It's a tie!
Good afternoon and happy new year! For the second straight year, I’ve polled some of the #CAAHoops finest fans and bloggers to get a sense of where we think the league is after non-conference play but before conference play opens. Unlike last year, I’m posting this after the first game was played. New year, but not a new me!
There seems to be a lot more fluidity this year than last, when UNC Wilmington was the unanimous post-non-conference play, pre-conference play favorite. Charleston, the clear no. 1 team in the CAA’s preseason poll of media and SIDs, is tied for the no. 1 spot in our poll with Towson, which was ranked second in the preseason. The gap closed considerably as Charleston battled a spate of injuries during the non-conference slate and Towson earned the most non-conference wins of any CAA school, though the Cougars certainly looked back to full strength in their win over the Tigers on Saturday.
Northeastern, which beat three schools predicted to win their league, and offensive machine William & Mary also have higher expectations now than in October as they form the front and back end of a four-team gaggle in the middle of the standings.
Our beloved Flying Dutchmen, meanwhile, are in the exact same spot now as they were then, which seems Alanis-level ironic given the roller coaster ride they put us on to not move at all. Elon fell a bit, though that seems to be more a reflection of the rise of Northeastern and William & Mary than any fall by the Phoenix.
The bottom four teams — a group that includes three of the four teams picked to bring up the rear in the preseason, as well as two-time defending champ UNCW, because life moves pretty fast — are pretty well-defined in our poll.
Without further ado, check out the poll (first-place votes are in parenthesis) as well as its participants, whom we thank profusely for their contributions. Also check out the CAA’s preseason poll so you can compare and contrast the two surveys. And as always, clip and save for reference come March.
#CAAHOOPS FAN/WRITER POLL, 12/30/17
t1.) College of Charleston 16 (5 first place votes)
t1.) Towson 16 (5 first place votes)
3.) Northeastern 40
4.) Hofstra 43
5.) Elon 47
6.) William & Mary 50
7.) Delaware 71
8.) Drexel 78
9.) James Madison 94
10.) UNC Wilmington 95
CAA 2017-18 PRESEASON POLL
1.) College of Charleston
8.) William & Mary
10.) James Madison
Me (unbiased and totally hinged Hofstra observer)
Mike Brodsky (Northeastern superfan)
Robert Canady (Towson writer for WNST)
Tommy Glasgow (Charleston blogger/superfan at KingKreese.com)
JMU Sports Blog (James Madison bloggers/superfans)
Mike Litos (VCU superfan and radio analyst, founding father of #CAAHoops)
Gary Moore (Hofstra superfan & college hoops blogger)
Rob Russell (W&M superfan, grrr)
Vinny Simone (Hofstra/CAA writer for Big Apple Buckets)