CAA Notes: Men’s Basketball

Player of The Week: Charles Jenkins, Hofstra, So., G, 6-3, 220 Jenkins averaged 22.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 11.0 assists as Hofstra pushed its winning streak to five last week. The sophomore guard was sensational in a 99-96 double OT win over James Madison with 32 points, 13 assists and seven rebounds. The 13 assists were […]

Player of The Week: Charles Jenkins, Hofstra, So., G, 6-3, 220

Jenkins averaged 22.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 11.0 assists as Hofstra pushed its winning streak to five last week. The sophomore guard was sensational in a 99-96 double OT win over James Madison with 32 points, 13 assists and seven rebounds. The 13 assists were the most by a Pride player in 12 years. He followed with a team-high 13 points and nine assists in a BracketBusters victory at Fairfield. Jenkins was involved in 37 of the Pride’s 53 FG’s last week.

Rookie of the Week: Julius Wells, James Madison, Fr., F, 6-5, 190

Wells repeats as CAA Rookie of the Week after averaging 26.5 points and 8.5 rebounds as JMU split two games. The freshman forward poured in a career-high 32 points and grabbed seven boards as the Dukes fell in double overtime at Hofstra last Wednesday. In a win over Gardner-Webb, Wells contributed 21 points and a team-best eight rebounds. For the week, he shot 54.3% from the floor and hit 9-of-22 from 3-point range.

Successful BracketBusters Weekend: The CAA performed well in the 7th annual ESPNU BracketBusters over the weekend as the league’s 12 teams combined for an 8-4 record. The CAA improved to 11-5 all-time in televised BracketBuster contests as Northeastern won at Wright State, Old Dominion rolled past Liberty and Hofstra defeated Fairfield. Delaware and Georgia State also picked up road wins, while Drexel, UNC Wilmington and James Madison came out on top at home.

CAA Race Is Closest In The Nation: The race for the CAA regular-season title is the closest in the nation with the top six teams separated by just two games with two contests remaining. VCU sits atop the standings at 12-4, followed by a tie for second at 11-5 between Northeastern and George Mason. There is a three-way battle for fourth at 10-6 between Drexel, Hofstra and Old Dominion and James Madison sits in seventh at 9-7. No other Division I conference has more than five teams within two games of first place as of Feb. 22. Only the top four teams receive a first-round bye in the upcoming CAA Men’s Basketball Championship.

History In The Making: Since the CAA began playing an 18-game conference schedule in 2001-02, there have never been more than six teams with at least 10 league victories in a season. Heading into the final week of regular-season play, six teams have already reached double-figure win totals and James Madison is just one victory away from joining them.

Magic Number: VCU, which has won the past two regular-season titles, sits atop the CAA standings with a 12-4 record. No team has claimed the conference’s regular-season title with more than four losses since 1996-97 when Old Dominion and UNC Wilmington finished tied for first at 10-6.

Wild Wednesday: It was another wild Wednesday of action in the CAA on Feb. 18 as three games were decided by three points or less. Hofstra outlasted James Madison 99-96 in double overtime, Georgia State edged Northeastern 70-68 on Ousman Krubally’s layup at the buzzer, and George Mason slipped past Drexel 49-48 on Darryl Monroe’s putback with seven seconds to go.

Home Teams Get Hot In CAA Play: Home teams have gone 23-7 in CAA games over the past three weeks, but road squads have had some success this season. Home teams have won 60.4% (58-38) of the conference contests played thus far. Six teams have a .500 or better road record in CAA play and eight squads have at least three league road victories. Last year, home teams finished with a 71-37 (.657) record in CAA play and only two teams – VCU (7-2) and ODU (5-4) – had winning road marks in league action.

Streaking: George Mason’s 15-game home court winning streak is tied for the 10th-longest in Division I with Florida and UAB. Kansas owns the nation’s longest home court winning streak at 39 games.

Seven CAA Teams In Top 125 Of Latest RPI: Seven CAA teams are ranked in the top 125 of the most recent RPI report released by Collegiate Basketball News through games of Feb. 22. George Mason tops the list of CAA squads at #54, followed by VCU at #71, Hofstra at #79, Northeastern at #82, Drexel at #106, Old Dominion at #121 and James Madison at #125. The CAA is ranked #14 among the nation’s 31 Division I conferences.

Maynor Named Cousy Award Finalist: VCU senior guard Eric Maynor has been named one of 17 finalists for the Bob Cousy Award, which is given annually to the nation’s top collegiate point guard. It’s the second year in a row that Maynor has made the list of finalists, which also includes Davidson’s Stephen Curry, UCLA’s Darren Collison, Wake Forest’s Jeff Teague and North Carolina’s Ty Lawson.

Delaware’s Egerson Leads In Double-Doubles: Delaware senior guard Marc Egerson has recorded a league-best 13 doubles-doubles this season. Egerson leads the CAA in rebounding with 10.4 per game and is sixth in the conference in scoring (15.1 ppg). Egerson is one of 19 players nationally to be averaging a double-double for the season and he is the only player in Division I to be averaging at least 10.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game.

Multi-Talented Jenkins: Hofstra sophomore guard Charles Jenkins is one of only 10 players in the nation to be averaging at least 18 points (18.6 ppg), four rebounds (4.9 rpg) and four assists (4.1 apg) per game this season.

Four CAA Teams In Mid-Major Top 25 Poll: A season-high four CAA teams are ranked in the latest Mid-Major Top 25 poll released by on Feb. 23. VCU leads the CAA teams at #11 followed by George Mason at #19, Northeastern at #20 and Old Dominion at #21. Hofstra also received votes. The CAA was the only conference with four teams ranked in the poll.

Maynor Ranked Nationally In Scoring And Assists: VCU’s Eric Maynor is ranked 9th in Division I in scoring (23.1 ppg) and 16th in assists (6.1 apg) according to the latest NCAA statistics through games of Feb. 22. Maynor and North Dakota State’s Ben Woodside are the only players in the nation to be ranked in the top 20 of both categories. In other individual rankings, Delaware’s Marc Egerson is 14th nationally in rebounding (10.4 rpg), UNCW’s Chad Tomko is 38th in steals (2.2 spg) and VCU’s Larry Sanders ranks 17th in blocks (2.5 bpg). A complete listing of CAA teams and players in the NCAA stats is on page 4 of this release.

Dynamite Defense: Defenses have been dominant in CAA play thus far, with seven teams allowing less than 63 points per game. Northeastern is giving up only 56.9 ppg and has held 10 conference foes to under 60 points. Four teams are also holding their opponent under 40% FG shooting in CAA competition.

Fabulous Freshmen: James Madison’s freshman trio of Julius Wells (356 pts), Devon Moore (274 pts) and Andrey Semenov (222 pts) have scored the most points ever (852) by a Dukes’ freshmen class at the Division I level. It’s also the first time that JMU has had three freshmen with more than 200 points in a season.

Maynor Moves To Third On CAA Assists List: VCU senior guard Eric Maynor has moved into third place on the CAA’s career assists list with 634. Maynor, who became the Rams’ all-time assists leader on Jan. 24, trails only Navy’s Doug Wojcik (714) and ODU’s Brion Dunlap (680) on the CAA chart. Maynor is on pace to join Delaware’s Mike Slattery as the only players in CAA history to lead the conference in assists for three straight seasons and could join Northeastern’s Jose Juan Barea as the only players to lead the CAA in scoring and assists in the same year.

DELAWARE (12-17 overall, 5-11 in CAA)

The Blue Hens fell at VCU, but snapped a seven-game road losing streak by rallying past Bucknell (81-68) in BracketBusters. Delaware trailed the Bison by 12 with 7:02 to go before closing the game on a 25-0 run. Senior Marc Egerson averaged 18.0 ppg and 11.0 rpg for the week, including his league-leading 13th double-double (18 pts/13 reb) at BU. Egerson has led UD in rebounding in 10 straight games and his 303 caroms rank 8th on the school’s single season list. Junior Brian Johnson has scored double digits in six straight games and is averaging 14.0 ppg over that stretch. Johnson, who tallied 14 assists with two turnovers last week, ranks fourth on UD’s career assists list with 436. Sophomore Jawan Carter poured in a team-high 26 points at Bucknell and averaged 20.5 ppg for the week. Sophomore Alphonso Dawson posted his second career double-double (15 pts/11 reb) at BU.

DREXEL (15-11 overall, 10-6 in CAA)

The Dragons rebounded from a one-point loss at George Mason to roll past Loyola (Md.) (74-58) in BracketBusters. Drexel has won 10 of its last 13. The Dragons shot 69.9% in the second half and made a season-high 11 treys in the Loyola win. Senior Scott Rodgers averaged 17.5 ppg and 5.5 rpg for the week, including a team-high 23 points against Loyola. Rodgers has scored double digits in 10 of his last 12 games. Junior Evan Neisler posted his third double-double of the season at Mason with team-highs of 14 points and 11 rebounds. Junior Leon Spencer just missed a triple-double versus Loyola with nine points, a career-high 10 rebounds and a school-record tying nine blocks. Sophomore Gerald Colds hit four threes and netted 18 points against Loyola, which was his top offensive effort since Dec. 20. Drexel has held its past four opponents under 39% FG shooting.

GEORGE MASON (18-9 overall, 11-5 in CAA)

The Patriots moved into a tie for second in the CAA after edging Drexel 49-48, but lost at MVC leader Creighton in BracketBusters. Mason has won 15 in a row at home, but has dropped six straight on the road. Senior Darryl Monroe led the Patriots with 15 points and nine rebounds versus Drexel and scored the game-winning bucket on a putback with 7.5 seconds left. Monroe tops the CAA in FG percentage (58.2%) and is second in rebounding (8.3 rpg). Sophomore Cam Long went 4-for-5 from 3-point range and poured in a team-high 23 points at Creighton. It was the third 20-point effort of the year for Long, who is among the top 20 in the CAA in scoring, rebounding and assists. Senior John Vaughan, who is averaging 13.3 ppg over his last six games, moved into 19th place on Mason’s all-time scoring list (1,195 pts). Mason’s loss at CU was its first by more than eight points this season.

GEORGIA STATE (10-18 overall, 7-9 in CAA)

The Panthers are on a season-best three-game winning streak after road victories over Northeastern (70-68) and Eastern Michigan. Junior Ousman Krubally’s layup at the buzzer was the game-winner at NU as State won its second straight CAA game on a last-second shot. Krubally is averaging 10.7 ppg and 7.3 rpg in his last three games. Sophomore Dante Curry scored a team-high 18 points and assisted on the game-winning bucket at NU. Curry, who hit 8-of-14 from 3-point range last week, also netted a game-high 14 points at EMU. Junior Joe Dukes (14 pts/8 ast at NU) has scored double figures in four of his last six games and has dished out 26 assists in the past four contests. Senior Leonard Mendez moved into 10th place on State’s career scoring list (1,185 pts). The Panthers shot a season-best 55.8% at NU and have topped the 50% mark in four of their last six games.

HOFSTRA (19-9 overall, 10-6 in CAA)

The Pride has won five in a row and nine of 11 after beating James Madison (99-96 in 2ot) and Fairfield (61-56) last week. Hofstra improved to 12-2 in games decided by five points or less. Sophomore Charles Jenkins had 32 points, 13 assists and seven rebounds versus JMU and is averaging 23.7 ppg and 10.0 apg over his last three games. The 13 assists were the most by a Pride player in 12 years and Jenkins is now just 43 points shy of 1,000 for his career. Sophomore Nathaniel Lester posted his second double-double in three games with a career-best 22 points and a career-high tying 11 boards versus JMU. He is averaging 14.6 ppg over his last five games. Senior Zygis Sestokas drained three straight treys in the second OT and finished with a career-high 19 points versus JMU. Sestokas is 15-of-25 from three over the past four games and is scoring 12.3 ppg during that stretch.

JAMES MADISON (18-11 overall, 9-7 in CAA)

The Dukes rebounded from a double OT loss at Hofstra to top Gardner-Webb in BracketBusters. JMU is 5-2 in its past seven games, with both losses coming in overtime. Freshman Julius Wells averaged 26.5 ppg and 8.5 rpg for the week, including  a career-high 32 points at HU. Wells has scored 20 or more points in four of JMU’s last six games and is averaging 18.2 ppg and 6.7 rpg over that stretch. Senior Juwann James poured in a career-best 25 points and grabbed seven boards versus GWU and tallied 22.0 ppg for the week. James is now 7th on the Dukes’ career scoring list (1,391 pts). JMU lost freshman guard Devon Moore to a wrist injury against Hofstra, but junior Pierre Curtis responded by averaging 15.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg and 5.5 apg over the two games. The Dukes have made a school-record 208 threes this season. Kyle Swanston’s 79 treys are the 4th-most in JMU season history.

UNC WILMINGTON (7-22 overall, 3-13 in CAA)

The Seahawks fell to Old Dominion, but ended a four-game slide with a 75-72 win over Elon. Junior Montez Downey came off the bench to score a career-high 26 points versus Elon, including 20 in the first half. Sophomore Chad Tomko averaged 19.0 ppg and 4.0 rpg for the week and has posted double-figures in seven of his last nine games. Tomko ranks among the top five in the CAA in scoring, assists and steals. Freshman Kevon Moore scored 11 points off the bench versus ODU, which was his top offensive effort since Feb. 4. Freshman Jerel Stephenson, who is averaging 7.7 ppg and 5.0 rpg, suffered a sprained left knee against ODU and is out indefinitely. Junior walk-on Daniel Mercer started against Elon and contributed eight points and a team-high seven rebounds. The Seahawks are averaging only 8.8 turnovers over the past five contests.

NORTHEASTERN (17-10 overall, 11-5 in CAA)

The Huskies fell to second in the CAA after a loss at the buzzer to Georgia State, but broke a three-game skid with a BracketBusters win at Wright State. Senior Eugene Spates averaged 17.5 ppg for the week, including a career-high 22 points at WSU. NU is 7-1 when Spates scores double figures. Sophomore Chaisson Allen tallied 20 points on 7-of-10 FG shooting at WSU. He also dished out seven assists with only one turnover last week. Junior Matt Janning netted a team-high 15 points versus GSU, but had his 15-game double-figure scoring streak end at Wright State. Junior Manny Adako added 14 points against GSU and is shooting a league-best 62.6% from the floor in CAA play. The Huskies committed only 13 turnovers in the two games last week. NU is shooting 81.1% from the FT line over the past 10 games. The Huskies’ nine road wins are their most in a season since 1986-87.

OLD DOMINION (18-9 overall, 10-6 in CAA)

The Monarchs have won three straight and seven of their last eight following double-digit victories over UNCW and Liberty. The Monarchs shot 61% from the floor in both games, including 73.1% (19-26) in the second half against LU. Junior Gerald Lee scored a career-high tying 26 points on 13-16 FG shooting versus LU and reached the 1,000-point mark for his career. Lee is averaging 20.3 ppg over his last eight games. Sophomore Ben Finney was 4-for-4 from three and had 19 points, six boards and six assists versus LU. Sophomore Frank Hassell scored a team-high 19 points at UNCW, which was his top offensive effort since Nov. 25. Freshman Kent Bazemore scored a career-high 13 points at UNCW, while junior Marsharee Neely chipped in 14 points. ODU is 4-0 in BracketBuster games, including 3-0 in televised contests. ODU has won 18+ games for five straight seasons.

TOWSON (9-20 overall, 4-12 in CAA)

The Tigers suffered setbacks to William & Mary and Morgan State last week and have lost six of their last seven. Senior Junior Hairston led the Tigers with 13 points and nine boards against W&M and grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds versus MSU. It was Hairston’s eighth game with 10 or more caroms this season. Junior Josh Thornton hit three treys and also scored 13 points against the Tribe. Thornton has made 74 three-pointers this season and is second in the CAA with 2.6 treys per game. Sophomore Jarrel Smith poured in 21 points against MSU, which was his fourth 20-point performance of the season and his top offensive output since Nov. 22. Senior Rocky Coleman added 13 points in 21 minutes off the bench. The Tigers are 35-of-46 (76.1%) from the free throw line over the past three games. Towson has shot under 39% from the floor in its past three games.

VCU (19-9 overall, 12-4 in CAA)

The Rams took over sole possession of first place in the CAA with a victory over Delaware (78-67), but fell by one at Nevada in BracketBusters. Senior Eric Maynor averaged 29.0 ppg and 7.5 apg for the week, including his second double-double of the year (30pts/10ast) versus UD. With 1,839 career points, Maynor needs just 20 more to pass Kendrick Warren (1,859) as VCU’s all-time leading scorer. Sophomore Larry Sanders recorded his second straight double-double and seventh of the year in the UD win with 19 points and 16 boards. Sanders is averaging 13.0 ppg and 10.8 rpg over his last five CAA contests. Junior Kirill Pishchalnikov added 11 points versus the Hens, which was his top offensive effort since Jan. 24. Sophomore Brandon Rozzell has five double-figure outings in the past 10 games. Freshman Bradford Burgess scored 10 points at Nevada.

WILLIAM & MARY (9-18 overall, 4-12 in CAA)

The Tribe posted a 76-54 victory at Towson before losing to Manhattan in BracketBusters. W&M shot 50% from the floor at TU and is now 24-0 under coach Tony Shaver when reaching the 50% mark. Junior guard David Schneider narrowly missed his second double-double of the season at TU with a team-high 26 points and nine boards. Schneider, who is averaging 15.7 ppg over the past six contests, has 11 double-digit efforts in his last 14 games. Freshman Quinn McDowell scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half against the Tigers. Freshman Kendrix Brown grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds at Towson. W&M’s defense limited Towson to 31.6% FG shooting and the Tribe has held three of its past six opponents under 40%. W&M shot 81% from the FT line at Towson, which was its best percentage since Jan. 7. Junior Danny Sumner netted a team-high 11 points against Manhattan.

– The information above was provided by Rob Washburn, CAA Associate Commissioner/Communications

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