the second straight game, led by senior forward Will Thomas with team-highs of 17 points and 11 rebounds. It was the fifth double-double of the season for Thomas, who went over 1,200 points (1,206) and 750 rebounds (753) for his career. Junior guard Dre Smith scored 15 points on 5-of-8 three-point shooting, senior Folarin Campbell had 14 points and eight assists and junior John Vaughan tallied 13 points and a career-high six assists. Mason hosts Towson on Saturday.
JMU (8-3 overall, 1-0 in CAA)
The Dukes lost 76-53 to host College of Charleston in the title game of the Cougar Classic on Sunday after beating South Carolina State (84-75) in the first round. The Dukes shot a season-low 31% from the floor against CofC and were held under 68 points for the first time this year. All five JMU starters tallied double figures in the SCSU win. Junior forward Juwann James made the all-tournament team after averaging 15.5 ppg and 5.5 rpg while shooting 63.2% (12-19) from the floor. James is contributing 16.3 ppg over his past four contests. JMU hosts VCU on Wednesday.
ODU (6-7 overall, 1-0 in CAA)
The Monarchs dropped their third straight game on the road, losing 73-57 at UAB on Saturday night. Old Dominion fell behind 27-4 and was down 40-19 at halftime. Freshman guard Darius James was the Monarchs’ leading scorer for the third straight game with 12 points and he also chipped in seven rebounds. Another freshman, forward Ben Finney, had eight points and a team-high 10 rebounds. Sophomore forward Gerald Lee had 11 points and six boards. ODU hosts Hofstra on Wednesday.
VCU (8-3 overall, 1-0 in CAA)
The Rams, who have been idle since a 79-64 victory at Bradley on Dec. 22, bring a season-best five-game winning streak into their game at James Madison on Wednesday. Junior guard Eric Maynor has tallied double digits in nine straight games and is now second in the CAA in scoring (18.3 ppg). He has scored 20 or more points in five of VCU’s 11 contests. Maynor also ranks eighth on VCU’s career assists list with 351 and is just one away from seventh. Freshman forward Larry Sanders leads the CAA with 2.8 blocks per game and has 21 rejections in his past four contests. Senior Jamal Shuler, who is 9th in the CAA in scoring (15.5 ppg), has made a 3-pointer in 13 consecutive games dating back to last season. Shuler is third in the CAA in treys per game (2.55) and 3-point percentage (45.2%). VCU tops the CAA in scoring defense (61.0 ppg), FG percentage defense (37.1%) and 3-point defense (27.3%) and is tied for the conference lead in steals (8.3 spg). VCU travels to JMU on Wednesday.
Wm. & Mary (4-7 overall, 0-1 in CAA)
The Tribe rebounded from a 70-63 loss at Hampton to roll past Fairfield 71-50 on New Year’s Eve. The victory was the 400th in the collegiate coaching career of Tony Shaver. The Tribe shot 45.8% from the floor and drained 12 three-pointers against Fairfield. It was the third time this season that W&M has connected on double-digit treys and they lead the CAA with 7.8 treys per game. W&M hosts Delaware on Wednesday.