Home » Conference Notes » Recent Articles:

Hofstra Pride 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 9, 2011 in Conference Notes

Hofstra Pride (21-12, 14-4)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Jr. G Stevie Mejia
Sr. G Nat Lester
Sr. G Mike Moore
Jr. F David Imes
Fr. F Moussa Kone

Important departures:

Three starters are gone from last season’s team: Charles Jenkins (22.6 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 4.8 apg), Greg Washington (7.5 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 2.2 bpg) and Brad Kelleher (7.5 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 3.3 apg).

Returning:

46.3 percent of scoring and 64.7 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Jr. PG Stevie Mejia, a transfer from Rhode Island
Jr. F-C Bryant Crowder, a junior college transfer
Fr. F Moussa Kone
Fr. F Jordan Allen

Schedule highlights:

The Pride has a nonconference schedule that is tougher that it might first look. They open with Northeast contender Long Island at home, then head to Oregon State, return home to play Sun Belt contender Florida Atlantic before heading to Rhode Island for three games, a couple of which will be tough contests. They also play MAAC contender Iona, although they get the Gaels at home. In CAA play, it doesn’t get any easier, as the only team picked ahead of them that they don’t play twice is Old Dominion, and their only contest against the Monarchs is in Norfolk.

Projected finish and outlook:

To say Jenkins was the heart and soul of last season’s team would be a great understatement, although the Pride will also miss Greg Washington more than many think as well. While those are not small losses, the cupboard is not bare for Mo Cassara’s second season at the helm as they get back Nat Lester after he had to redshirt last year and add Stevie Mejia to run the show alongside Moore, the conference’s second-leading returning scorer. That means the perimeter should be in pretty good shape, especially since there appears to be more depth there than last year with Dwan McMillan and Shemiye McLendon being key parts of that.

The frontcourt is where the uncertainty is aside from Imes, who came along well last season. They like Kone thus far, and Crowder will give them more size there. This will be a different team, but this time around the team comes in not off a topsy-turvy off-season, so there’s more stability and still a good veteran presence in the backcourt. And after the top couple of teams, it’s wide open, so it would be no more of a surprise to see the Pride in third than it would to see them in ninth place when it comes time to seed the teams for the conference tournament.

Next: James Madison Dukes

Back to CAA preview

James Madison Dukes 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 9, 2011 in Conference Notes

James Madison Dukes (21-12, 10-8)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Jr. G Devon Moore
Sr. G Humpty Hitchens
Sr. G-F Julius Wells
Jr. F Andrey Semenov
Sr. F Rayshawn Goins

Important departures:

Starting C Denzel Bowles (17.6 ppg, 8.8 rpg) and reserve guards Chad Jackson (2.8 ppg, 2.6 rpg) and Ben Louis (1.7 ppg, 1.0 rpg) are gone from last season’s team.

Returning:

68.9 percent of scoring and 65.2 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Jr. C Gene Swindle, a Virginia Tech transfer
Sr. G James Millen, a transfer from Cincinnati State
Fr. F Enoch Hood
Fr. G Arman Marks
Fr. F Keynan Pittman

Schedule highlights:

The nonconference slate is a manageable one for this team, with their toughest games likely to be Kent State, Rhode Island in the UCF Holiday Classic (and possible the host school after that), as well as Rider in Philadelphia. When CAA play begins in earnest, the Dukes play three of four at home. They play Drexel and George Mason twice each, and get VCU only on the road.

Projected finish and outlook:

On paper, this team should be a contender. Even with the personnel losses, the Dukes have plenty of talent, but whether or not they’ll put it all together is an open question. Moore is academically ineligible for the first semester, which means Hitchens will have to be the primary ball handler although he’s more of a scorer. That also means Marks will need to give them good minutes right away. If Goins and/or Swindle can become an inside scorer, they won’t miss Bowles as much as his numbers suggest as he wasn’t a great defensive player.

The Dukes need to be a more consistent defensive team, as the core of this team has been part of a good defensive team at times in their careers but also part of a team that looks more like the ones before Matt Brady became the head coach. Brady emphasizes defense and knows that it’s a key to winning, and will continue to try to get consistency out of this team at that end of the floor.

Next: Northeastern Huskies

Back to CAA preview

Northeastern Huskies 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 9, 2011 in Conference Notes

Northeastern Huskies (11-20, 6-12)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Jr. G Jonathan Lee
Jr. G Joel Smith
So. G-F Alwayne Bigby
So. F Ryan Pierson
Jr. F Kauri Black

Important departures:

G Chaisson Allen (16.7 ppg, 6.1 rpg) graduated and G Alex Harris (6.4 ppg, 2.0 rpg) transferred.

Returning:

64.3 percent of scoring and 69.2 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Sr. G/F Kashief Edwards, a transfer from Niagara
Fr. G Marco Banegas-Flores
Fr. F Quincy Ford
Fr. G Demetrius Pollard
Fr. F Reggie Spencer

Schedule highlights:

The Huskies open at cross-town rival Boston University and have just three home games in nonconference plus a BracketBusters game. The most notable home games are against Southern Illinois and Ivy League contender Princeton, while they’ll travel far and wide: St. John’s, La Salle, Bradley, Louisiana Tech, North Carolina State and Vermont. As if that’s not enough, when CAA play begins in earnest in January, three of the first four are on the road and they have three straight on the road in February.

Projected finish and outlook:

The Huskies are a tough team to project, as they lost their leader and perhaps their most talented player with Harris’ transfer. But Harris also had a very up-and-down season, and with four starters back and the return of Alwayne Bigby after having to redshirt, this team won’t be lacking in experience as was the case last season. Add in Edwards, who will certainly contribute and might start on the wing, and the Huskies could be a sleeper even though they appear to be a year away from contending.

Lee and Smith, the former of whom is a solid defender, made nice strides last year but must be leaders this year in addition to repeating that improvement. Black has potential and has had his moments but has often seemed to need a push, and he’ll get that from the talented newcomers up front. Pierson showed he can be a steady glue guy, and Bigby is a competitor who will lead the defense. The Huskies struggled at the defensive end and on the glass last year, so that’s the main area that needs strengthening if they are to jump in the standings.

Next: Old Dominion Monarchs

Back to CAA preview

Old Dominion Monarchs 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 9, 2011 in Conference Notes

Old Dominion Monarchs (27-7, 14-4)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Fr. G Dimitri Batten
Sr. G Kent Bazemore (out at least the first month due to injury)
Sr. G Trian Iliadis
Sr. F Chris Cooper
Jr. F Nick Wright

Important departures:

Three starters — F Frank Hassell (15.1 ppg, 9.4 rpg), F Ben Finney (9.2 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 3.0 apg), G Darius James (7.0 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 3.2 apg) — are gone from last season’s team, as is key reserve Keyon Carter (7.3 ppg, 4.1 rpg).

Returning:

41.1 percent of scoring and 44.9 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Jr. F Nayquann Mitchell, a junior college transfer
So. G Donte Hill, a Clemson transfer eligible in the second semester
Fr. G Dimitri Batten
Fr. G Breon Key
Fr. F Jason Pimentel
Fr. F Richard Ross (eligible second semester)

Schedule highlights:

As is usually the case, the Monarchs will play a very tough nonconference schedule. They are in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off, where they open with South Florida and could play Kentucky, head to Richmond, Fairfield and UCF and welcome Missouri, Northern Iowa and Long Island. While they don’t have to go to Drexel, they get no other breaks as they play George Mason, VCU and James Madison twice each.

Projected finish and outlook:

The Monarchs are right there with archrival VCU when it comes to the question of who lost the most from last season’s team. This team lost a great deal of talent, size and winning experience, as that group won a lot of games and tournaments in their careers. They are left with a collection of largely talented but unproven players, save for Bazemore, who will miss at least the first month after fracturing the fifth metatarsal bone in his left foot. As if that’s not enough, Hill and Ross, both of whom figure to give this team a boost among the newcomers, will not be eligible until the second semester, with Ross in that situation due to academics.

That means players like Iliadis, Cooper and Wright need to make big leaps to become major contributors, while newcomers like Mitchell have to help right away, especially with the tough nonconference schedule that is in front of this team. The Monarchs are also likely to play a little differently since they don’t have the length that helped them succeed with their zone defense and was a big reason they owned the boards.

In all, it’s fair to say that there is a lot of newness to this team, and while they aren’t lacking talent, the Monarchs also aren’t lacking question marks entering this season. That said, the last time they weren’t clear-cut contenders, they did well, so Blaine Taylor has done well before with a team that lost a lot from the prior season.

Next: Towson Tigers

Back to CAA preview

Towson Tigers 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 9, 2011 in Conference Notes

Towson Tigers (4-26, 0-18)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Fr. G Kris Walden
Sr. G RaShawn Polk
Fr. F Jervon Pressley
Sr. C Robert Nwankwo
So. F Erique Gumbs

Returning:

21.6 percent of scoring and 18.7 percent of rebounding

Additions:

So. Marcus Damas, a junior college transfer
Fr. G Will Adams
Fr. C Jamel Flash
Fr. F Alex Giergen
Fr. F Deon Jones
Fr. F Jervon Pressley
Fr. G Kris Walden

Schedule highlights:

The Tigers open up with a bang after taking on Virginia State in their season opener, as they head to Kansas and Michigan before playing Belmont at a neutral site in Tennessee as part of the Maui Invitational. They also have to travel to Virginia and UMass while getting a home date with Oregon State just after Thanksgiving. They won’t have it easy in CAA play, either, as they play all of the top five teams twice.

Projected finish and outlook:

Simply put, the Tigers are starting over. New head coach Pat Skerry summed up the team quite well in talking about how there is a lot that’s new — a new coach, new team and new way of practicing and playing. The Tigers don’t have a great deal of talent or experience, but Skerry and the staff will work on that for the future and try to get as much as they can out of this team.

Polk gives them a proven scorer on the perimeter, while Nwankwo returns and should anchor the team inside while Gumbs tries to grow. They are the only holdovers, so it’s all newcomers after that, and Skerry thus far seems highest on Pressley. Flash gives them some size at 6’11”, and Walden and Adams will each get a chance to run the show. The Tigers enter this season with no external expectations, as well as the reality that after last season, about the only way to go is up.

Next: UNC Wilmington Seahawks

Back to CAA preview

UNC Wilmington Seahawks 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 9, 2011 in Conference Notes

UNC Wilmington Seahawks (13-18, 7-11)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

So. G Tanner Milson
Sr. G Trevor Deloach
So. F Donte Morales
Jr. F Keith Rendelman
Jr. C Matt Wilson

Important departures:

G Chad Tomko (17.6 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 4.3 apg), G Ahmad Grant (7.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg) and G Darryl Felder (2.5 ppg, 1.3 rpg) graduated.

Returning:

55.5 percent of scoring and 70 percent of rebounding

Additions:

The Seahawks have eight freshmen, all of whom should get opportunities to play right away.

Fr. F Nate Anderson
Fr. F Dylan Sherwood
Fr. F Cedric Williams
Fr. F Luke Hager
Fr. G Freddie Jackson
Fr. G Craig Ponder
Fr. G K.K. Simmons
Fr. G Adam Smith.

Schedule highlights:

The Seahawks will spend a lot of time away from home in nonconference play, with trips to Maryland and Dayton highlighting the road slate. One home game is a very good one, as Conference USA sleeper Marshall comes to town in November. In CAA play, they play three of four on the road in the annual stretch with four games between Saturday and the following Saturday. After that, however, they play three of four at home.

Projected finish and outlook:

Seahawk fans will need to get a program with eight freshmen on the roster this season. There’s some talent, but the lack of experience and the usual inconsistency of freshmen means there will be more ups and downs than usual. Fortunately, they went overseas in the summer, which allowed the staff to get an early look at the freshmen.

The holdovers are not to be forgotten, starting with Rendleman, who has been very business-like and gives them an active forward who competes at both ends. Trevor Deloach and Tanner Milson have talent in the backcourt, and Donte Morales, who has been more vocal this year, looks poised to make a jump up front alongside Rendleman. Matt Wilson had his moments last year and will get opportunities as well, so there are some existing pieces to help the freshmen along.

A nice addition for this team will be size, as three of the newcomers are 6’9″ or 6’10”, and that will help Rendleman be even more effective. Peterson has preached patience from the outset, and that will be necessary this year. But with the pleasant surprise of last season’s performance and a reasonably good group of holdovers, this team might be a little better than some might expect.

Next: VCU Rams

Back to CAA preview

VCU Rams 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 9, 2011 in Conference Notes

VCU Rams (28-12,12-6)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Jr. G Darius Theus
So. G Rob Brandenburg
Sr. G-F Bradford Burgess
So. F Juvonte Reddic
So. C D.J. Haley

Important departures:

Four starters that keyed last season’s epic Final Four run have departed: G Joey Rodriguez (10.4 ppg, 3.2 rpg), G Brandon Rozzell (11.5 ppg, 2.4 rpg), G Ed Nixon (7.0 ppg, 2.6 rpg), F Jamie Skeen (15.7 ppg, 7.3 rpg)

Returning:

39.1 percent of scoring and 49.1 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Fr. G Treveon Graham
Fr. F Jarred Guest
Fr. F Heath Houston
Fr. G-F Reco McCarter
Fr. G Teddy Okereafor
Fr. G Briante Weber

Schedule highlights:

The nonconference slate is a little like the one the Rams had last year: good, but not full of opportunities for wins that will make the NCAA Tournament selection committee take notice. They play in the Charleston Classic, opening with Seton Hall and then facing either Georgia Tech or Saint Joseph’s. They later head to Alabama, play George Washington at the Verizon Center in the BB&T Classic, and host Richmond and UAB. In CAA play, they have a stretch of three straight at home followed by three straight on the road, and play their two games against George Mason within the final two weeks of the regular season.

Projected finish and outlook:

The Rams still have plenty of talent, but this team lost a lot of experience and, more importantly, intangible value with their departed players. That means Burgess has to be the leader he’s capable of being, as the only senior, and many other players have to adapt to new roles. Brandenburg, Reddic and Haley all showed potential last year in more limited roles, and now they’ll have to show that they can do the same thing with more minutes and bigger roles. It would also help if Theus can settle the point guard spot, although it wouldn’t be a surprise if Okereafor (a late signee who was originally in the high school class of 2012) eventually starts there, and Weber figures to get a lot of minutes as well.

The Rams should be able to make up for the production they lost, but the real question is if they can reach the same place as far as intangibles are concerned. If that happens, the Rams should at least wait until Saturday of the conference tournament before playing their first game and another postseason trip should be in the offing. Shaka Smart is 10-1 as a head coach in postseason play in his young career.

Next: William & Mary Tribe

Back to CAA preview

William & Mary Tribe 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 9, 2011 in Conference Notes

William & Mary Tribe (10-22, 4-14)

 

Projected starting five:

So. G Brandon Britt
So. G Julian Boatner
Sr. G Kendrix Brown
Sr. F Quinn McDowell
So. F-C Tim Rusthoven

Important departures:

F Marcus Kitts (9.2 ppg, 5.8 rpg) is the only starter gone from last season’s team.

Returning:

85.6 percent of scoring and 83.6 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Fr. F Tom Schalk
Fr. G Marcus Thornton

Schedule highlights:

The nonconference slate isn’t loaded with landmines by a long shot, although they open at rebuilding St. John’s and later host Richmond and travel to Missouri. They will play Liberty both at home and in Lynchburg, with the latter being the last of three games there as part of the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer. In CAA play, they will close out January with a brutal stretch of five games in ten days: at VCU, UNC Wilmington, Drexel, at James Madison and at Old Dominion.

Projected finish and outlook:

Last season, the Tribe was not far away from being a significantly better team in wins and losses after losing a number of close games. Now the young guards have had a chance to grow up, and the team seemed to go as they went once the calendar turned to 2011. The Tribe will need them, especially early as injuries have ravaged the frontcourt in the preseason. McDowell, Rusthoven and Kyle Gaillard all missed significant preseason practice time, and the frontcourt was where the questions would be on a fully healthy team aside from McDowell, one of the top players in the conference.

This means the Tribe will need senior JohnMark Ludwick and sophomore Fred Heldring to make big leaps, and likely means they will play smaller for a while as well. Head coach Tony Shaver said this team is likely to go with a true three-guard lineup more often this season, especially since Thornton will be too good to limit his minutes, Brown has gamely battled injuries to be a valuable player and Matt Rum has good experience but can shoot better than he did last season. If the Tribe can get healthy and stay that way, they could be a sleeper team; but injuries have a way of derailing seasons for even the best teams, and the Tribe don’t enter this season with a great deal of room for error in the first place.

Back to CAA preview

Illinois Fighting Illini 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 7, 2011 in Conference Notes

Illinois Fighting Illini (20-14, 9-9)

Made the third round of the NCAA Tournament (lost to Kansas 73-59).

Coach Bruce Weber (193-86 at Illinois) returns for his ninth year leading the Fighting Illini.

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Jr. G D.J. Richardson (Only returning starter)
Jr. G Brandon Paul
Sr. G Sam Maniscalco
So. C Meyers Leonard
Jr. F Tyler Griffey

Important departures:

Demetri McCamey: 14.6 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 6.1 apg, 45.1 percent from 3-point range
Mike Davis: 12.5 ppg, 7.1 rpg
Mike Tisdale: 10.0 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.6 blocks per game
Bill Cole: 4.9 ppg, 2.5 rpg

Additions:

Fr. PG Tracy Abrams (Rivals.com four-star player)
Fr. C Nnanna Egwu (Rivals.com four-star player)
Fr. SF Mycheal Henry (Rivals.com four-star player)
Fr. PF Mike Shaw (Rivals.com four-star player)

Outlook:

Oh boy, where to start. Illinois lost four of five starters from last year’s surprisingly successful season. Those players accounted for more than 69 percent of the team’s rebounding and scoring. With D.J. Richardson being the last man standing, the Fighting Illini will have to do just that — fight tooth and nail to have any chance at duplicating the success of last season. The primary addition to the team is the lack of coaching turnover. Weber is firmly entrenched at the school after leading them to multiple tournament appearances, and his staff of veteran coaches gives hope that the fresh players added to the roster will have success sooner or later – albeit most likely later.

Schedule highlights:

Illinois has a very unimpressive nonconference schedule. A brief brush with Maryland early is the only game that could be considered a highlight. A run-in with Ohio State in late February will give this team a real challenge heading into the Big Ten Tournament.

Prediction: Sixth

Next: Indiana Hoosiers
Back to Big Ten preview

Indiana Hoosiers 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 7, 2011 in Conference Notes

Indiana Hoosiers (12-20, 3-15)

After a disappointing year, Coach Tom Crean (28-66) needs to put a winning season together for the Hoosier faithful.

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Jr. G Jordan Hulls
Sr. G Verdell Jones III
Jr. F Christian Watford
Sr. F Tom Pritchard
Fr. C Cody Zeller

Important departures:

None of note.

Additions:

Fr. SF Remy Abell (Rivals.com three-star player)
Fr. SF Austin Etherington (Rivals.com three-star player)
Fr. C Cody Zeller (Rivals.com five-star player)

Outlook:

Indiana is coming off back-to-back disappointing seasons. The Hoosiers return four starters from last year, but that may not mean much based on last year’s record. A huge addition is freshman and top recruit Cody Zeller. If Crean hopes to stay the riotous Indiana crowd, he will need to get this team up to snuff quickly and establish Zeller as one of the dominant inside players in the NCAA.

Schedule highlights:

Indiana takes on preseason No. 2 Kentucky in early December on ESPN. A win could substantially inflate the Hoosiers’ sails. Following a 10-win season in 2009 and a 12-win season in 2010, it is hard to imagine that Indiana will be able to do much better with the majority of their difficult conference games coming near the end of their schedule. Without a tournament invitation this year, IU would likely be looking for a new head coach.

Prediction: Eighth

Next: Iowa Hawkeyes
Back to Big Ten preview

Advertisement

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Also, keep track of players who have declared early for the NBA Draft.

Your Phil of Hoops

Watson’s transfer will sting BU the most

April 11, 2014 by

bostonuniversity

Boston University recently saw three players transfer. The impact of the departure of one of them will be felt more than the other two.

Mihalich’s first year at Hofstra is over but will have plenty of value

March 9, 2014 by

hofstra

The first year for Hofstra under Joe Mihalich is in the books. Many expected that wins would be hard to come by, and they were, but this season was about more than that and is hardly a throwaway year.

Cornell’s future can only be better

March 2, 2014 by

cornell

Cornell has had a rough season, as could be expected given some personnel losses. It’s almost in the books, and the future at least looks brighter.

Hoopville Archives

Even More: City Hoops Recruiting

Mass Elite and Boston Warriors hold college showcase

Mass Elite and Boston Warriors, two of the largest programs in Massachusetts, teamed up for a college showcase on Wednesday night. Here are some evaluations from that event.

Massachusetts 11th grade AAU Tournament recap

Teams gathered at Mass Premier Courts to chase the state title in the oldest age group, and one champion was a familiar one.

Travel team profile: All For One

All For One has been one of the better travel programs in Massachusetts for players before they reach high school

Travel team profile: Blackstone Valley Chaos

Size and options on the wing are not lacking for this year’s junior team

Travel team profile: Expressions Elite

Expressions Elite has quickly become one of the deeper programs in New England

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

Holderness has a new coach and some young players with upside

September 22, 2014 by

holdernessschool

The Holderness School has a new head coach, and while the team isn’t loaded with talent, there are some players with clear upside that give this team a chance to compete in time.

2014 Hoop Mountain Fall Classic Showcase Evaluations

September 22, 2014 by

author_kasiecki

Over 200 players competed at the Hoop Mountain Fall Classic Showcase, and we take a look at a few who stood out on the evening.

Brooks School hopes to continue the rise with one more step

September 18, 2014 by

brooksschool

With a less experienced team, the Brooks School got to the NEPSAC Class B finals and won a school-record 21 games last year. Now they hope to take one more step forward.

Phillips Exeter has a team with some upside

September 17, 2014 by

phillipsexeter

Known for academics, Phillips Exeter has won two straight Class A titles. Their quest for a third will involve a team that has some clear upside right now.

Plenty of talent, including a good mix, at Brewster Academy

September 17, 2014 by

author_kasiecki

As one can expect, Brewster Academy is loaded this year. There’s also a good mix of talent, especially on the perimeter, as they try to win a third straight NEPSAC Class AAA title.