Someone needs to update this for the CAA.
Man, the CAA pushing back the tournament one day really makes this week drag. Anyway, as we all wait for the CAA Tournament to tip off tomorrow afternoon, I thought I’d try something new with a #CAAHoops tourney preview in which I give thumbnail sketches of each team. This is the kind of thing you might have seen in the newspaper, back in the day when there were newspapers. Ask your grandparents. More to come, but enjoy for now!
1.) CHARLESTON (14-4 CAA, 23-7 overall)
The Cougars were picked first in the preseason poll. They are the ninth preseason favorite since 2001-02 to earn the no. 1 seed and the 10th to earn at least a share of the regular season title. The regular season crown is the first in the CAA for Charleston, which is in its fifth season in the league. Charleston was 3-3 through six games before winning 10 in a row prior to an overtime loss to William & Mary in the regular season finale Saturday.
CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY: The Cougars have never won the CAA title. They reached the CAA title game for the first time last season and fell to UNC Wilmington, 78-69. Charleston last appeared in the NCAA Tournament in 1999, when it won the Southern Conference. Charleston has made four NCAA Tournament appearances.
BY THE NUMBERS: The Cougars rank 121st at KenPom.com and 70th in the RPI. At KenPom.com, Charleston ranks first in conference-only offensive efficiency (117.9) and fourth in conference-only defensive efficiency (108.9).
ON THE CAA LEADERBOARD: Sophomore Grant Riller ranked fifth in the CAA in scoring (18.4 ppg) while senior Joe Chealey ranked seventh (18.0 ppg). Junior Nick Harris was tied for ninth in rebounding (6.7 rpg). Chealey was fifth in assists (3.7 apg)
CAA HONOR ROLL: Chealey and Riller earned first-team All-CAA honors while junior Jarrell Brantley was named to the second team.
2.) NORTHEASTERN (14-4 CAA, 21-9 overall)
The Huskies were picked sixth in the preseason poll. Their second-place finish is the highest for a team picked sixth since 2005-06, when VCU was picked sixth and finished first. Northeastern has been seeded second or higher three times in 13 seasons in the CAA, though the Huskies were the third seed when they were part of the four-way tie for first place in 2014-15. The Huskies ended the regular season on a seven-game winning streak, the longest by a team entering the CAA Tournament since Drexel won its final 16 regular season conference games in 2011-12.
CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY: The Huskies, who are in their 13th year in the CAA, won their first league title in 2015. It was Northeastern’s first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1991, won it won the North Atlantic Conference. Northeastern has made eight NCAA Tournament appearances.
BY THE NUMBERS: The Huskies rank 104th at KenPom.com and 60th in the RPI. At KenPom.com, Northeastern ranks fourth in conference-only efficiency (111.8) and first in defensive-only efficiency (101.9).
ON THE CAA LEADERBOARD: Junior Vasa Pusica ranked ninth in the CAA in scoring (17.6 ppg) and third in assists (5.0 ppg).
CAA HONOR ROLL: Pusica earned first-team all-CAA honors. Sophomore Shawn Occeus was named the CAA’s defensive player of the year and sophomore Bolden Brace was selected the sixth man of the year. Head coach Bill Coen was named coach of the year.
3.) HOFSTRA (12-6 CAA, 19-11 overall)
The Flying Dutchmen were picked fourth in the preseason poll. The third-place finish marks the fifth time the Dutchmen have finished in the top three since joining the CAA in 2001-02. Hofstra finished third in 2005-06, 2006-07 and 2010-11) and shared the regular season crown while earning the no. 1 seed in 2015-16 (sniff). The Dutchmen finished the regular season on a four-game winning streak, the fifth time in 17 seasons they have entered the CAA Tournament with a winning streak of four games or longer.
CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY: The Dutchmen, who are in their 17th season in the CAA, have never won the league title. I might have written a thing or two about it over the years. Hofstra last appeared in the NCAA Tournament in 2001, when it won the America East. The Dutchmen have made four NCAA Tournaments. It should have been five. I might have written a thing or two about it over the years.
BY THE NUMBERS: The Dutchmen rank 154th at KenPom.com and 107th in the RPI. At KenPom.com, Hofstra ranks third in conference-only offensive efficiency (114.7) and fifth in conference-only defensive efficiency (109.3).
ON THE CAA LEADERBOARD: Junior Justin Wright-Foreman led the CAA in scoring (24.2 ppg). Senior Rokas Gustys ranked second in rebounding (12.1 rpg). Sophomore Desure Buie (3.4 apg) and Wright-Foreman (3.1 apg) ranked seventh and ninth, respectively, in assists.
CAA HONOR ROLL: Wright-Foreman was selected the CAA’s player of the year. Gustys was named to the third team.
4.) WILLIAM & MARY (11-7 CAA, 18-11 overall)
The Tribe were picked eighth in the preseason poll. The fourth-place finish is the highest for any team picked eighth in the preseason poll since 2001-02. Elon finished fifth last season after ranking eighth in the preseason. William & Mary opened the CAA season with five straight wins and was the last unbeaten team in the league before going 6-7 the rest of the way. The Tribe is on pace to become the first team in Division I history to shoot 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from 3-point land and 80 percent from the free throw line.
CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY: The Tribe, one of two remaining original CAA members from the league’s inaugural season in 1982-83, has never made the NCAA Tournament. William & Mary is one of just four original Division I programs to never reach the NCAA Tournament, along with Army West Point and St. Francis (NY), both of whom have already been eliminated from their conference tournaments, and The Citadel, which won its first-round game in the Southern Conference tournament today. Our friends at Gheorghe The Blog have written about the Tribe’s Quixotic quest for the NCAA Tournament bid, you should check them out. They’re great, even when we are yelling HOLY SHIT at each other.
BY THE NUMBERS: The Tribe rank 179th at KenPom.com and 91st in the RPI. At KenPom.com, William & Mary ranks second in conference-only offensive efficiency (117.7) and ninth in conference-only defensive efficiency (114.9).
ON THE CAA LEADERBOARD: Sophomore Nathan Knight ranked sixth in the CAA in scoring (18.1 ppg). Sophomore Justin Pierce (8.8 rpg) and Knight (7.1 rpg) ranked fourth and seventh in rebounding, respectively. Senior David Cohn led the CAA in assists (6.7 apg).
CAA HONOR ROLL: Knight was named to the All-CAA second team while Cohn and Pierce each earned third-team honors.
5.) TOWSON (8-10 CAA, 18-13 overall)
The Tigers were picked second in the preseason poll. The fifth-place finish is the lowest the preseason pick has finished in the regular season since George Mason finished fifth in 2006-07. Towson opened the season 0-2 and finished league play on a three-game losing streak. The Tigers have finished in the top half of the CAA in five of the last six seasons after never placing higher than seventh in their first 11 CAA seasons.
CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY: Towson is in its 17th season in the CAA and has never advanced to a championship game. The only other active CAA school that has yet to play in the title game is Elon, which is in its fourth season in the league. Towson made its two NCAA Tournament appearances in 1990 and 1991, when it won the ECC’s final automatic bids to the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers also won the ECC in 1992, when the league did not carry an automatic bid.
BY THE NUMBERS: The Tigers rank 149th at KenPom.com and 145th in the RPI. At KenPom.com, Towson ranks fifth in conference-only offensive efficiency (111.1) and third in conference-only defensive efficiency (108.0).
ON THE CAA LEADERBOARD: Sophomore Zane Martin ranked third in the CAA in scoring (19.9 ppg).
CAA HONOR ROLL: Martin was named to the all-CAA second team.
6.) UNC WILMINGTON (7-11 CAA, 10-20 overall)
The Seahawks were picked fifth in the preseason poll. The sixth-place finish for the two-time defending champions marked the third time in the last four years a defending champ has finished sixth. Northeastern (2015-16) and Delaware (2014-15) also fell to sixth after winning it all. The last defending champ to finish lower than sixth was UNC Wilmington (10th place) in 2006-07. UNC Wilmington won consecutive CAA games just once this season (over Towson and James Madison on Jan. 20-25).
CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY: UNC Wilmington, which is the third-most senior CAA program with 34 years in the league, has won six league titles, more than the rest of the current CAA combined.
BY THE NUMBERS: The Seahawks rank 247th at KenPom.com and 261st in the RPI. At KenPom.com, UNC Wilmington ranks seventh in conference-only offensive efficiency (108.0) and seventh in conference-only defensive efficiency (110.6).
ON THE CAA LEADERBOARD: Junior Devontae Cacok ranked eighth in the CAA in scoring (17.8) and led the league in rebounding (13.8 rpg). Senior Marcus Bryan ranked eighth in rebounding (6.9 rpg). Senior Jordan Talley ranked second in assists (5.8 apg).
CAA HONOR ROLL: Cacok was named to the All-CAA team while Talley earned third-team honors.
7.) DELAWARE (6-12 CAA, 13-18 overall)
The Blue Hens were picked seventh in the preseason poll. They are the only team to finish where predicted. Delaware has finished sixth or lower in each of the last four seasons. The Blue Hens opened the season 4-2 before suffering a nine-game losing streak, the longest skid in the CAA this season.
CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY: Delaware, which is in its 17th season in the CAA, won its lone championship in 2014, when the Blue Hens made the program’s first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 1999. The Blue Hens have made five NCAA Tournaments.
BY THE NUMBERS: The Blue Hens rank 249th at KenPom.com and 242nd in the RPI. At KenPom.com, Delaware ranks last in conference-only offensive efficiency (102.8) and sixth in conference-only defensive efficiency (110.0).
ON THE CAA LEADERBOARD: Sophomore Ryan Daly ranked 10th in the CAA in scoring (17.0 ppg). Junior Eric Carter ranked third in rebounding (9.2 rpg). Senior Anthony Mosley ranked 10th in assists (2.9 apg).
CAA HONOR ROLL: Daly was named to the All-CAA third team while freshman Ryan Allen was selected as the CAA Rookie of the Year.
8.) DREXEL (6-12 CAA, 12-19 overall)
The Dragons were picked ninth in the preseason poll. Drexel opened the season 1-7 before winning four straight games. The Dragons then lost four in a row before splitting their final two games. This marks the fourth straight season in which Drexel has finished seventh or lower.
CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY: Drexel, which is in its 17th season in the CAA, has yet to win the conference, though it fell in the championship game in good ol’ Richmond in 2003 and 2012. The Dragons last reached the NCAA Tournament in 1996, when, led by Malik Rose, they completed a three-peat in the North Atlantic Conference. Drexel has made four NCAA Tournaments, the first of which it reached after beating Hofstra in the 1986 ECC title game. It existed, Litos. It existed.
BY THE NUMBERS: The Dragons rank 257th at KenPom.com and 244th in the RPI. At KenPom.com, Drexel ranks sixth in conference-only offensive efficiency (109.1) and last in conference-only defensive efficiency (117.6).
ON THE CAA LEADERBOARD: Junior guard Tramaine Isabell ranked second in the CAA in scoring (21.1 ppg). Senior Austin Williams (8.3 rpg) and Isabell (7.3 rpg) ranked sixth and seventh, respectively, in rebounding. Isabell (3.5 apg) and sophomore Kurk Lee (3.3 apg) ranked sixth and eighth in assists, respectively.
CAA HONOR ROLL: Isabell was named to the all-CAA second team.
9.) JAMES MADISON (6-12 CAA, 10-21 overall)
The Dukes were picked 10th in the preseason poll. James Madison, the last winless team in the CAA, opened the season with six straight losses before going 6-6 the rest of the way
CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY: James Madison, which is one of two remaining original members of the CAA along with William & Mary, won its third CAA title in 2014. The Dukes were the first CAA champions in 1983. The program has made five NCAA Tournament appearances overall.
BY THE NUMBERS: The Dukes rank 229th at KenPom.com and 269th in the RPI. At KenPom.com, James Madison ranks ninth in conference-only offensive efficiency (103.1) and second in conference-only defensive efficiency (107.0).
ON THE CAA LEADERBOARD: Junior Stuckey Mosley ranked fourth in the CAA in scoring (18.6 ppg).
CAA HONOR ROLL: Mosley was named to the All-CAA third team.
10.) ELON (6-12 CAA, 14-17 overall)
The Phoenix were picked third in the preseason poll. The 10th-place finish is the lowest for a team picked third since the CAA expanded to 10 teams in 2001-02. UNC Wilmington finished seventh after being picked third in 2003-04. Elon opened the CAA season with two straight wins and was 4-2 before going 2-10 the rest of the way and losing its final six games, the longest losing streak entering the CAA Tournament since Towson dropped its final seven games in 2011-12. The first five of those losses were by at least 15 points, which was also the longest such CAA streak since Towson had five straight 15-point losses in 2011-12.
CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY: Elon, which is in its fourth season in the CAA, has never made the NCAA Tournament in 19 years as a Division I program. The Phoenix reached its lone conference championship game in 2008, when it fell to Stephen Curry and Elite Eight-bound Davidson.
BY THE NUMBERS: The Phoenix rank 248th at KenPom.com and 196th in the RPI. At KenPom.com, Elon ranks eighth in conference-only offensive efficiency (105.4) and eighth in conference-only defensive efficiency (113.0).
ON THE CAA LEADERBOARD: Junior Tyler Seibring was tied for ninth in rebounding (6.7 rpg). Junior Dainan Swoope ranked fourth in assists (3.8 apg)
CAA HONOR ROLL: Seibring was named to the All-CAA third team.