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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.

… Continue Reading

James Madison Dukes 2013-14 Preview

by - Published November 5, 2013 in Conference Notes

James Madison Dukes (21-15 overall, 11-7 conference)




Projected starting five:

So. G Andre Nation
So. G Ron Curry
So. G Charles Cooke
Sr. F Andrey Semenov
S0. F Taylor Bessick

Important departures:

The Dukes were a very experienced team last season, and gone from that team are four starters: G Devon Moore (11.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 4.9 apg, 1.3 spg), G A.J. Davis (12.2 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 1.3 spg), F Rayshawn Goins (12.1 ppg, 7.3 rpg) and G-F Alioune Diouf (4.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg)


36.2 percent of scoring and 30.4 percent of rebounding


Fr. F Yohanny Dalembert
Fr. G-F Kent Jackson
Fr. F Ivan Lukic
Fr. F Tom Rivard
Fr. F Paulius Satkus
Fr. F Tom Vodanovich

Schedule Highlights:

Dukes fans had best enjoy non-conference home games while they can, because there are only two of them plus an exhibition game: Detroit in mid-November and Ball State to close out 2013. They hit the road for games at Virginia, Valparaiso and Richmond, while playing in three in-season events: Northern Illinois Tournament (three games), E-Tech Lumberjack Classic (two games) and the Governor’s Holiday Hoops Classic against Hampton at the Richmond Coliseum. In CAA play, they have a brutal stretch of four games in eight days in February: at Towson, at Drexel, Hofstra and at Delaware.

Projected finish and outlook:

Last year, things finally broke in James Madison’s favor just enough, and a very experienced team took home the CAA title. Now the Dukes basically start over with a team that has 12 freshmen and sophomores and no true seniors (Semenov is a graduate student who got a sixth year of eligibility). With Nation suspended for the first 15 games, players like Lukic and Kent Jackson will get more of an opportunity right away than they would have otherwise. While that won’t help early on, it could help down the road as they develop another player or two earlier than they might have planned. It also means Cooke, who improved nicely at the end of last season, and Curry will have to lead the way on the perimeter. Bessick should slide into a starting spot up front, as he has improved greatly since last season, and other freshmen will back him up. Semenov offers tangibles such as shooting and intangibles such as his experience with adversity and success in his career, and this team will need every bit of both. They will also need to take better care of the ball, and early practice has borne that out as a major concern. There will be some serious growing pains for this team, especially early on, but there are a lot of options with all the size they have and a good talent base, so while the outlook isn’t good overall this season, the future looks brighter and it wouldn’t shock anyone if the Dukes knock off someone they shouldn’t late in the season.

Next: Northeastern Huskies

Back to CAA Preview

James Madison Dukes 2012-13 Preview

by - Published November 7, 2012 in Conference Notes

James Madison Dukes (12-20 overall, 5-13 conference)




Projected starting five:

Sr. G Devon Moore
Sr. G A.J. Davis
Sr. F Andrey Semenov
Sr. F Rayshawn Goins
Sr. C Gene Swindle

Important departures:

Two starters are gone from last season’s team: G Humpty Hitchens (14.9 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 3.7 apg) and F Julius Wells (8.6 ppg, 5.6 rpg)


73.6 percent of scoring and 85.4 percent of rebounding


Fr. F Taylor Bessick
Fr. F Dimitrije Cabarkapa
Fr. G Charles Cooke
Fr. G Ron Curry
Fr. G Andre Nation

Schedule Highlights:

The non-conference slate has some challenges but also some winnable games that would get this veteran team going. They open with the Legends Classic at UCLA and at Duquesne and later play in the Las Vegas Classic against San Jose State and San Diego. The Dukes also take on Richmond at home and head to Miami (Ohio), and they close the non-conference slate at Florida Atlantic. They will be challenged at the end of CAA play as three of the last four are on the road, but a three-game homestand in the middle of the slate could help.

Projected finish and outlook:

Last year was one to forget for the Dukes, and Matt Brady will get at least one more year to get this team going. He comes back with a veteran team, and that term isn’t being used lightly as they have five fifth-year seniors. As Brady noted at media day, they have to use that experience to their advantage. The perimeter can be excellent, as Moore has shown himself to be a good player and leader but now has to take that to another level, while Davis can score and Semenov has battled injuries constantly through his career but is as tough and competitive as they come. Goins and Swindle can give them production inside, with Goins now in better shape. Curry, Cooke and Nation will be too good to keep on the bench for long, and perhaps one benefit of all the injuries last season is that some of the projected reserves this season (Enoch Hood and Arman Marks come to mind) are better since they will be more experienced than had the injuries not happened. The Dukes are a true wild card in that one doesn’t know what to expect based on a lot of conflicting data; this is a team that could wind up in the top three just as easily as they could be in tenth place, but the veteran makeup of this team is reason to think they’re more likely to wind up near the former and quite possibly higher than this selection.

Next: Northeastern Huskies

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James Madison fights the injury bug together and to the end

by - Published March 3, 2012 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

RICHMOND, Va. – Perhaps it’s amazing that James Madison had any fight in the first place on Friday. A team torn apart by injuries, the Dukes started off Friday’s first round game well, but once they got behind it seemed like their will was taken away from them. Given what they’ve been through this season, it’s hard to blame them as their season ended with a 70-59 loss to UNCW in the first round of the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament.

“This season hasn’t been the season that we wanted,” senior guard Humpty Hitchens said in what was surely an understatement.

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2012 CAA Tournament – First Round Notes

by - Published March 3, 2012 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

RICHMOND, Va. – The first round of the CAA Tournament is in the books.  The seeds held to form save for the first game of the day, although Towson had a chance to change that before Delaware was able to hold them off.  William & Mary also made a charge at Northeastern, but to no avail, and the best team performance of the day came in the last game as Georgia State dominated Hofstra, playing like a team on a mission as head coach Ron Hunter described after the game.

Here are some quick hitters on what happened Friday:

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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.


68.9 percent of scoring and 65.2 percent of rebounding


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

Talented James Madison Hopes For Postseason Play

by - Published March 7, 2011 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

RICHMOND, Va. – James Madison wasn’t likely to surprise too many people at the CAA Tournament. Talented though they are, the feeling among many was that the Dukes could just as easily win the tournament as they could lose on Friday night. Sure enough, one of those results came as they were eliminated on Friday night by William & Mary.

There were some high expectations for this team, and to a degree they were understandable. The Dukes brought back the conference’s best post player in Denzel Bowles and also got Devon Moore and Andrey Semenov back after they had to redshirt last season. Add in a few others who were young last year, as well as newcomers that would raise the talent level like Akron transfer Humpty Hitchens and Cincinnati State transfer Rayshawn Goins, and you can see why some thought this team could contend if it all came together. But head coach Matt Brady knows one reason why it was hardly a given that this team would be that good. … Continue Reading

CAA Tournament Quick Hitters – First Round

by - Published March 5, 2011 in Conference Notes

RICHMOND, Va. – A few more quick hitters from the first round of the CAA Tournament:

  • Georgia State big man James Vincent didn’t have big numbers, but you couldn’t help but notice him. He scored six points on 3-3 shooting, but all came on nice post moves to get close shots. UNC Wilmington doesn’t have much size, but Vincent could have scored on a lot of post players with what he showed. It’s enough to make you wonder why he didn’t do it more often. … Continue Reading

Colonial Athletic Association 2010-11 Preview

by - Published November 11, 2010 in Conference Notes

Although the Colonial Athletic Association didn’t produce multiple NCAA Tournament bids as was hoped before the season, the postseason was a very successful one for the conference. Six teams played in the postseason, with Old Dominion knocking off Notre Dame in the NCAA Tournament and VCU winning the College Basketball Invitational. With much of the talent returning from last season, including many from projected top teams, there is reason to believe this year could be even better.

Nine All-CAA players return, including the reigning Player of the Year. 40 of 60 regular starters return, along with 12 of the top 20 scorers and rebounders. Around the conference, there are some solid newcomers as well, and a couple of players who missed last season due to injury also return.

… Continue Reading

2010 Colonial Athletic Association Post-Mortem

by - Published May 20, 2010 in Conference Notes

The Colonial Athletic Association’s 25th anniversary season saw something that rarely happens these days: the team picked to win actually won. Old Dominion, the preseason favorite, was the top seed in the conference tournament and took home the title and lone NCAA Tournament bid. They proceeded to beat Notre Dame in the first round before bowing out to Baylor in the second round.

What the season didn’t see is a second team in the NCAA Tournament. Although a couple of teams had good non-conference wins and relatively good profiles, no one joined Old Dominion in the NCAA Tournament. Northeastern and William & Mary made the NIT, while VCU and Hofstra made the CBI (VCU won it) and George Mason made the Collegeinsider.com Tournament. The general feeling was that the Monarchs had a good chance at an at-large bid if someone knocked them off in the CAA Tournament.

The CAA set a record with the six postseason teams, one more than the five from last season.

The conference had a clear top seven teams and a good drop-off to the five teams behind them in the standings. All seven teams won at least 10 CAA games, the first time that has ever happened. Hofstra, who finished seventh, got there largely from a great month of February. There wasn’t a dominant team among the top seven, and while the bottom five were clearly a notch below them, every one of those teams scored a win over a team in the top seven. All five teams were there for a reason: Towson lacked any semblance of frontcourt play, Georgia State was consistently inconsistent, UNC Wilmington could never get their offense going, and injuries hit James Madison and Delaware hard.

This year was one where juniors fared well, which lends some hope for next year. Nine of the 15 all-conference players were juniors, with seven of them placing on the first or second team. One will not be back, as VCU big man Larry Sanders declared for the NBA Draft and signed with an agent, but having eight all-conference juniors return for one more year bodes well.

One subject of discussion around the conference tournament centered on the future of it. Right now, the CAA Tournament is set through 2012 in Richmond, but the condition of the Richmond Coliseum is the elephant in the proverbial room. Sources say the city is likely to put some money into it, but commissioner Tom Yeager had a long list of issues with the facility and it’s unlikely enough money will be put into it to resolve an appreciable number of them. The current economic conditions have something to do with it, but there’s also a question of the bang for the buck the city would get as the Coliseum is used for more than just the CAA Tournament. For a lot of reasons, it’s hard to imagine the tournament being held outside of Richmond, and that was the general sentiment expressed, but that possibility may be explored more in the months ahead as the conference looks for where it will be held following 2012.

Final Standings

Overall Colonial
Old Dominion 27-9 15-3
Northeastern 20-13 14-4
William & Mary 22-11 12-6
George Mason 17-15 12-6
VCU 27-9 11-7
Drexel 16-16 11-7
Hofstra 19-15 10-8
Towson 10-21 6-12
Georgia State 12-20 5-13
UNC Wilmington 9-22 5-13
James Madison 13-20 4-14
Delaware 7-24 3-15

Conference Tournament

The first round saw just one upset, with No. 11 James Madison sending Drexel home early. A night later, the Dukes threatened to do the same thing to William & Mary before a big second half by Danny Sumner and a clutch shot late by David Schneider put the favorites in the semifinals. Hofstra narrowly escaped in the first round against Georgia State, then took Northeastern to the brink in the quarterfinals in a double overtime loss. The semifinals were terrific games, with Old Dominion knocking off arch-rival VCU and William & Mary handing Northestern a heart-breaking loss to set up the title game matchup. William & Mary made it a game after a slow start, but the favorites had too much and took home the title and the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. It marked eighth time in the last nine years that the top seed has won the tournament.

Postseason Awards

Player of the Year: Charles Jenkins, Hofstra

Rookie of the Year: Chris Fouch, Drexel

Defensive Player of the Year: Larry Sanders, VCU

Coach of the Year: Tony Shaver, William & Mary

All-Conference Team

Chaisson Allen, Jr. G, Northeastern

Matt Janning, Sr. G, Northeastern

Charles Jenkins, Jr. G, Hofstra

Gerald Lee, Sr. F, Old Dominion

Larry Sanders, Jr. F-C, VCU

Season Highlights

  • CAA teams were 80-76 in non-conference play, highlighted by seven wins over teams from the six power conferences, nine more against Atlantic 10 teams and a 4-1 mark against Conference USA opponents.
  • Old Dominion became the third CAA team in the last five years to win at least one NCAA Tournament game. It was the first time since 2007 that happened, and coincidentally, all three teams were a No. 11 seed.
  • William & Mary had the best non-conference run of any CAA school. The Tribe had a difficult schedule, but pulled off wins at Wake Forest and Maryland and also beat Richmond at home.
  • Northeastern had a tough non-conference slate, and early on they lost a lot of close games. But late in December, they started an 11-game winning streak that carried them well into CAA play.
  • Charles Jenkins could always score, he rebounded well for his size and people knew he was unselfish. But this year, he found a consistent jump shot, especially from long range as he was fourth in the conference at 40.9 percent, and that helped him become the conference’s Player of the Year.
  • In a bad year for James Madison, Denzel Bowles was the big bright spot as he led the conference in scoring and rebounding.

What we expected, and it happened: Old Dominion was the conference’s best team. They were the preseason favorites, and for much of the conference season was on top in the standings. The Monarchs rode the leadership of Gerald Lee and a well-balanced lineup to the NCAA Tournament and a first round win.

What we expected, and it didn’t happen: James Madison finished near the bottom. A torn ACL ended Devon Moore’s season before it began, and that didn’t help since he was a big reason the Dukes surprised many last year. The Dukes never really got untracked, and head coach Matt Brady felt the team didn’t improve over the course of the season the way he hoped they would.

What we didn’t expect, and it happened: William & Mary was a contender and in the discussion for an NCAA Tournament at-large bid. Certainly, one had to figure the Tribe would be closer to the team of two seasons ago than that of last season, but surely no one had them picking up the aforementioned non-conference wins and then getting to the conference championship game for the second time in three years.

Team(s) on the rise: George Mason and VCU. The Patriots showed their youth at times this season and might have overachieved a little, although they certainly weren’t lacking talent. The Rams had some growing pains at first adjusting to new head coach Shaka Smart and life without Eric Maynor, but they took advantage of the CBI to grow as a team and improve from the regular season. Larry Sanders is gone a year early, but the Rams have a year under Smart and will return a lot next season.

Team(s) on the decline: Georgia State. It’s hard to put anyone in this category with so many teams having a lot of players back, and if we’re talking about projections for next season, it would be easy to put Northeastern here because the Huskies lose so much. But the Huskies are in a good position looking a little past next year even if they take a step back. Georgia State, on the other hand, doesn’t appear to be getting better. They looked to be a team on the rise before 2008-09 and didn’t hit their stride until late in the season, and never seemed to get untracked this season. What next season holds is anyone’s guess, but most figured this team would be off and running by now after all the promise Rod Barnes’ first season had.

2010-11 CAA Outlook

2010-11 could be a banner year for the conference just based on returning talent. Of the 15 all-conference players, 10 will return next season, including the Player of the Year, and all but one from the All-Defensive team will return. But go to the statistical leaders and it gets better, because the top four scorers and six of the top ten all return, along with 11 of the top 13 rebounders and eight of the top ten assist men. For good measure, the top five marksmen from long range will return as well.

It doesn’t stop there, as many teams will return a high percentage of starters and key players, while the two bottom teams in the conference will each return a starter who missed this season due to injury. Old Dominion will have a strong chance to repeat as champions with only two departing seniors, although Gerald Lee will not be a small loss. George Mason and VCU will bring back most of their teams and should be contenders, and Hofstra will also return much of its team but has not had a smooth off-season in the coaching department. Northeastern and William & Mary will take hits in the personnel department, but neither should fall far and both are in good positions long-term.

It all adds up to reason for optimism in the conference next season. Coaches expressed plenty of that at Media Day last October, and chances are there will be even more of it five months from now.


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


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


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 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

2014 Prep School Tour

Missed a recap of an open gym workout? We have them all right here for you.

Sept. 9: Putnam Science Academy
Sept 10: Commonwealth Academy
Sept. 11: St. Andrew's
Sept. 12: Northfield Mount Hermon
Sept. 16: Brewster Academy and Phillips Exeter
Sept. 17: Brooks School
Sept. 21: Holderness School
Sept. 23: St. Thomas More and Marianapolis Prep
Sept. 24: South Kent School and Kent School
Sept. 25: Williston Northampton
Sept. 28: Wilbraham and Monson Academy and Suffield Academy
Sept. 30: New Hampton
Oct. 5: Worcester Academy
Oct. 7: Brimmer and May
Oct. 8: Cushing Academy
Oct. 9: Tilton
Oct. 12: Tabor Academy and Rivers School
Oct. 14: The Master's School
Oct. 16: Vermont Academy

You can also find them all right here.

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

Marianapolis Prep will battle in Class AA

October 20, 2014 by


Marianapolis Prep is far from loaded with talent, but they have enough perimeter talent to be dangerous. As is usually the case, they will battle and be a tough out in Class AA.

New Vermont Academy coach has put together a contender

October 17, 2014 by


Vermont Academy has a new coach for the second year in a row, but they shouldn’t skip a beat. They have enough talent to win a lot of games and make a deep run in NEPSAC Class AA.

The Master’s School has good students and talent

October 15, 2014 by


The Master’s School has a number of good students, and they will continue to head to college later. This time around, they also have some talent on the hardwood and should win a few more games.

Rivers will try to build on a breakthrough season

October 13, 2014 by


The Rivers School had a breakthrough season last year, winning the Independent School League. They will try to build on that with a team that loses a lot but also returns a lot from last season’s team.

Tabor Academy looks to have more depth this time around

October 13, 2014 by


Tabor Academy will once again be headlined by a frontcourt player. This time around, though, the Seawolves appear to have a deeper support cast than in recent years.