Tuesday, October 19, 2010

For the Flying Dutchmen and the CAA, it’s one, two, three, four, five five five against one

This is from back when the idea of the Video Music Awards on MTV wasn't cloaked in irony.

Not really sure who the one is—the CAA as a collective being?—but I’ve had “Animal” in my head ever since it was revealed this morning that the Flying Dutchmen were picked fifth in the preseason poll released at media day in Virginia. SOUTHERN BIAS SOUTHERN BIAS SOUTHERN BIAS!!!!

Fortunately, Charles Jenkins eats Southern Bias for breakfast. The Flying Dutchmen superstar was picked to repeat as the conference’s Player of the Year.

To be serious about Hofstra’s placement for a moment: If you were told, back on May 3, that the Dutchmen would open the season in the five hole—two spots higher than they finished last season, back when they had not only the Player of the Year but also two members of the all-freshmen team and the head coach with the second-longest tenure in the league—you’d take that. In a heartbeat.

That the Dutchmen are so high is a testament to the game-changing talents of Jenkins, the underrated ability of the remaining returnees as well as the wide-open nature of the league. Sure, the Dutchmen lost plenty, but they still return a member of the CAA’s all-defensive team in Greg Washington and, perhaps, the versatile Nathaniel Lester. Add Mike Moore and Brad Kelleher—who spent last season as a redshirt and in NCAA red tape hell, respectively—and the cupboard isn’t as bare as was feared five months ago.

In addition, as bad as things seemed to be going for the Dutchmen in May, it was barely even a bronze medalist in the worst off-season Olympics thanks to Drexel losing two players—including starting point guard and leading scorer Jamie Harris—to an armed robbery arrest and UNC Wilmington taking longer to find one coach than it took Hofstra to find two and then losing the athletic director who “oversaw” the search.

And it seems like we say this every year, but other than the top two and the bottom two, you can throw everyone else in a hat and have just as good a shot of coming up with the final standings as you will be if you crunch all the numbers and chew over all the information at your fingertips. A good case can be made for any of the top five teams—that’s right, I said five!—finishing first. This won’t be a multi-bid year for the CAA (unless Tom O’Connor works his way back on to the Selection Committee!) but it is shaping up as perhaps the most competitive season since the league expanded in 2001-02.

Enough out of me, here is the preseason poll and All-CAA first team, as voted on by CAA coaches and SIDs as well as the media covering the league. Stop back tomorrow as we begin the Running Tally of this year’s predictions.

1.) Old Dominion

2.) George Mason

3.) VCU

4.) James Madison


6.) Drexel

7.) Northeastern

8.) William & Mary

9.) Delaware

10.) Towson

11.) Georgia State

12.) UNC Wilmington

All-CAA First Team

Charles Jenkins, Hofstra G

Chaisson Allen, Northeastern G

Denzel Bowles, James Madison F

Cam Long, George Mason G

Joey Rodriguez, VCU G

Email Jerry at defiantlydutch@yahoo.com or follow Defiantly Dutch at http://twitter.com/defiantlydutch.

1 comment:

Ben said...

No way we finish 5th. Jenkins and Washington are takin the CAA title this year