Top CAA Basketball Performers During 2012-2013 Non-Conference Play
All-CAA 1st Team, Second Team And Honorable Mention For Non-Conference Play
Now that conference play is underway and several Colonial Athletic Association ball clubs have already battled in-conference foes, let’s take a look at which players truly performed to their greatest abilities during the first half of the 2012-2013 season.
Entering the season, the league announced their preseason awards before regular season kicked off. What highlighted the preseason awards, was Drexel’s top-ranking in the conference and their point guard, junior Frantz Massenat’s selection as CAA Preseason Player of the Year.
Following Massenat, five players were honored on the Preseason All-CAA 1st Team, five were named to the 2nd Team and five were named as honorable mentions.
In order to recap who were the top CAA players in this season’s non-conference play, we’ll rank the top players in the conference in the same format to see who were the best CAA players in non-conference basketball this season.
Jake Fischer is the CAA Correspondent for Rant Sports-NCAA Basketball. Make sure to follow Jake on Twitter @JakeLFischer.
1st Team- G Sherrod Wright
The 6-4 junior George Mason guard from Mount Vernon, NY has started off this 2012-2013 season with an incredible run. In non-conference play, Sherrod Wright averaged 17.5 points, 5 rebounds and 1.5 assists for George Mason. As he’s shooting 54.1 percent from the field, 45.4 percent from three-point land and 75.9 percent from the line, he’s scored 27.6 percent of his team’s points this season. With his superbly efficient play, Wright has looked like the favorite for CAA player of the year thus far.
1st Team- G Devon Saddler
The Delaware Blue Hens have plenty to be thankful for this New Year’s. During the first half of this season, Devon Saddler has averaged 19.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists. As the CAA’s leading scorer in non-conference play, Saddler scored a whopping 29.8 percent of his teams points. But, the knock on Saddler has been his level of efficiency. While the junior from Aberdeen, MD has scored plenty of points, he is only shooting 40.3 percent from the field and putting up a whopping 15.8 shots per game.
1st Team- F Jerrelle Benimon
Possibly the biggest surprise in the CAA this season, Towson Tigers junior forward Jerrelle Benimon has been an absolute star down in Maryland. After sitting out all of 2011-2012 due to NCAA transfer rules (Benimon came to Towson from Georgetown), the big man has been playing with a vengeance. This season, Benimon’s averaged 16.4 points, 11.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists while shooting 54.6 percent from the field. Benimon has also looked to be a contender for CAA player of the year, as he’s registered 8 double-doubles and is the only player in Division I basketball to put up a 20-20 performance this season. The big man has also shown an impressive knack for really showing up against high-major and higher-ranked opponents.
1st Team- F Jamelle Hagins
Another stud big man in the CAA, Delaware’s Jamelle Hagins has met all preseason hype during the start of his senior season. The Roanoke, VA product is leading the conference in rebounding, at 12.5 per game, and also has scored 13.2 points while blocking 2.4 points per night as well (also a league high). Hagins has also posted 8 double-doubles this season as well. The only thing missing from Hagins in the final season of his collegiate career is a winning record for his team.
1st Team- F Keith Rendleman
Throughout his career at UNCW, Keith Rendleman has been a solid feature in the Seahawk’s frontcourt. Now, in his senior season, Rendleman is off to his best start of any season, averaging 16.0 points, 10.5 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game while shooting 52.3 percent from the field. Rendleman’s numbers are also even more impressive when you consider the lack of truly consistent play from his role players.
G Marcus Thornton: Averaging 17.9 points. 2.8 rebounds and 2.7 assists for William & Mary, Thornton has helped lead the Tribe to one of their best starts in school history.
G Joel Smith: Largely in the absence of backcourt-mate and co-captain, Jonathan Lee, Joel Smith has averaged per game for the Northeastern Huskies.
G Damion Lee: Lee has scored 18.5 points, grabbed 5.3 rebounds and distributed 2.0 assists per game for Drexel, yet it still hasn’t been enough.
F Tim Rusthoven: Along with Thornton, Rusthoven has helped lead the William & Mary Tribe to a terrific start, averaging 14.0 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game.
F Rayshawn Goins: Goins led the James Madison Dukes in both points (14.5 per game) and rebounds (7.3 per game) while also dishing 1.2 assists per contest as the Dukes went 6-6.
G Frantz Massenat: After earning deserved preseason hype, Massenat needs to do more than 13.5 points, 2.1 rebounds and 4.4 assists per night for Drexel, especially without Chris Fouch.
G R.J. Hunter: By far the best rookie in the conference, Hunter averaged 16.0 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists for the Georgia State Panthers in non-conference play.
G Taran Buie: In his first season at Hofstra, Buie has averaged 15.1 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game as one of the only bright spots for the Pride this season.
G Jonathan Lee: In just 3 games, Lee is averaging 15.0 points, 6.7 rebounds 5.0 assists and 2.0 steals for the Huskies…and counting.
F Quincy Ford: In his successful sophomore campaign, Ford has also helped Northeastern, scoring 12.6 points, grabbing 7.3 rebounds, dishing 1.3 assists and swiping 1.2 assists per game.
F DeShawn Painter: Painter has been another big addition to the conference, averaging 11.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.0 block per game for the Old Dominion Monarchs after transferring from NC State.