With eight Colonial Athletic Association teams in action in four conference games, there’s only way to recap the day in CAA hoops: Saturday Superlatives!
Best Freshmen Performance
After starting off the season with a 1-5 record, the James Madison Dukes were struggling to discover their collective identity. Rayshawn Goins was dominating the ball offensively and A.J. Davis was considered to be one of the most talented playmakers in the conference. Fast forward to late-January, and the Dukes are 11-10 overall, 5-3 in the conference and playing like a complete team. Davis is now effective providing energy off the bench, and head coach Matt Brady is benefiting from starting freshman guards Ron Curry and Andre Nation. Saturday night, Curry and Nation were exceptional in the Dukes’ 56-46 victory over Old Dominion. Curry scored 12 points, grabbed 4 rebounds and dished 3 assists while Nation scored 14 points and grabbed 7 boards. With these freshmen clicking, look JMU to remain competitive in the CAA.
Best Guard Play
The Drexel Dragons have now won their third-straight game and starting to take the form of a conference contender on the court. And, the Dragons are riding the recent success of guards Damion Lee and Frantz Massenat who were selected to the Preseason All-CAA 1st Team and named Preseason CAA Player of the Year, respectively. In the team’s 68-57 victory over Georgia State Saturday night, the Lee posted 20 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists while Massenat put up 15 points, 8 assists and 5 rebounds. Talk about impressive guard play from a team that really needs it.
Before their 63-56 triumph over the Towson Tigers, the William & Mary Tribe had lost eight-straight contests and had not beaten a Division I opponent since December 8 when they defeated Radford, 60-55. On Wednesday, the Tribe took the top team in the CAA, Northeastern, to double-overtime and following the contest, head coach Tony Shaver said his team rediscovered themselves offensively. Having four players score in double figures in pretty dang efficient. With the win, the Tribe have now gotten their eight-straight monkey off their back and can now move forward and start competing in the conference.
Usually, when a team earns the “Most-Impressive” victory of the night in the CAA, it’s because of extraordinarily terrific play and leading to a lopsided victory. While UNCW only beat Hofstra by six, you have to take the Seahawks’ entire day into account to understand how impressive this win was. Take a look at CBS Sports’ Jeff Borzello’s tweet:
Fun day for UNCW: Flight at 5:20 a.m., landed at LaGuardia at 9:25am. Game at Hofstra at 2 p.m. Depart from LaGuardia at 6:50 p.m.
— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) January 26, 2013
If you just can’t get enough CAA basketball action, check out tomorrow’s big contest between Northeastern and George Mason Sunday at 8p.m.
Jake Fischer is the CAA Columnist for Rant Sports-NCAA Basketball. Make sure to follow Jake on Twitter @JakeLFischer.