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2015-16 CAA Preview

by - Published November 15, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes

In a conference that has seen lots of changes recently, the CAA got news of one more big one this past off-season. Tom Yeager, the only commissioner the conference has known, will retire at the end of the academic year. There is a time and place for reflection on what he has built, along with his place as a well-respected influencer in college basketball, and that will come. A more pressing question is: what kind of conference will he leave behind?

An unfortunate part of his legacy will be that the CAA was hit hard by conference realignment more than once, and that can’t be pinned on him. The first time, just after the new century, put the conference in danger, but it survived and subsequently thrived after adding strong members from another conference. More recently, however, the conference was among the hardest hit, watching signature programs George Mason, Old Dominion and VCU leave along with Georgia State, who had just turned a corner after an otherwise uninspiring tenure in the conference. Two of those four left to play Division I-A football.

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College of Charleston Cougars 2015-16 Preview

by - Published November 15, 2015 in Conference Notes

College of Charleston Cougars (9-24 overall, 3-15 conference)




Projected starting five:

Jr. G Canyon Barry
So. G Cameron Johnson
Jr. G Payton Hulsey
So. F Donovan Gilmore
Sr. F James Bourne

Important departures:

G Anthony Stitt and F Adjehi Baru are starters who are gone from last season’s team. They will also be without G Joe Chealey, who will redshirt due to a leg injury sustained in practice.


52 percent of scoring and 47.7 percent of rebounding


Fr. F Jarrell Brantley
Sr. F James Bourne (transfer from Winthrop)
Jr. G Payton Hulsey (junior college transfer)
Fr. G Marquise Pointer
Fr. G Grant Riller

Schedule Highlights:

The non-conference schedule is a little more manageable than in past seasons, but still has some challenges. Six homes games are included, with Big South defending champion Coastal Carolina, LSU and East Carolina being the most noteworthy opponents. They go on the road to play Davidson and Miami. CAA play has a tough start with three of the first four games on the road, though they later have a stretch with five of six at home.

Projected finish and outlook:

Last year was a tough transition year as Earl Grant took over in September. They won a game in the CAA Tournament, so they finished well. Now, they have a group with new players all over the floor, and Grant has indicated there will be plenty of competition for minutes and roles. That should only intensify with Chealey lost for the season due to injury, which likely means either Hulsey or Pointer gets the nod; don’t be surprised if it’s Pointer as he can play and was well-tested in high school. Gilmore showed some promise last season, while O’Donhue had 14 rebounds in their CAA Tournament win and Bourne should boost them right away as their most experienced player up front. Brantley should get every opportunity to play as well. Barry is the one guy this team can definitely hang their hat on, and Johnson should start alongside him again. The Cougars were one of the best defensive teams in the conference last season, and they’ll need to repeat that this season since they lost three of their top four scorers from last season if you include Chealey. They should be competitive, but are probably a year away from contending, especially since Chealey’s absence will mean younger players get more of an opportunity to grow now than they would have otherwise.

Next: Delaware Blue Hens

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2014-15 CAA Post-Mortem

by - Published June 9, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes

In a year full of competitive conference races, the Colonial Athletic Association fit right in while still being under the radar. It didn’t have a seven-way tie at the top at one point, like the Big South did or three games separating first from tenth like the Patriot League did for a lot of the season, but it did produce its own great result: a four-way tie for the regular season title.

The conference wasn’t top-heavy, either. Another team was two games back of the top four and two more teams another game back. The six losses by the top four teams were tied for the most by a regular season champion in CAA history and marked the first time in 18 years that the regular season champion had more than four losses. Drexel was 9-9 in CAA play and had to play on opening night of the conference tournament. The other 9-9 team, Delaware, knocked off three of the four teams that tied for first during the season.

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2014-15 CAA Preview

by - Published November 14, 2014 in Columns, Conference Notes

Times continue to change in the CAA, and while there is still good basketball, it’s definitely a new era. Last season saw just two CAA teams reach postseason play. In prior years, the conference had sent more. Plenty of teams have challenging non-conference slates this year, so opportunities for quality wins will be there – but whether or not they come is another story. Another membership change comes this season as Elon joins to bring the conference to ten teams. For now, it seems stable, but conference realignment never seems to really take a break, so enjoy it while it lasts.

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College of Charleston Cougars 2014-15 Preview

by - Published November 14, 2014 in Conference Notes

College of Charleston Cougars (14-18 overall, 6-10 conference)




Projected starting five:

Sr. G Anthony Stitt
So. G Joe Chealey
So. G Canyon Barry
Sr. F Adjehi Baru
Fr. F Donovan Gilmore

Important departures:

G Nori Johnson, F Willis Hall and F Anthony Thomas have all departed.


55.1 percent of scoring and 43.6 percent of rebounding


Fr. F Evan Bailey
Fr. F Donovan Gilmore
Fr. F-C Nick Harris
Fr. G Cameron Johnson

Schedule Highlights:

The Cougars have five home games in a challenging non-conference slate. Notable opponents at home include Gardner-Webb and former Southern Conference rival Davidson. They will play in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off against defending national champion Connecticut, then either Texas A&M or Dayton in the second game with one more to follow. Additional road games are at West Virginia, Charlotte, LSU and Miami. Early in CAA play, they have a three-game homestand, followed by a stretch with five of six on the road.

Projected finish and outlook:

The Cougars had a more eventful off-season than anyone imagined, as the saga of now former head coach Doug Wojcik dominated the headlines. The plus is that this team has really come together, which makes part of new head coach Earl Grant’s job easier. There is talent here, and some reason to believe this team can finish higher than many might project. Stitt is a talented, seasoned veteran, while Chealey and Barry both had the kinds of ups and downs freshmen usually go through but appear ready to harness some of their potential. Baru will anchor the frontcourt, a solid rebounder who they will look to for more offense. If the guards make a good jump from freshman to sophomore year, that will go a long way towards this team contending.

Next: Delaware Blue Hens

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2013-14 CAA Post-Mortem

by - Published May 9, 2014 in Columns, Conference Notes

The new era in the Colonial Athletic Association has begun. While there was plenty of competitiveness, as expected, the conference is in a very different time now with arguably its three signature programs having left over the past two years.

Conference champion Delaware was a study in overcoming adversity all season long. The Blue Hens certainly had enough talent and experience to compete for the title, but suspensions of multiple players, including long ones to Devon Saddler and Jarvis Threatt, could have scuttled this magical season. They were challenged in the conference tournament, including in the title game, but as they did all year, they found a way to win.

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CAA newcomers College of Charleston playing through challenges

by - Published January 13, 2014 in Columns

If CAA newcomer College of Charleston contends for the top spot in their first year in the conference, it shouldn’t surprise anyone. What also shouldn’t surprise anyone is if the journey to that is not a success-only one.

The Cougars are finishing up a trip to the northeast with a visit to Northeastern on Monday night. Two days earlier, a four-game winning streak ended with a 75-71 loss at Hofstra, one where they blew a double-digit lead in part from a bad day at the free throw line as they were 14-27 from there and in part from their own foul trouble as four players fouled out.

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College of Charleston Cougars 2013-14 Preview

by - Published November 5, 2013 in Conference Notes

College of Charleston Cougars (24-11 overall, 14-4 Southern Conference)




Projected starting five:

Jr. G Anthony Stitt
Fr. G Canyon Barry
Sr. F Anthony Thomas
Jr. F Adjehi Baru
Sr. F Willis Hall

Important departures:

G Andrew Lawrence (13.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.7 apg, 1.3 spg) is the only starter gone from last season’s team, and key reserve F Trent Wiedeman (8.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg) is also gone.


67.5 percent of scoring and 76.9 percent of rebounding


Fr. G Canyon Barry
Fr. G Joe Chealey
Fr. G Jonathan Cook
Fr. F Terrance O’Donohue
Fr. F-C Glen Pierre, Jr.
So. C David Wishon (transfer from Tulsa)

Schedule Highlights:

The Cougars’ non-conference slate includes eight home games, highlighted by visits from Charlotte, Miami and Kent State, with the first two coming in a four-game home stretch in November. The biggest road games are at Louisville, Davidson and three games in the Wooden Legacy starting with San Diego State and either Creighton or Arizona State. CAA play features a stretch with four of five on the road, ending at Delaware and Towson, followed by three straight at home starting with Drexel.

Projected finish and outlook:

The CAA’s new kids on the block should contend right away, as they return a lot from last season’s team although the two key contributors they lose were hardly bit players. The Cougars have a lot of continuity in their personnel and good class balance, and they have bought into what head coach Doug Wojcik is trying to do. They became a much better team defensively and on the glass last season, something he tried to improve immediately, and remained a good offensive team. While Lawrence will be missed, Stitt will basically slide right into that role, including from a leadership standpoint, and Wojcik likes what he’s seen from the newcomers, in particular Barry and Chealey, so both could press veterans like Nori Johnson for the second starting guard spot. Baru looks ready to break out after progressing well last year, and Anthony Thomas could see time at both forward spots although there is good depth up front. The Cougars have a good homecourt advantage and will get eight home games in a tough non-conference slate, so they will be ready to contend when conference play gets under way.

Next: Delaware Blue Hens

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New-look CAA trying to find its place in the changing landscape

by - Published October 23, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

BALTIMORE – As the Colonial Athletic Association goes through more changes, it’s natural to wonder where its place is in college basketball now.  The conference has had major membership changes over the last year and a half, and locations for major events like Media Day and the conference tournament are also changing.  While there is certainly a feeling of newness, one wonders what lies ahead for a conference that had a great run from 2006 to 2012 before things changed drastically.

The CAA is just one conference that is changing in an ever-changing landscape.  In the short term, the conference can be labeled one of the losers in the conference maneuvering.  In the last 18 months, George Mason, Old Dominion and VCU – the conference’s signature programs historically – have all departed, along with a Georgia State program that wasn’t in the conference long but looks like it might be on the rise under Ron Hunter.  What remains starts with five former America East schools and then includes newcomer College of Charleston and three charter members in James Madison, UNCW and William & Mary.  Next year, Elon joins the conference.

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Offense is the big area of concern for College of Charleston

by - Published November 17, 2012 in Columns

CHARLESTON, S.C. – The offensive end is where the College of Charleston’s struggles are right now, and that became more acute on Friday night. The Cougars had to go without a key player, and that hurt the offense even more in a 55-51 loss to Auburn in the Charleston Classic.

College of Charleston shot 37.5 percent from the field in a loss to St. John’s on Thursday. That was a big drop from shooting over 56 percent in the season opener. The Cougars also turned the ball over 31 times in their first two games, but they held their opponents to 41 percent from the field and out-rebounded them by 2.5. So before Friday’s loss, it was clear offense might be more of a concern than defense in the early going.

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Big East looks the same in some ways and quite different in other ways

November 13, 2015 by


As year three of the new-look Big East tips off, the conference looks the same in a few ways. In other ways, though, it’s not the same, and much is to be determined.

Though a contender, Purdue will need to earn more relevance

October 15, 2015 by


Purdue has the makings of a contender in Big Ten play, but you wouldn’t know it from the conversations about the conference teams. The Boilermakers will have to earn their way to relevance despite their potential to contend.

New challenge ahead for Harvard

October 6, 2015 by


If Harvard’s great run through the Ivy League is to continue in 2015-16, the Crimson will have to get through quite a challenge this time around with a team that looks a little different.

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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.

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed listening to COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT, a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, joined by former St. John's and George Washington head coach Mike Jarvis, former Fairfield head coach Terry O'Connor and many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

Here are links to the shows:

March 15, 2015 - First hour | Second hour

March 22, 2015 - First hour | Second hour

March 29, 2015 - First hour | Second hour

April 5, 2015 - First hour | Second hour | Third hour

Recruiting Coverage

2015 Boston Back to School Showcase recap

September 18, 2015 by


The Boston Back to School Showcase gave high school teams from three states and north of the border a chance for a couple of early games. We take a look back at the day and a few who stood out.

2015 Hoopville Spring Finale Notes

June 30, 2015 by


We look back at more from the 2015 Hoopville Spring Finale, where some of the championship games were worth the price of admission.

A big championship day for a local program at the Hoopville Spring Finale

June 23, 2015 by


The 2015 Hoopville Spring Finale saw a number of good championship games on Sunday to close it out, and we start our look back with a look at those games.

Player highlights from Mass Elite and Boston Warriors college showcase

June 4, 2015 by


Two big programs, Mass Elite and the Boston Warriors, got together once again on a college showcase for many of their high school players. We look at some who stood out on the evening.

2015 Massachusetts AAU Tournament notes

June 3, 2015 by


Massachusetts held its AAU championship rounds in a few age groups and its entire tournament for the oldest age group this weekend. We take a look at some of Sunday’s action in Foxboro.