On opening night, three Colonial Athletic Association men’s basketball teams put on excellent displays to kick off their respective seasons. In fact, George Mason, Northeastern and William & Mary all secured wins that built great opening momentum for themselves in their own individual ways.
Right away, the Huskies became the first CAA team to secure a victory in this young 2012-2013 with a thrilling win over cross-town rival, Boston University. In the waning moments of their opening contest, not only was Northeastern down one of its senior captains in Jonathan Lee, who’s currently sidelined by a nagging foot injury, but head coach Bill Coen was also forced to have Joel Smith on the bench after he fouled out. But, even without their emotional leaders and top-two scorers on the court, the Huskies were still able to pull out a buzzer-beating victory over the Terriers on Demetrius Pollard’s last-second three pointer. If the Huskies can scrap out close ball games without their two best players, one can only imagine what this team will be capable of when at full strength in crunch time.
Next, the Patriots built a ton of momentum after outlasting their ACC opponent, Virginia. While they shot 54 percent from the field as a team, Mason was able to defeat a tough high-major opponent. While some teams in the CAA opening their year with lower mid-major opponents. Instead, the Patriots triumphantly built momentum by defeating the Cavaliers. Mason head coach Paul Hewitt also has to be pleased with balanced scoring attack, featuring Sherrod Wright, Bryon Allen, Johnny Williams and Marko Gujanicic. With such a momentous victory around under the team’s belt, the Patriots may in face be ready to make a run a the CAA title, even without last year’s stars, Mike Morrison and Ryan Pearson.
Lastly, the William & Mary Tribe got a huge victory of their own last night The Tribe took care of business when they smacked Hampton 69-51 in their opening night victory. For a team that only won a total of 6 games last season, earning a double-digit victory so early in the season is a huge momentum swing for a relatively young college basketball team. Another very positive sign for the Tribe were the offensive contributions from players either than Marcus Thornton and Tim Rusthoven. While their two stars did have impressive performances, head coach Tony Shaver also saw some great things from Brandon Britt, Matt Rum and Kyle Gaillard.
Hopefully for these three teams, their momentum and positives will carry over into their next respective contests. The Tribe will take on Liberty on Monday, November 12, the Huskies will be back in action on Tuesday, November 13, when they take on Princeton in the NIT Season Tip-Off and the Patriots will travel to Bucknell on that same day.
Jake Fischer is the CAA Correspondent for Rant Sports-NCAA Basketball. Make sure to follow Jake on Twitter @fischsportsline.