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CAA Week 5 Power Rankings

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The CAA Championship Moving Isn't The Only Thing That Happened This Week

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2012-2013 men’s college basketball season now in full swing, the Colonial Athletic Association has had plenty of exciting moments, season-changing injuries and buzzer-beaters.

And, naturally, there has been quite a lot change in the conference power rankings lately, as well. Many teams have looked pretty different on the court than they did on paper during the preseason, and that’s been the main reason for all the fluctuation.

Drexel hasn’t been what they were hyped to be this season as of late, and now they’re floating towards the bottom of the league. Delaware looked very successful in the first two weeks of the season, but have now fallen far as well after their impressive NIT Season Tip-Off run. Now, two other teams have taken the top-2 slots and four other teams are hovering around .500 records.

All this new construction in the power rankings definitely proves that there are most likely around seven or eight teams who could possibly contend for a top-5 spot in the conference standings. In the following slides, we look at how each team fared against their previous opponents and glance at the week ahead.

Jake Fischer is the CAA Correspondent for Rant Sports-NCAA Basketball. Throughout this 2012-2013 men’s basketball season, he will be contributing weekly CAA Power Rankings every Thursday. Make sure to follow Jake on Twitter @JakeLFischer.

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No. 11- Old Dominion Monarchs

Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Overall: 1-8

Last Week: 0-1 (VCU)

The Old Dominion Monarchs’ woes continued this week when they were thrashed on their home court at the hands of former CAA rival, Virginia Commonwealth. In this dreadful contest, DeShawn Painter preformed at most likely his highest level at 26 points and 10 rebounds and the Monarchs still lost! Head coach Blaine Taylor’s defensive game plan clearly isn’t working and ODU has dug themselves a huge hole to overcome entering the final few non-conference games on their schedule.

Next week, Old Dominion will play Central Florida and College of Charleston.

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No. 10- Hofstra Pride

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Overall 3-7

Last Week: 0-1 (LIU Brooklyn)

The basketball gods clearly don’t want the Hofstra Pride to be successful this season. First, they cancelled practice and forced head coach Mo Cassara to evacuate his Point Lookout, NY home. Next, they further affected practice when the second Presidential Debate came to town. Then, four Hofstra players were suspended and arrested for mass on-campus burglary charges. Now, the Pride couldn’t use Taran Buie’s 29 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists to overcome a late three-point by LIU Brooklyn this past week. In an unfortunate 88-84 loss, the Pride unfortunately couldn’t right their struggling ship and now find themselves on a five-game losing streak.

Next week, Hofstra takes on Wright State on Saturday.

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No. 9- James Madison Dukes

Rafael Suanes-USA TODAY Sports

Overall: 3-6

Last Week: 0-1 (Richmond)

The James Madison Dukes saw their first winning streak of the season end on Saturday when they fell to the Richmond Spiders 83-82 in an exciting overtime thriller. Now, even though the team lost, you have to be impressed with how the Dukes stood up to their more acclaimed and talented opponent. As a team, JMU shot 52 percent from the field and 61.5 percent from beyond the arc as Devon Moore, Andrey Semenov, A.J. Davis and Ron Curry all scored in double figures. This game was a positive sign for a team that isn’t completely out of CAA contention just yet.

Next Week, the Dukes will welcome UNC Greensboro on Saturday to the Convocation Center.

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No. 8- Delaware Blue Hens

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Overall: 3-7

Last Week: 0-1 (Delaware St)

Unfortuantely for head coach Monte Ross, the Delaware Blue Hens couldn’t squeak out an overtime victory over in-state rival, Delaware State. The Blue Hens did get great performances from Jamelle Hagins and Devon Saddler. But, Delaware couldn’t hold it together late, giving up a game-tying three, and lost the extra period 13-7. Late game poise is something that must be corrected

Next Week, the Blue Hens will take on a tough Villanova team on Sunday.

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No. 7- Drexel Dragons

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Overall: 3-6

Last Week: 1-0 (Princeton)

With a 64-57 road win over the Princeton Tigers on Saturday, the Drexel Dragons ended a two-game losing streak and took a big step in the right direction. As a team, the Dragons defended well, forcing the Tigers to commit 10 turnovers and shoot just 47 percent from the field. But, most importantly, Drexel finally got a solid showing of 20 points 13 rebounds and 3 assists from their frontcourt of Daryl McCoy and Dartaye Ruffin. Head coach Bruiser Flint will need his bigs to continue to perform if they want to retain any hope of competing for the CAA title.

Next week, the Dragons take on Fairfield on Sunday.

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No. 6- UNCW Seahawks

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Overall: 4-5

Last Week: 0-1 (Georgia Tech)

In a losing effort to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, the UNCW Seahawks definitely showed some impressive signs. First, they battled an ACC team on the road until the very last buzzer and even led by 5 at one point. The team’s relative success also came with Keith Rendleman scoring just 6 points and the rest of the team stepping up around him. The Hawks definitely could have shot the ball better and contended Tech’s shots more sufficiently, but this is still a game head coach Buzz Peterson and company can learn and grow from.

Next week, UNCW face Davidson on Saturday on the road and host UNC Greensboro on Wednesday.

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No. 5- Towson Tigers

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Overall 4-6

Last Week: 0-2 (Georgetown, Temple)

The Towson Tigers lost two games last week, but still earned some massive respect. Losing to No. 15 Georgetown by just six points 46-40 and competing against Temple, both on the road, in the same week is pretty impressive for a mid-major team that went 1-31 last season. Now, Jerrelle Benimon is starting to creep into every CAA Player of the Year conversation and is even starting to look like an NBA prospect. But, Towson still needs to start winning games on the road.

Next week, the Tigers will host North Dakota State on Saturday and Coppin State on Wednesday.

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No. 4- Georgia State Panthers

Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

Overall 5-4

Last Week: 1-0 (Southern Poly)

Now enjoying a two-game winning streak, the Georgia State Panthers put in their most complete game of basketball this season with their 86-58 victory over Southern Polytechnic. Four players scored in double-figures, the Panthers forced 15 turnovers while only allowing the Hornets to shoot 34.5 percent from the field and out-rebounding their opponent 41-24. Now, the only thing holding GSU back from being further ranked is that this dominant win game against a Division II opponent. Hopefully for head coach Ron Hunter, the Panthers can continue this success against a more high-profile opponent in the near future.

Next week Georgia State will play at Troy on Saturday and vs. Southern Miss on Tuesday.

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No. 3- Northeastern Huskies

Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Overall: 4-5

Last Week: 0-1 (La Salle)

Unfortunately for head coach Bill Coen, the Northeastern Huskies dropped their fourth straight game and second straight against an Atlantic 10 opponent when they were dropped by La Salle 66-64 on Saturday. But, with their level of competitive play, high-shooting and stingy defense, Northeastern still looks to be a competitive team in this conference, especially once CAA play opens up.

Next Week, the Huskies will take on UNC-Asheville on Tuesday in Matthews Arena.

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No. 2 William & Mary

Dak Dillon-USA TODAY Sports

Overall: 6-3

Last Week: 1-0 (Radford)

The William & Mary Tribe continued their remarkable start to the 2012-2013 season with a 60-55 road win over Radford on Saturday. Of course Marcus Thornton, Tim Rusthoven and Brandon Britt performed offensively, but the biggest storyline of this game was Kyle Gaillard’s 13 points and 11 rebounds. If W&M can consistently have a fourth legitimate contributor, this team will definitely not go away and continue to contend.

Next week, the Tribe will play Salisbury on Friday.

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No. 1- George Mason Patriots

Rafael Suanes-USA TODAY Sports

Overall: 6-4

Last Week: 0-1 (Northern Iowa)

In overtime, the George Mason Patriots fell to the visiting Northern Iowa Panthers on Saturday, 82-77. In this game, Bryon Allen and Corey Edwards combined for 8 turnovers, a few proving costly late, that ultimately proved detrimental for head coach Paul Hewitt and company. With Sherrod Wright now consistently leading the way for Mason in scoring, scoring 20 points per game over his last three contests, this team needs consistent play at the point guard position. Without that, they might continue to slip, especially during CAA play.

Next week, the Patriots can enjoy their top spot in the CAA power rankings during a well deserved off week.