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Colonial 2002-03 Season Recap

April 19, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments

Colonial Athletic Conference – 2002-03 Recap

by Beth Iskoe

CAA Regular Season

For the second straight season, the regular season was all about UNC Wilmington (15-3), as the Seahawks won the conference by three games. Virginia Commonwealth (12-6) and Drexel (12-6) also turned in solid seasons, as both teams defeated a respected non-conference opponent. The Rams knocked off Atlantic-10 foe Richmond, while Drexel beat Ivy League member Penn.

George Mason (11-7), Delaware (9-9) and Old Dominion (9-9) also had decent seasons, as all three school played extremely well at times, but very poorly at others. While all three schools lost to Hofstra to account for four of the Pride’s six conference victories, the Patriots beat UNC Wilmington, the Hens beat Penn but were swept by the Pride and the Monarchs defeated Atlantic-10 opponent George Washington.

James Madison (8-10), William and Mary (7-11), and Hofstra (6-10) all had average seasons, as none had any standout wins or losses. The best wins were the Tribe’s victory over Big East member Virginia Tech, who did not even qualify for the Big East Tournament, and the Pride’s win against Patriot League opponent Lehigh. But by far, the biggest disappointment was Towson (1-17), who defeated Hofstra for its only conference victory.

CAA Championship Tournament

The CAA Championship Tournament did not contain any major surprises. In the play-in round, No. 9 Hofstra took down No. 8 William and Mary, while No. 7 James Madison easily disposed of No. 10 Towson. In the quarterfinals, No. 1 UNC Wilmington, No. 2 Virginia Commonwealth, No. 3 Drexel and No. 5 Delaware were victorious. The Dragons upset the Rams in the semifinals to prevent a rematch of last year’s championship game. In the championship game, the Seahawks jumped out to an early lead and held off a late Drexel rally to secure a berth in their second straight NCAA Tournament.

Postseason Action

In the NCAA Tournament, No. 11 UNC Wilmington lost in heartbreaking fashion, as Drew Nicholas nailed the game-winning three-point shot as time expired to give No. 6 Maryland the 75-73 victory.

In the NIT Tournament, Drexel fell to cross-town rival Temple 68-59. Drexel did hold a halftime lead, but trailed by as many as eighteen points, was able to cut its deficit to nine, but was unable to pull off the win.

First Team All-Conference

UNC Wilmington senior guard Brett Blizzard
Old Dominion senior forward Ricardo Marsh
Drexel senior center Robert Battle
Hofstra sophomore forward Kenny Adeleke
William and Mary junior forward Adam Hess

Honorable Mention

Virginia Commonwealth senior forward Willie Taylor

CAA Player of the Year

UNC Wilmington senior guard Brett Blizzard: Blizzard led the CAA in points (21.1 ppg) and set a CAA all-time record in career three-pointers made (371) and attempted (876). He shot 45.9 percent from the field and a league-high 44.1 percent from three-point range. Blizzard earned the Player of the Year award for the second straight season and was the first player to be named to the All-CAA First Team all four seasons.

CAA Freshman of the Year

Virginia Commonwealth freshman forward Nick George: George started all 28 games and played the third highest number of minutes for the Rams. He averaged 8.3 points and 6.7 rebounds per game in addition to shooting .484 from the field. George was selected as CAA Rookie of the Week three times this season.

CAA Defensive Player of the Year

Drexel senior center Robert Battle: Battle was a dominating presence in the middle, as he led the league in blocked shots (4.28 bpg) and finished fifth in rebounding (7.6 rpg). This was second straight year he won the award.

CAA Coach of the Year

UNC Wilmington head coach Brad Brownell: In his first year replacing Jerry Wainwright, who left for Richmond, the Seahawks (15-3) captured both the regular season and postseason title and fell oh so short of pulling off another first round upset in the NCAA Tournament when they fell to Maryland at the buzzer.

Team Capsules

UNC Wilmington: 24-7 (15-3 CAA)

Starters leaving: Senior guard Brett Blizzard (graduation), senior forward Craig Callahan (graduation), junior guard Tim Burnette (suspended for violating team rules)
Other players leaving: None
Starters staying: Junior forward Anthony Terrell, freshman guard John Goldsberry
Other key players returning: Junior guard Joel Justus, sophomore forward Aaron Coombs, freshman forward Mitch Laue, freshman forward Beckham Wyrick, junior guard Andy Gunn, sophomore guard Joseph King
Leading scorer: Senior guard Brett Blizzard (21.1 ppg).
Leading rebounder: Senior forward Craig Callahan (6.9 rpg).
Leading assister: Senior guard Brett Blizzard (3.6 apg).

Virginia Commonwealth: 18-10 (12-6 CAA)

Starters leaving: Senior forward Willie Taylor (graduation), senior guard Emanuel Mathis (graduation)
Other players leaving: Senior guard Antoine Willie (graduation), senior guard Yonnas Banteamlak (graduation), senior guard Alexander Shtam (graduation)
Starters staying: Junior guard Domonic Jones, freshman forward Nick George, junior center Troy Godwin
Other key players returning: sophomore forward Michael Doles, sophomore forward Derrick Reid, sophomore guard Mark Adams, junior center Kevin Moore
Leading scorer: Senior forward Willie Taylor (17.2 ppg)
Leading rebounder: Junior center Troy Godwin (8.2 rpg)
Leading assister: Junior guard Domonic Jones (3.9 apg)

Drexel: 19-12 (12-6 CAA)

Starters leaving: Senior center Robert Battle (graduation), senior guard Eric Schmeider (graduation)
Other players leaving: Senior guard Doug Fairfax (graduation)
Starters staying: Sophomore guard Phil Goss, junior guard Tim Whitworth, sophomore guard Jeremiah King
Other key players returning: Sophomore forward Danny Hinds, freshman guard Kennell Sanchez, junior forward Sean Brooks, freshman forward Jermaine Miller
Leading scorer: senior center Robert Battle (15.1 ppg).
Leading rebounder: senior center Robert Battle (8.2 rpg).
Leading assister: senior guard Eric Schmeider (4.4 apg).

George Mason: 16-12 (11-7 CAA)

Starters leaving: Senior forward Jon Larranaga (graduation), senior forward Jesse Young (graduation)
Other players leaving: Sophomore forward Colin Wyatt (requested to transfer)
Starters staying: Junior guard Mark Davis, junior guard Raoul Heinen, junior forward Richard Tynes
Other key players returning: freshman forward Jai Lewis, freshman forward Trent Wurtz
Leading scorer: Junior guard Mark Davis (15.5 ppg).
Leading rebounder: Senior forward Jesse Young: (8.5 rpg).
Leading assister: Senior forward Jon Larranaga (3.8 apg).

Delaware: 15-14 (9-9 CAA)

Starters leaving: Senior forward Maurice Sessoms (graduation), senior forward Dave Hindenlang (graduation)
Other players leaving: Senior guard Ryan Iversen (graduation)
Starters staying: Sophomore guard Mike Slattery, junior guard Mike Ames, sophomore forward Calvin Smith
Other key players returning: sophomore guard David Lunn, junior center Ioannis Xenakis, junior forward Robin Wentt, freshman forward Chris Prothro, freshman guard Rulon Washington
Leading scorer: Junior guard Mike Ames (14.0 ppg).
Leading rebounder: Senior guard Ryan Iversen (6.5 rpg).
Leading assister: Sophomore guard Mike Slattery (6.2 apg).

Old Dominion: 12-15 (9-9 CAA)

Starters leaving: Senior forward Ricardo Marsh (graduation), senior forward Rasheed Wright (graduation)
Other players leaving: None
Starters staying: Freshman forward Alex Loughton, junior guard John Waller, junior guard Troy Nance
Other key players returning: Freshman guard Isaiah Hunter, sophomore guard Kiah Thomas, freshman guard T.J. Waldon, freshman guard John Morris, freshman center Janko Mrksic, junior forward Joe Principe, junior forward Andreas Themistocleous
Leading scorer: Senior forward Ricardo Marsh (16.7 ppg).
Leading rebounder: Senior forward Ricardo Marsh (8.4 rpg).
Leading assister: Junior guard Troy Nance (4.4 apg).

James Madison: 13-17 (8-10 CAA)

Starters leaving: Senior guard David Fanning (graduation), senior center Ian Caskill (graduation), senior center Kenny Whitehead (graduation)
Other players leaving: Senior guard Charlie Hatter (graduation), senior forward Pat Mitchell (graduation)
Starters staying: Junior guard Dwayne Broyles, junior guard Chris Williams
Other key players returning: Freshman guard Wes Miller, sophomore guard Daniel Freeman, freshman forward Jon Plefka, freshman guard John Naparlo
Leading scorer: Senior guard David Fanning (15.7 ppg).
Leading rebounder: Senior center Ian Caskill (7.2 rpg)
Leading assister: Junior guard Chris Williams (2.7 apg).

William and Mary: 12-16 (7-11 CAA)

Starters leaving: Senior guard Sherman Rivers (graduation), senior center Adam Duggins (graduation), freshman guard Brett Howell (request for release granted)
Other players leaving: Sophomore forward Thomas Viglianco (request for release granted)
Starters staying: Junior forward Adam Hess, freshman forward Jack Jenkins
Other key players returning: Freshman guard Taylor Mokris, junior forward Zeb Cope, sophomore guard Nick D’Antoni, junior guard Reid Markham
Leading scorer: Junior guard Adam Hess (20.1 ppg).
Leading rebounder: Junior guard Adam Hess (6.3 rpg).
Leading assister: Senior guard Sherman Rivers (2.5 apg).

Hofstra: 8-21 (6-12 CAA)

Starters leaving: Senior guard Rick Apodaca (graduation)
Other players leaving: Senior forward Osei Millar (graduation), senior center Lars Grubler (graduation), senior forward Marc Petit (graduation)
Starters staying: Sophomore forward Kenny Adeleke, sophomore guard Woody Souffrant, sophomore forward Mike Radziejewski, sophomore center Wendell Gibson
Other key players returning: Freshman forward Aurimas Kieza, freshman guard Gibran Washington, freshman guard Anthony Noble
Leading scorer: Sophomore guard Kenny Adeleke (16.1 ppg).
Leading rebounder: Sophomore guard Kenny Adeleke (11.0 rpg).
Leading assister: Sophomore guard Woody Souffrant (4.5 apg).

Towson: 4-24 (1-17 CAA)

Starters leaving: Senior guard Brian Allen (graduation)
Other players leaving: Senior guard Gerald Weatherspoon (graduation), senior forward Keon Blanks (graduation)
Starters staying: Junior guard Jamaal Gilchrist, freshman forward Lawrence Hamm, sophomore center Tony Dixon, freshman forward Jacob McCartney
Other key players returning: Freshman forward Cilk McSweeney, freshman forward Stephen Warner, sophomore center Derrick Goode, freshman forward Andrius Petkunas, junior guard Calvin Dotson
Leading scorer: Junior guard Jamaal Gilchrist (10.6 ppg).
Leading rebounder: Freshman forward Lawrence Hamm (5.6 rpg).
Leading assister: Junior guard Jamaal Gilchrist (3.4 apg).


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